Dec1204   Calli: Not sure where Karjakin went wrong. He emerges out of the opening with two Bishops and good game. Perhaps needed to close the kingside at some point (h6) before proceeding (c4 etc). Will be interested whne some analysis is posted. 

Dec1204   belgradegambit: My impression from the first 2 games is that Hikaru loves his knights more than his bishops.His knight maneuvers won both games. 

Dec1204   GoodChessClub: Or maybe he hates his religionmen more than his horses. But what caught my eyes is the opening... I cannot find another modern master plays this so often since Marshall. 

Dec1204   Where is my mind: < belgradegambit> good observation in regards to Hikaru's use of his knights.He also manovered his knights
efficiently in game 2 of the US champs. playoff against stipunsky. in the above game 25.Qxh5= was a better option.25.rd3 

Dec1204   acirce: <drukenknight> <acirce: your line (45 Ke2 Nxd1 Kxd3) seems materially better but after a few more moves white appears to be returning to equality:
46...Rd8+
47. Kc2 Ne3+
48. Kc3 Rc8+
49. Kd3 d1=Q+
50. Bxd1 Nxd1
51. Rg2 Kb7
52. Re2
See you dont think I can make that passed pawn equalize the knight?> Yes, maybe, but only because you let the knight be trapped. After for example 48..d1=Q straight away and then 49.Bxd1 Nxd1+ 50.Kc2 Nf2 the knight escapes and there should be no problem stopping the passer and win. 

Dec1204   drukenknight: It wasnt my fault acirce, it was stupid chesslab computer. I will look this over later, after watching some football. 

Dec1204   aw1988: This has some fascinating analysis in it, and i'd like to take time out to respond: Instead of 51...Kb7 black can win with 51...Rd8+: 52. Ke4 Kc7 53. Rg7+ Kc6 (53...Rd7?! 54. Rg2! where there could follow Ke8 55. e6 Rd6 (Re7 56. Rd2+ Kc7 57. Kf5 (more aesthetically pleasing than just taking the knight) Ne3+ 58. Kf6 Rh7 59. e7 Ng4+ 60. Ke6 Rh6+ with a draw) 56. Ke5 with a draw) 54. Rxa7 Nxb2 and here if 55. Kf5?! there is Nc4 winning, and so we'll try 55. a5, which is met not by 55...bxa5?? 56. Rxa5, and without going into lengthy variation i'll say it's drawn, but 55...b5!!: if 56. a6 there is 56...Nd3!, so 56. e6 and then Nc4... and black escapes perp check easily. 

Dec1204   drukenknight: in which line? the fantasy line?
Ummm. Okay acirce, he gets the passed pawn, I did not think it woudl queen, but white seems to grab the a pawn. Here is 15 ply from me/crap pc. So I am white, I am still down a N for a pawn.  2pts. I have 2 connected pawns, he has an iso. pawn and N. Each has a R. Maybe this line is unsound, but lets say it gets down to that as startign pt for discussion. A N + R + p vs R + 2 p.
Is that dead lost? According to theory? I dunno, but I am lost... 

Dec1204   drukenknight: Oh sorry, here is the line after acrice queens immediately. It is a good move, I am not sure how long it takes to figure to take it, but okay: 48...d1=Q
49. Bxd1 Nxd1+
50. Kc2 Nf2
51. Re3 Kc7
52. e6 Kd6
53. Rf3 Rc8+
54. Kb3 Ne4
55. Rf7 Nc5+
56. Ka3 Nxe6
57. Rxa7
okay so here we are. 

Dec1204   acirce: <drukenknight> Your line looks reasonable except that Black doesn't need to give away the apawn, look for example at 56..Rc7 or 56..a6 instead. Then it seems he just picks up the epawn and wins. It would be a draw if White somehow could exchange off Black's two remaining pawns but it seems very unlikely; at most one. 

