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Hikaru Nakamura vs Michael Hennigan
"Hennigan, Begin Again" (game of the day Feb-12-2005)
Gibraltar Masters (2005), La Caleta GIB, rd 1, Jan-25
King's Indian Defense: Six Pawns Attack (E77)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-12-05  Albertan: 30....Rxd6? looks like a mistake (or at least is dubious). Hennigan might have tried 30...Kd8 and play might have continued: 31.Qxf7 Nd7 32.Bd3 Rxd6 33.Rxd6 Qxd6 34.Bb5

Nakamura rejected the idea of 33.Qg5 hmmm? If 33.Qg5 Rxd5 34.Qxe7+ Rd7 35.Qxe5+ Qd6 36.Qxd6 Rxd6 37.Nc3 Rd2 and Black has compensation. (I would never play a line like this three passed pawns for White is scary!)

The move Hennigan played on move 33...Rxd5 seems to be dubious doesn't it?. Why didn't he try a move like 33...Kb7 instead? ie. 33...Kb7 34.b4 axb3 35.Bxb3 Nxb3 36.Rxd6 Qxd6 37.Qxb3 Kc6

Nakumura's intermezzo of 38.Qc4! is nice :)

Hennigan probably was in time trouble near move 40. Do forum members think that the move 39...Kc8 is better than 39...Rd7)?

(If 39...Kc8 then 40.Qc6+ Kb8 41.Qb5+ Kc8 42.Qa6+ Rb7 43.Qc6+ Kb8 44.Qe8+ Ka7 45.Qa4+ Kb8 46.b4 Qf4+ 47.Kg1 Qe3+ seems okay for Black doesn't it?

What would have happened if Hennigan had played 46...Kd6 instead of the move 46...Rb3 ? (If 46...Kd6 then 47.Kg1 Rb3 48.h4 Rb1+ 49.Kf2 Ke5 50.h5 Rh1 51.b6 Rxh5 52.b7 Rh8 53.Bd5 Kd6 54.Ke2 Rb8 55.Kf3 Ke5 seems okay for Black.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: I'm adding 19. Rxf6! to my demolition of pawn structure combination, since White gets the Knight and a pawn and puts the Black King on the run.
Feb-12-05  Albertan: The move 47...Rg3 seems to be better than 47...Kf6?
ie.If 47...Rg3 then:
(a)48. b6 Rb4 49.b7 Rxh4+ 50.Kg1 Rh8 51.Kf2 Rd8 52.BD5 Kd6

If (b)48.Kg1 then Black stands well after 48...f3 49.e5 Rxg2+ 50.Kf1 Rb2 51.h5 Ke6 52.h6 Rb1+ 53.Kf2 Rh1 54.Kxf3 Rxh6 =

Feb-12-05  Albertan: Good point patzer2. Tal would have been proud to have played a move like 19.Rxf6!

Maybe the move 29...Rd8 is an interesting try.After 30.Qxg7 Kc6 31.Qxf7 Rexd6 32.Nc3 Qb8 seems to be okay for Black.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The ending is clear:white's king will approach the b-pawn,then capture the rook for it. Then he will move to force the lowly g-pawn in-note he cannot force the h-pawn in because of stalemate problems.Also,if black sacs his rook to capture the h-pawn,the same result occurrs.

Here is the point! The h-pawn,though on the seventh rank,is useless--while the g-pawn on the second rank-is the dangerous one!!

Feb-12-05  aw1988: What a horrible pun.
Feb-12-05  eyalbd: <kevin86> The h pawn is far from useless. It ties black king to guard h8, so the White king march to b8 is possible.

It is true that after capturing the rook, the g pawn is the one to queen.

Feb-12-05  CeeFoR: great game
Feb-12-05  poktirity: What is the point of the pun? There is a Futurama episode called Brannigan Begin Again, so were does this come from?
Feb-12-05  Saruman: <poktirity> If you go through those words in your mind, you will discover a similarity in the latter part of the words.
Feb-12-05  quXa: nice discription saruman :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <poktirity> Old children's song

"Michael Finnegan"

There was an old man named Michael Finnegan.

