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Viswanathan Anand vs Hikaru Nakamura
Tal Memorial (2013), Moscow RUS, rd 6, Jun-19
Spanish Game: Fianchetto Defense (C60)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-19-13  PaulBl: Maybe Anand should try a Kings Gambit. The surprise will be his, and from the point of view of the result it wouldn't matter that much. Maybe he could even have some fun in doing so.
Jun-19-13  Nezhmetdinov: Great comment Everett! Larsen redivivus!
Jun-19-13  hellopolgar: <Classical games: Hikaru Nakamura beat Viswanathan Anand 3 to 0, with 8 draws.>


Jun-19-13  notyetagm: <Eyal: This brings Nakamura's classical head-to-head with Anand to +3 -0 =8. Interestingly, Nakamura had Black in 9(!) out of those 11 games, and all his 3 wins are with Black.>

Amazing! Nakamura is <+3 =6 -0> against the World Champion WITH BLACK!

Jun-19-13  notyetagm: Game Collection: NAKAMURA'S BEST GAMES
Jun-19-13  csmath: This is highly unusual opening (3. ...g6). One of the ideas to refute it would be to go 4. Bxc6 and leave black with pawn weaknesses. However one needs to be very careful since there are still too many pieces on the board so early. Anand approach to this idea is very classical and precise since he first prepared d4.

I think he played the whole opening great.

13. a4 seems also very natural but
15. d5?! is not good since it create static immovable center. I wonder what is the idea of 16. Nb5. Is that suppose to be some threat?

20. Bc3? is really bad - to allow black to open the white king castling against Nakamura is not good idea at all.

Nakamura missed (or did he?)
22. ... Nf4!
and after
23. Rd6 (what else) ... Qc8

which is simple and yet so dangerous. White would have to give an exchange in this variation. However Nakamura's plan with d-file looks pretty good too.

Position after 29 moves looks extremely dangerous for white. It might be completely lost.

I tried Houdini recommendation (Anand did not :-))

30. f4!? ... Nd3
31. Nc8 ... Nxf4
32. c4 ... Ne2
33. Kg2 ... Nc3

and now white looks lost. For example

34. Nxb6 ... Ke7
35. Kf3 ... Kd6
36. Nc8 ... Kc7

and a-pawn can be stopped only by blocking and this just open black night and black king for action on the other wing.

34. d6 also looks hopeless since that pawn will fall and h-pawn will tie white while black scoops other pawns.

Jun-19-13  TheSlid: Interesting to look at the N ending at move 28/29. In one of Korchnoi's books (BG - B or W - can't remember which) he makes the observation that Knight endings are similar to pawn endings, except that they take a bit longer. Thet is, in the sense that the winning strategy is often similar. Without the Knights, the pawn ending would be a trivial win for Black (for a GM, at least!).
Jun-19-13  csmath: For example, the following is by no means exhaustive:

34.d6 Ke8
35.Nxb6 Ne4
36.d7+ Ke7
37.f4 Nf6
38.Kf3 Nxd7
39.Nd5+ Ke6
40.Nc7+ Kf5
41.Nd5 h5
42.Ne7+ Ke6
43.Nc6 Nb6
44.Nxa5 Nxa4
45.Nb3 Kf5
46.Nd2 h4
47.Nf1 Nc3
48.Ne3+ Ke6
49.Kg4 Ne2
50.Nf1 h3
51.Nh2 f6
52.Nf1 f5+
53.Kg5 Nc1
54.Kh4 Nd3
55.Kg3 h2
56.Nxh2 Nb2

Jun-19-13  csmath: The errors in this game are:

15. d5?

creating static immovable center

21. Bc3?

allowing black to crack white castling.

After 29 moves this looks to me like a game lost positionally for white.

Nakamura sequence from 22. ... Rd8 to 25. ... Qxd7 looks like a great idea to force white to either allow attack on the white king or to go into lousy ending. Anand have chosen the later and duly lost.

One has to say that Anand opening up to first 13-14 moves looks solid and with a small plus.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kdogphs: <Everett: It is easy to think of Larsen when looking at Nakamura's games. His willingness to play clunky pawn-structures, very active and tactical piece play, and strong endgame all harken back to the best years of the Great Dane.>

Wow I never made that connection... very fitting comparison!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <15. d5?! is not good since it create static immovable center. I wonder what is the idea of 16. Nb5. Is that suppose to be some threat?>

The idea was apparently to play d6, which would also explain d5 a move earlier; but after self-blocking the d-file with 18.Bd2 he doesn't get to do it.

