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Hikaru Nakamura vs Michael Adams
London Chess Classic (2011), London ENG, rd 9, Dec-12
King's Gambit: Accepted. Abbazia Defense (C36)  ·  1-0



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Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <36...Qb6> wins 37.Bxc5 Rxc5 38.Qd4 R5xc6
Dec-14-11  LIFE Master AJ:

click for larger view

I am thinking that this would be a good Wednesday-Friday puzzle ...

<< White to move, 41. '?' >>

Dec-14-11  LIFE Master AJ: 41.c7!

If Black promotes on b1, then 42.QxP/f6+! and 43.c8=Q+ ends things quickly.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Reading some of the comments briefly made about this game, implies two different current trends of Kibitzers which frankly I find a little suprising and maybe alarming :

1) Anti-Naka players - who seem to be disgusted he isn't playing in the same robotic solid style as Aronian or Carlsen

2) Anti humanity kibitzers who seem to have absolutely zero empathy for the human condition. This is in two parts A) and B)

A) Adam's Nightmare tournament!

In this game, I would suggest is a reflection of Adams's worst ever tournament of his life in recent years. He lost 5 games in this event - this being the 5th. Naka was keen to exploit that and hence the Kings Gambit - complications from move 1.

B) Engine analysis as if it means something. Really? Engines use electricity and brute force and various algorithms like Alpha beta pruning. How do they measure "objectivity" in a game between two human beings.

This doesn't gel very well in particularly complex positions where engines are often saying one side is winning or clearly winning or even +5 - exactly how is that relevant. It seems the depths of zero or sub zero human empathy on this site are getting much deeper recently - and probably even deeper as we get ever more stronger and stronger chess engines.

How the kibitzers on this site go into an even more ivory than ivory tower with engines is thougb seperate from understanding this was an exceptionally bad tournament for Adams.

Now when it comes to wins of Naka these two groups 1) and 2) seem to unfortunately join forces. What - we have complex positions - and those created by Naka - wow - what a Travesty of Justice and chess truth we have before us. Us with out engines which represent on the FIDE scale 3200 consistency or more.

"It's just chess" as Naka said to me at the London Classic when I asked him about the win vs Anand. People have different views on the game.

Wasn't it Lasker that emphasised the psychological aspects of the game and chess as a struggle, and yet here we are about to witness even more lack of human empathy with snobby condascending rubbish written about how bad quality this win is, etc.

Oh well. Each to their own style of player - and use and (ab)use of increasingly strong chess engines.

Dec-14-11  haydn20: In hindsight, maybe 16. Ne5 was better. 29...b3 wd have been strong, e.g. 30. c6 Ra7 31. d5 Bxf3 32. Rxe8 Bxg2+ 33. Kxg2 Qxe8, and 35...b3 36. Bxf4 Qc8 37. Rxe4 Rxe4 38. g3 b2 is crushing as noted. Once he misses this last chance he probably should content himself with 38....Ra5=. It's remarkable how Naka plays ad hominem--maybe a version of "play the man, not the hand."
Dec-14-11  LIFE Master AJ: << Dec-12-11 <al wazir>: Where's the win after 41...Qb7 ? <<<>>> >>

[41.c7! Rxd5 (RR 41...Qb7!? 42.Nxf8! Kg8T 43.Nd7! Be4 44.Rxe4 Qa7+ 45.Kg2 ) 42.Nxf8 b1Q 43.Nd7 Qxe1+ 44.Qxe1 Rxd7 (44...Qxc7 45.Re8+! Kg7 46.Rg8+!! Kxg8 47.Qe6+! Kg7 48.Qxf6+ Kg8 49.Qf8#) 45.c8Q+ , " " ] 1-0

Analysis with Fritz 12, checked with Houdini.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: I have video annotated this game here:

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <kingscrusher> I don't understand the points you were making about the anti-humanity kibitzers in this game. I feel that in chess we should be striving for the "truth" (whatever that is) in the position regardless of the circumstances. Chess engines don't have bad days or bad tournaments (unless there's a power line problem or a hardware defect surfaces) and that's one reason why they're valuable. They measure objectivity in a game between two human beings precisely by pointing out some moves where either player could have played better. Engines have proven themselves to be particularly strong in the kind of complex situations occurring in this game so their analysis does mean something, although it should never be the last word as they are occasionally wrong.

