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Nakamura outprepares Anand!

by ChessBase India - 26/03/2016

Anand was completely outprepared in the sharp line of the English Opening by Hikaru Nakamura. He got a poor position out of the opening and the American played some accurate moves to take home the full point in just 26 moves. Words cannot have the same effect as variations, so here are some detailed analysis by IM Sagar Shah from the Central Telegraph building in Moscow.

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[Event "Candidates 2016"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2016.03.25"]
[Round "12"]
[White "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A29"]
[WhiteElo "2790"]
[BlackElo "2762"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "51"]
{It was a complete debacle for Anand who was outprepared by Hikaru Nakamura.}
1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 Bb4 5. Nd5 $5 (5. Bg2 {Had been played by
Caruana against Anand.}) 5... e4 {Anand is trying to play sharp lines with
Black. Of course, he has every right to believe in his preparation but things
didn't work out today.} (5... Bc5 {is a safer way to play.}) 6. Nh4 O-O 7. Bg2
d6 (7... Re8 {this was played by Anand's second Grzegorz Gajewski. It could
have given Nakamura and his team an idea that Vishy might go for this.} 8. O-O
d6 9. d3 exd3 10. Qxd3 Nxd5 11. cxd5 Ne5 12. Qc2 Bc5 13. Bd2 a5 {1/2-1/2 (98)
Iordachescu,V (2590)-Gajewski,G (2646) Jerusalem 2015}) 8. a3 $146 {This is a
new move in over the board games, although it has been played in
correspondence chess.} ({A logical question to ask is why shouldn't White win
the e4 pawn?} 8. Nxf6+ Qxf6 9. Bxe4 Re8 $1 10. Bg2 Bg4 $19 {With tons and tons
of activity.}) 8... Bc5 9. O-O Re8 10. e3 $1 {This is computer preparation in
action. White takes away the d4 square and gets ready to chase the bishop away
with b4. At the same time f3 is a real threat now. Normally one would play a
move like d3 in such positions. But chess has become much more concrete thanks
to the engines and such anti-intuitive moves are no longer a rarity.} (10. d3
$6 {would be the more natural move but it is not so great.} exd3 11. exd3 Nxd5
12. cxd5 Nd4 $15 {Black cannot be worse here.}) (10. b4 Bd4 11. Rb1 Ne7 $1 12.
e3 Nexd5 13. exd4 Nb6 14. d3 exd3 15. Qxd3 d5 $1 $11) 10... g5 {A logical
question to ask is why did Anand indulge in such complicated play when he knew
that his opponent was so well prepared? The answer to this is not easy. First
of all you want to respect the fact that your opponent is well prepared but
you always don't want to change the things you have prepared with the fear
that he might have something up his sleeve. Anand was confident and he went
for his line. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't - this is the story of
modern opening preparation!} (10... a5 {trying to stop b4 will now be met with}
11. f3 $1 exf3 (11... g5 $2 12. Nxf6+ Qxf6 13. fxe4 $18) 12. Qxf3 $14) 11. b4
Bb6 {As Nakamura later pointed out, this is the human reaction.} (11... gxh4 {
would have been the better option.} 12. Bb2 $5 Nxd5 13. cxd5 Ne5 14. bxc5 Bg4 {
And Black is doing much better than in the game because of the control of the
f3 square.}) 12. Bb2 $1 Nxd5 13. cxd5 Nd4 {Nakamura said that he had looked at
the move Ne5 in his preparation and this came as a surprise. But Anand was
already thinking quite a bit and had found this over the board which meant
that there could be some flaw in it.} (13... Ne5 14. f4 $1 {This is a very
strong move.} gxh4 (14... Bg4 15. Qc2 $16) 15. fxe5 dxe5 (15... Qg5 16. gxh4)
16. Qh5 $18) (13... gxh4 14. dxc6 bxc6 15. Qh5 {is almost a disaster.}) 14. d3
$1 (14. Bxd4 Bxd4 15. exd4 gxh4 16. Qh5 Bd7 {Black can still fight.}) 14...
gxh4 (14... exd3 15. Qxd3 Qf6 (15... gxh4 16. Bxd4 $16) 16. Rfd1 gxh4 (16...
Nf3+ 17. Nxf3 Qxb2 18. Nxg5 $16) 17. Bxd4 Bxd4 18. Qxd4 Qxd4 19. Rxd4 hxg3 20.
hxg3 {is a hopeless position for Black. Rooks will double on the c-file and
there would be unbearable pressure.}) 15. dxe4 Ne6 16. dxe6 Rxe6 17. e5 $1 {
Very incisive play by Nakamura.} hxg3 18. hxg3 Qg5 19. exd6 Rxd6 20. Qb3 h5 (
20... Rh6 {with the idea of Bh3 was possible.} 21. Rfd1 Bh3 22. Qc3 f6 23. Bxh3
Rxh3 24. Qb3+ Kh8 25. Qe6 Rh6 26. Rd5 Qg6 27. Rad1 $18) 21. Rad1 Rh6 {Anand
realises that playing normal chess is anyway not going to get him anywhere,
his position is anyway lost. But with this ambitious idea of Rh6 followed by
h4 he has made Nakamura's task of finding the best move a little more
difficult as one one path exists.} 22. Rd5 Qe7 {At this point I was analyzing
with Dusan Krunic (chess informant) about how White should take advantage of
these weakness. Qc3 looked like the most obvious way but after f6 with the
idea of Be6 it seemed as if Black was consolidating. We thought about many
different moves, they were good but not the best. Something was missing - what
was the key to the position? And then Nakamura made his move and we realized,
yes! It was the h6 rook!} 23. Qc4 $1 {The idea is to play Qf4 and attack the
rook on h6. A very strong move.} Bg4 24. Qf4 Rg6 25. Re5 Qd6 26. Be4 {A
crushing win for Nakamura. It was for the second time in this tournament that
Anand resigned with equal material on the board. First one was against Sergey
in round four.} (26. Bxb7 $18 {was also winning.}) (26. Be4 f5 (26... Rg7 27.
Rg5 Rxg5 28. Qxg5+ Kf8 29. Be5 Qe6 30. Bxb7 Rb8 (30... Re8 31. Bg7+ Kg8 32.
Bf6+ $18) 31. Bf6 $18) 27. Bxf5 Rf8 28. Qc4+ $18) 1-0


Round twelve article in the popular online news website : Firstpost 

Click on the image below to read the entire article

Interview with Hikaru Nakamura