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Alexander Morozevich vs Hikaru Nakamura
FIDE Grand Prix Thessaloniki (2013), Thessaloniki GRE, rd 4, May-25
Sicilian Defense: Scheveningen Variation. English Attack (B80)  ·  1/2-1/2

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
May-25-13  hellopolgar: What a game!
May-25-13  csmath: Nice game and played well. Both had chances and both missed something but no major errors. Very typical opening, this is Moro's special and Naka was obviously ready.
May-25-13  Hesam7: <csmath: In Moro-Naka game:
Actually after proposed

21. ... Rh2
22. Rg2 ... Rxg2
23. Qxg2 ... Ba2
24. Kc1 ... Qa5

white has

25. Bd2 ... Nxd2
26. Rxd2 ... axb5
27. Qe4 ... Be7
28. Qe5 ... Bd5
29. Rxd5! ... exd6
30. Qe6!

Try to win this with engine for black.>

Seeing that I think after 21...Rh2! 22 Rg2 Rg2 23 Qg2 Ba2 24 Kc1 Black should opt for 24...Qh4


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White seems to have very few moves here. As far as i can see the only ones that do not lose quickly are 25 Nd4 & 25 Qf2.

May-25-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <21...Rh2! 22.Rg2 Rxg2 23.Qxg2 Ba2+ 24.Kc1 Qa5> As I mentioned on the main tournament page, according to the press conference both players considered 25.Qg4 as White's critical reply here, and interestingly both also thought White is at least ok if not better, missing 25...Qa4! (defending e4, threatening mate on c2) which is winning for Black.
May-25-13  dumbgai: Magnificent games like this remind us that not all draws are built the same.
May-25-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Morning: Great fighting game and a pleasure to study, one of those rare draws where it seems that both players should be awarded the full point.
May-25-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: Btw, in the line 21...Rh2 22.Rg2 Rxg2 23.Qxg2 Ba2+ 24.Kc1 Qa5 Moro also mentioned after the game that at first he thought he was winning with 25.Qg3 axb5 26.Qf4 (threatening mate on f7; 26...Rc7, for example, loses here immediately to 27.Bxb5+!), but then was "shocked" when he saw 26...e5! (and now in case of 27.Qxe4 Black has 27...Bb3!, so that after 28.Qxf3 White gets mated: 28...Rxc2+ 29.Kb1 Rxb2+! 30.Kxb2 Qxa3+ 31.Kc3 Bc4+ etc.).
May-25-13  Hesam7: There has been a lot of discussion on Black's 21st move but it should be mentioned that a move earlier White had the opportunity to obtain a large, maybe winning, advantage with 20 a4!


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20...b4? 21 Ba6 Rb8 22 Bb5 Rb5, forced, 23 Nb5

20...Bc5 21 ab5 Qd7 (21...Qb6 22 b4! Bd4 23 Qd4 Qd4 24 Bd4 Nc4 25 Bc4 Rc4 26 ba6 Rb4 27 Kc1 Ra4 28 Bg7 Rg8 29 Be5 Ra6 30 Kd2 Ra3 31 c3 ) 22 b3 Nd3 23 Bd3 ed3 24 Qd3 Bd4 25 Bd4 Qb5 26 Bg7 Qd3 27 Rd3 Rg8 28 Bc3 Be4 29 Re3 Bf5 30 Kb2

20...Nf3 21 Nf3 ef3 22 ab5 Qd7 23 b3! (23 ba6?? Qa4 ) 23...Rh4 (23...ab5? 24 Qa5 ; 23...a5? 24 Bc4 ) 24 ba6


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This should be lost as well, White is a pawn up, he has the safer king and the two pawns on the 6th rank are really hard to deal with.

May-25-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: Yes, 20.a4! is tough for Black to meet; he can also play 20....Nc4 to defend his Q-side, but as Konstantin Landa noted in his commentary on chesspro (http://www.google.com/translate?hl=...), White gets a strong initiative after 21.Bxc4 bxc4 (21...Rxc4? 22.Nxe6!) 22.Qf2 Qd7 23.Rh1!:


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May-25-13  csmath: <There has been a lot of discussion on Black's 21st move but it should be mentioned that a move earlier White had the opportunity to obtain a large, maybe winning, advantage with 20 a4!>

This is a kind of "hard to find" move. It defies the whole idea of trying to keep white king safe but obviously this is the right move in the position. It is a non-standard move and Moro would be a player to find such moves. Not here apparently.

May-25-13  Hesam7: <Eyal> that 23 Rh1! in the line you posted is a pretty neat idea that wins White a full tempo: <20 a4! Nc4 21 Bc4 bc4 22 Qf2 Qd7>


click for larger view

Here White could play 23 Rgf1?! but the engine indicates that after 23...Bd6 White has some advantage. Instead <23 Rh1! Rg8> 23...Rh1? 24 Rh1 simply loses b/c White will play Rh8 <24 Rhf1! Rh8> forced, Black has to avoid the Pawn fork on f7:


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Compared to the previous diagram White has played the Rook to f1 and still has another move! And in such a sharp position this proves to be decisive. <25 Ne2 Bd6 26 Nc3 Rf8 27 Qh4>


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Game over.

