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The decisive game of the London Chess Classic 2013: Nakamura beat Gelfand

Nakamura, Hikaru (2786) - Gelfand, Boris (2777) [D97]
Chess Classic Rapid, London 2013

Notes by Boris Schipkov

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5
The Gruenfeld Defense.
4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Qb3








   
5...dxc4
The Russian System.
6. Qxc4 O-O 7. e4 a6
The Hungarian Variation. However, Peter Leko of Hungary played 7...Na6.
8. e5 b5 9. Qb3 Nfd7 10. Ng5 Nc6
After 10...Nb6 11. Be3 Nc6 12. Rd1 Bf5 (12...Na5! with counterplay) 13. Be2 Na5 14. Qb4 Nac4 15. O-O f6 16. Nf3 Nxe3 17. fxe3 fxe5?! (17...Nd5 is better) 18. dxe5 Qe8 19. Qc5 White had a small advantage in Carlsen, M - Dominguez Perez, L , Wijk aan Zee 2010.









   
11. Nxf7?
A novelty, but this hazardous and dubious move is not better than previous moves. It is a practical novelty for only one game. Such risky novelties can be good in the blitz and rapid tournaments, because a rival has not enough time to calculate all variations in new, fresh, unknown positions. After 11. Be3 Na5 12. Qc2 [12. Qd1 Nb6 13. h4 f6 14. Nxh7 Kxh7 15. h5 g5 (15...Rh8!? 16. Bd3=) 16. h6 Bh8 17. Bd3+ (17. Qc2+ f5 18. g4 Nac4 19. Ne4 Bf6 20. Ng3 Kh8 21. exf6 Qd6=) 17...f5 Holt, C - Molner, M, Middleton 2013, and here White can continue 18. Ne4 fxe4 19. Bxe4+ Bf5 20. Bxf5+ Rxf5 21. Qc2 Qc8 22. g4 c5 23. dxc5 Bxe5, with equality] 12...c5! 13. dxc5?! (13. f4=) 13...Nxe5 14. Rd1 Bf5 (stronger is 14...Qc7! 15. Nd5 Qb7, with an edge to Black) 15. Rxd8 Bxc2 16. Rd2 Bf5 17. Nd5 Nac6 Black had a small edge in Bai, J - Negi, P, Beijing 2012. Also possible is 11. Ne6 fxe6 (11...Na5!? 12. Nxd8 Nxb3 13. axb3 Rxd8 14. Nxb5 c6 15. Nc3 c5, with counterplay) 12. Qxe6+ Kh8 13. Qxc6 Rb8 14. Be3 Bb7 15. Qe6 c5 with equality in Nava, R - Gopal, G, Manila 2013.
11...Rxf7 12. e6 Nxd4
White grabs the exchange, but Black has very good compensation.
13. exf7+ Kf8 14. Qd1








   
14...Nc5?
A mistake. We see that the element of surprise in the opening has worked well. Better is 14...Ne5! 15. f4 Bf5 16. fxe5 Nc2+, now Black grabs the exchange, 17. Kf2 Qxd1 18. Nxd1 Nxa1, and since White's pawns are weak Black has a clear advantage in the endgame.
15. Be3 Bf5?!
Correct is 15...Qd6! with the idea to place the light-squared bishop on the long diagonal on b7 to pressure on the kingside, 16. Be2 b4 17. Na4 Nxa4 18. Qxa4 Bb7, with a small edge to Black.
16. Rc1?
16. Bxd4 is better, 16...Qxd4 17. Qxd4 Bxd4, with equality.
16...Qd6 17. b4








   
17...Ne4?
The next mistake. Black can sacrifice the knight, but then win the queen for two pieces after 17...Qe6! 18. bxc5 Rd8 19. Be2 Nc2+ 20. Qxc2 Bxc2 21. Rxc2 b4 22. Nb1 Qe4 23. Rc1 Qxg2 24. Rf1 a5, with some advantage to the second player.
18. Nxe4 Bxe4 19. f3!
A strong multi-purpose move: White pushes back the white bishop, takes under his control e4 and g4 squares, and intends to secure the king with Kf2.
19...Bf5 20. Qd2 Rd8 21. Kf2 Kxf7 22. Be2








   
22...Qf6?
A strange reply. Now White can take the c7 pawn. Better are 22...Rd7 23. h4 c6 and 22...Bf6 23. h4 h5, with equality.
23. Rxc7 Ne6?
Black can play 23...Be6 and after 24. g3 Nc6 25. Qc1 Nxb4 26. Bc5 Bf8 27. Bxb4 Qd4+ 28. Kg2 Qxb4 29. Rc2 White has only a small edge.
24. Rd7!
White obtains a clear advantage, because develops almost all pieces, and we see that now in this position a white rook is simply better and more active than a black knight.
24...Rc8?!
Black could try 24... Rxd7 25. Qxd7 Nf4 26. Qd2 Nxe2 27. Kxe2, but, of course, the position is winning for White, though Black has practical chances.









   
25. Bd3
More precise is 25. Bd1! h5 (25...Qc3 26. Bb3) 26. Bb3, with a huge edge to White.
25...Rc3?!
More interesting is 5...Bxd3 26. Rxd3 Qh4+ 27. g3 Qh3 28. a3, though White is better anyway.
26. Bxf5 gxf5 27. f4?!
White can win quickly with 27. Rc1! and 27. Rd1!.
27...Rc4?!
27...Qh4+ is more active, and after 28. g3 Qh3 29. Qe2 h5 30. Rd3 Rc4 31. a3 Bf6 32. Qf1 Qg4 33. Rg1 White has an advantage, but Black can continue his hopeless resistance many moves.









   
28. Rc1!
The best decision: if Black trades rooks then White easily wins the ending.
28...Re4 29. g3!
Again the strongest move: White defends from all Black's threats.
29...h5 30. h4 Qg6 31. Bc5 Bf6








   
32. Re1!
Winning, because Black has to exchange rooks. The second game of the match ended in a draw, and Hikaru Nakamura wins the final 1.5-0.5 and the London Chess Classic 2013.
32...Qg4
If Black's rook flies to c4 then White checkmates the black king in the center after 32...Rc4 33. Rxe6! Kxe6 34. Qd5#.
33. Rxe4 fxe4 34. Qd1 Qf5 35. Rd5 Qh3 36. Qf1
Black resigned. 1-0










Move
   

Nakamura, Hikaru (2786) - Gelfand, Boris (2777) [D97]
Chess Classic Rapid/London 2013

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Qb3 dxc4 6. Qxc4 O-O 7. e4 a6 8. e5 b5 9. Qb3 Nfd7 10. Ng5 Nc6 11. Nxf7 Rxf7 12. e6 Nxd4 13. exf7+ Kf8 14. Qd1 Nc5 15. Be3 Bf5 16. Rc1 Qd6 17. b4 Ne4 18. Nxe4 Bxe4 19. f3 Bf5 20. Qd2 Rd8 21. Kf2 Kxf7 22. Be2 Qf6 23. Rxc7 Ne6 24. Rd7 Rc8 25. Bd3 Rc3 26. Bxf5 gxf5 27. f4 Rc4 28. Rc1 Re4 29. g3 h5 30. h4 Qg6 31. Bc5 Bf6 32. Re1 Qg4 33. Rxe4 fxe4 34. Qd1 Qf5 35. Rd5 Qh3 36. Qf1 1-0


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© 2013 Boris Schipkov