It's easy to criticize any player's moves in a game after the fact, particularly when the analysis is done in the comfort of your home or office with lots of time available. That doesn't mean that we don't have any empathy for Adams being off form and having the worst tournament of his life. All of us that have played OTB at any level know how hard it is to find the best moves under an opponent's pressure with the clock ticking away, particularly if you're not having a good day or tournament. Nor does it (or at lest it shouldn't) detract from a player's accomplishment of proving themselves over time to be sufficiently strong to be invited to a tournament such as the London Classic 2011 in the first place.

Dec-15-11  AVRO38: <<ARVO38> I don't agree that 5.c4 is "more solid". After 5.c6, it is Black's position which looks more solid. Reti vs Tartakower, 1910>

Apparently Reti and Tartakower disagree with you since they agreed to a draw after 9 moves. I fully concur with their judgment, after 5.c4 it's a dead draw. Obviously Naka knows about 5.c4 but wanted to get into a wild tactical position, as he is known to do from time to time.

<I am sure the GMs consider King's Gambit to be a relatively weak opening too.>

Well you're wrong! Spassky defeated Fischer, Karpov, and Bronstein with the King's Gambit. Even Carlsen played it recently, I doubt he would play an opening he considers "weak".

Dec-15-11  King Death: < AVRO38: Apparently Reti and Tartakower disagree with you since they agreed to a draw after 9 moves.

I fully concur with their judgment, after 5.c4 it's a dead draw...>

Do you really believe some of the junk you write?

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: Well, to make things perfectly clear, I don't really believe some (any?) of the junk I write!
Dec-16-11  King Death: <AylerKupp> A consistent approach anyway! I've looked at some things I've put out there and asked myself "How the hell did I come up with that?"
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: <AylerKupp:> There is a definite trend this year to be absolutely more critical of Super GM play - especially the "unsounder" GMs like Nakamara as though he is playing in a terribly bad way.

I think it has to do with stronger engines this year than ever before.

When errors are pointed out so easily, quickly, and people are shown incredibly strong lines from the engines, the result is an increasingly less sympathetic situation for humans and their blunders.

A case in point was the recent Anand vs Naka game which seemed to cause a lot of controversy here and on Youtube.

Yet those people criticising Anand's play base it on "expert" commentators or their own analysis. For either the "expert" commentators or their own analysis, these are often from the product of engine analysis.

So I expected some furore on this game, but apparently no where near as much as the Anand game - perhaps because Adams has less profile than Anand.

So my comments here perhaps seem a little OTT - they were really based on what reactions I saw from the Anand vs Naka game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: <AylerKupp> Here is an example - check this Guff out from earlier on this game from <Blaise99a> - I guess an armchair engine analyst horrified with the engine evaluations:

" The chess is simply crumpled up and tossed away, but at least he pockets the prize.....would I want to see this game again? I think I'll pass- but I am already imagining 'Naka's most exciting game' collection......or should it be 'Naka's luckiest Train Wrecks'......with horror."

I guess that this person doesn't even play Tournament chess, and doesn't even have a FIDE rating.

You know it reminds me of a horror film where a woman became more and more isolated because she became sensitive to germs. Maybe to these armchair analysts they are not used to seeing such negative evaluations and still someone winning. The chess is too "impure" for them. They need cleaner play like from Aronian or Carlsen or something.

So we know where things are going - the more unsound GM's are gonna get more controversial and negative comments because of the new clinically clean engine world we live in. For that I think those super GM's that do take risks to win games and do well in tournaments should be even more rewarded to fly in the face of the engine-critics.

