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Eljanov–Nakamura FIDE World Cup 2015 (5.4)

Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 9:27 am
by AdminX
If the plan of f3 and e4 is effective enough to shut down the bishop on h7 then one might say that the novelty played by Nakamura is bad. I think his real problem was not playing the more active defense shown in the notes to black's 21st move. Note even in that line f3 and e4 are still possilble.

[d]rn1q1rk1/1pp2pp1/4pb1p/p7/P2Pb3/5NP1/1P1NPPBP/R1QR2K1 b - - 0 15
15. ... Bh7 {the novelty}

[d]r4rk1/1q2bppb/n1B1p2p/p3N3/P2P4/2Q3P1/1P2PP1P/R2R2K1 b - - 0 21
21. ...Qc7{the weak move}

[Event "FIDE World Cup 2015"]
[Site "Baku AZE"]
[Date "2015.09.23"]
[Round "5.4"]
[White "Eljanov, Pavel"]
[Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E06"]
[Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"]
[PlyCount "115"]
[EventDate "2015.09.11"]

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. g3 Be7 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O dxc4 7. Qc2 a6 8. a4
Bd7 9. Qxc4 Bc6 10. Bg5 Bd5 11. Qc2 Be4 12. Qc1 h6 13. Bxf6 Bxf6 14. Rd1 a5 15.
Nbd2 Bh7 {A novelty. Before this Bxf3 was played universally.} (15... Bxf3 16.
Bxf3 c6 17. Nc4 Nd7 {is a typical Catalan position for this variation. White
has a bit more space and a bit more pleasant position, but Black is ultra
solid. This was, among others, Sasikirian-Svetushkin from earlier this year.})
16. Nb3 c6 17. Qc3 Be7 18. Nc5 Qc7 19. Ne5 Na6 20. Nxb7 $5 {In my opinion the
only real try for an advantage, but it's hard to look at this and say White
will emerge with a better position. Black's two pieces are very active.} Qxb7
21. Bxc6 Qc7 $2 (21... Qa7 $1 22. Bxa8 Bb4 23. Qc6 Qxa8 {Black's knight on a6
is awkward, but Black shouldn't have real problems.}) 22. Bxa8 Qxc3 23. bxc3
Rxa8 24. Nc6 {Now White definitely has some chances to push. He has a passed
pawn, the a6 knight is bad and the h7 bishop will soon be bullied out of the
game by White's pawns.} Bd8 (24... Kf8 $5 {going for active play.} 25. Nxa5 Rc8
) 25. Nxd8 Rxd8 26. f3 Rc8 27. Ra3 Bg6 28. Kf2 Rb8 29. Rd2 f6 30. Raa2 $1 $16 {
Gaining control of the open file. The a5 pawn will be hard to defend. Nakamura
takes the c3 pawn in return, but Black's pieces simply don't coordinate well.}
Rb3 31. Rab2 Rxc3 32. Rb5 Bc2 33. Rxa5 Nc7 34. Ra7 f5 35. a5 {Look how
difficult it is to play with Black. White simply has to push his pawn,
Nakamura has to try to get his pieces to play together. That is easier said
than done.} Kh7 {That being said, it is strange to go to h7 instead of towards
the queenside.} 36. Rb7 Rc4 37. Rb6 Ba4 38. a6 Bc6 39. a7 Bd5 40. Ra2 $1 {A
timely move. The threat is Ra5-c5.} Rxd4 41. Rc2 Na8 42. Ra6 Rd1 (42... g5 43.
Rb2 Kg6 44. Rb8 Kf6 45. Ra5 Kg7 $18) 43. h4 h5 44. Ke3 $18 {The king marches
in since Black can't do anything.} Rg1 45. Kf4 Rg2 46. Rd6 Rg1 47. Rc8 Ra1 48.
Kg5 $1 Rxa7 49. Rdd8 g6 50. Rh8+ {The only blemish in Eljanov's otherwise
perfect play.} (50. Kf6 Kh6 51. Rh8+ Rh7 52. Rcg8 {would have finished the
game off in fewer moves.}) 50... Kg7 51. Rcg8+ Kf7 52. Rxg6 Ra6 53. Rh7+ Kf8
54. Kxh5 Nb6 55. Kg5 {White is simply and obviously winning. Black's pieces
aren't playing and the h-pawn is unstoppable.} Nc4 56. h5 Nd6 57. Rf6+ Kg8 58.
Rd7 1-0[/pgn]