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Hikaru Nakamura vs Daniil Dubov
Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge (2020) (rapid), chess24.com INT, rd 3, Jun-02
Sicilian Defense: Alapin Variation. Stoltz Attack (B22)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-02-20  Ulhumbrus: The computer evaluations help to suggest that if Nakamura plays and goes on playing as if Black can do nothing, up to a point he may be not far wrong if Black can do only a little, but beyond that point it will turn out that White has given Black too much and will then find it difficult to go on sliding further downhill.
Jun-02-20  Atking: I'm not sure to understand why 13.Ng5 was not played Do 13...Bd5 14.Nxh7 RxN 15.BxR g6 16.h4 Bg7 17.h5 Rh8 18.hxg Be4 trap the B?
Jun-02-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  JointheArmy: The mouse slip game.
Jun-02-20  SChesshevsky: There's some videos on YouTube of old Evgeny Sveshnikov playing the Alapin. Was at one time considered the expert in the opening. Writing a fairly comprehensive book on the white side and a book for the black side against these anti-sicilians.

I'm no expert in the alapin but it's hard to believe that backward d pawn was part of Naka's plan.

Jun-02-20  SChesshevsky: <Atking: ...why 13. Ng5 was not played...> Looks like the B gets out but maybe not good anyway. From your line 18. hxg fxg 19. Bxg Ne5 attacks the B then 20. Bf5 e6 pushes 21. Bh3 to try to close now open h-file.

Looks like whites material ahead but his pieces look miserable and blacks B, N and the rook on the h-file look like could cause white king trouble.

Jun-03-20  Atking: <SChesshevsky> Thanks for the try! I agree that Black should have something here. Yet in your line, stubborn chess player like Steinitz will defend White side with 21.f4! 18...Be4 forces 19.d3 Bxd3 20.Rd1 and now 20...Ne5 21.f4 fxg 22.fxN RxB 23.Bf4 Nd5 with a serious counter 24.Bg3 Bh6 25.Nc2 e6 26.Nd4 Be3+ 27.Bf2 Bf4 28.Nf3 g5 More I see this position more I like Black side Bd3 is a least equal to Ra1!
Jun-03-20  Atking: Again I doubt of my judgement. In my previous line such "Steinitz" contortion might surprisingly in White favor. 26.Ne1 Be2 27.Rdb1 Ne3 28.b3 and 29.Rb2 Now Ra1&Rb2 looks pleasant. Indeed I still don't know.
Jun-03-20  Ulhumbrus: My previous post contained an error so here it is again:

The computer evaluations help to suggest that if Nakamura plays and goes on playing as if Black can do nothing, up to a point he may be not far wrong if Black can do only a little, but beyond that point it will turn out that White has given Black too much and will then find it difficult to avoid going on sliding further downhill.

Jun-03-20  MordimerChess: Seems like Nakamura made a positional mistake when he tried to exchange dark squared bishops 19. Ba3... this was his chance to play 19. d4 and continue with a bit passive bishop for a while but it wasn't to complicate to consolidate the position.

Mouse slip didn't matter in this game and as commentators said it's better to mouse slip in losing position than in sharp, double-edged position which could cost you whole point.

Anyway, that's my video analysis with some interesting lines of the opening explained: https://youtu.be/oDSZ-ogxMpY

Enjoy!

Jun-03-20  SChesshevsky: <Atking> I don't know if black is ever going to be better given the material deficit. But black can make it scary.

In the 18...Be4 line, after 20. Rd1 Ne5 white looks like he can try to bail out if feeling black might have something by giving back the exchange. Maybe something like 21. Rxd3 cxd3 22. Bf4 Nxg6 23. Bxg6 fxg6 24. Rd1 Rd8 could be draw looking.

In the 18...fxg6 line, 21. f4 is a very clever way of keeping advantage. After 21...exf5 22. fxe5 Bxe5 23. Rxf5 Bd6 hoping for 24. Nb5 Bh2 25. Kf2 Rg8 and white probably has to give back the exchange. Whites likely better whenever Rxd5 but seemingly there still is play.

Given all the variations. Guessing unless it's been prepped out, not many are going to venture into 13. Ng5 complications blindly. Especially in a short time game.

