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Hikaru Nakamura vs Fabiano Caruana
FIDE Candidates (2022), Madrid ESP, rd 8, Jun-26
Spanish Game: Open. Dilworth Variation (C82)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Move 36: 35 minutes to 7 minutes.
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Commentators speculate that Caruana hadn't seen 27. h4.

White looks really strong with his knight on h1 dominating the board.

Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Chessbomb gives a big advantage to Nakamura after 38...h5.
Jun-26-22  Z free or die: Is this a <CG> live game not advertised as such?
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Yes.....
Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: Let's call it semi-live. You'll have to refresh the page once in a while yourself.
Jun-26-22  Z free or die: Thanks <saff>, and especially <stone> (who I suspect is entering the moves).
Jun-26-22  Z free or die: After 42...h3 have we reached a super-critical point in the game for Naka to keep advantage?


Jun-26-22  Z free or die: Nak finds 43.Ra2 (this looks very hard to convert to a win, despite engine eval. To me anyways.)
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Computer says Nakamura messed up with 60. Kf4.
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: What an agonizing win. "Nakamura had to win it three times just in the endgame," according to the Hess/Rensch commentary.
Jun-26-22  HaydenB: Right. Back. In it. Huge win for Nakamura. Masterful use of his King.
Jun-26-22  whiteshark: <Dear YouTube, Revenge is SWEET!!> Hikaru's recap: (~21m19s) Enjoy!
Jun-26-22  jerseybob: Shades of Smyslov-Botvinnik '43: Torture!
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: Saffuna: yes it was a monumental win. Impressive win AND defense.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: 25.Nh1!! One of the great defensive master strokes; as <saffuna> writes, that Knight truly dominates the board.
Jun-27-22  BxChess: Apparently 21. Ng3 was mixed up move order by Nakamura. It is the computer's 5th best move. It sent Caruana into a long think and he was pressed for time until move 40. The 5th best move on move 21 is what it takes to get these guys out of preparation.
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Caruana: "I think he could have ended the game like two or three hours ago. But he gave me some hope, which was torture in the end...I guess he missed h3..."
Jun-27-22  George Wallace: This must be Naka's best game ever. First of all, it's a treat to see the Dilworth in action once again. It leads to such an unbalanced position, it's hard to see how to play it for White, but Naka gives us a textbook example.

White played with such patience. Nimzo himself would admire the way White restrained and then blockaded the menacing black pawn phalanx, and especially how White first blockaded Black's advanced e-pawn with a bishop and then with the knight.

25.Nh1 is truly brilliant looking, reminiscent of Nimzo's famous Nh1, but here I think it must be a necessity. Before 25.Nh1, White looks like he's all tangled up, as if Black will somehow strike while White's pieces are stepping on each other's toes, but it doesn't happen. Naka found a way out.

In terms of complexity and imbalance, this game reminds me of Spassky-Fischer, the Alekhine game.

43.Ra2 - how do you find a move like that?

I'm sure if Nakamura puts out a "My 60 Memorable Games" book, this one will be in it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: The Dilworth is one of the very few important opening lines that gives Black a plus score. Opening Explorer But Nakamura handles it masterfully here.
Jun-27-22  George Wallace: Nakamura's recap of this game is brilliant.

Jun-27-22  Ulhumbrus: After 21 Ng3 a look at the computer evaluations suggested that 21...Bd3 was an error.

Black has two extra pawns in the centre but he needs to make them count. His d5 pawn is pinned. 21...Be6 unpins the d5 pawn and so prepares the advance ...d4.

A look at the computer evaluations suggested that 21...Be6 would lead to a win for Black.

A look at the computer evaluations suggested that 22...c4 advanced the wrong pawn and that 22...e4 was the right move.

A look at the computer analysis suggested that although both 22...c4 and 22...e4 would lead to a similar pawn formation 22...e4 was better because it would induce the move 23 Nh4 placing the knight on the rim where it could get trapped.

Nakamura then found some very strong resources such as the computer might come up with such as 25 Nh1 supporting f4 and g3 until this cover was no longer needed and the advance h4 and h5 taling space away from Black.

