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Sergey Karjakin vs Hikaru Nakamura
Norway Chess (2013), Hidle NOR, rd 7, May-15
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B94)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 11 OF 11 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-15-13  Ulhumbrus: 58 Qc6+ forks the king and b5 pawn
Premium Chessgames Member
  NM JRousselle: No, he's gonna have 3 after Qd3 and cb.
May-15-13  Ulhumbrus: 59...Ke4 60 Qd3+ followed by 61 cxb5 and White has a queen and three passed pawns for a rook and knight. Nakamura may resign soon.
May-15-13  Pedro Fernandez: It is enough Naka.
May-15-13  SCUBA diver: R-d5 does not work because of c3.
May-15-13  Eyal: Btw, the reason for finally playing c4 on move 56 was apparently that by this stage it's indeed no longer a sac: 56...bxc4 57.Qh3+ Kf4 58.Qf1+ getting the pawn back.
May-15-13  Robed.Bishop: White has gotten the Houdini eval back over 5 to 8.49.
May-15-13  DcGentle: Black resigned.
May-15-13  Pedro Fernandez: Now the tournament becomes quite interesting, and Anand also won.
Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: Maybe Naka was thinking about waiting another move. 59 ... Ke4 and if not 60 cxb5 then 1-0, but finally decided it would be rather disrespectful
Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: Thanks <CG> a fascinating game, if rather drawn out at the end. Well done Karja!
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Calling the conclusion 'drawn out' displays more than a trace of British understatement.
May-15-13  Tiggler: Naka thought for a long time before resigning. He realized it was the strongest move.
May-15-13  dumbgai: Interesting, Karjakin said in the interview that he thought he got a worse position out of the opening and was trying to equalize. He didn't think he was better until 22...Ne5 which allows him to hold onto his extra pawn.
May-16-13  Ulhumbrus: Instead of 20...Bxc3 which concedes the dragon bishop, 20...Rxc3 may be better. In either event Whiute's queen side gets wrecked but White manages to defend against Black's rook better than he may be able to against the dragon bishop on the long diagonal. On 20..Rxc3 21 bxc3 Qc7 White can obstruct Black's bishop by 22 Nd4 but that also makes Black's d6 pawn safer.
May-16-13  haydn20: A poster on chessbomb labelled this line the "Dragondorf". Given that Black was never in this game, it may have little future.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Or the "Dragon Nakdorf"
May-16-13  JPi: I should read all the posts here but inspired by <Ulhumbrus> last comment I'm asking myself why Black didn't take the pawn on move 22. ...Rxc3. Black has not be afraid of 23.gxf7+ Rxf7 24.Qg4+ Rg7 Else 23.Rd3 or Re3 23...Ne5 for a more effective 24...Nc4. May I miss something? (If I do, I'm pretty sure our friend <Eyal> will come with a line of his chess program subtlely commented :( )
May-17-13  Alpinemaster: 26. Rd4 h5!? - (Nakamura further deploys his vital Kingsode resources opening his King to assault. White simply improves and positions for the lasting initiative; Nakamura is being outplayed in a simple matter of middlegame technique) 27. Qe4 b5 - (White applies firm pressure to the newly exposed backwards pawn at g6 while Black reaches for too little, too late) 28. Red1 Rc7 - (Nakamura now employs accurate defense, noting that Nimzovich's Law of Rook's on the opponent's 7th Rank of play would strike him in the heart, he attempts to prempt this attack; however, the inherant initiative and strength of Karjakin's position will prove enough to overwhelm the Former player's most accurate wishes) 29. Nc5! Rxc5?? - ( It doesn't take a Grandmaster to understand that above assessment makes this obvious sacrifice even more clear to reject: perhaps 29...Nb6! 