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Viswanathan Anand vs Hikaru Nakamura
Norway Chess (2013), Bryne NOR, rd 4, May-12
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense (C78)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Given 7 times; par: 46 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-12-13  Just Another Master: Naka is starting to spank Vishy with Black repeatedly. Great job, hopefully soon to be 2800 American.
May-12-13  pbercker: <plang: <VaselineTopLove: Anand has more respect for Nakamura than he should. I'm pretty sure Anand would have seen 25.Rd2 against lesser players,> That seems unlikely

Anand usually plays the position - he is not a gambler and he is not going to take someone elses word on tactics.>

That seems unlikely to me as well, not impossible, but it's anyone's guess just what level of "respect" Anand has for Nakamura.

Not noticing 25. Rd2 ... seems like such a glaring error that seems to me only explainable as the result of some sort of <inattention>, or <flagging attention>, and this simply becomes more and more frequent as we get older ...

Anand's level of respect for Nakamura is unknown, but his age is not ...

<Many older adults notice a decline in their attentional abilities.[40] Attention is a broad construct that refers to "the cognitive ability that allows us to deal with the inherent processing limitations of the human brain by selecting information for further processing" (p. 334).[41] Since the human brain has limited resources, people use their attention to zone in on specific stimuli and block out others.>

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aging_...

May-12-13  pbercker: @ <pbercker> ... You are an idiot ... you apparently missed the fact that Nakamura also did not notice 25. Rd2 ... and he's only 23. Hence, your "explanation" that Anand missed this move due to his age is false.
May-13-13  John Abraham: Nakamura is not 23, he's 25. Carlsen is 22 and Karjakin is 23.
May-13-13  blackdranzer: i thought anand would see Rd2...a player of his caliber should have seen it....i think he had considered it but couldn't make it work....on the other hand naka equalizes quickly... wonder anand goes for highly analyzed lines....instead he should have opted for a4 at some point in the opening...
May-13-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: John, you're just adding salt to pberckers wound.
May-13-13  pbercker: Here ... I'll just sit quietly and try not to wince while you guys can rub it in ...
May-13-13  QueentakesKing: No doubt Naka is the strongest american player today. Not even Gata can dispute this.
May-13-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: Nakamura played a better opening this time against one of the big boys than he usually does. If he toughens up in the opening I see no reason why he can't compete for the championship.
May-13-13  hellopolgar: Someone come up with a pun for this game with the word "b4" (before) in it already.
May-13-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: How about, "You have to gamble b4 winning"
May-13-13  fgh: Nakamura has a pretty good score against Anand:

<Classical games: Hikaru Nakamura beat Viswanathan Anand 2 to 0, with 8 draws.

Including rapid/exhibition games: Hikaru Nakamura beat Viswanathan Anand 3 to 0, with 10 draws.>

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches...

May-13-13  chathuranga: why did't Anand play 26.a3 ? Can somebody explain?
May-13-13  Just Another Master: "Anand is scared of World No 1 Carlsen", says Kramnik....cant add to that, too much respect for Vlad
May-14-13  Hesam7: I am very puzzled since the 1960s it is known that Black has no problems in these Rauzer type positions in Ruy Lopez (although usually they arose from the Chigorin variation) and the most famous White defeat was suffered by none other than Bobby Fischer in Fischer vs Kholmov, 1965

Remembering the Knight sacrifice, I was looking to reenact it here and I found at least two instances where Black can play it:

A) 23...Qd6! 24 Bc2 Nc6 25 Qg5 Qd8 26 Qh5 Nd4! 27 cd4 ed4


click for larger view

Black has more than enough compensation: the weaknesses of e4 & f2; the White Bishop being shut out of the game; and the powerful pawn storm. Even my materialistic engine evaluates the position slightly in Black's favor. And all of this ignores the practical side of playing the White.

B) 24...Nc6! 25 Qg5 Nd4!? 26 cd4 ed4


click for larger view

This is not as favorable to Black as the previous line (the Rook was much better posted on the f-file and the threat of Nf6 or Nh6 will force Black to waste a move on defense) but still Black has full equality and his position will be much easier to play.

I don't expect Nakamura to study Petrosian in great depth but Fischer's games? Come on!

May-14-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: Nakamura's choice of 6..Nc5 and 8...Bb6 leaves his king side undefended by his bishop. This suggests 9 Bg5 instead of 9 Be3.

The move 13 dxc5 weakens Black's d5 square. It presupposes however that White can threaten the move Nd5, and by playing his QB to e3 instead of to g5, Anand has foregone this opportunity to undermine Black's defence of this square. It seems therefore inconsistent with the move Be3.

14 Qe2 allows the attack 14...Ng4. Instead of this 14 Bg5 pins and attacks the N on f6 which defends the d5 square while 14 h3 prevents the move 14...Ng4.

After 18 Nxe3 Black has doubled e pawns but they help to defend central points and one may question whether they are not an asset to Black instead of a liability.