He grew whiskers on his chinnigan.

The wind came up and blew them in again,

Poor old Michael Finnegan.

Feb-12-05  Saruman: <tamar> great song isnt it >:-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <Saruman> Yes, I forgot. There are endless verses, each ending in "begin again". Kind of like blitz chess.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: Nakamura uses a line often taken up by Seirawan against the King's Indian, bringing the King's knight to e2 after Bd3.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Albertan> Good observation on the strength of the in-between move 38. Qc4+! as 38. Qxd5 Qxc2= lets Black back in the game and risks throwing away an otherwise forced win.

My thoughts on the game are that from a practical perspective defending the Black position after Nakamura's exchange sacrifice is like walking defenseless through a mind field. You might find the narrow path to survival, but avoiding such complications entirely is the best idea.

For example, even after the relatively better <30...Kd8> you (and Fritz 8) recommend, White seems to win after 30...Kd8 31.Qxf7 Nd7 32.Bd3 Rxd6 33.Nc3 b4 34.Rb5 Rf6 35.Qd5 Qd6 36.Rxb4 Qxd5 37.Nxd5 Rd6 38.Be2 Rf8 39.Kg3 Rf7 40.Rxa4 .

So, I'm thinking impvovements need to be found before 19. Rxf6! With that im mind, I suggest:

(1) Black should play the mainlies 6...Nc6 as in Seirawan vs Kasimdzhanov, 2002 or 6...e5 as in Seirawan vs Xie Jun, 2002 instead of the rarely played 6...Na6 (which wastes tempo and impedes development).

(2) Instead of 7...c6?! Black should've considered 7...e5!? 8.d5 Nc5 9.b4 Nxd3 10.Qxd3 a5=, even though it is less effective than 6...e5. And perhaps worth considering was 7...c5!? as in Skembris vs D Gorgieski, 2002

(3) Instead of 14...Qa5?!, Black should have considered 14...b5 15.Rac1 Rb8=.

I do agree with you that Namura's handling of the attack after his true sacrifice with 19...Rxf6! is worthy of combparison to the attacking gems of Alekhine or Tal. With the black Queen out of play, the King exposed and a mindfield of tactical possibilities, the sacrifice does indeed appear to be conceptually sound.

P.S. Note that after the brilliant 21. d6! that Black cannot touch this poison pawn as 21...Qxd6?? 22.Nd5+ Ke6 23.Rf1 f6 24.Qxg6 Be8 (24...Bc6 25.Nxf6 ) 25.Qf5+ Kf7 26.Qh7+ Ke6 27.Nc7+ quickly wins for White.

Feb-12-05  Albertan: Actually what happens in this game is on move 11.Nakamura played a novelty (however after Nakamura played 12.cxd5 play tranposed back to known theory. The move 14.Qd2 may be a theoretical novelty for this position.
Feb-12-05  Albertan: Patzer2 thank you for your kind words :)
I am really enjoying the analysis of this game.
What do you think of the move 17...Ng8 for Black ie. 17...Ng8 18.fxe5 dxe5 19.Ng3 f6 20.Nb1 Qc8 ?

Or what about:

17...Qb6 ie. 17...Qb6 18.Rf2 Ne8 19.Qe3 b4 20.axb4 Qxb4 21.fxe5 dxe5 22.b3 Nd6 for example?

Feb-12-05  Albertan: Patzer 2 as you probably know, Nakamura plays the King's Indian himself as Black, so he understands both sides of this complex defense extremely well. I am sure you would agree that Hennigan did not seem to see the threat of Rxf6 (however I find it hard to believe that he would not have seen it in his analysis of the position).
Feb-12-05  Albertan: The way Nakamura handled the position after 6...Na6 may put this line out of commission forever for Black. The moves 6...Nc6 and 6..e5 seem to have much better long term prospects for Black.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Albertan> I agree with you that Black has better prospects after 6...Nc6 or 6..e5, than with 6...Na6!?. The position is full of possibilities for Black after 17. f4, and all the ones you mention look to have better potential for achieving equality than 17...h6?!