May-25-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: What a mind-blowing game! Very grateful to both players.
May-25-13  JPi: I understand nearly nothing on his game. Really crazy. What a beautiful fight indeed! <Hesam7> in your line <20...Nf3 21 Nf3 ef3 22 ab5 Qd7 23 b3! (23 ba6?? Qa4 ) 23...Rh4 (23...ab5? 24 Qa5 ; 23...a5? 24 Bc4 ) 24 ba6> can Black improve his dark square B? e.g Bb4-Bc3 or Be7-Bf6 ? 2 tempos is a lot in this highly tense position but then black piece activity may overcome pawn deficit.
May-26-13  onigorom: <Eyal: <21...Rh2! 22.Rg2 Rxg2 23.Qxg2 Ba2+ 24.Kc1 Qa5> As I mentioned on the main tournament page, according to the press conference both players considered 25.Qg4 as White's critical reply here, and interestingly both also thought White is at least ok if not better, missing 25...Qa4! (defending e4, threatening mate on c2) which is winning for Black.>

It is not, since 26.Bd3! defends it all and threatens Qxe4. It is mentioned by Morozevich. Now, 26....Ne1 needs to be analyzed.

May-26-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <JPi> After 20.a4 Nf3 21.Nxf3 exf3 22.axb5 Qd7 23.b3 Rh4 24.bxa6, 24...Bb4 loses to 25.Qf2 Be7 (if the rook retreats from the 4th rank then Bc4 is very strong) 26.Bd4! (preventing Bf6, besides the attack on g7) 26...Bd8 (26...Kf8 27.Bc4! Bxc4 28.Bxg7+) 27.Bd3 and Rh1 is coming. Alternatively, 24...Be7 25.Bg5! Bxg5 26.Qxg5 and again a retreat of the rook would allow either Bc4 or Rh1; 26...Qd8 27.Bb5+ Kf8 28.Rxd5! exd5 29.Qf5+ Kg8 30.Re1 Qf8 31.Qxd5+ Kh8 32.Rf1 and Black can't handle all of White's threats (a7 is also coming).

According to Houdini, Black's best option is 24...Qc6, in order to try and get counterplay by Rb4 (with the threat Bxb3), and then in order to keep the advantage White has to play 25.Rg5! preparing Rxd5. Basically, the bishop on d5 is what's holding Black's position here.

May-26-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <onigorom: <Eyal: <21...Rh2! 22.Rg2 Rxg2 23.Qxg2 Ba2+ 24.Kc1 Qa5> As I mentioned on the main tournament page, according to the press conference both players considered 25.Qg4 as White's critical reply here, and interestingly both also thought White is at least ok if not better, missing 25...Qa4! (defending e4, threatening mate on c2) which is winning for Black.>

It is not, since 26.Bd3! defends it all and threatens Qxe4. It is mentioned by Morozevich. Now, 26....Ne1 needs to be analyzed.>

26.Bd3 doesn't help at all, since it loses simply to 26...axb5 (if Black can exchange queens after Qxe4 there's not so much in it for White) - but 26...Ne5 is even stronger; after 27.Qxe4 Nxd3+ Qxd3 Qxb5 White can just resign.

May-26-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: Btw, I've looked at the press conference again (it can be watched on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9Ra...), and none of them mentioned 25...Qa4! after 21...Rh2 22.Rg2 Rxg2 23.Qxg2 Ba2+ 24.Kc1 Qa5 25.Qg4; the move Bd3 came up in the line 25...axb5 26.Qxe4 Bb3 (26...Ne1? 27.Bd2) 27.Bd3 and here there's the "trick" of 27...Ne1, since 28.Bd2 loses to Nxd3+ (though actually White is holding after 28.Kb1!; instead of Ne1, 27...Bxa3! is winning for Black).

Another fun line which they mentioned here was 26.Qf4 (instead of Qxe4 with a mate threat on f7) 26...Rxc2+ 27.Kxc2 e5 (threatening Qc7+) and it looks like Black might be winning, but there's 28.Rd8+!! Qxd8 (28...Kxd8 29.Qxf8+) 29.Bxb5+ Ke7 30.Bc5+. ("Very difficult to calculate all this, very difficult" - Nakamura)

Morozevich also says that he thought about 20.a4, but preferred Nxb5 since it looked more forcing and he was already considerably behind on the clock at that point.

May-26-13  JPi: Thanks <Eyal> I understand better now.

<According to Houdini, Black's best option is 24...Qc6, in order to try and get counterplay by Rb4 (with the threat Bxb3), and then in order to keep the advantage White has to play 25.Rg5! preparing RxBd5.> What if Black plays 24...Rb4 first? Queen could then go immediately on a4 (xb3).

May-26-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <JPi> 24...Rb4 still loses to 25.Rg5! with the same Rxd5 idea; letting Houdini run a bit longer on this, I see that it's deadly for Black after 24...Qc6 as well.
May-26-13  JPi: Yes letting my mind run a bit longer it's getting clear to me too. Good to a correspondance game indeed but to play it under this time control bravo to both players. Thanks again <Eyal>.
May-27-13  virginmind: Breathtaking. Bravo both!

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