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Ruslan Ponomariov vs Hikaru Nakamura
Chess Olympiad (2016), Baku AZE, rd 6, Sep-08
Benoni Defense: Classical. New York Variation (A70)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-08-16  Fish55: Naka needs to improve his opening play as black before he gets into a hole too deep to climb out of.
Sep-08-16  McChesser: Agreed, the lines with Nd7-e5 I think offer black better prospects than the Nb6-Qxb6 stuff where I think white has some small pressure. The difference is that with the queen still on a6 it is not so trivial to develop the dsb from c1 without hanging b2 (as Rb1 there is Qxa2). In my opinion, Bxb5 is basically a draw offer from white if black knows the position well enough (the sad thing about this line is that it's hard for black to play for a win if white insists on being boring; I much prefer the play in the Nxb5 variations). Naka maybe mixed something up and almost wound up in some trouble.
Sep-09-16  SirRuthless: <<<<This game followed theory until move 28 or so IIRC. The opening was fine if the goal was to kill the game and make a draw from the start>

The computer thinks black went wrong with 29...Ra8 allowing white to preserve the pawn and two heavy pieces for long enough to avoid the fortress ideas that black had been playing for with his opening selection from move on.> Something like 30. Re1 Qd2 31. Rb1 Qa2 32. Rb4 and white keeps his pawn AND the two heavy pieces. This is not what black wanted and apparently he has to get creative now to keep the endgames after the queens are eventually traded within the draw margin.>

If white can trade Qs AND get his rook behind the pawn or provoke black to disturb his pawns to where the white king can threaten to run to the Q side and threaten to march into black's pawn formation so that black Rook gets overworked then he will probably win. Nothing concrete but white missed that idea and transformed the position into a technical draw anyway.>

Sep-09-16  Pulo y Gata: Gutsy play from Nakamura actually - it's not easy to hold the Benoni at this level, but he was out to fight. That, to me, is admirable.

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