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Hikaru Nakamura vs Ian Nepomniachtchi
FIDE Candidates (2022), Madrid ESP, rd 5, Jun-22
Russian Game: Classical Attack. Jaenisch Variation (C42)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-22-22  ILikeKeres: 18. h3 seizes the initiative for white. I would have preferred 25. Nd4 instead of 25. Nd2.

Nepo defended well.

Jun-22-22  Ulhumbrus: One alternative to 15 cxd5 is 15 Rd2, having played 14 Ra2.

One alternative to 17 Bf1 is 17 Rd2 hoping to get the king's bishop to b3

The commentators said that instead of 21 Rb2 21 Nh4 would have won.

The computer evaluations and analysis suggest that as well as gaining the bishop pair White's rook lands on b7 and acquires twice the value of Black's rook on a8 because it attacks both the a7 and c7 pawns whereas the black rook can defend only one of them at a time. If the black rook stays on a8 to defend the a pawn White can overpower the c7 pawn by Ba5, so winning a pawn and the game.

It is possible that Nakamura was not able to decide over the board the right way to arrange the advance d5.

Jun-22-22  Z free or die: Might be interesting to hear Naka's recap on this one.
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: He's always brutally honest. It will be interesting to hear why he didn't play Bc3 earlier.
Jun-22-22  whiteshark: <Dear Youtube, I Am Disgusted> (~13m30s)
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: <Dear Youtube, I Am Disgusted>

Especially with 25. Nd2 instead of 25. Nd4. Nakamura says he thought he could get the knight to d4 in the same way in any case, while using up a couple more moves toward the time control.

He ignored ("much to my horror") that black had 26. Qf6.

And he said 28. Na5 was just bad ("more or less throws away the advantage completely").

Jun-23-22  Ulhumbrus: <saffuna: He's always brutally honest.> Like Carlsen, although some of the internet messages published in the past suggest that neither player will be particularly pleased at being compared with the other.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Yes he is very honest with his audience.
I liked Nakamura's comment about not being at all upset that he did not see a long computer line that led to a good position.

These things can lead to wonderful positions but in some cases you have to play 10-15 often difficult and only moves to get there. Also it's method of winning may not be the one you have been planning so they can easily be missed.

By his own admission Nakamura not playing 25.Nd4 is shooting holes in the adage 'if you see a good move, sit on your hands...' In truth it has always been 'If you have been given the opportunity to play a good move then play it.'

In this case he thought he could get the exact same Nd4 position a few moves later to gain clock time.

He admits he was annoyed with himself for letting his advantage slip and this affected his later play. (that 28.Na5) This loss of board control is not just a trait of weaker players.

But the good guys can calm down enough to call it quits. Me and my kin refuse to accept we have made an error and try to make what ever boner we have played work.

Jun-23-22  Olavi: It is shocking that such a player wastes his time during such a tournament doing such videos. It is a sad day for chess. Well, old farts like me always long for the good old days, but honestly, it's not good to have interviews after each game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Olavi,

From one old fart to another ('cept I smell sweeter because I got bottles of aftershave and deodorant for Father's Day.)

It will be part of the contract when accepting an appearance fee you have to attend the interview. I recall a few fines in the past including Carlsen storming off when he lost to the Russian 'who must not be named' in a world final in 2016.

I too find them toe curling, especially if the player concerned has just lost.

Nakamura is doing this in his own time, it takes a few minutes, it is his way of letting off steam and self analysis.

(There will also probably be few $'s attached, you have to sit through a couple of ad before he pops up.)

Jun-23-22  Z free or die: <Olavi> I have a different take on <Naka>'s videos, but I can understand your take...

We do live in the age of tv, video, streaming, vr, ... what's next??

Here's my mixlist (oh the irony!)...

(Hat, tv baby, who shot ya bob?)


Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: <Nakamura is doing this in his own time, it takes a few minutes, it is his way of letting off steam and self analysis.>

I agree with this. Every player is different, and Nakamura believes this helps him, gets rid of nervous energy. How is it different than taking a walk around the lake?

Maybe doing such a high-energy video right after the game ends may be his way to deal with the game and then let go of it, prepare for the next game.

Personally I really enjoy them, though I constantly have to hit pause and replay to figure out what he's explaining.

Jun-25-22  whiteshark: <Olavi> Well, the year is 2022 and Nakamura has an audience of millions rooting for him*, who briefly get his thoughts here in fifteen minutes. This is in contrast to all the previous candidates, who had to ponder in the privacy of their own rooms.


Jun-26-22  saturn2: <saffuna Personally I really enjoy them, though I constantly have to hit pause and replay to figure out what he's explaining.>

One can also reduce the speed to 50 or 25 percent.

Me I enjoy very much his puzzle and blitz videos. His ability to calculate and comment at the same time is great. Compared to Carlson's blitz videos I think Nakamura calculates more and quicker whilst Carlson is more strategic and finds the right move without so much details. - Just my impression. Both are great.

Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: <One can also reduce the speed to 50 or 25 percent.>

Sounds like a plan. Thanks.

Sometime I'd like to see Nakamura and Seirawan analyze together. Seirawan chooses every word with such care, getting out maybe one or two sentences per minute, while Nakamura produces an unbroken torrent of words.

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