After 18...c4 there is a potential threat of ...Nc6 and ...Nd4! as in the game Fischer vs Kholmov, 1965 whereupon in reply to exd4, ...exd4 creates a pawn roller

The move 19 Qh5?! decentralizes the queen. In the position before 19 Qh5 the White piece which is placed the worst is the rook on a1. Therefore unless White can derive advantage from this attack, a move such as 19 Rad1 or 19 a4 is to be considered first.

If 24...b4? is an unsound gamble which succeeds, an alternative is 24...Nc6 followed by the sacrifice ...Nd4! as in the game Fischer vs Kholmov, 1965

May-14-13  Hesam7: <Ulhumbrus: The move 13 dxc5 weakens Black's d5 square. It presupposes however that White can threaten the move Nd5, and by playing his QB to e3 instead of to g5, Anand has foregone this opportunity to undermine Black's defence of this square. It seems therefore inconsistent with the move Be3.>

Playing 17 Ne6 is also inconsistent with 13 dc5, many people think that Black's weak pawn structure is a great target for White, however the pawn on e6 is an asset for Black since it deprives White from his only viable plans in this position: Nf5 & Nd5.

It seems to me that after 12...c5


click for larger view

White should try a standard Ruy Lopez move such as 13 h3, 13 d5 or 13 d5.

May-14-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Hesam7>: White already has to concern himself with the defence of e4 once Nakamura plays ....Bb7, so must clarify the situation in the centre. The bishop at e3 looks a trifle awkward and would be better off most anywhere else. This appears to be, as you say, a structure which arises from the Rauzer where, in this instance, Black's bishop is more actively placed than at e7, against which White DSB is developed at e3. If you want to call it development.
May-15-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Aaannnd, it's gone...
May-16-13  WiseWizard: I'm surprised Anand thought he was entitled to his kingside excursion with Black having such a strong Bishop, open f-file and possibilities of piling up on f2. Very uncharacteristic of Anand, he normally plays to eliminate his opponents active pieces. I expected him to play solid and keep the knight on e3 to blunt the bishop. This reminds of his white game against Giri a couple years back where he also prematurely went for an attack and was quickly put on the defensive though he managed to save it after inaccurate play by Giri. I don't think he has much respect for Nakamura, I think he was using him for training similar to what Kramnik does.
May-17-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: I think he's experimenting and taking a few liberties in this tournament to tune himself up for the Carlsen match. You'll see his best efforts then.
May-18-13  pbercker: If I had to guess, I would think that Anand (and most GMs) confines most of his chess <experimenting> on Houdini, and not in "live" play where all sorts of things can go embarrassingly wrong.

Moreover, if the point of the "experiment" is to "tune" yourself up (whose precise meaning is a bit unclear to me) for an upcoming tournament, it seems counter-productive - indeed irrational - to do so in plain sight of your future opponent who can be counted on noticing such things.

May-24-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: <Hesam7: I am very puzzled since the 1960s it is known that Black has no problems in these Rauzer type positions in Ruy Lopez (although usually they arose from the Chigorin variation) and the most famous White defeat was suffered by none other than Bobby Fischer in Fischer vs Kholmov, 1965>

That game was played by teletype ..

Fischer was not allowed in Havana. ..

Fischer was under extra strain than the other tournament participants.

May-25-13  Hesam7: <harrylime: That game was played by teletype ..

Fischer was not allowed in Havana. ..

Fischer was under extra strain than the other tournament participants.>

OK, some points:

1. I don't get how Fischer was under extra strain, he got to play from New York City instead of traveling to Cuba and after a couple of rounds he must have gotten used to the strange situation while all his opponents were playing with teletype for the first time.

2. Fischer's loss was not an accident, White's opening is theoretically bad. If you go back and look the number of people who play dc5 in the Chigorin variation falls off a cliff after 1970.

3. Tal was also fond of this line, but games like Tal vs Korchnoi, 1968 or Tal vs Romanishin, 1983 did not help the reputation of the opening (Romanishin's games are excellent study material, if you want to learn how to play the Black side).

May-25-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Hesam7.....1. I don't get how Fischer was under extra strain, he got to play from New York City instead of traveling to Cuba and after a couple of rounds he must have gotten used to the strange situation while all his opponents were playing with teletype for the first time.>

This point is perfectly valid: due to the transmissions by telex, the typical five-hour session became seven hours for Fischer. It seems reasonable to conclude that the cumulative nervous tension would almost certainly have exacted a toll in his play.

David Levy mentions this in <How Fischer Plays Chess>, stating that in his opinion, (paraphrasing) had Fischer played his games in Havana, he would have won the event by the same sort of margin as he had at Stockholm.

Levy's view in this case-unlike a number of his pronouncements I roughly recall from the book-seems reasonable to me.

As to your second point, I broadly agree: this subvariation does not look terribly impressive for White, despite the advocacy of these redoubtable players named above.

The number of White players willing to essay dxc5 in most Chigorin positions declined post-1970 for one fundamental reason: their opponents sought other means of defending the Spanish Torture, such as the Breyer.

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