Dec1204   drukenknight: well maybe so, but maybe we can improve this line too and maybe save it. Two issues come up. 1) How deep does these guys really see? and 2) how many moves in a row can Naka play sound moves in order to finish off his "won game?" I think these are two issues that would impact on our fantasy line at move 45. For one thing, there are several branches at the moment of move 45. Fritz picked a different line than you Acirce. And the crap pc picked a different move on move 47 or whatever. It is also possible that there is another branch in here that saves it but we dont know as of now. And the game is already two days old. Two days of pc analysis and we cannot be sure. This many branches would have to be seen by Naka. in a short span of time. Perhaps he can do it. But how to answer the question how deep? You can look at blunders made and ask yourself how deep. Was game 1 lost on a deep blunder or somethign shallow? Game 2? etc. How deep is he seeing it? THe second part of my suggestion is basically can we assume that Naka can toss off 12 or 15 sound moves in a row in order to clinch it? perhaps, perhaps. But then again how to answer this? not easy. 

Dec1204   acirce: <1) How deep does these guys really see? and 2) how many moves in a row can Naka play sound moves in order to finish off his "won game?"> I think they saw "Black is piece up, can the knight escape  oh, yes, it can, that wins" Really as simple as that, I believe. No need to calculate long exact lines although they might have taken a glance at possible ones just to make sure. 

Dec1204   drukenknight: Something like that, I guess. I will take one more stab at the fantasy line hopefully soon. 

Dec1404   patzer2: Nakamura's 35...Red7! cleverly protects the passed Black pawn on d4, whose subsequent advances causes the White position to crumble and fall. 

Dec1604   Chessmaster 9000: Slightly better is 14... Rg8, leading to 15. h6 Qb6 16. Nxd5 cxd5 17. c3 Nxe5 18. dxe5 (Time=0:29, Depth=1/8) 25. Rd3? leads to 25... hxg5 26. Rb3 Rb6 27. c5 Qxc5 28. Qxf7 Qe7 29. Qf3 g4 30. Qe2 Kb8 31. Rc1, which wins a pawn for 2 pawns. Better is 25. Qxh5, leading to 25... Kb8 26. Bd3 Qe7 27. f4 Qb4 28. Re2 Qa4 29. b3 Qc6 30. Be4, which wins a pawn. This was White's only significant error, but the game remained within reach of either player. Black eventually resigned. Slightly better is 28... Qe7, leading to 29. Qf3 Kb8 30. Rc1 Nh6 31. Qd3 Rc8 32. Rxc8+ Rxc8 33. Qxd4 Rc1+ 34. Kh2 Nf5 (Time=0:16, Depth=1/10) Slightly better is 41. e6, leading to 41... Nd5 42. Rxg4 Rxg4+ 43. Bxg4 Rg8 44. Rxd2 Rxg4+ 45. Kf2 Rg5 46. Re2 Nf4 47. Re3 Kc7 (Time=0:26, Depth=3/10) Slightly better is 51. e7, leading to 51... Kf6 52. Rxa7 Rxe7+ 53. Rxe7 Kxe7 54. Bc4 Rb4 55. Bb5 Kd6 56. Be8 Ke5 57. Bc6 Rb3+ 58. Ke2 (Time=0:26, Depth=6/11) 53... Rxe6?! leads to 54. Bxe6 Kxe6 55. Rb7 b5 56. Kc3 Ra4 57. Rh6+ Kf7 58. Rh7+ Kg6 59. Rb7 a6 60. Kc2 Kf5 61. Ra7, which wins a bishop and a pawn for a rook. Better is 53... Rxe6, leading to 54. Kd2 Rc5 55. Bb3 Rh2+ 56. Kd1 Ra5 57. Rd2 Ra1+ 58. Kc2 Rxd2+ 59. Kxd2 Kd6 60. Bc5 b5. This was Black's only meaningful error. Even though the game was within reach here, Black eventually resigned. 

Dec2404   admeyer: The Scandinavian is my main weapon against 1.e4 and it is great to see a U.S. champion using it to win with the black pieces (he also recently defeated N. DeFirmian with it). In reponse to belgradegambit and Calli, white often gets the bishop pair in this opening. However, the bishop pair tends to be overated so it often doesn't amount to any sort of advantage. 
