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Magnus Carlsen vs Hikaru Nakamura
Sinquefield Cup (2013), Saint Louis, MO USA, rd 3, Sep-11
King's Indian Defense: Fianchetto. Karlsbad Variation (E62)  ·  1/2-1/2

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 20 OF 21 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-11-13  shmu12: the other game also ended in a draw good night and thanks for the broadcast
Sep-11-13  KnightVBishop: magnus is hard to beat
Sep-11-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Playing through this, I thought white at some point abandons the c pawn to win black's h pawn and initiate a three piece attack on the kingside.
Sep-11-13  DrChopper: Why not 34.Qd6?
Sep-11-13  parisattack: 10. b3 looked good - fortifying the c4 pawn weakened by the fianchetto and moving the b-pawn out of harms way.

But it never seemed like Carlson had much. Someone suggested 16. Qb3 instead of 16. Qd3.

At least Naka slowed down the bullet train; perhaps next go he can stop it.

Sep-11-13  Calli: 21...Ba6 might have been better. White doesn't get a pawn for the exchange. In fact, looks like Black wins one after 22.Qc2 Bxe2 for instance.


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Sep-11-13  WiseWizard: Like I said in Carlsen - Kamsky, Anand must engage Carlsen strictly in hand to hand combat/ open tactical play where its constant threat after threat and Carlsen is beatable, it cannot become a conceptual, structural, maneuvering game where he is one of the strongest players of all time.
Sep-11-13  Mendrys: This was an enjoyable game to follow live. It was interesting to note that after move 21...Bf5


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Yasser had a line where Carlsen, after giving up the exchange, set up a fortress with his bishop on b5 supporting the a4 and c6 pawns and it later seemed that it was Nakamura who erected a fortress and the game ended up as a well played draw.

Sep-11-13  hellopolgar: I am suspecting that Carlsen went into zeitnot to play with Nakamura's mind. You know, he probably saw the draw already when he made 25. Qe4 but he wanted to make Nakamura feel bad about not able to pull off a win.
Sep-11-13  csmath: This is second game in a row for Magnus when he was unable to assert anything.

Looking closely at the analysis by Ramirez it is obvious that Nakamura played excellent game and Magnus was not exactly precise but good enough to hold the position.

Sep-12-13  lost in space: Magnus hold his inferior position after he gave the exchange for a pawn. He is a hard nut to break.
Sep-12-13  estrick: It was an exciting game, not boring at all, even if the result suggests as much.
Sep-12-13  Mudphudder: Is it me or did Naka look like a complete douche bag with the sunglasses? Did he mistaken the chessboard for a poker table? LMAO...
Sep-12-13  Hesam7: <parisattack: 10. b3 looked good - fortifying the c4 pawn weakened by the fianchetto and moving the b-pawn out of harms way.

But it never seemed like Carlson had much. Someone suggested 16. Qb3 instead of 16. Qd3.>

I think the idea of 10 b3 is to prevent ...e5 but then Black has 10...g5! which completely equalizes.

Then Nakamura played the inaccurate 13...b5?! which hands the initiative to White after 14 Qd3! b4 15 Nd5 etc. instead Black should have played 13...e6, at any rate Carlsen went for 14 cb5?! after which the game is balanced.

Finally 15...d5?! also seems like a mistake and 16 Qb3! would be quite an improvement for White: 16...e6 17 Rfd1 Qe7 18 a3 Rd8 19 Bf1


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Sep-12-13  ChessYouGood: Difficult thing about this game for Nakamura is that he'll rarely get this sort of position against Magnus again: and wasn't able to convert it here. Magnus, on the other hand, converts when he gets an advantage.
Sep-12-13  Skakalec: <Calli> After 21...♗a6 22.♕c2 ♗xe2 23.♗xd5! white has at least draw, because of the nasty ♕g6 threat.
Sep-12-13  Skakalec: <DrChopper> 34...♕d6 runs into 35.♕xd6 cxd6 36.c7! and white winns
Sep-12-13  messachess: In the interview, Naka stated his strategy as taking some risk in order not to get ground down. Carlsen's style probably puts everyone at risk like that. It's an uncomfortable choice. There is no safe way to play Carlsen. You have to take risks in the opening to get a wide open tactical game. In the case of this game, it can be a way to possibly win.

But then, that's always the way it is with taking risks.

Sep-12-13  znsprdx: Watching live I thought 24....Rd6 offered the most promise - especially with the time advantage... The fear of losing the c7 pawn is unfounded because White's rook cannot leave its home rank without Black setting up mate threats
Sep-12-13  csmath: <Then Nakamura played the inaccurate 13...b5?! which hands the initiative to White after 14 Qd3! b4 15 Nd5 etc. instead Black should have played 13...e6, at any rate Carlsen went for 14 cb5?! after which the game is balanced.>

Nakamura went for active game.
13. ... e6 is a passive move which does not improve black position at all.

