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Magnus Carlsen vs Hikaru Nakamura
"Nak Off" (game of the day Jul-18-2019)
GCT Croatia (2019), Zagreb CRO, rd 6, Jul-01
Queen's Gambit Declined: Harrwitz Attack. Main Line (D37)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-01-19  Dave12: I don't fully understand what happened here.
It seems that Naka planned a very nice tactical sequence with 17..Nd4 but failed to see the move 24.Bxg7.
Jul-01-19  Eyal: <It seems that Naka planned a very nice tactical sequence with 17..Nd4 but failed to see the move 24.Bxg7.>

According to what Carlsen told Maurice Ashley in the post-game interview (based on a short conversation the players had after the game), what Nakamura missed when he played 21...Rec8?? was the possibility of 22...Bxb3 23.Nd5! with an attack on both black bishops; after 22.Qb2! Black was completely busted in any case.

According to engine analysis, 17...Nd4 wasn't such a great idea for Black in the first place because down the forcing line that follows 21.Qe2! should give White a significant advantage. Instead, after Carlsen's 21.Rd3, 21...Bf6! more or less equalizes (though the position remains complicated) - but Rec8, as mentioned, was a losing blunder.

Jul-01-19  JustAnotherMaster: DAMN!
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: < Eyal: ... - but Rec8, as mentioned, was a losing blunder.>

It's difficult to foresee that it loses. Obviously, since a world-class GM didn't see it.

But it does leave Black's dark-square bishop unprotected, and "LPDO" - loose pieces drop off.

No matter what, this was a fun fun fun game to play through!

Jul-01-19  parmetd: It might be time for Naka to hang up the QGD.
Jul-02-19  csmath: Having a dozen pieces all in the tactics is really hard to see all and control all. One really has to be very, very concentrated. This position after 22 moves looks like a good homework to study, it is one awful mess on the board.
Jul-02-19  patzer2: Instead of 17...Nd4? 18. Bxd4! +- (+0.83 @ 25 ply, Stockfish 9) with a strong White initiative, 17...Qc7 = (+0.08 @ 31 ply, Stockfish 9) appears to equalize.
Jul-02-19  patzer2: <Eyal> is correct! Instead of 21...Rec8? 22. Qb2 ± (+1.19 @ 33 ply, Stockfish 9 analysis of move 22...?) with a strong White advantage, 21...Bf6! = (+0.07 @ 31 ply, Stockfish 9 analysis of move 21...?) equalizes.
Jul-02-19  beenthere240: I fail to see that 17...Nd4 is a blunder. Against most players (and many GMs) it might very well win. The opportunity to play 17...Qe7 is not what draws people to chess.
Jul-02-19  patzer2: <beenthere240> I'd say 17...Nd4? 18. Bxd4! ± is a mistake, but not a blunder like 17...a6?? 18. Qb3 +-.

The reason 17...Nd4? is a mistake, albeit a high level mistake for a Super GM attempting to win or draw against Carlsen, is White gains a significant advantage after 18. Bxd4! Rxc4 19. Bxe5 Ba4 20. b3 Nxe4 21. Qe2! ± (+1.20 @ 18 ply, Stockfish 9 analysis of move 21...?).

In the actual game, Carlsen let Nakamura off the hook with 21. Rd3? which allows 21...Bf6 =.

Nakamura's likely decisive mistake, as noted by <Eyal>, was playing 21...Rec8? (instead of 21...Bf6! =) which allows 22. Qb2! ± (+1.19 @ 33 ply, Stockfish 9 analysis of move 22...?).

Jul-02-19  Ulhumbrus: If the advance 16 e4 counts as a threat one alternative to 15...Rac8 is 15...Rfd8 so that on 16 e4 Be8 clears d7 for the N on f6 without disconnecting the rooks
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: 30.Nd5

click for larger view

You can just hear the knight thinking, OMG, e7, the Valhalla of squares if I can make it...

Jul-18-19  Pyrandus: Buona sera.
"Harrwitz Attack"?
Jul-19-19  Ironmanth: Super intense game! Thanks, chessgames.
Jul-26-19  cormier: 17... Nd4? 17...Qc7 18.Qb3 Nd8 19.Nd5 Qxc4 20.Nxf6+ Bxf6 21.Qxc4 = +0.08 (31 ply) 18. Bd4 + / = +0.90 (33 ply)
Jul-26-19  cormier: ..... done
Feb-02-20  sakredkow: <Pyrandus: Buona sera.
"Harrwitz Attack"?>

This opening also comes about via the Nimzo, 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 c5 5. dxc5 O-O 6. a3 Bxc5 7. Nf3 Nc6 8. Bf4 d5 9. e3, as in G A Thomas vs Marshall, 1927

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