[Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2022.04.01"] [Round "3"] [White "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D04"] [WhiteElo "2750"] [BlackElo "2776"] [Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2022.??.??"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. b3 d5 3. Bb2 c5 4. e3 {For the rapid, Nakamura chose to play the Queen’s Indian Defense with an extra tempo.} Nc6 5. d4 Bg4 6. Be2 e6 7. Nbd2 cxd4 8. exd4 {It is quite tempting to follow a straightforward scheme as early as possible in rapid and blitz and this position is indeed one of those situations. White's plan is clearly to attack the kingside and his moves are more or less the same. It is Mamedyrov who needs to choose a plan in most of cases and this costs him time on the clock.} Be7 9. O-O O-O 10. a3 Rc8 11. h3 Bh5 12. Bd3 Bd6 13. Re1 ({Black did not have any problems after:} 13. Qe2 Bf4 14. Rad1 Qc7 15. Rfe1 Rfd8 16. b4 a5 17. b5 Ne7 18. Nb3 b6 {Ingebretsen,J (2309)-Xiong,J (2686) Chess.com INT 2021}) 13... Re8 ({There is also} 13... Qc7 $5 {but then White can react as in the game with} 14. g4 Bg6 15. Bxg6 hxg6 16. Ne5) 14. g4 {Kingside expansion. But White is also opening his king, indefinitely.} Bg6 15. Bxg6 $146 {Only this obvious move is a novelty.} ({ Black did well in the predecessor after:} 15. Qe2 Bb8 16. Ne5 Nxe5 17. dxe5 Nd7 18. Rad1 Qh4 {Korkmaz,N (2101)-Musovic,A (2207) Chess.com INT 2020}) 15... hxg6 16. Ne5 g5 {Stopping f2-f4.} ({Mamedyarov had a couple of interesting alternatives, like} 16... Qb6 $5 {and if} 17. Ndf3 Ne4) ({Or perhaps even better} 16... b5 $5 {which obstructs White's next move. Then Black should not fear} 17. f4 {due to} Qb6 18. Ndf3 Ne4 $1 {and the black knights are more potent.}) 17. c4 Nd7 {One of the many good ideas. Black does not have to worry about his position; in fact, he is the one who has more clear targets to attack.} (17... Bb8 $5 {was OK too.}) ({And if Black wanted something simpler, he could have swapped some things with} 17... dxc4 $5 18. bxc4 Bxe5 19. dxe5 Nd7) 18. Nd3 $1 {This knight is too good to be traded!} Nf8 $1 {And this one is to become even better!} 19. c5 {Nakamura at least grabs some space on the queenside.} Bb8 20. b4 Ng6 21. Nf3 f6 22. Qc2 Kf7 {Both kings are heavily exposed now and one mistake might be the end of the game for either side.} 23. Re2 Qc7 {Setting up a nice battery.} ({However} 23... a6 {might have been more precise and after} 24. Rae1 Rh8 {the e6-pawn would be immune as} 25. Rxe6 $2 Rxh3 {is crushing.}) 24. Re3 {Stepping away from the knight fork.The position is extremely tricky and both sides need to be extremely careful, but aggressive too.} ({Nakamura most likely quickly calculated the move} 24. Nde5+ $5 {when Black has an only move} Ncxe5 ({The piece cannot be taken.} 24... fxe5 {loses to} 25. Nxg5+ Kf6 26. dxe5+ $1 Ncxe5 (26... Kxg5 $4 27. Bc1+ Kh4 28. Qxg6 {is mate.}) 27. f4 $1 {and Black collapses.}) 25. dxe5 {Perhaps White did not like} Nf4 $1 {here, but this is anything but clear after} 26. Re3 Nxh3+ 27. Kf1 Nf4 28. exf6) 24... Rh8 {Now Mamedyarov is the first one to get to the opponent's kingside.} 25. Rae1 Kf8 {Stepping away from the checks, but this square is not optimal.} ({Not yet} 25... Rxh3 $4 26. Nxg5+) ({However} 25... Kg8 $1 {would have been more accurate as Nakamura's idea from the game} 26. Qe2 $2 {would have failed to} (26. b5 {is better, although Black is still in charge there.}) 26... Rxh3 27. Rxe6 Nh4 $1 28. Re8+ Kh7 $1) 26. Qe2 $1 { A tricky resource!} Rxh3 {It is getting extremely messy.} (26... Nd8 $5) 27. Rxe6 ({Not} 27. Nfe5 Rh6 $1) 27... Kg8 $1 {The only move.} ({This time} 27... Nh4 $4 {loses to} 28. Re8+ Kf7 29. Qe6+ Kg6 30. Nde5+) 28. Re8+ Kh7 29. Re3 { A one-move threat.