Jun-03-20  Atking: <Given all the variations. Guessing unless it's been prepped out, not many are going to venture into 13. Ng5 complications blindly. Especially in a short time game.> My view too <SChesshevsky> I was (I am) curious. And even after few hours of checking I'm still no sure about White advantage even in my last suggestion 18...Be4 19.d3! Bxd3 20.Rd1 Ne5 21.f4 fxg (If N moves then as you noted 21...Ng4 22.Nb5 fxg 23.RxN!) 22.fxN RxB 23.Bf4 Nd5 24.Bg3 Bh6 25.Nc2 e6 26.Ne1 Be2 27.Rdb1 Ne3 28.b3 is not as clear as I thought 28...Ng4! thus b3&Rb2 should be prepared. Very interesting indeed.
Jun-03-20  Atking: <Given all the variations. Guessing unless it's been prepped out, not many are going to venture into 13. Ng5 complications blindly. Especially in a short time game.> I agree. <SChesshevsky> I was (still I am) curious. And even after few hours of checking I'm still no sure about White advantage even in my last suggestion 18...Be4 19.d3! Bxd3 20.Rd1 Ne5 21.f4 fxg (If N moves then as you noted 21...Ng4 22.Nb5 fxg 23.RxN!) 22.fxN RxB 23.Bf4 Nd5 24.Bg3 Bh6 25.Nc2 e6 26.Ne1 Be2 27.Rdb1 Ne3 28.b3 is not as clear as I thought 28...Ng4! Ok that obviously a difficult line. One should be prepared to play it.
Jun-03-20  SChesshevsky: <Atking:...Very interesting indeed.> This is true. White probably needs to be prepared if black just sac's the h-pawn for compensation on the file.

This stupid line that's never going to happen might be the ultimate: 13. Ng5 Bd5 14. Nxh7 Ne5 15. Nxf8 Rdxf8 16. b3 Rxh2 17. Kxh2 Rh8+ 18. Kg1 Nf3+ 19. gxf3 Bxf3.

Jun-03-20  SChesshevsky: <Atking> In your 18...Be4 line, after 24. Bg3 Bh6 25. Nc2 after 25...Nf4 26. Ne1 Be4 27. Bxf4 Bxf4 black looks like he's got to be OK. Black has the two B's, whites e pawn looks like it's going to fall and white kings a bit wobbly.Maybe whites still better but can it be much better? Very complicated.
Jun-03-20  Atking: <SChesshevsky> I tried yesterday the move you suggest 25...Nf4!? until I discovered how easily R becomes active 26.Ne1 Ne2+ 27.Kf2 Rf7+ 28.Nf3 g5 29.Rh1 Bg7 30.Rh5 g4 31.e6 then 32.Rc5+ is fatal. I will analyse 26...Be4 and be back to you in few hours. Sure 13.Ng5 could be considered a bit brutal or primitive but such move under Steinitz' like consciousness is indeed quite interesting.
Jun-04-20  Atking: <SChesshevsky> your suggestion 26...Be4 27.BxN BxB shows a lot of resilience. A kind of B+p vs R Having a lot of time I tried to create a passed pawn "g" or the other side a-b-c vs a-b but fail to do it. White has an edge but surely not enough. 28.Kf2 Bxe5 29.Nf3 Bc7 30.Rh1 Bb6+ 31.Kg3 Bc7+ 32.Kg4 Rf7 33.Rae1 Rf4+ 34.Kg5 Kd7 35.Rh4 Rf5+ 36.Kh6 Bd3 37.Rg4 Ke8! stop White King infiltration by perpetual Kg7 Rf7+ Kg8 Rf8+ Maybe 27.Kf2!? is more ambitious. Quite a lot time shared for this line. Thanks for your ideas <SChesshevsky>.
Jun-04-20  SChesshevsky: < why 13.Ng5 was not played>

Not being that familiar with the Alapin, did some research on this ...c4 line wondering how concerned black was with Bc2 & Ng5 in general?

Apparently concerned enough to take steps against it.

Seems a main idea is ...Bg4 maintaining the pin on Nf3. A couple of examples are a beautiful win in

G Jones vs Anand, 2018

And solid defense in

S Zhigalko vs Carlsen, 2018

Another idea is an early ...g6 which Dubov had played

J van Foreest vs D Dubov, 2020

And there's even something that appears to be called the Ivanchuk line with an early ...g5. Which Naka played as a 14 year old.

S Zhigalko vs Nakamura, 2001

Guessing both players understood the Bc2 Ng5 ideas but Dubov tried tempting 13. Ng5 anyway with the ensuing complications. Maybe in hindsight Naka should've went for it?

Jun-04-20  Atking: I knew already some of these games. I'm not a fan of Alapin system (True that needless to be one of them to try it) but more I analyse this game more I'm convinced that 13.Ng5 have more future than the move choose by Nakamura. In that game after 19...e5 Black has already resolved all his problem to say the least (I already prefer Black side).
Jun-12-20  Playchess1vn: Here's my short analysic of the game: https://youtu.be/aUKuMkg6Nvg

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