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Gennadij Sagalchik vs Hikaru Nakamura
"Naka on Heaven's Door" (game of the day Jan-04-2005)
American Continental (2003), Buenos Aires ARG, rd 9, Aug-27
French Defense: McCutcheon Variation. Wolf Gambit (C12)  ·  0-1



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Given 53 times; par: 49 [what's this?]

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sac: 23...Rxg3 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Eric Schiller: I've known Hikaru since he was 5 and he constantly amazed me with his tactical prowess. I didn't expect him to pass his brother Asuka but he did. I was lucky to beat him in our only encounter when he was 10. He has fully earned all his honors.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Nice puzzle.I was thinking 36...♘c5 for the following reasons:

1.It allows the bishop to attack the rook.If that rook would be allowed to capture,white will lose the exchange and bring their queen away from attacking the bishop.The bishop would then have time to move out of the way.

2.It's getting ready to hop into the weakest point in the white camp,b3. From there,it would be taking away 2 squares from the white king.Also,it is within attacking distance of all 3 major pieces for white.The knight would like to get to d4,which would form a deadly fork.It's also within checking distance (d2).

3.It closes up the diagonal against the black king.At some point,white might gets their queen on the g1-a7 diagonal and maybe start checking black's king around.

click for larger view

But 36...Rg1+ is the winning move.

Mar-30-11  morfishine: <Penguincw> I haven't analyzed your continuation but i like your thought process. For all we know, it wins too, and thats what counts: its good practice (over here) in that we may be able to profit/capatilize in the other game going on...:) Morf
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Thanks. :)
Mar-30-11  MaxxLange: reverse the move order of the familiar pin trick with ...Ra1+ and ....Qa3+ and hey, it's mate
Mar-30-11  morfishine: <David2009> Good work! We'll need that in the other game going on. <Unfortunately none of my original solutions has been sound and none of my sound solutions has been original> Doesn't matter as long as we win. Morf
Mar-30-11  MountainMatt: Wow. I barely got Monday's, was stumped yesterday, but here, 36. Rg1+ 37. Ka2 Qxa3+ with mate to follow jumped right out. Not sure what to make of that, but whatever, I'll take it!
Mar-30-11  TuxedoKnight: i guess i will go to


Mar-30-11  morfishine: <TuxedoKnight> Went to your site! Tough puzzles...took me awhile to get 14/19
Mar-30-11  Fuegoverde: 36... Rg1+ and white must loose his queen with 37 Qc1 or if 37 Ka2 Qxa3+! and mate in the next move.
Mar-30-11  WhiteRook48: I wanted to play 36...Qxa3 right away, but white can resist with 37 Rf1
Mar-30-11  alachabre: This one took a few moments of pondering before the pattern emerged. First, the back rank is undefended and White's pieces are not coordinated in retreat to defend, thus the rook may gain the rank unchallenged with check, forcing the king to move. A possible queen sac on a3 doesn't seem to go anywhere, until the pattern of bishop plus rook cooperating on a1 focuses out of the haze:

36 ... Rg1+
37 Ka2 Qxa3+
38 bxa3 Ra1#


38 Kxa3 Ra1#


37 Qc1 Qd3+
38 Rc2 Rxc1+
39 Kxc1 Qxf5 and massive material advantage.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <LMAJ: His past aside, Nak is one of the world's best players today. This is a very pleasing combination.>

Nakamura's past-as this poster terms it-hasn't anything to do with this nice combinative wind-up.

The river of innuendo and unsubstantiated accusations flows apace from the <Site Flamer> (wonderful anagram, that!).

Wherever you're skulking, those of us who know the truth about you will call you out when you spread your bacillus of intolerance, lies and hatred towards others.

Do the world, as well as yourself, a favour and live the beliefs you profess.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: I have video annotated this game here:

Cheers, K

Dec-22-14  ndg2: Honoring the true value of game puns: as silly as it is I was able to google the game quickly because of it.

As for the game: "the king is now save in it's corner, let's see what we can do with blacks's weal f7 pawn". BAMMM, Qxa3+ !!!
I would have loved to see white's face at that moment.

