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Hikaru Nakamura vs Alireza Firouzja
Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge (2020) (rapid), INT, rd 3, May-19
Colle System (D05)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
May-19-20  MordimerChess: Seems like Hikaru Nakamura tested Alireza Firouzja knowledge about old 19th century chess ideas. Hikaru played Colle-Zukertort system again in his career. Seven years ago Boris Gelfand decided that 13...g6 is important as white bishops looks pretty dangerous: Nakamura vs Gelfand, 2013

Tactical mistake in move 15, Alireza should go for 15...c4 16. Bxc4 Bxa3 17. Ba1 Bd6 and black has well placed bishops this time!

Also the game could be probably saved in move 19...Rfe8

The idea 20. Qe2 wouldn't work because: 20...Kxh7 21. Qh5+ Kg8 22. f4 Ng6 23. Rf3 Bc8 24. Rh3 Bxf5 25. g4 Qxb3 26. gxf5 Qc2 27. fxg6 fxg6 28. Qh7+ Kf8 29. Rf1=

But after: 20. f4 Ng6 21. Bxg6 fxg6 22. Nxe7 Rxe7 23.Rb1± white would stand slightly better... but it looks like long endgame with some dangerous ideas for black (bishop+rook pointing on g2).

My detailed analysis of this game:

Enjoy! The game is pretty cool and rich in ideas.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <MordimerChess> On 19...Rfe8, why can't White reply simply <20. Nxe7> Rxe7 21. Rb1? White looks more than slightly better to me.
May-20-20  Ulhumbrus: An alternative to 9...Nc6 is 9...cxd4 10 exd4 Ne4 as in the game Bogoljubov vs Botvinnik, 1936
Premium Chessgames Member
  jith1207: <MordimerChess>:

I'm struggling to follow this line.

The idea 20. Qe2 wouldn't work because: 20...Kxh7 21. Qh5+ Kg8 22. f4 Ng6 23. Rf3 Bc8 24. Rh3 Bxf5

The position after White's 24th move looks

click for larger view

In this position, you suggest 24..Bxf5.

Wouldn't 25.Qh7 a checkmate?

Wouldn't 24..Rd8 mandatory to give an escape route for Black's King?

May-20-20  MordimerChess: <beatgiant> Yes, true - similar idea. Maybe white can even go for 21. Rb1 immediately and keep more pieces on the board.

<jith1207> It would... but you missed 19...Rfe8 from my post one line above ;)

May-20-20  Damenlaeuferbauer: <MordimerChess> You made a VERY important remark. This is one of the reasons, why I guess that Alireza Firouzja will never become classical world champion. He, like other players of his generation, who work with computers and the internet instead of books, does not know ENOUGH about the chess of former times like the 19th century - contrary to players like G. Kasparov, V. Anand, B. Gelfand, and V. Kramnik, who work also heavily with computer programmes, but know EVERYTHING about the chess of the past.
May-20-20  SChesshevsky: < Seems like Hikaru Nakamura tested Alireza Firouzja knowledge about old 19th century chess ideas...>

I'm not sure how many Colle's Firouzja has faced but until you lose a few it's probably not something you study much. But it is a tricky opening. Seemingly benign but at a minimum can give white a nice kside bind with potentially more. Meanwhile any black qside counter play is often stifled or too slow.

After losing a couple of disastrous games, I felt that ...d5 was counter productive and looked for alternatives. Yusupov is the only modern era guy I knew that played the Colle somewhat so checked him out.

My first stop was a King's Indian or Grunfeld type alternative after 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6. Idea being white's e3 and/or c3 maybe not great if he tries to force Colle setup. Something like in :

J S Morrison vs Euwe, 1922

But seems when Yusupov faced, he didn't really try to force the Colle and went with typical KID or Grunfeld ideas as white.

Next stop was QID like setup which became my preferred. Base game being:

Yusupov vs de Firmian, 1984

Idea is a flexible center and using an open a8 diagonal and hopefully open c-file. Especially hoping to get something like ...Bb7 ...Rc7 ...Qa8 and ...Rfc8 as possible.

Maybe I just greatly misplayed ...d5 lines against the Colle but at least now feel comfortable with what I think are a couple of decent alternatives.

Guessing Firouzja will be going into the kitchen and will have a couple of his own comfortable Colle answers going forward.

May-20-20  MordimerChess: <Damenlaeuferbauer> NEVER is a pretty bold statement - maybe he watched my video and will get idea to jump into old masters as well ;)

Joking here of course but new-old ideas will appear from time to time with the modern treatment. He's only 16 years old and he's doing pretty well...

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Never is a very long time.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Good vid Mordimer.
May-20-20  MordimerChess: <Sally Simpson> Thank you very much. It's always great to hear positive feedback as I just started recording this year after 20 years break from chess :)
May-20-20  xzws: <MordimerChess> Nice video!
May-21-20  saturn2: Have not yet seen the video. I would not make it a matter of computer chess vs 19th century. Instead of the queen side action starting with 11. . a5 black should deal with elementary threats against h7 by playing h6. By axb3 wich allows Nxb3 black helped the opponent to develop his knight for attacking c5.
May-21-20  UnholyMartin: SChesshevsky: The game of Yusupov you mentioned is a very bad example how to play modern Colle-Zuckertort. If Black´s counterplay is Queens Indian White should accept this and Play 6.c4 instead of b3.

A brilliant example is Kramnik-Topalov 2015.

May-21-20  SChesshevsky: < UnholyMartin: ... If Black´s counterplay is Queens Indian White should accept this and Play 6.c4 instead of b3...>

Fair enough point. 6. c4 probably transposes into some sort of Bd3 ...c5 Queen's Indian. Bit tricky opening and Black needs an adequate ...c5 QID plan. But that should be doable.

Interesting to figure how this came about though. Is it white that wants to get this QID position and baited black with a potential Colle? Or is it black who pushed the Colle player out of that preferred play to a QID?

Could be that in both "anti - Colle" instances, QID setup or ...g6, it might be that black nudges white rather than the other way around. Though black might still lose in some sort of ...c5 QID or Grunfeld or KID, maybe he at least should get some psych points for getting white out of his first choice setup.

May-21-20  Everett: Naka has played this set-up a lot vs none other than Ali F.
May-22-20  MordimerChess: <xzws> Thank you very much! Trying better and better every day :D

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