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Hikaru Nakamura vs Ilia Smirin
7th Foxwoods Open (2005), Connecticut, rd 5, Mar-25
Pirc Defense: Austrian Attack. Unzicker Attack (B09)  ·  1-0



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Given 55 times; par: 17 [what's this?]

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sac: 9.hxg6 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member We got it to work with a little coaxing.
Aug-10-05  bhu1357: Although the knight can find a space on the g5 square, it can be removed with a timely f6 advance that will not only force it to move back, but can also open up the e file where the unprotected and uncastled white king lies. Doesn't sound too bad too me. And if white chooses to move his knight to h2 in preparation for a g2 pawn storm, black can play f5, and later Nf6 if white chooses to capture the pawn.
Jan-01-06  Timothy Glenn Forney: Another great game using zwischenzug,I have always called this the modern defense,Am I wrong?.Iron Maiden has a great collection called Zugzwang.Someone should start a zwischenzug collection.Browne vs Kneebone, 1985 This is another good example of a zwischenzug game.
Mar-05-06  midknightblue: this game rocks. I just wish I could remember the moves. Always seem to forget the move order when i face the pirc. Shamkovic also had an awesome game austrian attack vs pirc as i recall. will try to find the game and post a link.
Mar-05-06  midknightblue: also i need to study what to do after black simply plays the alternate 6...dxe5. To me, this seems to achieve equality already. Is there some line where white can maintain some initiative after this?
Sep-26-09  whiteshark: A spectacular win for White.
Aug-07-10  sevenseaman: Hikaru carries the day with his opening bluster.
Sep-07-11  DrMAL: Naka's use of sharp Unzicker (6.e5) and 6...Nfd7 (instead of 6...dxe5) into super sharp 7.h4 and 8.h5 was so very "H-bomb" here. It's famous debut game was Bronstein vs F Palmiotto, 1958 by that creative genius. Except Naka played the super duper sharp 9.hxg6 here, yahoo!

<IMlday: 11..e6! is Suttles' preparation from the 1972 Skopje Olympiad, evidently a forced move> That was thought at the time, but some analysts were still puzzled even at the time of your post. The article presented by <acirce:> (or, earlier in Bronstein's game by <aragorn69>) written by Kavalek was helpful, thanx for that. 11...e6 right away was better but it's not as great as it may seem, try an engine if in doubt. <millert: This is all book> Hmmm, what book was that?

11...Nf8 was not as good as 11...e6 but it was OK, the position was still nearly equal. After delaying (missing) 11...e6 the best thing is to not play it immediately after 12.Ng5! but instead to play intermediate move 12...d5 first. Then, after 13.Bxd5 e6 15.Nxf7 allows the bishop to be taken 15...Qxd5! which, in turn, compels critically important Q swap. As such, 12...e6 was an invisible inaccuracy, Nakamura discovered this all by himself. I asked him about it at the 2006 USCF Championship (he also beat me in a friendly game where I tried his fantastic h4-h5 as white, and he did not even have to cheat LOL). Since then, I don't know of anyone who has made this knowledge public.

With 12...e6 13.Nxf7! as Kavalek pointed out 13...cxb2 was a mistake and, after this move, I don't think black can survive. 14...Qa5+ was the best try but then 16.Qh5+! probably wins. 18...b6! was maybe a better hope but it too seems futile. Amazing game showing Nakamura's genius, he was 17 then!

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Simon> If you've got this far, <ray Keene>/Botterill and Nunn analyse this subvariation, beginning with 9.hxg6, in their works on the Pirc, citing games from the 1960s which aren't in this DB, to wit: Anatoly Bykhovsky -Evgeni Bebchuk, USSR Team Ch 1966, given hereunder.