Dec-26-14  boykamote: To Eric Schiller> My Mom bought me 3 books from you STANDARD CHESS OPENINGS,ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CHESS WISDOM AND UNORTHODOX CHESS OPENINGS. I read them all and liked it very much, there are some very minimal typo errors though, but in general it's evident that you worked very hard to make your books into works of art.
May-04-19  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4 d 25 dpa done

1. = / + (-0.65): 34.Rb4 f4 35.Ka2 Rg3 36.Bxf7 Nc5 37.Rxb5 Bxc3 38.Rxc5 Qxc5 39.bxc3 f3 40.Rd2 f2 41.Rxf2 Rxc3 42.Qxc3 Qxf2+ 43.Kb1 Qf1+ 44.Kb2 Qxf7 45.Qxc4 Bd7 46.a4 Qf6+ 47.Kb3 Qb6+ 48.Kc3 Ka8 49.h5 a5 50.Qe4 Qc5+ 51.Kd3 Qd6 52.Kc3 Kb7 53.Kd3 Qa6+

2. - + (-2.28): 34.Nxb5+ axb5 35.Rxb5 Ba6 36.d6 Rg1+ 37.Ka2 Bxd6 38.Rxf5 f6 39.Re8 c3 40.Qxc3 Qxc3 41.bxc3 Rg2+ 42.Ka1 Be5 43.Rexe5 fxe5 44.Rf7 Bc8 45.Re7 Kb6 46.a4 Kc5 47.Bf7 Rg4 48.h5 Rxa4+ 49.Kb2 Rf4 50.Kc2 Rf2+ 51.Kd3 Rf6 52.Bg6 Kd6 53.Re8 Bb7 54.Rd8 Bc6 55.Ke3 Kc5 56.Re8 Rf3+ 57.Kd2

May-04-19  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4 d 25 dpa done

1. = (0.00): 32.Bf3 Rg1+ 33.Ka2 dxc4 34.Qxc4 b5 35.Qd5 Bb7 36.Qxb7+ Qxb7 37.Bxb7 Kxb7 38.Rd3 Kc6 39.Rxd7 Kxd7 40.Rxe5 bxa4 41.Rxf5 Rh1 42.Rxf7+ Kc6 43.Rh7 Kb5 44.h5 Kc4 45.h6 Rh2 46.Rh8 Rh3 47.Kb1 Rh1+ 48.Ka2 Rh2 49.Kb1 Rh1+ 50.Ka2

2. = / + (-0.36): 32.cxd5 b5 33.Nc3 c4 34.Rb4 f4 35.Ka2 Nc5 36.Rxb5 Nd3 37.Rd2 Rg3 38.d6 Bxd6 39.Rg5 Be6 40.Qa4 Nc1+ 41.Kb1 Rxc3 42.bxc3 Nb3 43.Rgd5 Bd7 44.Qxb3 cxb3 45.Rxd6 Bc8 46.Kb2 Qe7 47.R6d4 Qxh4 48.Bxf7 Qe1 49.Rd1 Qg3 50.Bxb3 f3 51.R4d2 Bf5 52.Rf1 Qf4 53.Rdf2 Bd3

Premium Chessgames Member
  Knighthawkmiller: By move 30 Nakamura, having given up the exchange for 2 pawns, plays as if he has complete control of the board. Move 31 white captures a hard to hold pawn when Rg2 would squash the most active piece on the board, black's rook. White plays passively while black is on the attack. The spirit of Tal is in black's play. This is tactical genius by black to lull his opponent into passive moves while he prepares to strike.
Aug-12-21  Saniyat24: Oh heavenly Americano pizza and French champagne...!
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Anticipating Carlsen vs Karjakin, 2016.
Apr-29-22  Silinde: Hi everyone. I'm just an amateur player, so forgive me if I'm asking a stupid question. I'm using this game (randomly chosen, lol) to write a story about chess (just for fun), and I was wondering why it seems to end at move 37, once the Queen takes the pawn. As far as I can see, the black Queen is undefended, so taking it with the pawn on b2 (or even with the King) would allow White to continue playing. After losing his Queen, Black would also have significant less "value" in piece points. I'm probably overlooking something blatantly obvious for more experienced players, but I really would like to know. Any clues are appreciated. :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Williebob: Hi <Silinde>! A fellow amateur is happy to answer your question, as there is no way I can mess this up...

White has only two legal moves to choose from at move 38: Capture the Queen with either a king or a pawn. For this glorious moment, White does indeed have a huge material advantage. However, Black's next move is checkmate - do you see it?
Apr-29-22  Retireborn: White is in check and must take the checking queen, but either capture allows 38...Ra1 mate.

Professionals generally resign rather than permit mate.

Apr-29-22  Silinde: Thank you, both of you. :)
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