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Candidates R05: A peaceful draw with Nakamura

by ChessBase India - 17/03/2016

Nakamura is considered one of the best blitz players of our generation. The same was said about Vishy Anand a few years ago. As far as psychological advantage was concerned Nakamura held the edge as he had beaten Vishy Anand in their two previous classical encounters. But Anand has years of experience of playing in such top level events and he also had the white pieces. Everyone looked forward to the battle. However, thanks to the super solid Berlin Defence the game ended in a draw in 28 moves! We have detailed analysis for you:

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[Event "Candidates 2016"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2016.03.16"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C65"]
[WhiteElo "2762"]
[BlackElo "2790"]
[Annotator "Amruta Mokal/ Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "55"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. O-O Nd4 6. Nxd4 Bxd4 7. Nd2 ({
Anand had played the main move just a month back but did not get much from the
opening and the game ended in a draw against Vladimir Kramnik in Zurich Chess
Challenge, Switzerland, Feb 2016} 7. c3 Bb6 8. Na3 O-O 9. Bg5 d5 10. exd5 Qxd5
11. Bxf6 gxf6 12. Bc4 Qd7 13. Nc2 Qg4 14. d4 Qxd1 15. Raxd1 Bg4 16. Rd2 $11 {
1/2-1/2 (32) Anand,V (2784)-Kramnik,V (2801) Zuerich 2016}) 7... a6 8. Ba4 b5
9. Bb3 d6 10. a4 $146 {Diagram [#] A novelty but not an earth-shattering one.
a4 looks like a very normal move that one would play in such positions.} ({
The main game in this line between Tomashevsky-Ponomariov continued with} 10.
Nf3) 10... Bb6 11. axb5 Bg4 12. Nf3 axb5 13. Rxa8 Qxa8 {Black doesn't seem to
be having too many problems out of the opening.} 14. h3 Be6 {Nakamura decides
to play safe and solid.} (14... Bh5 {will give some attacking chances to White.
} 15. g4 Bg6 16. Nh4 O-O 17. Kg2 $40) 15. Bxe6 fxe6 {Such double pawns are
quite often good to have as they control the critical central squares and also
gives Black the open f-file.} 16. Nh2 O-O 17. Ng4 Qe8 18. Be3 Bxe3 (18... Nxg4
19. Bxb6 cxb6 20. Qxg4 $14 {looks at least a small edge for White.}) 19. Nxe3 {
After the game Anand said that he was happy when he got the knight to e3.} Qc6
20. Qd2 d5 21. f3 ({White could try to open the position to get f5 square and
create some imbalances but with less space and blacks strong central pawns it
would not be practically very easy to play.} 21. exd5 exd5 (21... Nxd5 22. Re1
$14) 22. Ra1 d4 23. Ng4 Nxg4 24. hxg4 e4 25. dxe4 Qxe4 $11) 21... d4 22. Ng4
Nxg4 23. hxg4 h6 (23... Ra8 24. Qg5 Qxc2 25. Qxe5 Qxb2 26. Qxe6+ Kh8 27. Qc6
$14) 24. g5 (24. Ra1 Kh7 (24... Ra8 25. Rxa8+ Qxa8 26. g5 $36) 25. Qb4 Ra8 26.
Rxa8 Qxa8 27. Qxb5 Qa1+ 28. Kf2 Qc1 $11) (24. Rc1 $5 {With the idea of c3 was
an interesting move and would have given White a small edge in this case. It's
not that White would like to play c3 but he keeps it in reserve and asks Black
what he is doing.} Ra8 25. g5 $1 $14) 24... hxg5 25. Qxg5 Qxc2 26. Qxe5 Qxd3
27. Qxe6+ Kh7 28. Qh3+ {One could say nothing much happened in the game and it
was a pretty straight forward draw.} 1/2-1/2



Round five article in the popular online news website : Firstpost 

Click on the image below to read the entire article



Anand's views on his fifth round draw with Nakamura