Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing
Ruslan Ponomariov vs Hikaru Nakamura
"Nak Down Drag Out" (game of the day Jan-23-2014)
Nakamura - Ponomariov Match (2011), St Louis, MO USA, rd 1, May-17
King's Indian Defense: Orthodox Variation. Classical System Neo-Classsical Line (E99)  ·  1-0



explore this opening
find similar games 22 more Ponomariov/Nakamura games
PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: As you play through the game, you can get the FEN code for any position by right-clicking on the board and choosing "Copy Position (EPD)". Copy and paste the FEN into a post to display a diagram.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-21-11  DAVI DE RAFE: pono naka-ne aanem kuthirem kali padippichu
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I never learnt how to win with B and knight - I learnt all the other mates except that one!
Premium Chessgames Member
  juan31: Super tecnica del Maestro Ruslan Ponomariov eso demuestra su Maestria en el ajedrez
Premium Chessgames Member
  NM JRousselle: Was Nakamura unaware that it is possible to force mate with B and Kt? What else could explain his continued play in a dead lost position?
May-27-11  chessicle: This is such a difficult checkmate!
May-27-11  shalgo: <Was Nakamura unaware that it is possible to force mate with B and Kt? What else could explain his continued play in a dead lost position?>

It is normal for even elite players to make their opponent demonstrate that they know the mating pattern. See, for example:

Navara vs I Saric, 2011

B Finegold vs Shabalov, 2011

Ivanchuk vs Morozevich, 2011

E Alekseev vs I Cheparinov, 2009

Jan-23-14  PaulLovric: <NM JRousselle: Was Nakamura unaware that it is possible to force mate with B and Kt? What else could explain his continued play in a dead lost position?> Last time I checked he was a Super Grand Master, rated 3rd in the Universe:
Jan-23-14  morfishine: Going on the premise that everything has an explanation, Nakamura must've been trying to draw under the rule that if only one side has enough material to mate, its a draw if that side fails to mate in 50 moves. Thus, when Nakamura's last pawn fell 80.Kxb4, White had until move 130 to mate

I guess


Jan-23-14  SirRuthless: *Insert generic snarky comment here*
Jan-23-14  Howard: I recall back around 1992 where a certain unidentified GM was mentioned in "Chess Life" as having failed to mate with a B and N, vs K. Botvinnik reportedly said that this player should have been stripped of his GM title. Sounds a bit harsh to me.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Howard> IIRC, it was Dragoljub Janosevic. There are some strong players, including a few GMs (notably Epishin and Women's World Champion Anna Ushenina) who have failed to win the ending. See Endgame Explorer: BN vs K. But I personally witnessed the young Alberto A Artidiello, then about 16, win this ending in a tournament game.
Jan-23-14  devere: <Howard: I recall back around 1992 where a certain unidentified GM was mentioned in "Chess Life" as having failed to mate with a B and N, vs K. Botvinnik reportedly said that this player should have been stripped of his GM title. Sounds a bit harsh to me.>

Bottvinnik was used to playing with real grandmasters, not the current inflated variety.

FIDE first awarded the Grandmaster title in 1950 to 27 players.

In 1972, there were 88 GMs, with 33 representing the USSR.

As of 25 December 2013, FIDE lists 1441 living Grandmasters. Some of them may have trouble with basic checkmating techniques.

Premium Chessgames Member
  mjmorri: I reached this ending only once (on ICC). My opponent sacrificed his last piece (a Rook) for my last pawn, and then offered a draw. I am not a very strong player, but I learned this ending long ago out of curiosity. He continued playing until one move from mate and then rudely disconnected. Once the king is trapped in the "wrong" corner there are actually very few variations to remember.
Jan-23-14  kevin86: Am I missing something or is there a long tough fight to checkmate at the end of this one?
Premium Chessgames Member
  mjmorri: Here is one line:
94 Kc6 Ka7
95 Kc7 Ka6
96 Be8 Ka7
97 Bb5 Ka8
98 Nd6 Ka7
99 Nc8+ Ka8
100 Bc6#
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: I've only had this ending once. It was on FICS, a 15-minute game with a 5-second per move increment as I recall. He was considerably lower-rated than I, but the game didn't go too well and I ended up on the wrong side of this ending. We played it out for 30-something moves, with him getting nowhere, then he offered a draw.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: It's clear to me that Nakamura was simply playing the only cards he had left, hoping that fatigue and a sudden death time control would be enough to cloud Ponomariov's mind. The mate is not thoughtlessly trivial, after all, and a couple of inaccuracies can quickly bring the 50-move rule into play.

