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Levon Aronian vs Hikaru Nakamura
Tata Steel Masters (2014), Amsterdam NED, rd 4, Jan-15
King's Indian Defense: Orthodox Variation. Gligoric-Taimanov System (E92)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-16-14  KingchecksQueen: Hikaru is having difficulty against Lev in their encounters. Kryptonite.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Whenever Carlsen and Aronian see Naka across the board, they see this:

Jan-16-14  Ulhumbrus: An alternative to 7...Ng4 is 7...Nc6 8 0-0 Re8 as in Larsen vs Fischer, 1967 or else 7...Re8 at once.
Jan-16-14  AuN1: I thought I had read earlier that nakamura was becoming more humble and respectful. His lame twitter comment just sounds bitter and unwilling to give his opponent proper credit.
Jan-16-14  SirRuthless: <AuN1>The guy is just venting like we all do after a tough loss.

"Aronian played a good game and outplayed me. Better luck next time hopefully..." All of that goes without saying.

Makes more sense to give real lines/moves/thoughts about the course of the game like in any post mortem. Not sure how a reasonable person can interpret that as rude especially when just the previous round he said he should have lost and was lucky to draw.

Jan-16-14  schweigzwang: <AuN1> Let's hear your suggestion for what he should have said. Maybe he's paying attention here.
Premium Chessgames Member
  SteinitzLives: It looks like Nakamura is trying to improve on Smirin's 18 . . . . Bd7 played against Onischuk, preserving the Bishop which Naka jettisons with 18 . . . . Be6. Still this game was hardly lost in the opening, but I like Smirin's 18th move better than Naka's initiative dropping Be6. I am not using an engine since players don't use them while playing. Would like to know if either of the two players commented on move 18.
Jan-16-14  Jambow: "Aronian played a good game and outplayed me" If that is rude and disrespectful to you, you need to toughen up a bit, seriously how is that offensive. Maybe he could have said there never is any chance for me I don't belong here my liege?
Jan-16-14  SirRuthless: <Jambow> No, Hikaru didn't say that, what he said was THIS:

Hikaru Nakamura ‏@GMHikaru Jan 15

Spend 50 minutes looking for the best losing line. Then Aronian doesn't go 34.Nxb7, but I return the favor immediately by going Bd2 not Bc1. Expand

I(probably wrongly) used the quotes to illustrate that saying what should have been obvious does no favors to anyone.

At least with his tweet he was able to give us some insight to his thoughts on the actual game itself, not some platitude or empty compliment/cliche

Jan-16-14  SirRuthless: <SteinitzLives> Great insight, thanks for that. Yes it seems any of the KID piss and vinegar was lost around that time when as you said Hikaru bailed out and eagerly tried to get to an endgame. Aronian was more than willing to oblige.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Naka acknowledged that his great opponent outplayed him-don't see any problem with this.
Jan-17-14  SChesshevsky: <SteinitzLives: It looks like Nakamura is trying to improve on Smirin's 18 . . . . Bd7 played against Onischuk, preserving the Bishop which Naka jettisons with 18 . . . . Be6.>

Does...Bd7 allow White to double Rooks on the d-file? I haven't calculated it out but it appears possible and might be a worry for Black.

Jan-17-14  SirRuthless: I would think that if white attempted to play Rd2 after ...Bd7, black would have a b5 break coming gaining space, forcing white to move and perhaps gaining the edge.White's queenside would be collapsing shortly thereafter. Seems aronian was trying to tie black up as much as possible from the word go. Allowing such expansion while at the same time having to retreat the minor pieces on the queenside cant be good. Maybe I am wrong though.
Jan-17-14  semivalue: Very Carlsen-ish...
Premium Chessgames Member
  SteinitzLives: Ran it thru an engine at a 19 ply search. 18 . . . . Bd7 seems best and gives =. 19. Bd5 is given which seems to ignore any immediate attempt to double rooks on d file, and assumes out-posted Bishop for white is worth more. 19 . . . .Rac8 20. f3 b5 21. Bf2 =

