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Vladimir Kramnik vs Hikaru Nakamura
Khanty-Mansiysk Olympiad (2010), Khanty-Mansiysk RUS, rd 4, Sep-24
King's Indian Defense: Orthodox Variation. Modern System (E97)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <tonsillolith:
If Naka is such a good player for holding against Kramnik, then wouldn't Kramnik be a good player for holding his own against Nakamura, who held his own against Kramnik?>


Sep-25-10  whiteshark: Where's the win?
Sep-25-10  hedgeh0g: This game was played so well that I doubt the vast majority of GMs would be able to hold the position from either side. Both players seemed to be on top form when playing this out and my belief in the "perfect game" being drawn is strengthened by this performance.
Sep-25-10  Atking: I like the timing of 18...f3!!? Many ideas behind this move Ng6~Nf4 ->g2 or Bh6~Bf4 ->h2. A pleasure with Nakamura, he is not afraid playing the best in the world.
Sep-25-10  BradMajors: @GMHikaru: Absolutely disgusted that I missed 34...Nc2 and let my team down by not winning. Oh well, tomorrow is a new day!
Sep-25-10  hedgeh0g: Is 34...Nc2 really winning? White will escape with the knight and start pushing the pawns. With only a queen on the board, I don't see how Black can do better than draw against White's rook, piece and mass of pawns.
Sep-25-10  Davolni: Naka should be glad I think he didn't loose against the former WC, since 35.Reb1 (according to comps), would give whites a BIG ADVANTAGE of +2.78.
Sep-25-10  hedgeh0g: I checked with Fritz and, as I suspected, 35.Reb1 doesn't give White much more than a draw. Despite White's mass of pawns, the queen and knight provide Black with a handy drawing resource in most variations.
Sep-25-10  anjyplayer: Thanks to both for playing such fighting chess.
Sep-25-10  polarmis: I've put up a translation of a lot of Russian commentary on this game here:

Just to add - in his video on the round Shipov thought moves 19 & 20 were where Kramnik got a little too clever. Simply e.g. 20. gxf3 would have given white a dominant position.

Sep-25-10  Hesam7: So Nakamura is a total jackass. Before the game he said he will 'crush Kramnik like a bug' and now that he barely escaped defeat he is boasting that he missed win! A false claim easily refuted by analysis.

Here is the position after 34. ... Nc2:

click for larger view

<The simplest is: 35. Nc7 Qb4 (and just try to find that!) 36. Reb1 Qxe4+ 37. Kg1 Nd4 (the exchange on a1 leads to a quiet game with chances for white) 38. Rxb7 Nf3+ 39. Kf1 and black has nothing better than perpetual check. > - GM Shipov

Sep-25-10  Bobby Fiske: Hats off to Nakamura! I mean - Kramnik is already "up there" with his demigod status, but with Nakamura there is still has a certain "doubt" regarding his talent. -But games like this confirms his potential as a world class contender.
Sep-25-10  acirce: Same Shipov about Nakamura's statement: <Crazy! He has an absolutely hopeless position, barely saves it, and still complains that he didn’t win! However, it’s to just such impudent people, as a rule, that success comes...>
Sep-25-10  James Bowman: Nakamura stirs such emotions lol. This was a very knife edged game by both of them and makes chess a delight, oh but what a tempo could do. I do not see a win after 34Nc2 for Nakamura but I'm a couple of elo points lower so that is to be forgiven. Certainly as already stated most GM's could not have held with black or white and the play was great to behold by both players. This is what I meant by combative chess, no doubt they were playing for a win from the get and even if a draw was the result, not the typical I'm afraid to risk my marbles play that results in a 15 move draw, yawn.

I also must conclude that for Nakamura to draw with black against a former world champion who defeated the mighty Kasparov in match play and is ranked 3rd in the world is no cause for shame, to the contrary Nakamura's elo will increase and Kramnik will yield a little. This is not teen age fanatisism just a factually acurate assesment. Great game one of the better ones so far in this olympiad.

Sep-25-10  Brandon plays: lol, I don't see anything wrong at all with being arrogant about playing chess. I think it can be helpful to think that you were winning the game even thuogh computers may disagree because it is psychologically helpful.
Sep-25-10  kapivarov: And who can prove Naka could'n win with 34...Nc2 ??? Despite most people and engines said he was toast against Bundavaa and Kramnik, he scored 1,5/2. Opponents blundered or not, it's irrelevant: sometimes Naka makes the impossible.
Sep-25-10  Atking: Well I have a great respect for Kramnik and his play. Give him his due. But in this game the tension was hight. It was courageous from Nakamura to play a KI vs Kramnik. Probably after the draw, both players had the feeling they missed somewhere an opportunity. That's all. No need to make a typhoon in a glass water.
Sep-27-10  desiobu: Wild game.
Sep-28-10  Whitehat1963: Nakamura: +4-0=1, impressive so far.
Sep-28-10  kdogphs: This will certainly be my game of the week for my chess club meeting when we cover the KID...
Nov-28-10  Fezzik: I agree, Naka has tremendous potential. As of now, that's almost all he has. He needs to play like this for an entire series of elite tournaments. When he has a bad game, he needs to learn how to bounce back in the very next game against a +2730 opponent.

Until then, he will be known more for his mouth and his fans than his chess.

Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: Tough game, nice to see someone brave enough to venture a KID at the highest levels.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: <acirce: Same Shipov about Nakamura's statement: <Crazy! He has an absolutely hopeless position, barely saves it, and still complains that he didn’t win! However, it’s to just such impudent people, as a rule, that success comes...>>

But not often to the very top. Like Larsen, Nakamura seems to be a bit too optimistic in his assessments at the board.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: But, hey, he'll still crush me on the chess board, so I'm simply noting some similarities.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimmy720: A wild game
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