} Kg8 30. Re8+ Kh7 31. Re3 {And a silent draw offer ...} Rh6 $5 {... which is rejected by Mamedyarov!} ({But there was an even stronger square for the rook.} 31... Rh4 $1 {when} 32. Nxh4 $4 {is impossible due to the mate} Qh2+ 33. Kf1 Qh1#) 32. b5 Na5 {Missing an almost instant win.} (32... Qd7 $1 {would have won at least a pawn, as in the line} 33. Nd2 Na5 34. a4 $2 { and the white king would be severely open on the diagonals with} Nc4 $1 35. Nxc4 dxc4) 33. Re6 Rh3 (33... Nc4 $5 34. Bc1 Rh3 {might have been more controlled.}) 34. Re3 ({Perhaps} 34. Qe3 $5 Rh6 35. Bc1 {was worth a try.}) 34... Rh4 $1 {The second time Mamedyarov does not miss his chance and Nakamura is suddenly in trouble!} 35. Qc2 ({As we know} 35. Nxh4 $4 Qh2+ 36. Kf1 Qh1#) 35... Rxg4+ 36. Kf1 {Down a pawn, and under attack, White needs to fight for his life. But look what happens in the time trouble next...} Nc4 ({Once more} 36... Qd7 $1 {would have been fabulous, when Black should be winning, for example after} 37. a4 Re4 38. Rxe4 Qh3+ $1) 37. Re6 $1 {The rook is eyeballing Ng6, among other things.} Qd7 ({It appears that the best way to tame the raging white pieces was} 37... Re4 $1 38. R1xe4 dxe4 39. Qxc4 (39. Rxe4 Qf7) 39... exf3 40. Ke1 {when it is anyone's game.}) 38. c6 $1 {A powerful blow that frees an outpost for the knight!} bxc6 ({The last chance was} 38... Qf7 $1 39. Nc5 Kh8 {getting out of the pin as soon as possible.}) 39. Nc5 Qc7 ({Or} 39... Qf7 40. Bc1 $3 cxb5 41. Qf5 {and White fully dominates.}) 40. Bc1 $3 Kh6 41. Qf5 {and just like that, Nakamura's pieces magically gained superpowers and trapped the enemy pieces! PLAY CHESS, NOT WAR.} 1-0 [Event "http://www.Chess.com"] [Site "http://www.Chess.com"] [Date "2022.04.01"] [Round "4"] [White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A20"] [WhiteElo "2776"] [BlackElo "2750"] [Annotator "cahan"] [PlyCount "68"] [EventDate "2022.??.??"] 1. c4 Nf6 2. g3 e5 3. Bg2 c6 4. d4 exd4 5. Qxd4 Na6 ({The main line is} 5... d5 {, but the text move has also been played numerous times.}) 6. Nc3 ({Usually, White prefers} 6. Nf3 {.}) 6... Bc5 7. Qd1 O-O 8. Nf3 d6 $6 ({Here,} 8... d5 { is considered completely fine for Black.}) 9. O-O Be6 10. b3 d5 11. cxd5 Nxd5 12. Ne4 Be7 13. Bb2 Nf6 14. Neg5 Qxd1 15. Raxd1 Bc8 $5 ({Nakamura must not have liked} 15... Bf5 16. Nd4 Bg6 17. Ngf3 Rfe8 18. Nh4 {which is also better for White.}) 16. Nd4 Re8 17. Nxc6 $1 bxc6 18. Bxc6 Bf5 19. e4 $1 Bg6 20. f3 $2 ({A logical move, but unfortunately for Mamedyarov, far from the the best. White should have played} 20. e5 Ng4 21. Bxa8 Rxa8 22. Nh3 Bc2 23. Rc1 Bf5 24. Nf4 {with a serious advantage for White.}) 20... Ng4 21. Bc1 Bc5+ ({Also} 21... Ne5 22. Bxa8 Rxa8 23. Bf4 f6 24. Ne6 {was about equal.}) 22. Kg2 Ne3+ 23. Bxe3 Bxe3 24. Nh3 Nb4 25. Bxe8 Rxe8 26. Nf4 Nxa2 27. Nd5 (27. Rd7 $1 {was better.}) 27... Bc5 28. Ra1 Nb4 29. Nxb4 $6 ({White should have played} 29. Rfc1 { although} Bd6 30. Nxb4 Bxb4 31. Rxa7 f5 {is no more than equal.}) 29... Bxb4 30. Rxa7 f5 $1 31. exf5 $2 Re2+ $1 32. Kh1 (32. Rf2 $4 Rxf2+ 33. Kxf2 Bc5+ { is, of course, out of the question.}) 32... Bxf5 33. Rb7 Bh3 34. Rc1 Bc5 { and, unable to avoid getting checkmated, White resigned.} 0-1 [Event "http://www.chessbomb.com"] [Site "http://www.chessbomb.com"] [Date "2022.04.01"] [Round "4"] [White "So, Wesley"] [Black "Tabatabaei, M. Amin"] [Result "*"] [ECO "E94"] [WhiteElo "2778"] [BlackElo "2623"] [Annotator "cahan"] [PlyCount "93"] [EventDate "2022.