Dec-16-11  King Death: <Kingscrusher> Some (maybe many) of the comments on your Anand-Nakamura video were probably from fools hiding behind engines. Like you said, it's people who can't play if their precious engine is taken away. Maybe a game like 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 cd 4.Nc3 Nc6 5.Bf4 Bf5 6.e3 e6 7.Bd3 Bd3 8.Qd3 Bd6 9.Bd6 Qd6 would turn them on. Nice and neat and nothing.

This <Blaise99a> would have had a field day with engines back in Lasker's time. We'd have probably gotten 20 pages of trash telling us that his famous queen sacrifice against Ilyin-Zhenevsky was +4.00 for White or something.

Dec-16-11  polarmis: <Kingscrusher> - I don't think most people are blindly following engine analysis. It's not the case that Nakamura simply played well in the two games in question and engines missed it - he admitted himself after both games that he'd been in trouble and against Adams that he'd thought he was winning because he'd completely missed Adams' ...Bf3, after which he saw he was lost. Yes, he was trying to take some risks and get interesting play, but he wasn't trying to make bad or losing moves. The engines just confirm the opinions of strong grandmasters and often the players themselves. Yes, engines can be too optimistic about White's position in the KID, but when things got to +3 in Black's favour in the Anand game you can be pretty sure Black was objectively busted (and he was - against play that didn't need to be out of this world).

Another point is that I think you're (inevitably) much more reliant on engine analysis in your commentary that many stronger commentators - and you use engines badly (at least in the videos). In super-sharp and complex positions like the ones shown it's simply not sufficient to leave the engine for half a second (at a depth of 14 or so) to have an idea what's going on. And it makes even less sense to look at the opinion of engines when it comes to long-term strategic decisions (I realise you're doing a quick blunder check, but it's still not really appropriate). Although it would take more work and perhaps wouldn't be as interesting to watch you should actually do what e.g. Shipov does and do the serious analysis of the games in advance - if you want to approach any sort of truth about the positions. If that's not what you're interested in then that's fine, but I think you should probably tone down your criticism of others for failing to understand the games.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: <Polarmis> You provide another example of what I am talking about:

Kramnik vs Howell Game

" polarmis: Shipov gave the win: 40…Qf1+! 41.Kxf1 Qa6+ 42.Kg2 Rxc8 43.Nd4! Kh7 44.Kh2 Rg8 45.Nf5 Qa2 46.Kg1 Qa1+ 47.Kg2 Qa3 48.Qb7 Qa2 49.Ne7 Rf8 50.Nd5 Qa5 51.Nb6 Qxe5 52.Nd7, but it's weird that's Howell's second resignation (if he resigned) in a position that's tricky to win. Kramnik got a bit carried away with the idea of allowing Black two queens..."

You say "it's weird that's Howell's second resignation in a position that's tricky to win.

You know what I find weird is how you think either player would have even seen Qf1+ !! in the final position of that particular game. Did they really - I need to check the game post commentaries. Personally I would be suprised if either was aware of the Qf1+ resource.

The other thing I think is weird is you think the commentator GM Shipov didn't use an engine to find the Qf1+ resource.

Just to bring you back to earth, I have done a video about how engines work out things, and it is a lot different to how humans think. I believe you should review it. Here it is:

There is also a video interview with the author of Hiarcs who mentions some other concepts:

In summary the core of most engines is electricity and Alpha-beta pruning. That is why they are like 3200+ on the FIDE scale - and would see unbelievable tacticl shots very easly. GMs have no chance at all vs Engines in tactical positions.

So given this state of affairs it is quite understandable to me at least that the Kings Gambit was chosen as a suprise weapon, and a good way of avoiding say Adam's more theoretically prepared Marshall Gambit.

When players are put on their "own resources", as humans they do tend to blunder. It is human to blunder - you really could do well to remember that when looking at OTB games between humans with these engines.

When you say about the truth of positions - that is a different subject entirely - and not one I brought up here if you look carefully. I brought up the increasing lack of sympathy for how human vs human games are played. There is a big difference.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: I guess the new engine world as applied to OTB Human vs Human games could be labelled:

"The beginning of Truth - the end of Empathy"

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Funny enough also when I covered Kramnik's recent wins here:

I was not able to use any engine at all in this commentary with livesteam on the Chessbase server. Only my own thoughts.