After Nakas 18 . . . . Be6 19. Bxe6 Nxe6 20. f3 but now Nd4 for black ignoring the white f pawn leaves white up .6

It just seems that in this KID line white gets so much more of what white traditionally wants in a KID with Q side space. Naka only locks up the K side at best and the hideous knight on h6 is a far far cry from the black N trouble maker often seen on h5. By taking the f3 pawn on move 20 perhaps Naka was trying to get what is black' traditional goal in the KID (an open or usable f file), but just not gonna happen with the current piece placement. I know that the 7 . . . . Ng4 is popular and has it's followers, but I have never seen it as all that great for black.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: < "Once again Levon Aronian managed to defeat one of his main rivals. The World Number Two clashed with Hikaru Nakamura in a sharp set-up of the King’s Indian Defense. It looked as if the storm would subside after the exchange of the heavy pieces, Nakamura even offered a draw, but the resulting ending looked promising for the Armenian. Aronian: 'I’m not risking anything. It’s a pleasant position to play.' The American defended admirably but disaster struck when he played 40. …Kd7? (see diagram) After 41.Ng7 h4 42.Nf5 Be1 43.Ne3 Ke6 44.Nc4 Nakamura didn’t wait for the top seed to round up the a-pawn and resigned." >

click for larger view

< "...Nakamura even offered a draw, but the resulting ending looked promising for the Armenian." >

Not accepting a draw, hmm. Sounds like something Carlsen would do.

Jan-17-14  galdur: Excellent positional play. He makes it seem simple. It comes from the soviet school.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <nariga: Couldn't black continue with 44. ..Kf7 45.Nxa5 Kg6 attacking the white pawns with the aim of getting a passed pawn on the h-file? The black B will be sacrificed when white moves his pawn to a5/a7.>

After <44. ..Kf7 45.Nxa5 Kg6>, 46. Nc6! with the idea 47. Nb4 Blocking the Bishop's access to the passed a-pawn should win.

Jan-18-14  SChesshevsky: <SirRuthless: I would think that if white attempted to play Rd2....>

I was thinking that the White B doesn't look good on d5 which probably is most natural though. Maybe on ...b5 or ...Rac8 White plays after 18...Bd7 19. Rd2 ... 20. Bb3 still double covering d5 but leaving it open for the N.

Black can obviously take the B with the N making White's Qside pawns weak but I think the compensation is a bad exchange for Black losing the well posted N and I believe allowing the rooks to be doubled as Black needs the tempo to move the B on d7.

If Black moves the B first it allows Nd5 which I think is still good for White.

I don't have a computer program but I'm guessing it would probably go something like ...b5 and rush the a-pawn at the Bishop on b3 and that may be quick enough to blow up a doubled rooks or getting play from the d5N plan but it would seem Black would have to feel really good about their computation OTB before that kind of attack.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: It's fascinating how this endgame play is actually disastrous for both sides when put under the scrutiny of an engine.

