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Hikaru Nakamura vs Viswanathan Anand
London Chess Classic (2016), London ENG, rd 3, Dec-11
Queen's Gambit Declined: Barmen Variation (D37)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Acceptance of the proffered pawn with 21....Bxc5 22.dxc5 Qxc5 runs into 23.fxg5 (23....hxg5 24.Rxf6) and Black's king position is a mess.
Dec-11-16  Marmot PFL: I doubt that 13...Kf8 will attract many imitators as white just methodically opens the position (not that finding the right method was simple, far from it.)
Dec-11-16  Marmot PFL: < perfidious> Black might have taken on c5 a move later, after 22 Qd2 (...Bxc5 23 dc5 Qxc5. Didn't hear any questions about that in the interview but maybe white should play 22 b4 before Qd2.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Acceptance of the proffered pawn with 21....Bxc5 22.dxc5 Qxc5 runs into 23.fxg5 (23....hxg5 24.Rxf6) and Black's king position is a mess.>

Yeah, though on the next move it was ok (most basically, with the white queen removed from the c-file there's no discovery with Ne4+ after capturing on f6) - 22.Qd2 was a kind of bluff that Anand fell for. Nakamura said to Ashley in the interview after the game that he thinks Anand realized rather quickly he should have played 21... Bxc5 22. dxc5 Qxc5, and that it affected him badly in the rest of the game.

Interestingly, taking on e4 with the c3 knight on move 25 was much more accurate - the reason is that in the game Black would be more or less ok after 26... Bh5! (instead of Rxe4?) 27. Qxg5+ Qg6, and now there's no 28. Qxe7 Rxe7 29. Rxe7 because of Qxd3+; but with a knight on c5 the bishop would be defended.

According to Ashley, Caruana thought that Black could still save the game with a fortress by 32... cxd5 33. Bxd5 Bc6, and after all the exchanges on c6 at some point getting rid of White's pawns on the Q-side by saccing the bishop - and then White can't win with just the material on the K-side.

Dec-11-16  sac 4 mate: Seirawan & co. seemed to think that 26...Rxe4 was the decisive mistake, that instead if ...Bh5 27. Qxg5+ Qg6 using the pin on e4, White doesn't have a decisive breakthrough.
Dec-11-16  CountryGirl: How come Nakamura has such a massive plus score against Anand?
Dec-11-16  Mr. V: The score wasn't so lopsided in Nakamura's favor until a couple of years ago.
Dec-11-16  Ulhumbrus: The move 22 Qd2 threatens not a single move but a pair of moves, namely, 23 fxg5 and 24 e4. The capture 23 fxg5 removes the pawn defending the g5 pawn and transforms the advance e4 into a discovered attack upon an undefended g5 pawn. It is however a mistake all the same, as the commentators indicated.

It is not obvious why 22 Qd2 invites the win of a pawn on c5 by 22...Bxc5 whereas Black cannot win a pawn on c5 in this way before this.

The reason - as suggested by the computer analysis - is that with White's queen on the c file after 21 Nc5 if Black tries 21...Bxc5 22 dxc5 Qxc5, after 23 fxg5 hxg5 this runs into 24 Rxf6!! Kxf6 and now the Black king has become transformed into a potential target for 25 Ne4+ discovering an attack on Black's queen with check.

After 22 Qd2 the move Ne4 no longer discovers an attack on Black's queen, so Black does not have to worry about the sacrifice Rxf6 either.

Capablanca may have said at one point something like this: <material first, position second> One of the possible answers to that is that in the present case the win of a pawn on c5 at the right moment improves Black's position as well: from c5 the black queen can watch the g5 pawn.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: When taking into account draws, the overall percentage between the two in classical is more or less lopsided as that between Carlsen & Nakamura: 14-7 in favor of Nakamura vs. Anand (8-1 & 12 draws - not counting 45 or 60 minutes games), compared to 21.5 - 10.5 between Carlsen & Nakamura (12-1 & 19 draws); that's about 67% for the leader in both cases.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <How come Nakamura has such a massive plus score against Anand?>

Nakamura does well against Anand, like Svidler does well against Nakamura; sometimes the styles clash just right, so they have their number. For whatever reason, Anand seems to play differently against Nakamura than other opponents. Here castling by hand after ... h6 & ... g5 was very dangerous.

Here is another game which does not seem like Anand at all = Nakamura vs Anand, 2016

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChemMac: <ulhumbrus> Ah, but if 22...BXc5 23.dc QXc5 24.b4 Qd6 25. e4 Now what?
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: Is the idea of 10. Nd2 supposed to be that black can't really win a pawn with 10..Nxc3 because of 11. Qb3 and that 10...Bxc3 doesn't win a pawn either because of 11. b2xc3, Nxc3, 12. Qb3 threatening the knight and d5 or 12. Qc2 threatening the knight and c7?
Dec-14-16  jerseybob: <ChemMac: <ulhumbrus> Ah, but if 22...BXc5 23.dc QXc5 24.b4 Qd6 25. e4 Now what?> Exactly.
Dec-14-16  jerseybob: 36..Rf5 looks much better for defense.
Dec-28-16  Saniyat24: Is Nakamura's 16. Kb1 a waiting move or for further protection of his King? Anand did not have a good position at this stage...all his heavy artilleries are blocked and disconnected.
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <Saniyat24: Is Nakamura's 16. Kb1 a waiting move or for further protection of his King? Anand did not have a good position at this stage...all his heavy artilleries are blocked and disconnected.>

Mainly played to(perhaps) make use of the semiopen c-file.Which also would count as a defensive resource if black pushes his pawns on the Q-side.

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