The move which I find difficult to understand is 19.Rac1 - what is it supposed to achieve? 19.Re1, supporting e4 and getting the rook out of the annoying pin, seems more useful.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Daniel ♔'s post-mortem:
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: In an earlier post I mentioned 30.Kf1 as a move that might have saved White, but - as King mentions in his video - Black has the nice resource 30...b5! 31.Nxb5 (31.axb5 a4) 31...Nc4! e.g. 32.Ke2 Ke7 33.Kd3 (or 33.f4 h5 34.Kf3 Nb6 35.Ke4 Nxa4) 33...Nb2+ 34.Ke3 Nxa4 35.c4 Nb6 36.Kd3 a4 and with the two passed rook pawns Black should be winning.
Jun-19-13  RookFile: Black's opening was played by Harry Nelson Pillsbury.
Jun-19-13  haydn20: <Everett> re Larsen comparison: nice catch, very apt!
Jun-19-13  Mudphudder: Can anyone tell me if Anand attempted to offer a draw at any point to Naka? (and if so how many times? LOL)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: To answer my own question, I suppose 19.Rac1 was aimed against c4 ideas by Black.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: Botvinnik played this with black :)

Jun-20-13  JPi: Yes this game is remarkable. Again even if Anand didn't play objectively his best, one can't say it's that bad. The fact is simply Nakamura shows a chess level actually up to 2950, at this tournament.
Jun-20-13  Ulhumbrus: Keene gives the Pillsbury defence 3...g6 an exclamation mark in one book

The exchange 6 Bxc6 ?! may be premature. This may be Anand's first error. 6 Ba4 keeps the bishop and may transpose into the Steinitz deferred, waiting for Black to play ...d6 before considering c4 followed by the pair of moves Bxc6+ and c4-c5 as in the game Boleslavsky vs Fine, 1945

After 7 d4 the d4 pawn will become a target instead of a weapon. Considering the trouble which the pawn on d4 gives Anand this suggests 7 d3 instead.

11 Qb3 ties White's N to the defence of d4. Instead of this 11 Bf4 gets the QB out

11..g5 is safer for Black as he has the bishop pair. White's N becomes a target because it has to cover d4 eg 12 Be3 g4 13 hg Bxg4 and now 14 d2 leaves d4 en prise

12 Rd1 is an attempt to free the KN which does not succeed.

13 a4 seems inconsistent. Having defended d4 once, why not play 13 Be3 and free the N on f3 to move? One answer is that on 13 Be3 g4 14 hg Bxg4 pins the N. That means that the attempt to free the N by Rd1 has failed.

However the move ...g4 increases in effect if it attacks two targets- the N on f3 and the h3 pawn- instead of one. Then why not deprive the pawn of on of its targets- the h3 pawn - by 13 h4? On 13 h4 g4 White's KN may head for f4 via e1 and d3 as in the king's gambit or for g3 via h2, in a way analogous to the manoeuvre Nc3-a2-c1-b3 Slav defence

Anand made probably some miscalculation in the ending later and lost in the way in which sme players have lost to Carlsen.

This was just not Anand's day.

Jun-20-13  RookFile: Yeah, I remember a Chess Life article on this opening. They emphasized that d4 is what you don't want to do with white. Why make like good for the g7 bishop?
Jun-20-13  5hrsolver: Never knew this opening existed for black. Will use it at the club now. Good job by Nakamura. Maybe Anand got surprised in the opening. I like Naka's active play here. Yes, reminiscent of the great dane Bent Larsen.
Jun-20-13  SoUnwiseTheKnight B4: Naka's king really got to jog around the board in this one. While Anand's little piggy had to stay home.
Jun-20-13  Just Another Master: Kingscrusher covered this opening with his English buddy that sounds like Adams. I used it with success on ICC very well.
Jun-23-13  Ulhumbrus: One thing which this game suggests is that good preparation is a supplement to self reliance and not a substitute. Anand has still to increase his proficiency in the art of making decisions over the board.
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