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Hikaru Nakamura vs Peter Svidler
Tal Memorial (2011), Moscow RUS, rd 3, Nov-18
Gruenfeld Defense: Exchange. Classical Variation (D86)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-18-11  Marmot PFL: Nakamura must have thought 20 Qb4 and 22 Ne4 won material (and it does) but Svidler saw much farther. fascinating how the tactics favor black whatever white does.
Nov-18-11  Jambow: On a more general note Svidler always ends up with greater scope of his pieces vs Nakamura by way of there advanced position. This is a common theme in their games and Svidler always uses it to it's full effect and to Nakamura's detriment.

Take note Nakamura a kink in the armour.

Nice play by Peter BTW a well deserved win.

Nov-18-11  Shams: 30...Bxa2 was well calculated.
Nov-18-11  GilesFarnaby: If 13.Bf4 Nakamura would have followed Seirawan - Ftanick (1989), which continued with ...Qc8 and black lost. This line was, also, played some years ago (2007) by Rowson - Mogranzini, where the latter responded with ...e5, and black lost as well.

Nonetheless, Svidler (possibly, the biggest expert on the black side of the Grünfeld ever), didn't seem to have any worries while drifting into the position: it looks quite fine for him -even if c3 cannot be attacked as aggresively as in other lines-, with a pristine pawn structure and two good Bs.

One interesting line that may come out is with 13.Bf4 e5 Bg3, with a tiny grip for white and a lot of central tension, yet white's LSB will remain not-so-helpful, and the N in e2 will, fort he moment, only entertain defensive purposes, so it might end up being too passive for a professional game.

Anyway, disregarding Nakamura's optically daring but practically futile opening, game could have been saved with 28.Rf4, coming up to this ending (or a similar one):

click for larger view

And how many more Grünfeld wins does Svidler need in order for their opponents to stop trying that opening against him, I don't really know.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: Well, Anand, Kramnik, Ponomariov, Caruana, Morozevich and finally Ivanchuk here have defeated Svidler's Grunfeld since 2009. Maybe they will still play against it.
Nov-18-11  wordfunph: i like Naka's comment after his devastating defeat :)

"Thought I was completely winning and Svidler defended correctly...oh well, at least it is Friday night and the girls are out in Moscow!"

- GM Hikaru Nakamura

go Naka!!!

Nov-18-11  GilesFarnaby: <Everett: Well, Anand, Kramnik, Ponomariov, Caruana, Morozevich and finally Ivanchuk here have defeated Svidler's Grunfeld since 2009. Maybe they will still play against it.>

Oops, yes, you are right: I should have specified "Classical Grünfeld" (D85 and alike), since Anand, Morozevich and Ivanchuk defeated Svidler in offbeat lines (e.g. Vassily's Qa3 some days ago)

Ponomariov's game was surely a 1-0, but in a blitz game.

However, Kramnik's and Caruana's remain genuine examples that, somehow, Svidler's (classical!) Grünfeld is beatable, and we can even count in the "recent" Topalov Rb5 game (in Pearl Springs I think it was), but, again, few people have Topalov's record against the Grünfeld with white, specially back again when the Bulgarian still was a GM.

On top of that, my point hopefully remains that Svidler has grabbed more points in the Grünfeld than a psychopath playing Carmaggedon.

Nov-19-11  AnalyzeThis: Think the bishop on c5 pinned enough of white's pieces?
Nov-22-11  sicilianhugefun: So far nakamura remains Svidler's good customer, quite a loyalty.. Lol
Dec-03-11  tal7: Nakamura must win this game.

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