With such a restriction, the video still went down okay. I did not see at all the Qf1+ resource, and it wasn't pointed out either I think at the time.

However, perhaps everyone was at a closer level of empathy to the players as a result.

Dec-16-11  polarmis: <Kingcrusher: You know what I find weird is how you think either player would have even seen Qf1+ !! in the final position of that particular game. Did they really - I need to check the game post commentaries. Personally I would be suprised if either was aware of the Qf1+ resource.>

Kingcrusher, neither player saw the Qf1+ line as far as we know. Peter Svidler saw it without a computer on the ICC, so it wasn't beyond the realms of possibility, but of course it's an unlikely resource and natural to be missed. Anyway, what's weird here is that you misunderstood my use of English - there's nothing weird at all about the move being missed, but you must admit resigning twice on move 40 in a non-clear position in the same tournament is an unlikely occurrence! Svidler said the same.

<The other thing I think is weird is you think the commentator GM Shipov didn't use an engine to find the Qf1+ resource.>

When did I say such a thing? Of course Shipov uses a computer - in fact I pointed out he does his computer analysis in advance. However, he combines his use of a computer with knowing what's obvious or not to a top grandmaster, which makes a big difference. I'm not criticising you here, as I'm sure you're much stronger than I am, but it's one of the inevitable flaws in all attempts at analysis by us relative (or not relative but simply) patzers!

<So given this state of affairs it is quite understandable to me at least that the Kings Gambit was chosen as a suprise weapon, and a good way of avoiding say Adam's more theoretically prepared Marshall Gambit.>

I've got no particular argument there - although it didn't exactly work given Adams won the theoretical battle (it was a bit like Carlsen's surprising Adams theoretically in the last Olympiad but going on to lose). It's just a shame Adams spoilt almost all of his good positions in London.

<It is human to blunder - you really could do well to remember that when looking at OTB games between humans with these engines.>

There you go again - it's frankly insulting that you think the people around you are morons who don't understand the difference between humans and computers.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: <polarmis> : Sorry - don't take offence. I am reviewing my own thoughts on the recent events and reactions - interesting subject for a video.

I think my feeling started on this subject with my slight disappointment in Kasparov's "My great predecessor's series", which I think could have done with a more sympathetic understanding of the cultural and external factors around games, rather than an engine critical view of those games - e.g. in the Romantic era. Perhaps much of the motivation for playing Gambits at the time was that brilliance was rewarded literally with money or something - and games if brilliant were more easily marketed.

I think it is interesting to try and analyse games without engines just for closer empathy to the players - and what they might have seen.

The engines are simply getting too strong nowadays. It is becoming increasingly taken for granted the amazing insights Engines offer into positions.

Many strong players and even titled players I have heard say that their best wins are torn to shreds by engines when they check with them.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: <polarmis>: BTW I hope that you even you concede that there has been far less "empathy" recently for how certain GM's have been playing, and it may not be coincidental - but rather as a consequence of the increasing engine power available to an increasing number of commentators and kibitzers.
Dec-16-11  polarmis: <kingscrusher>, ok, I generally agree with that! I'd just say that the statement e.g. "Black was busted" about the Anand - Nakamura game is one you can make without being hopelessly engine-dependent.

By the way, you might like this interview with Akopian where he also took issue with Kasparov's series, and apparently found lots of analytical mistakes in it:

Akopian and Kasparov have some "issues" (I've heard), so maybe there's some extra motivation behind what he says, but it's interesting nevertheless.

Dec-16-11  polarmis: I wrote that before the "empathy" comment. In terms of average chess fans, then absolutely - there's also a trend with some commentators, though mainly I'd say just the very lazy ones. It's an interesting issue, though, and I know some top-GMs have complained about it (e.g. Aronian - though I think Shipov wrote a good response in the name of commentators everywhere). Anyway, that's a topic for an article some day!
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: <polarmis> Hope you like this video:

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