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Hikaru Nakamura vs Sergey Karjakin
"I Hear you Nakin'" (game of the day Feb-12-2014)
Tal Memorial (2013), Moscow RUS, rd 3, Jun-15
Gruenfeld Defense: Exchange Variation (D85)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-15-13  csmath: I don't want to call Karjakin names but I think Grunfeld might not be suitable to his style. I do not think he has done careful study of this opening. Today was surely a good lecture for him in Grunfeld d-pawn blocking which is I think the first thing one needs to learn while playing Grunfeld.

Nakamura's choice of variation is quite foxy in my view.

Jun-15-13  notyetagm: Nakamura vs Karjakin, 2013

Game Collection: BLOCKADE THAT PASSED PAWN! Grunfeld newbie Karjakin pays price for not blockading delroy

<csmath: ... Today was surely a good lecture for him in <<<Grunfeld d-pawn blocking>>> which is I think the first thing one needs to learn while playing Grunfeld.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: 18...a6 must be better than 18...Rfd8

<18...a6> 19.c4 b5 20.cxb5 axb5 21.Bxb5 Rxa2 22.Qb3 Rfa8 23.Rb2 R2a3 24.Qd1 Rb8 25.Qe2 f6 26.Reb1 Rxb5 27.Rxb5 Qxd5 28.Rb8+ Kg7 29.R8b7+ Kh6 30.Qb2 Rd3 31.Qb6 Rd1+ 32.Kh2 Rxb1 33.Qxb1 c4 34.Rb5 Qd6 35.Kg1 Nd3

Jun-16-13  QueentakesKing: SerKarj 'the next K', what happened dawg?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: The R+B vs R+N endgame is very tough for Black, among other things because at several points putting the knight on e8 would allow White to exchange all the pieces and transition into a won pawn endgame. But practically the game seems to be lost after 38...Kf7, which - in combination with 37...Rh8 - allows White to push the d-pawn; the point is that an immediate 38.d6 wouldn't be good because of 38...Rd8 followed by Ne6 & Nd4, but after 38...Kf7 39.d6, 39...Rd8 40.d7 Ne6 loses the knight to 41.Bd5.
Jun-16-13  OneArmedScissor: <QueentakesKing: SerKarj 'the next K', what happened dawg?>

He got Knocked out

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChemMac: <Ezzy> Karjakin just tweeted - "Played badly today and deserved to lose".

Indeed; it is not possible to win a game without mistakes by your opponent. However, it would have been nice if Karjakin had given Nakamura some acknowledgement for playing well and taking advantage of positional mistakes.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <ChemMac>: It is most unfortunate, but Nakamura has often been criticised for the same reason.

Maybe it is a case of a player being put out after a loss and blowing off steam, but one suspects these top players are far more objective in private than the way they can come off, as above.

Safe to say that they all know who can play at that level-it's a sure thing that, in the long run, they would have done over the likes of yourself or myself, even when we were at our respective peaks, yours being a bit higher than my own.

Jun-17-13  notyetagm: Wow, just a fantastic performance by Nakamura: positional, tactical, everything.



Game Collection: Nakamura's Best Games A fantastic positional performance by Nakamura in Bd2 Grunfeld

Jun-17-13  Jigsaw42: One of the best games of the year.
Jun-19-13  Conrad93: Are you joking? White blundered on move 27. Qb2!! is far stronger than what Nakamura played. He actually got into a drawn endgame.
Jun-19-13  notyetagm: Game Collection: NAKAMURA'S BEST GAMES
Jan-08-14  MarkFinan: 46.g5! had me pausing the autoplay, and then I realized. If black takes the pawn white can check with the Rook then play R.g8 forcing the pawn promotion. And black played for a draw from the off, so I really like this game. I like Nakamuras chess, I just find him very aloof and obnoxious, and if you're a chess player who's gonna be aloof and obnoxious then you have to be charming with it. Only certain people can pull that off in any walk of life, Kasparov being the best example in chess.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Beautifully played by Nakamura.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: At first glance, I wondered why Black resigned the final position. But then I quickly realized he has no useful moves and White can mop up the pawns on the King side before even thinking about going after the Queenside.

