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Magnus Carlsen vs Hikaru Nakamura
"Garry's Kids" (game of the day Jan-17-2012)
London Chess Classic (2011), London ENG, rd 3, Dec-05
Italian Game: Classical Variation. Giuoco Pianissimo (C53)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 13 OF 13 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-15-11  visayanbraindoctor: <WiseWizard: Carlsen played 18. Bc2 so that he could play Qd2 so that he could connect his rooks so that he could double the Rooks on the f-file, so that he could exchange sac on f6 because of the weakened h6 pawn and attack the king. Black's queenside counterplay was harmless against this plan.>

Nice observation. This game witnessed white controlling the center, opening the f-file, sacking on f6, and attacking the exposed King; meanwhile prophylactically allowing no significant counter-play.

Peculiarly enough Nakamura, who is a very strong tactician, seemed clueless at first on what was happening. He never did make an effective counter-plan. One reason why Carlsen won so smoothly; and made Naka look so hapless.

Many of Carlsen's games feature this characteristic fluidity of play, a hallmark of the great positional player.

Dec-28-11  IAMNOPATZER: Would be better if Nakamura hides his arrogance.

He's no Fischer.

Jan-14-12  notyetagm: Game Collection: WEAK PAWNS

click for larger view

Carlsen vs Nakamura, 2011 31 Rf4xNf6! g7xRf6 creates weak Black pawns on d6, f6, and h6

Jan-17-12  waustad: Great title.
Jan-17-12  waustad: While watching the opening at the time I so much wanted to see an Evans, but one needs to look at < 2400 it seems for such goodies. The exchange sac was fun too.
Jan-17-12  TheBish: <waustad: While watching the opening at the time I so much wanted to see an Evans, but one needs to look at [less than] 2400 it seems for such goodies.>

Kasparov played it against Short in 1993 (drawing) and twice in 1995 against Anand and Piket, winning both of these contests in 25 and 29 moves respectively!

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: It's a great pun.
Jan-17-12  JamesT Kirk: 32.Qf4 / Rb3; 33.Bh5 / Rg3?!
Jan-17-12  jakaiden: Oh! Like Jerry's kid's LOL!
Jan-17-12  Memethecat: The position seems equal until <28Rxf7>! Destroying blacks pawn structure & taking the initiative. With a bit more study & hard work Carlson might be able to eke out a career as a pro chess player.
Jan-17-12  erniecohen: <<Pawn and Two>: <psmith> After 29...Ra8 30.h4 Qa5, 31.Qf2 appears to be White's best try for an advantage. Fritz 13 indicates Black should respond to 31.Qf2 with 31...Qd8. If White continues by 32.Rxf6 Qxf6, or 32.d5 Bc8 33.Rxf6 Qxf6, then Fritz's evaluation is in the equal range, just slightly above .00 in favor of White.>

Another try is 33. ♘h5 ♘xh5 34. ♗xh5 f6 35. ♕g3, but I think this is going to draw also.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: I believe at some point Carlsen and Nakamura had a close record between each other. But now, it's a different story.

Jan-17-12  erniecohen: <visayanbraindoctor> Just to reemphasize what was pointed out above, White has nothing after 29...♖a8. So Nakamura wasn't helpless at all until 29...♖fb8.
Jan-17-12  visayanbraindoctor: <erniecohen> That's right, but at this point, black's survival depended on stopping white's plan as explained above. Unfortunately for him, Naka did not seem to realize what was going on, or underestimated it. The 29...Ra8 plan is based on an attempt to liquidate Queens of the board, and failing in that to regroup a better defense to the Rxf6 threat. These are positional decisions in order to effect a counter-plan. As mentioned above <Peculiarly enough Nakamura, who is a very strong tactician, seemed clueless at first on what was happening. He never did make an effective counter-plan. One reason why Carlsen won so smoothly; and made Naka look so hapless.>
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The win comes quickly-if the pawn interposes,the rook come in from the left wing.
Jan-17-12  sshhhh: <Penguincw> If that list is complete then Nakamura has never beaten Carlsen in classic time controls. A couple of draws initially then total domination by Carlsen. +5=4-0 in recent years.
Jan-17-12  Siksika: Top 5 pun of all time.
Feb-22-14  PJs Studio: 31.Rxf6!! What a balsey sac by by Carlsen. He is exceptional.
Oct-24-14  Ke2: Finally I am appreciating Magnus style. This game was very Steinitzy.
Nov-12-19  myhilarioususername: This game was featured in CBS 60 minutes: "Mozart of Chess: Magnus Carlsen"
Nov-12-19  WorstPlayerEver: 29... h5 30. h4 Qh6=

click for larger view

Can't see the genius of punishing a one move blunder. 29... h5 was simply necessary, because Qh6 stops the danger of Nxf6 > Qf4 > Bh5

Then again, from a human aspect 34... Qg6 35. d5 Bc8 36. Qxd6 f5 37. Qe7 R2b7 38. Qe5 Rb6 39. Bh5 Qf6 40. Qxf6 Rxf6 41. e5 Ra6 42. Nxf5 Bxf5 43. Rxf5

click for larger view

still looks equal.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: I would gladly play such an 'equal' position for Carlsen as that in the last diagram of <WPE>'s analysis: whatever winning chances exist are on White's side!
Dec-09-19  WorstPlayerEver: <perfidious>

'Still looks equal' means that the position looks dangerous for Black but is easy to defend in reality ;)

If I remember well...

Jul-04-21  VerySeriousExpert: M.Carlsen could play better in the opening stage of C54 (some classificators write the code "C53"). Thus, 6.Bb3 is weaker than 6.Bg5! (I recommend the article by Yury V. Bukayev about his theoretical way to White's advantage here: .)
Jul-04-21  VerySeriousExpert: H.Nakamura could prevent the way 5...d6 6.Bg5! (please, see my 1st comment) by the best of possible moves - 5...0-0! (here I recommend the other article by Yury V. Bukayev: ). Thus, this his article proves that 5...0-0! leads to Black's very good positions.
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