One equalizing option for Black after 17. f4 is 17...Ra6 18.fxe5 dxe5 19.Qg5 Re8 20.Rf3 h6 21.Qe3 Qb6 22.Raf1 Nb7 23.Qxb6 Rxb6 = (0.03 @ 16/39 depth per Fritz 8).

Feb-13-05  Albertan: patzer2 I created a 5987 game database in Chessbase for this opening (ECO E70), and there were only 21 games played with this idea of 6...Na6,and discovered that the main line after 7.h3 is to play 7...b5.

Also Nakumura and Hennigan were following the moves from another game until move eleven for White:

Becker,R - Chandler,P (2195) [E70]
Mala mem op Griesheim (3), 07.08.1998

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 0-0 5.Bd3 c6 6.Nge2 a6 7.0-0 d6 8.h3 e5 9.d5 cxd5 10.cxd5 Nbd7 11.Be3 Ne8 12.g4 Qh4 13.Kg2 Bh6 14.Qd2 Bxe3 15.Qxe3 Ng7 16.Ng3 Nc5 17.Bc2 f5 18.exf5 gxf5 19.gxf5 Bxf5 20.Bxf5 Nxf5 21.Qe2 Nd4 22.Qg4+ Qxg4 23.hxg4 Nd3 24.Nge4 Rad8 25.Rad1 Nf4+ 26.Kg3 b5 27.b4 Ng6 28.Rd3 h5 29.gxh5 Nf4 30.Rdd1 Kh8 31.f3 Rg8+ 32.Kh2 Rd7 33.Nf6 Rg2+ 34.Kh1 Rdg7 35.Nce4 Rxa2 36.Rc1 Rgg2 37.Rc8+ Kg7 38.Rg8+ Kf7 39.Rxg2 Rxg2 40.h6 Rg6 41.h7 Rh6+ 42.Kg1 Nde2+ 43.Kf2 Rh2+ 44.Ke3 Nd4 45.Rf2 Nf5+ 46.Kd2 Rxf2+ 47.Nxf2 Ng6 48.N2e4 Kg7 49.Ne8+ Kxh7 50.N8xd6 Nd4 51.Ng5+ Kg7 52.Nde4 Nf4 53.d6 Kf8 54.Nc5 Ke8 55.Nge4 Nd5 56.Nxa6 Nxf3+ 57.Ke2 Nd4+ 58.Kd3 Kd7 59.Nac5+ Kc6 60.d7 Nxb4+ 61.Kd2 Kc7 62.Nf6 Nbc6 63.Kd3 Kd6 64.Nfe4+ Ke7 65.Nc3 Kd6 66.N3e4+ Ke7 67.Nc3 b4 68.Nd5+ Kd8 69.Kc4 b3 70.Nxb3 Nxb3 71.Kxb3 Kxd7 72.Kc4 Kd6 73.Ne3 Ke6 74.Kd3 Nb4+ 75.Ke4 Na6 76.Nc4 Nc5+ 77.Ke3 e4 78.Nd2 Ke5 79.Nxe4 ½-½

Feb-13-05  Albertan: Patzer2 thanks for posting the analysis after 17.f4. Shredder 8 suggests that Black could also try the move 17...Rae8 after 17.f4 ie. 17.f4 (17... Rae8 18. fxe5 Rxe5 19. Nd4 b4 20. axb4 Qxb4 21. Nf3 Ree8 22. Rfe1 Re7 23. Kh2 Rfe8 24. e5 Nh5 25. exd6 Rxe1 26. Rxe1 Rxe1 27. Nxe1 Na6 28. Nd3 Qxd6+ 29. Kh1 Nf6=)
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: <eyalbd> you are right,I meant that the pawn was unable to queen---it was,as you said,an effective restraint on the black king.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: 32. Qxg6! is a very nice cross-pin:

click for larger view

15. Bh6!? was an interesting plan by White, trading dsb to play for f2-f4 and penetrating on the Kingside dark squares. Then 21. d6! was very brave, allowing a free Discovered Check but clearing the d5 square and opening lines toward Black's King. White closed it out with a fine endgame.

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