In the final stages Nakamura displayed the same determination that Caruana had displayed in the previous round, fighting one battle after another for hours until he finally won the game. If both players committed errors it fell to Caruana's lot to make the last error.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: 47...Bf1.

click for larger view

If 48. Kf4 Rf6+
49. Kxe4 Bg2+
50. Bf3 Bxf3#

Jun-27-22  cormier: 0.74 21. Bg5 c4 22. Bxd8 cxb3 23. Bh4 bxa2 24. Ra1 Bb1 25. Qa7 Qg6 26. Nxe5 Qe6 27. Bg3 Na5 28. Nd2 Nc4 29. Qd4 Nxd2 30. Qxd2 a5 31. h3 h6 32. Qd1 a4 33. Kh2 d4 34. Qxd4 Rf1 35. c4 bxc4 36. Nxc4 Kh7 37. Ne5 Qa6 38. Qd2 Qf6 39. Ng4 Qe6 40. Qe3 Qf7 41. Ne5 Qe6 42. Qe2 Rc1

0.37 21. Qd2 Na5 22. Nxe5 Nxb3 23. axb3 Qxe5 24. Bxc5 Be4 25. Bxf8 Rxf8 26. Ng3 Rc8 27. Qe3 Re8 28. Qc5 Qf4 29. Qd4 Qg5 30. c4 Re6 31. c5 h5 32. Qc3 Rg6 33. Qe3 Qe5 34. Nxe4 dxe4 35. b4 Re6 36. Re2 Qd5 37. Rd2 Qe5 38. Rd4 Kf7 39. h3

0.12 21. Qg3 Rde8 22. Bf2 c4 23. Bd1 Nc5 24. Rxe5 Ne4 25. Rxe4 Qxg3 26. Rxe8 Qf4 27. Be3 Qd6 28. Re5 Bd3 29. Bd4 Bxf1 30. Kxf1 Qg6 31. Re7 Rf7 32. Re2 Qb1 33. Ke1 Rf4 34. Be3 Rf8 35. Bc5 Rc8 36. Bd4 Qxa2 37. Kf2 a5 38. Kg3 a4 39. h4 a3 40. bxa3 Qxa3 41. Bc2 Rf8 42. Kg4 Qd6 43. Re5

-0.11 21. Ng3 Bd3 22. Qd2 e4 23. Nh4 Qe5 24. Bf2 Rde8 25. Bd1 a5 26. Bg4 Qf4 27. Qxf4 Rxf4 28. Bd7 Ref8 29. Nhf5 Rxf2 30. Be6+ Kh8 31. Kxf2 g6 32. Bxd5 Nd6 33. Bxe4 Nxe4+ 34. Nxe4 Rxf5+ 35. Kg3 Kg7 36. Nf2 Bc4 37. Re7+ Rf7 38. Re5 Bxa2 39. Rxc5 Rb7 40. Ne4 a4 41. Nd6 Rb6 Stockfish 15, 30 sec, depth 33

Jun-27-22  cormier: 0.4 20... Rde8 21. Qd2 c6 22. Bd1 a5 23. b4 h6 24. Bf2 Be4 25. Bg3 Bxf3 26. Bxf3 Qg6 27. a3 Nd6 28. Qd1 Qg5 29. Ne3 axb4 30. axb4 Kh7 31. Bg4 Ne4 32. Bd7 Re7 33. Bxc6 Nxg3 34. hxg3 Qxg3 35. Nxd5 Qf2+ 36. Kh2 Re6 37. Bxb5 Qh4+ 38. Kg1

0.45 20... Bd3

0.6 20... Bg4 21. Qg3 Bxf3 22. gxf3 Nc5 23. Bc2 Rde8 24. Bf2 Re6 25. b4 Ne4 26. fxe4 Rg6 27. exd5 Rxg3+ 28. Nxg3 Rd8 29. Bc5 Qf6 30. Rf1 Qg5 31. Bf5 Kh8 32. Be6 Re8 33. Rf7 h5 34. Bf8 Rxf8 35. Rxf8+ Kh7 36. Rf5 Qc1+ 37. Kg2

0.61 20... c6 21. Ng3 Bd3 22. Qd2 e4 23. Nd4 Na5 24. Qd1 Qg6 25. Qh5 Rd6 26. Qxg6 Rxg6 27. Nde2 Bxe2 28. Rxe2 Nxb3 29. axb3 a5 30. Bc5 Rf7 31. Re1 a4 32. Ra1 Rb7 33. Nf5 Rf6 34. Nd4 h5 35. h4 Kf7 36. b4 Kg6 Stockfish 15, 30 sec, depth 28

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