[Event "Tata Steel"]
[Site "Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam NED"]
[Date "2014.01.15"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Levon Aronian"]
[Black "Hikaru Nakamura"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E92"]
[WhiteElo "2812"]
[BlackElo "2789"]
[PlyCount "87"]
[EventDate "2014.01.11"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. c4 Bg7 4. Nc3 d6 5. e4 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. Be3 Ng4 8. Bg5 f6 9. Bh4 g5 10. Bg3 Nh6 11. c5 g4 12. Nh4 Nc6 13. cxd6 cxd6 14. dxe5 dxe5 15. Bc4+ Kh8 16. Qxd8 Rxd8 17. O-O Nd4 18. Rad1 Be6 19. Bxe6 Nxe6 20. f3 gxf3 21. gxf3 Rxd1 22. Rxd1 Rd8 23. Rxd8+ Nxd8 24. Bf2 a6 25. Kf1 Kg8 26. Ke2 Kf7 27. Be3 Ke6 28. Na4 Bf8 29. Bxh6 Bxh6 30. Nc5+ Kf7 31. Kd3 Bf4 32. h3 Bg5 33. Nf5 Ne6 34. Nxe6 (34. Nxb7 Nf4+ 35. Kc4 Nxh3 36. b4 Ng1 37. Nc5 Nxf3 38. Nxa6 Nd4 39. b5) 34... Kxe6 35. Kc4 b6 36. a4 Bd2 37. b3 h5 38. b4 a5 39. bxa5 bxa5 40. Kb5 Kd7 (40... Kf7 41. Nd6+ Kg6 42. Nc4 Be1 43. Nxa5 Kg5 44. Nc6 Kh4) (40... Be1 41. Ne3 Kf7 42. Nc4 Kg6 43. Nxa5 Kg5 44. Nc6 Kh4) 41. Ng7 h4 42. Nf5 Be1 ( 42... Bg5 43. Kxa5) 43. Ne3 Ke6 44. Nc4 1-0

I will do a video about this soon in detail. But take for example:


Maybe this is a move 40 time pressure blunder. But here is a crticial moment when actually Kf7 seems to hold the position:

1: Levon Aronian - Hikaru Nakamura, Tata Steel Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam NED 2014

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4 x64:

1. = (0.20): 40...Be1 41.Kc4 Kf7 42.h4 Bf2 43.Kb5 Be1 44.Kc5 Bb4+ 45.Kc4 Ba3 46.Kb5 Bb4 47.Kb6 Ke6 48.Kc7 Be1 49.Kb6 Kd7 50.Kb5 Ke6 51.Kc6 Bf2 52.Kb5 Be1 53.Kc6 2. = (0.21): 40...Bc3 41.Ne3 Kf7 42.Nd5 Bd2 43.Kc4 Ke6 44.Kc5 Kf7 45.Kd6 Bb4+ 46.Kd7 Bc5 47.Kc6 Bb4 48.Ne3 Kg6 49.h4 Kf7 50.Nf5 Bc3 51.Kd5 Bb4 52.Nd6+ Ke7 53.Nc4 Bc3 54.Ne3 Bb4 55.Nf5+ Kf7 56.Nd6+ 3. = (0.22): 40...Kf7 41.Nd6+ Kg6 42.h4 Be1 43.Nf5 Bb4 44.Kc6 Bd2 45.Kb6 Bb4 46.Kc6 Bd2 4. (1.55): 40...Kd7 41.Ng3 f5 42.exf5 h4 43.Ne4 Be1 44.Nf6+ Ke7 45.Ng4 Kd6 46.Kc4 Bg3 47.Kd3 Ke7 48.Ke4 Kf7 49.Nxe5+ Kf6 50.f4 Be1 51.Ng4+ Kf7 52.Ke3 Ke7 53.Kf3 Bb4 54.Ne3 Bc5 55.Ke4 Kf6 56.Ng4+ Ke7 57.Ne5

(Doe, 27.01.2014)

The idea is to let White win the a5 pawn. In exchange for this Black can march the king and sac the bishop to create a dangerous 'h' pawn which would be difficult for the knight to stop.

Maybe move 40 disasters happen a lot more frequently than we imagine?!

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: This is funny reading the comments here - many of you seem to think the endgame was winning. Not until the move 40 blunder. I challenge anyone to prove otherwise!

Best wishes

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: <nariga> Yes that is my thoughts checking this under engine scrutiny. Black needs to keep hold of h4 as an entry point for his king and seems to be able to hold the position as a result
Jul-24-14  JosuedelCarmen: Nariga, the white kings pawn would already be a queen I believe about three moves before black kings pawn h4 can be a queen.
Jul-24-14  JosuedelCarmen: Never mind Nagira, I didn't read your whole post.
Jul-24-14  JosuedelCarmen: Wouldn't 44. Ng2 be better? There will be a free pawn by king or knight.
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