If Black had played on, one possibility was 52. Re1 h3 53. Bxh3 Rg8 (53...Rxh3 54. d8Q ) 54. Kxf3 Rd8 (54...Rxd4 55. d8Q ) 5. Bf5 Rf8 56. g6+ Kf6 57. Kf4 Rh8 (diagram below)

click for larger view

58. Rh1! .

Feb-12-14  ChessYouGood: While this game is somewhat notable in helping secure Nakamura outright sixth place (of 10) in this tournament, I have to wonder why it made game of the day before Gelfand's wonderful win over Nakamura in the Sveshnikov Variation, which helped secure Gelfand outright first.
Feb-12-14  Cemoblanca: Nak Nak Nakin on Karjakin's door. ;) Great game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <ChessYouGood> I agree with you that the game you mentioned: Nakamura vs Gelfand, 2013 is striking, more exciting and better than this one (though Naka's win here is very impressive from a positional standpoint)

I guess <CG> prefers catchy puns vs the better game


Feb-12-14  rogl: < MarkFinan: 46.g5! had me pausing the autoplay, and then I realized. If black takes the pawn white can check with the Rook then play R.g8 forcing the pawn promotion.> No, checking with the rook would be a big mistake after 46...Kxg5. Black would have time to catch the pawn with his king in your suggested line. Instead white plays the beautiful 47.Bg8! and black is helpless.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: It looks like white will win this one,eventually.
Feb-12-14  YourTeddyBear: After the move 14...Bxf3 I like blacks position very much aesthetically, thanks to the darksquare blockade. I think black somehow missed crucial moments to fight for the "e" file. Let us put it this way: suppose black manages to double rooks on the "e" file and white does the same, the massive exchange there will only favour black, as the resulting QN vs QB will be very good for him. The only problem I see starting with the move 18-...Rfe8 is that white can play Bb5 and after ...Re7 f4, the knight only has d7 to go to, but then white would be in position to take it, and the passed "d" pawn may tell. so I sugest 18...g5 as a way to start the aforementioned operation. It eliminates f4 for the good, thus ensuring the stability of the black knight on e5. Now Bb5? will be met by a6, and Ba6 as in the game, then Rae8 and white has to be carefull, because if he doesn't act energetically, black can even think about launching a pawn storm on the kingside with a further f5.
Feb-12-14  Ferro: Regreso primero
Feb-12-14  haydn20: Going thru this game for the first time, 10...e6 seems to be not so good, esp. if White plays 11. d6 immediately. He doesn't, so Black is temporarily off the hook. Also, once Black pays 12...Bg4, he is practically forced to follow with Bxf3, and he will live to miss his LSB; surely 12...Bf5 eying Q-side squares is better.
Feb-12-14  haydn20: Someone says that 27. Re5 is a "blunder", citing 27. Qb2! But this move is not so easy to find, especially when one can "see" that one is winning with play on the e-file. Nakamura does not see that he has a <possibly> winning attack with Qb2 (about +1.5) vs an initiative (+0.6) with Re5. To claim a blunder you must show a clearly won line beginning Qb2.
Feb-12-14  haydn20: < Eyal: <Black> seems to be lost after 38...Kf7, which - in combination with 37...Rh8 - allows White to push the d-pawn; the point is that an immediate 38.d6 wouldn't be good because of 38...Rd8 followed by Ne6 & Nd4, but after 38...Kf7 39.d6, 39...Rd8 40.d7 Ne6 loses the knight to 41.Bd5.> Good post as usual. I thought 38...Rc8 might hold. White might have to go after the a-pawn, which is hard to defend with the B looking at a8 and the N frozen. Still it'd be a long road to Tipperary.
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