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Hikaru Nakamura vs Michael Adams
London Chess Classic (2014), London ENG, rd 4, Dec-13
Queen's Gambit Declined: Traditional Variation (D30)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-13-14  Marmot PFL: 7...c5 leads to unnecessary complications, when black could simply play 7...0-0 and c5 later (unless white plays c5 himself).

According to Anand the doubole rook ending was analyzed by Timman (who analyzes everything) and is much better for white than the single rook version, which is a fairly easy draw.

Dec-13-14  SirRuthless: Yes that is precisely what I thought. When Adams went for this Rd8 line instead of exchanging a pair of rooks and accepting the 4 vs 3 endgame the game was pretty much strategically lost even at that point. 16...Rb8 17.Qxd7...Rxb1+ 18. Nxb1...Qxb1+ 19. Ke2 leading to this position:


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is far better for black than the game where we get this position


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ter move 25...fxe6. I believe black has more than hope in position A but in position B he must be losing with correct play. White will move his pawns up the board, find an optimal square for his king and target the weak e6 and g7 pawns or if g5 is coming then the weak h6. Black has two weaknesses and is lost.

Dec-13-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  SteinitzLives: So much for double R endgames being so difficult to win. Naka did a great job exploiting Mickey's desperate attempts to activate his h rook.
Dec-13-14  Doniez: <SirRuthless> that was explained by Hikaru in the post game analysis with Nigel Short. Interestingly, he also explained the trap he planned in case of a position similar (not the same) to the top diagram, inviting the Black Queen to take the rook h1, with a mating combination in 2 moves. Anyway, great game by Hikaru, and tomorrow he will certainly play for a win, to finish first in the tournament.
Dec-13-14  RookFile: 27. g4 was a really good move. Black would have preferred to put his pawns on h5 and g6 if he had a chance.
Dec-13-14  Ulhumbrus: The commentators pointed out that with his isolated e pawn the rook and pawn ending might have been lost for Black even if he had had an a pawn in addition as in the famous game Karpov vs Hort, 1979 which appeared in Informator as well as in one of Karpov's books of his best games
Dec-13-14  luzhin: 11...Bxb5 12.Qc8+ Qd8 13.Qxb7 Bc6?? 14.Qxf7 mate is one of Black's problems. Really odd that Adams played 7...c5? instead of 7...0-0, given his cautious style.
Dec-14-14  cornflake: < luzhin: 11...Bxb5 12.Qc8+ Qd8 13.Qxb7 Bc6?? 14.Qxf7 mate is one of Black's problems. Really odd that Adams played 7...c5? instead of 7...0-0, given his cautious style.>

Of course c5 is a move you want to get in when playing black with the QGD, but I agree it looks premature here. It seems the players are trying out double edged lines with black (Naka and now Adams), but the lines they are trying aren't particularly good. Naka got a gift here from Adams

Dec-14-14  luzhin: In fact this was clever preparation from Nakamura. In London 2012 Adams played this way against Topalov, but that game went 6.Bh4 c5. Nakamura worked out that the immediate c5 (before castling) is inferior if White has played 6.Bxf6.
Dec-14-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: :)

In

Adams vs Caruana, 2014

Mickey had a trick trapping Fabiano's Rook on h4.


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Kg3 wins the Rook.

This game finshed...


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...with the threat of Kg3 winning Mickey's Rook on h4.

What goes round...comes around.

Dec-15-14  visayanbraindoctor: <Ulhumbrus: The commentators pointed out that with his isolated e pawn the rook and pawn ending might have been lost for Black even if he had had an a pawn in addition as in the famous game Karpov vs Hort, 1979 which appeared in Informator as well as in one of Karpov's books of his best games>

Karpov vs Hort, 1979

Was Nakamura aware of this game? If so, he must have already known that he had good wining chances going into the rook endgame. It could already have been a theoretical win.

More difficult to win are rook + 4 vs 3 pawn endgames where the pawns are all connected. Here are early seminal games demonstrating how to win for the attacker.

Duras vs Capablanca, 1913

Capablanca vs Yates, 1930

Notice that in both games, Capa prevented his opponents from placing their rook pawn on their KR4 square. He then proceeded to provoke more weaknesses by breaking the defender's pawn chain thus isolating the defender's pawns (in the Naka vs Adams game, the defender already started the endgame on the wrong foot having an isolated pawn), harassed the weak pawns with his rook, and crossed his king over his 4th rank for the final attack. In this era it seems that the theory behind this endgame was still in the making, and so his opponents failed to secure their KR4 square (although lack of theory did not prevent Capa from finding the correct winning plan for the attacker OTB).

How to hold for the defender is demonstrated in

V Mikenas vs Alekhine, 1935

Mikenas already had a pawn on his KR4 square going into the endgame. Alekhine, who was an excellent endgame player, could not drive home a win, although he gave it an ingenious try.

The key for the defender is to get into a rook endgame wherein his pawns are connected (no weaknesses to attack), and place a pawn on his KR4 square. Intercept the attacker's King by placing the Rook on the 6th or 5th rank to prevent infiltration by the attacking king. In order to progress, the attacker would have to push his pawns forward, in which case the defender can switch his rook to the 8th rank and perpetually harass the exposed attacking King and pawns from behind. (Or at least this is how I understand how the theory goes.)

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