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d6 3.e4 g6 4.f4 Bg7 5.Nf3 0-0 6.e5 Nfd7 7.h4 c5 8.h5 cxd4 9.hxg6 dxc3 10.gxf7+ Rxf7 11.Ng5 cxb2 12.Bc4 Nxe5 13.Qh5 Qa5+ 14.Kf1 d5 15.Bxb2 Rxf4+ 16.Nf3 dxc4 17.Bc1 Rf6 18.Qxh7+ Kf8 19.Bh6 Bxh6 20.Rxh6 Nxf3 21.Rh5 Ng5+ 0-1

Sep-08-11  DrMAL: I'm curious about Houdini's deep evaluations of each move so I will post them as I obtain them, here is the first after 6.e5 (lines truncated):

Houdini_15a_x64: 32/76 22:55:10 322,307,608,816
-0.13 6. ... Nfd7 7.Bc4 Nb6 8.Bb3 Nc6
-0.16 6. ... dxe5 7.fxe5 Nd5 8.Bc4 Be6

Sep-11-11  DrMAL: After 6...Nfd7
Houdini_15a_x64: 27/71 5:54:50 83,115,468,334
+0.10 7.Bc4 Nb6 8.Bb3 Nc6 9.a4 Na5
+0.05 7.Be3 c5 8.exd6 Nc6 9.Qd2 exd6
0.00 7.b4 a6 8.a3 Nb6 9.Bd3 dxe5
-0.04 7.h4 c5 8.h5 cxd4 9.Qxd4 dxe5
-0.16 7.Ng5 Nb6 8.e6 Bxe6 9.Nxe6 fxe6
-0.16 7.Be2 c5 8.exd6 exd6 9.Be3 Nc6

After 7.h4
Houdini_15a_x64: 27/81 5:39:20 75,666,890,675
0.00 7. ... c5 8.h5 cxd4 9.Qxd4 dxe5
-0.15 7. ... h5 8.e6 fxe6 9.Bd3 Qe8
-0.26 7. ... dxe5 8.dxe5 Nb6 9.Qe2 h5

Sep-27-11  DrMAL: New computer (Core i5 2500K) and updated engine (running 3 threads not max of 4). After 8...cxd4

Houdini_20_x64: 30/79 21:24:46 653,170,422,290

-0.18 9.hxg6 dxc3 10.gxf7+ Rxf7 11.Bc4 e6 12.Ng5 Nxe5 13.Qh5 h6 14.fxe5 hxg5 15.Qh7+ Kf8 16.Qh8+ Bxh8 17.Rxh8+ Kg7 18.Rxd8 Nc6 19.Rxd6 Nxe5

0.00 9.Qxd4 dxe5 10.Qf2 e4 11.Nxe4 Nf6 12.Nxf6+ exf6 13.Bd2 Re8+ 14.Be2 Qe7 15.hxg6 hxg6 16.Bc3 Bd7 17.Nd4 Nc6 18.0-0-0 Nxd4 19.Rxd4 Qxe2

I think 9.hxg6 was the much better choice it is even sharper and more thematic.

BTW, buying Houdini 2.0 is more like a donation it does work slightly better and has more features but Houdini 1.5a was already the world's best engine.

Sep-27-11  DrMAL: After 11.Bc4

Houdini_20_x64: 24/69 1:07:52 33,659,479,863

+0.18 11. ... e6 12.Ng5
-0.15 11. ... Nf8 12.Ng5 d5 13.Qxd5 Qxd5 14.Bxd5 e6
-1.44 11. ... h6 12.e6 Nf6 13.exf7+ Kf8 14.Qd3 Qa5

Shows the line with 12...d5 leading to Q swap.

Sep-27-11  DrMAL: After 12...e6 (slight inaccuracy, this position is sharp!)

Houdini_20_x64: 23/77 26:30 13,042,874,613

+0.77 13.Nxf7 Kxf7 14.f5 cxb2 15.Qh5+ Kg8 16.Bxb2

Sep-27-11  DrMAL: After 13...cxb2 another slight inaccuracy
Houdini_20_x64: 24/82 23:17 11,212,111,448

+1.36 14.Bxb2 Qa5+ 15.Kf1 Kxf7 16.Qh5+ Kg8 17.Bd3 Qb4

Greater depth gives a bigger number, it's already all over in this super sharp "H-bomb" attack, amazing game by him!

Oct-19-11  DrMAL: <bhu1357: If black did play h5, how would white respond?> This is very good question, 7...h5 is likely and, while not best, it is OK move. Response offered by <Shams> is similar 8.g4 is still sharp and interesting, black has two good choices here, 8...dxe5 or 8...hxg4 both lead to basically equal double edged game 8...dxe5 computes to give black very slight edge.

