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Alexander Stripunsky vs Hikaru Nakamura
United States Championship (2010), St. Louis, MO USA, rd 1, May-14
French Defense: La Bourdonnais Variation (C00)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
May-14-10  kingsindian2006: 38...Bc2 is a nice find.
May-14-10  hedgeh0g: Does anyone know how to play the position after 7.Nc2? It's fairly unusual and seems difficult for either side to make progress since the pawn structure is likely to be fixed.
May-14-10  bambino3: 39.Re5 gives white winning chances
May-15-10  JonathanJ: ..

39. Re5 Rb1+
40. Qxb1 Bxb1
41. Rxc5+ Bc7
42. Kxb1 Qa3
43. Kb5 Qxd3+
followed by Qxc4

did I overlook something?

May-15-10  Eyal: <JonathanJ: ..

39. Re5 Rb1+
40. Qxb1 Bxb1
41. Rxc5+ Bc7
42. Kxb1 Qa3
43. [R]b5 Qxd3+
followed by Qxc4

did I overlook something?>

Yes, 42.Ba5! I wouldn't go as far as to say White has winning chances, but it should probably be a draw. Stripunsky may have missed winning chances on moves 30-31 with b4! (and the idea of ...cxb4 Qb2); instead, 30.Rf2 & 31.Qd1 were apparently meant to get the knight back into the game via f3, but it was too slow.

May-15-10  Jim Bartle: Was it smart of white to play 28. Bxa5+, opening the a-file with his king on a1?
May-18-10  YouRang: <Jim Bartle: Was it smart of white to play 28. Bxa5+, opening the a-file with his king on a1?>

I think it's safe to say that 28.Bxa5+ wasn't as smart as it looked.

It did seem to create a need for white to play defensively, although I think white was slow to realize this, which explains why he allowed black to blow open the c-file and plant a rook on it by move 33.

After that, white had to be accurate (e.g. find 39.Re5!), and he wasn't up to the difficult task.

Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: There was nothing wrong with 28.Bxa5+ but he shouldn't stop attacking. 30.b4! looks better for White.
May-20-10  kingfu: I think the idea after 7. Nc2 is for white to follow up with d4 making the position like the Steinitz variation. But, by Nakamura playing 7...d4, the white position becomes cramped. French players love cramps!
Jun-08-10  mrriddler: <bambino3>, <JonathanJ>, <Eyal> or anyone really, could someone elaborate a bit after the 39. Re5 through 43. Kb5 Qxd3+ sequence.

I can't see how white has anything more than a "remote chance" at a draw much less = or even . His knight's still out, his only play is the passed a-pawn, which is all the way back on a2. Black's got a much better advanced pawn on d4 and that centralized Black queen has GOT to be able to infiltrate somewhere.

Jun-08-10  mrriddler: Whoops, I just saw your correction, Eyal. :P Thanks for that! 42.Ba5! works like a charm.

42.Ba5, Kd7 43. Rxc7+, Ke8 44. Rb2! and White gets a perpetual with double rooks on the seventh. What a counterattack!

Jun-10-10  JonathanJ: a late thank you to <eyal> ;)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Oginschile: Zugzwang, it's not just a scrabble killer!
Jun-25-11  DrMAL: Black gets tempo out of the opening but gives it back in changing strategy. The pawn on a5 is lost to open the a-file in a dubious attack. Then white rearranges his heavy pieces awkwardly and tries to exchange bishops with 39.Bxa5 apparently misjudging his back rank (39.Re5 was necessary to liquidate and almost surely draw). Naka plays the rest accurately, after rook exchange black will grab a few pawns with winning endgame.

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