30. Nxa6 Nd5!! is most promising, in view of 31. Nxc7 Nxc3 with a counter-fork to regain the exchange with some open play against White's Q-Side fortifications of the White King) 30. Rd7 Rc7 - (And White begins to tighten his Python-esk grip and Black feels the last breaths fleet from his Lungs... slowly) 31. Rxf7 Kxf7 - (Naturally)
32. g4! hxg4 -( Further exposing the Black King and eradicating any integrity left in the K-side Pawn Structure Black has so deftly assisted in demolishing) 33. Rh1 Kg7 - (Of course, the h-file outweighs the importance of the silly g4 pawn tenfold) 34. Qg2 Rh8? - (Extinguishing Black's Rook simply expedites the spanking; however, the h-file may have been a huge asset for White so the weak defense may actually have been quite compelling to the tired and frutrated American) 35. Rxh8 Kxh8 - (Following the above logic)
36. Qxg4 Rh7 - (Wisely eliminating any Kingside counter play hinged on queening the advanced g-pawn) 37. Qd1 Rf7 - (The Queen deploys to the open d-file, the Rook resigns itself to a defensive posture; strategicly the implications are disasterous for Black) 38. Qd4 Kg8 - (Like the Python's victim, Nakamura will find no quick and painless demise from this predator) 39. Kd1 g5 - (Probably eliciting no more than a sliver of imagination from either player, this position is of a concrete nature: victory lies merely in endgame technique, a commodity in great supply at the near-2800 level) 40. fxg5 Kg6 - (Naturally)
41. Qh4 Nxe5 - (Probably not as good as 41...Rh7 fighting on for the h-file and not rolling over to the attack, but all moves are bad here for the American) 42. Qh3 Kxg5 - (Opening these files benefits the First player only. Pawns are immaterial here) 43. Qxe6 Rf5 - (Though White's pieces huddle for safety, the clamshell will be pryed open deftly) 44. Qxa6 Nc4 - (Like leg kicks in Muai Tai, White batters Blacks last energy away slowly but surely) 45. Ke2 Re5+ - (Naturally)
46. Kf2 Ne3 - (Bringing White's King into the game as a weapon) 47. Qa7 Ng4+
48. Kf3 Rf5+ - (The King creeps into the frey and Black's desparate attempts only result in a tighter grip over the diaphragm) 49. Ke2 Re5+
50. Kd2 Rd5
51. Kc1 Ke4 - (Deciding with no threats left to parry on the Kingside, securing the decisive advantage on the open Queenside is the simplest course of action) 52. Qf7+ Ke4 - (And the clamshell spreads)
53. Qh7 Kf4 - (The Queen's superior mobility is showcased by Karjakin) 54. Qh4 Re5 - (White prevents Black's pieces from harmonizing) 55. Kb2 Kf3 - (Further getting momentum in White's favor based on King activity in proximity to the Queening pawns) 56. c4 Ne3 - (Manipulating Nakamura into the final rear-naked triangle choke required fine precision, indeed, by the First player) 57. Qf6 Ke4 - (The King is awkwardly placed between his men) 58. Qc6 Kd4 - (Nakamura is fatally behind in the timing of this complicated dance) 59. Qd6 1/0 - (The American hero decides after 59...Ke4 60. Qd3+ Kf4 61. cxb4 the air has finally left his lungs entirely as the pawn cannot be regained by the Rook and Whites Queenside rush is imminant).