You don't get a Super-GM rating without being willing and able to exploit every resource available, both on and off the board. No doubt Nakamura was satisfied that Ponomariov knew what he was doing and wasn't going to blunder. The mate is easy in the final position. One line, which is probably inefficient: <93...Ka6 94.Kc6 Ka7 95.Kc7 Ka6 96.Ba4 Ka7 97.Bb5 Ka8 98.Kb6 Kb8 99.Bd7 Ka8 100.Nc5 Kb8 101.Na6+ Ka8 102.Bc6#>

There are instances where strong GMs did not know some "beginner" facts, such as the intricacies of castling. See the kibitzing to these games: Averbakh vs Purdy, 1960 and Korchnoi vs Karpov, 1974.

However, I would be almost positive that Nakamura knows how to mate with B+N. If you dug deeply enough into his countless blitz games, you'd probably find an example where he did it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <FSR>: The latter of my two hundred-move games with John A Curdo was such an ending.

There was a well-known New Hampshire player present who scoffed at my forcing John to play it out, but I laughed at him and carried on. Went down in the end, though.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <perfidious> No harm in trying. You might have lucked into someone who never bothered to study it, figuring that (s)he would never have it. (Indeed, that's the course that Silman advocates, on the theory that studying rook endings and such will net you a lot more points.) Just ask Epishin and Ushenina (or their happy opponents). This game was important in deciding the World Junior Championship: Shaked vs Morozevich, 1997. Shaked won the game and the Championship, but Morozevich has gone a little farther in chess.
Jan-23-14  ChessYouGood: Two explanations for Nakamura not resigning: (1) insolence; (2) not understanding basic end game theory. Either way, this game is a clear example of why Nakamura is so unpopular and uninspiring.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <ChessYouGood> See <shalgo>'s kibitz above.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <ChessNoGood> I would bet heavily that Nakamura: knows that B+N v. K is a win, could easily demonstrate the win himself (Christiansen can blitz it out in under 30 seconds), and figured there was a ~99% chance that Ponomariov would win it. As <shalgo> has documented, even elite players commonly play it out. As I've documented, even GMs occasionally blow it, so that is a reasonable course. The superior side only wins 89% of the time, Endgame Explorer: BN vs K, although of course that number will be higher for 2700+ players.
Jan-23-14  ChessYouGood: That appears to be the long way of saying option (1) applies.
Jan-30-14  kevin86: Classic bishop and knight mate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: ¬¬
"Only a fool
Breaks the 50-move rule."
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.
  8. Do not degrade Chessgames or any of it's staff/volunteers.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.

NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific game only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

This game is type: CLASSICAL. Please report incorrect or missing information by submitting a correction slip to help us improve the quality of our content.

Featured in the Following Game Collections[what is this?]
+1 -2 =3 [+0 -2 =2] vs. Nakamura (St.Louis)
from Match Ponomariov! by amadeus
+2 -1 =3 [+2 -0 =2] vs. Ponomariov (St. Louis Match)
from Match Nakamura! by amadeus
from JonathanJ's favorite games 4 by JonathanJ
January 23: Nak Down Drag Out
from Game of the Day 2014 by Phony Benoni
bishop knight ending
from Gambit86's favorite games (3) by Gambit86
+2 -1 =3 [+2 -0 =2] vs. Ponomariov (St. Louis Match)
from Match Nakamura! by docjan
+1 -2 =3 [+0 -2 =2] vs. Nakamura (St.Louis)
from Match Ponomariov! by docjan
0ZeR0's Favorite Games Volume 84
by 0ZeR0

Home | About | Login | Logout | F.A.Q. | Profile | Preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | New Kibitzing | Chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | Privacy Notice | Contact Us

Copyright 2001-2023, Chessgames Services LLC