Just one look at the position of black bishop and the weaknesses around the black king and that is enough to see why this is not the move to play. Black bishop needs to get out and onto the kingside.

Now about 16. Qb3.

I would have played the same as Magnus (16. Qd3) since that is the most "logical" move. I think most master level players would not put queen on the rook file if they plan to play a4.

Black should continue to station his bishop on the kingside and then to play e6.

16. Qb3 Bg4

It is interesting now that engine proposes 17. Rcd1 while of course the other option 17. Rfd1 seems more logical to me

17. Rfd1 e6

And now the break:

18. e4 Qe7
19. exd5 Nxd5
20. Nxd5 exd5
21. Rd2 Rfd8

and white is clearly better here although active bishop pair is some compensation.

Again, I would not criticize Magnus here since he had a plan with a4 and pawn majority on the queenside and he followed his plan. This plan did not work out as good as he probably expected but in that plan Qb3 was not the move to make.

Sep-12-13  csmath: I think Magnus had a solid plan but Nakamura played excellent active game and with

18. ...Ne4

changed the whole game complexion which forced Magnus to reconsider his plan. This is an example of good Nakamura style. The game has no major errors and it is one very good game by Naka.

Sep-12-13  Hesam7: <csmath: Nakamura went for active game. 13. ... e6 is a passive move which does not improve black position at all.>

How is 13...e6 a passive move? 13...b5?! is simply bad, had Carlsen played 14 Qd3 b4 15 Nd5 (this is why you should cover the d5-square), he would have had an advantage.

Even in the game continuation 13...b5?! created a very weak pawn on b5 and made the c6-pawn into a real asset for White.

<csmath: Just one look at the position of black bishop and the weaknesses around the black king and that is enough to see why this is not the move to play. Black bishop needs to get out and onto the kingside.>

How does 13...b5?! help with getting the Bishop out? Isn't 13...b6 more logical if your only goal is to free the Bishop?

Sep-12-13  csmath: <How does 13...b5?! help with getting the Bishop out? Isn't 13...b6 more logical if your only goal is to free the Bishop?> Well, it is a matter of taste.

13. ...e6

is a passive move and this is not in style of Nakamura. He plays different chess. I personally think this is not a good move regardless though my own style is slightly less aggressive than Nakamura's.

The problem with

13. ... b6

is that LS bishop is needed on the kingside in defence of king thus it will have to get out onto the kingside.

13. ...b6 is possibly a better move than 13. ...b5 but because it creates sacrificial motives on b6/d6 (say in in the endgame) this is something Nakamura probably did not consider as good move either. Besides that move is not to open the bishop.

I did not say that 13. ...b5 is a great move but as I see black really has no great moves here.

However you are exaggerating about position being bad after

13. ...b5
14. Qd3 b4
15. Nd5

and while white is better this is still very active game. You can play 15. ...e6 now and then ... a5 and ...Qe7 and white has a long way to prove he is better.

Sep-12-13  csmath: I followed the game live for the first 16 moves and then I had to work so I left it. My immediate impression (without engine available) was that white is better even after 16 moves.

I was not really surprised with 13. ...b5 but I was very much surprised with 18. ...Ne4 when I saw that after the game but then again I realized this is Nakamura and everything became clear. This is how he plays for better or worse. This is his style and this is both his weakness and strength.

He is not going to play passive moves unless they are forced.

I said Magnus had a consistent plan to work with queenside pawn majority and this is why he played the way he played. He did not find better way and that happens. These guys did not have Houdini and they used their brain. The game is very logical to me and only the final position is somewhat strange. This is still a very good game.

Sep-13-13  Hesam7: <csmath: Well, it is a matter of taste.

13. ...e6

is a passive move and this is not in style of Nakamura. He plays different chess. I personally think this is not a good move regardless though my own style is slightly less aggressive than Nakamura's.

The problem with

13. ... b6

is that LS bishop is needed on the kingside in defence of king thus it will have to get out onto the kingside.

13. ...b6 is possibly a better move than 13. ...b5 but because it creates sacrificial motives on b6/d6 (say in in the endgame) this is something Nakamura probably did not consider as good move either. Besides that move is not to open the bishop.

I did not say that 13. ...b5 is a great move but as I see black really has no great moves here.

However you are exaggerating about position being bad after

13. ...b5
14. Qd3 b4
15. Nd5

and while white is better this is still very active game. You can play 15. ...e6 now and then ... a5 and ...Qe7 and white has a long way to prove he is better.>

That seems inconsistent, you dismiss 13...e6 because it interferes with the idea of transferring the c8-Bishop to the K-side. Yet after 13...b5?! 14 Qd3 b4 15 Nd5 you recommend 15...e6 which does the same. If you dislike 13...e6, it seems 13...b5?! will give you an inferior version of the same.

For what is worth Carlsen is also critical of 14 cb5?! saying "It was probably a mistake to capture on b5," here is the link: http://www.arcticsec.no/index.php?b...

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