It is clear that this contest was decided by Karjakin playing true to Tournament form while on Carlsen's home turf. While in all liklihood the superior intellect, Nakamura received a growing-up experience at the hands of the one-time boy wonder from Europe. Alas, one must play Grandmaster all the time if to compete with them; and Grandmasters do not question the judgement of their Great Predecesors, most notably Bobby Fischer. Welcome back to school, Nakamura. Hopefully next time around our Champion will listen to the first great International American Chess Player of the 20th Century - the lesson we all should take from this educational exhibit of the ailing and refuted Sicilian Dragon.



May-17-13  Alpinemaster: Hello again Ladies and Gentlemen,

Looking at this game from Nakamura's perspective, he was indeed taking a gamble; taking into account that Nakamura, like any American GM with whimsical WC hopes, envisions himself like the great Bobby Fischer... yet as of move 7, he deploys the very line Fischer denounced as defeated after "Sac, Sac and Mate", the Sicilian Dragon.

Moving on with annotation, I digress:
8. 0-0-0 Bg7 - (Immediately signaling the opposite wing castling mayhem to ensue) 9. f4 Qa5 10.g3 h6!? - (Nakamura's first moment of strategic weakness; he impulsively drives the not-particularly-fatal Bishop at the cost of the integrity of his K-Side) 11. Bxf6 Nxf6 - (The Bishop-Pair belongs to Black, which in the Dragon is a serious "minor advantage"; however, the activity of White's fluid K-Side Pawns will soon prove an initive worth the First player's faith) 12. Bg2 Bg4 - (Probably more active play for Nakamura, but nonetheless a further Strategic misstep. Maintaining the Bishop-Pair with 12...e5! is correct, followed with 13. Nb3 Qc7 14. h4 b5 staying in the race) 13. Bf3 Bxf3 - (Relinquishing the Black Bishop Pair) 14. Qxf3 0-0!? - (Again, Nakamura plays as if in a must-win situation. Shockingly, perhaps the safest option at our American heroe's disposal was 14...0-0-0!! followed soon by Kb8 with a solid, same wing castled position where the 10th move 10. g3 h6!? looks poorly placed for White now, in a critical turn of events) 15. Rhe1 Nd7 - (Questionable play from both Scholars; 15. h4 b5 still makes sense for both parties) 16. Nb3 Qc7 - (This was bound to happen at the First player's liesure) 17. Nd5 Qd8 - (A logical advantage almost always granted to White in the Dragon when Black fails to prevent it) 18. h4 Rc8!? - (Almost every engine shows disdain for Black's ill-concieved Counter on the 18th move: as stated for many moves, 18. h4 was accurately answered only by 18...b5, staying in the race) 19. h5 e6 -(It is at that this key juncture this position is evaluated at , as Black is simply not making headway in his assault on the White Q-Side fortifications of the White King. White, true to theoretical form, lets nothing impede his cause: an all-out Blitzkrieg on the K-Side Black fortifications) 20. Nc3 Bxc3 - (Nakamura should know better: leaving his K-side without its Champion, the Dragon Bishop, is pure folly) 21. bxc3 Qf6 - (It seems the American Grandmaster is operating under the assumption that he can simultaniously secure the now loose dark squares around his Grand Marshal and achieve counter-play on the White King; the falsity in this assumption will become evident shortly) 22. hxg6 fxg6 - (Further laying waste to the lifeblood fortifications of the Black Kingside and granting Black no clear counter play via the F-file) 23. Rxd6 Ne5! - (Actually, despite losing the pawn, this creative defense by Black seriously improves the activity of his Knight with Tactical initiative) 24. Qh1 Nc4 - (Correct play by both sides) 25. e5 Qf7 - (Natural play continues)

May-17-13  ChessYouGood: Can we set a stricter word limit on these posts?
May-17-13  Eyal: <JPi: I'm asking myself why Black didn't take the pawn on move 22. ...Rxc3. Black has not be afraid of 23.gxf7+ Rxf7 24.Qg4+ Rg7 Else 23.Rd3 or Re3 23...Ne5 for a more effective 24...Nc4. May I miss something?>

No, this is actually true:-) Our <frogbert> mentions in his round report ( the lines 23. gxf7+ Rxf7 24. Qf2 Rc6 & 23. Qg4 Qxg6 24. Qxg6+ fxg6 25. Rxd6 Rf7 26. Rg1 Nf8 as apparently sufficient for Black to hold. Even in the next move it was probably still better to play 23...Rxc3, e.g. 24.Qg4 h5! 25.Qh3 Qf7 26.Red1 Nf6 27.Rxe6 Rfc8 or 24.e5 Rxf3 25.exf6 Nxf6 26.Rexe6 Kg7. But 23...Ne5? seems to be losing by force.

May-17-13  JPi: Thanks again <Eyal> (Yes I know... I should work myself with a chess program instead asking to others). <frogbert> did a remarkable report. Strange enough at this latitude, the beautiful garden has a Japanese look.
May-17-13  Ulhumbrus: One justification for 9...Qc7 instead of 9...Qa5 is that after 9...Qa5 10 g3 b5 11 Nc6 Qb6 does not work because of 12 e5! Qxc6 13 Bg2 (skewering Black's queen and rook) 13...Qb6 14 Bxa8
Mar-07-14  RedShield: <The game left some mixed feelings. In the opening I played innocently and after 14...0-0 Black got as minimum a comfortable equality. I can't really explain some of Nakamura's further actions though. In any case after 20.Nc3 I already had a feeling that I was out of danger. The move 23...Ne5? was certainly the course of all his problems. It seems like Black should be able to equalize by the simple 23...Rхc3. In the game Hikaru was just a pawn down in, apparently, worse position.>

This reminded me of a quote attributed to Alekhine: <Reti is the only grandmaster whose moves are often completely unexpected to me.>

Does anyone know the source of this quote?

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