Houdini_20_x64: 26/77 24:26 14,420,931,600
+0.08 8. ... dxe5 9.fxe5 hxg4 10.Ng5
0.00 8. ... hxg4 9.Ng5 Nb6 10.e6

After 7...h5 white has several better choices to gain immediate advantage they could transpose but due to sharpness this is typically not best. For example, after 8.Bd3 black should stop 9.e6 with 8...Nb6 to open LSB as computer verifies.

Houdini_20_x64: 27/64 45:33 27,234,129,713
+0.20 8.e6 fxe6 9.Bd3 Qe8
+0.18 8.f5 gxf5 9.Bf4 dxe5
+0.17 8.Bd3 Nb6 9.Ne4 Bg4
+0.14 8.a3 Nb6 9.Be3 Bg4

8.e6! positional sac is best response it is thematic to sharply attack white's weakened pawns after 7...h5 that stopped 8.h5 attack. 8.f5! is very similar while 8.Bd3 and 8.a3 are less sharp but have longer term positional advantage, where a3 covers b4 square to secure B on e3 from Nc6-Nb4. Engine score differences are negligible here, engine output above serves to verify move order of basic plans for various responses.

In using computer to help analyze it is necessary to allow it sufficient time/depth, this is especially true in sharper or otherwise more complicated position, above are examples of absolute minimums. For Houdini rule of thumb is at least 10 billion positions, or with Rybka 4.1 is 1 billion nodes (if more moves such as four, greater number is needed preferably at least 10 billion positions per move). In sharp position accurate play is even more important, this includes all subvariations, surprise from opponent is to be avoided!

Oct-19-11  sarah wayne: 11...e6 12.ng5 cb 13.bb2 ne5 14.qh5 bf6 15.nf7 nf7 16.qh7 kf8 bb2 18.kb2 nd7.Looks quite good for black.
Oct-19-11  DrMAL: <sarah wayne> Helps to check computer especially in sharp position, 15.O-O-O! instead of 15.Nxf7 in your line wins.
Oct-19-11  sarah wayne: Your equipment is better than mine.Even mine shows is an improvememt.then 15...bg5 and no clear win only a slight advantage.
Oct-19-11  sarah wayne: My system is indeed showing a win for white.Makes me wish I had Houdini.
Oct-19-11  DrMAL: <sarah> Houdini 1.5a is basically as good as version 2.0 it is world's best engine and available for free, it runs great on Arena also free only mystery (ask if you want answer) is how to change cache but default settings are optimum for general use (from blitz play to deep analysis), just use link below to get it, no one serious about chess should be without, cheers.
Oct-19-11  DrMAL: <sarah wayne: Your equipment is better than mine> Only difference is time to compute. Your line is interesting otherwise, good opening prep requires understanding all reasonably likely variations, and in sharper positions accuracy becomes critically important, including move order.

Quick computation is all that's needed here, 15.O-O-O wins in very straightforward way, here is starting line from computer.

click for larger view

Houdini_20_x64: 24/63 03:52 2,497,168,321
+2.51 15.0-0-0 Bxg5 16.fxg5 Qe7 17.g6 Rg7 18.Rxd6 Nbc6

Yesterday I posted <To best use computer first play game carefully without, I always use real set so visualization is OTB. I start to make notes which I may turn into post if it seems good thing to share. Then its a matter of going back and forth between engine and real set playing out lines. If one wants to really improve this is best way to do at any level.> and in post above today I gave rule of thumb for computation depth, hope this helps and I see more good ideas from you, cheers.

Oct-31-11  qqdos: <DrMal> Naka (as White) going for the jugular with the h-pawn in this game reminds me of Joshua Paul Schmidt vs Nakamura, 2010 where (as Black) he demolished the Orangutan in a devastating sortie up (or is it down?) the h-file! A trifle I know but don't let it deflect you from your own fresh look at the great games - pip, pip!
Nov-11-11  sevenseaman: In the final position Naka's big guns, the Q and a R are prettily placed for defense and simultaneously for attack. Masterly!
Dec-22-11  Whitehat1963: Poor Smirin never got a chance to breathe. His queenside knight and rook never moved.
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