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 Nbd7 7. O-O e5 8. Be3 c6 9. d5 c5 10. Nd2 Kh8 11. g4 $5 ({A novelty and an interesting choice, to say the least. While this type of pawn advance with the g-pawn is not uncommon in the King's Indian, it seems unnecessarily risky in a situation where Black undoubtedly will launch a kingside attack in the near future. Previously, White has given preference to} 11. a3 Ng8 12. b4 Bh6 13. Bxh6 Nxh6 14. Nb5 ({or } 14. Nb3 b6 15. bxc5 bxc5 16. Nb5 Qb6 17. Rb1 a6 18. Nc3 Qd8 19. Qd2 Kg7 20. Na4 f5 21. f3 Qh4 {with a sharp position and chances to both sides, Sunilduth Lyna,N (2611)-Firouzja,A (2702) chess24.com INT 2020.}) 14... Qe7 15. Nb3 b6 16. bxc5 Nxc5 17. Nxc5 bxc5 18. Qd2 Ng8 19. f4 Bd7 20. fxe5 Qxe5 21. Qf4 Qxf4 22. Rxf4 Bxb5 23. cxb5 Kg7 {and the chances were about balanced in Gascon del Nogal,J (2425)-Tabatabaei,M (2629) Chess.com INT 2021.}) 11... Ng8 12. Nf3 { Played instantly. The idea is that if Black plays ...f7-f5, then White has Ng5 followed by Ne6.} Nb6 $5 {An ugly move, for sure. But the idea is to have the bishop on c8 guard the e6-square and thus prepare ...f7-f5.} 13. h3 $6 ({ This cannot be right, but playing my computer's suggestion of} 13. g5 Bh3 14. a4 Bxf1 15. Qxf1 {also seems like an acceptance of things not going as intended. Nevertheless, this position was actually pleasant for White with good positional compensation for the exchange. That being said, you should always take computer evaluations in the King's Indian positions with a grain of salt; they tend to throw some serious silicone shade on Black's chances.}) 13... f5 14. gxf5 gxf5 15. exf5 Bxf5 {This looks terrible for White and Black did not even have to sacrifice anything to make it happen.} 16. Ng5 Bh6 ({Or} 16... h6 17. Ne6 Qh4 {with a scary attack for Black.}) 17. Qd2 Qd7 18. Kh1 Bxg5 ({If Black captures on h3, then White's position comes back to life:} 18... Bxh3 19. Rg1 Bf5 20. Rg2 {followed by Rag1, and while Black may still be better, it is less clear than before.}) 19. Bxg5 Bxh3 20. Rg1 Rxf2 21. Qe3 { White has lost two pawns and is left without kingside pawns, yet the engine claims that White is doing fine. This has something to do with the ridiculous-looking knight on b6 and the absence of the dark-squared bishop. But do not tell me it is not because the engine dislikes the King's Indian—those creatures never forget.} Raf8 22. Ne4 $6 (22. b3 $1 {was necessary.}) 22... Nxc4 $1 {Hello! Suddenly the dumb knight came to life, by sacrificing itself to distract White's bishop on e2 from its other defensive task: protecting the f3-square.} 23. Bxc4 R2f3 24. Bf6+ $4 ({A massive blunder that could have allowed the young Iranian to win the game. White had to find the absurd} 24. Bb5 $3 {to keep the chances balanced. For instance,} Qxb5 25. Bf6+ R3xf6 ({or} 25... R8xf6 26. Nxf6 Rxf6 27. Qxh3 Qe2 {with \"equal\" chances according to the engines.}) 26. Qxh3 Rf4 ({then} 26... Rh6 27. Rxg8+ Rxg8 28. Qxh6 {is fine for White.}) 27. Ng5 Nf6 28. Qh6 Qd7 {and the craziness is not yet over.}) 24... R3xf6 25. Nxf6 Rxf6 26. Rg3 Bg4 $6 ({Not the best even if it looks good. Tabatabaei should have played} 26... Bf5 27. Rf1 Rh6+ 28. Kg2 Rg6 29. Rxg6 hxg6 {with a decisive advantage for Black.}) 27. Rf1 Rxf1+ $6 (27... Qg7 $1) 28. Bxf1 Nf6 $2 (28... h5 {would have kept an advantage. After the text move, White is past the worst.}) 29. Kg1 Qf5 30. Qh6 $2 (30. b4 $1 {was fine for White. Now it is bad again.}) 30... Ne4 $1 31. Rg2 Qf6 32. Qxf6+ Nxf6 33. Rg3 h5 $4 {Black cannot be worse at this point, but knight and bishop are not a happy couple when having to work together in the endgame. White's first task is to get the rook more active, preferably getting behind Black's pawns. This does not seem possible because Black seems to have the ability to erect a wall, barring it from entering. However, \"seems\" is the operating word. So finds a way.} ({However, Black could have obtained a winning position with} 33... Kg7 $1 34. Bh3 ({if White continues as in the game } 34. Ra3 a6 35. Rb3 b5 36. Ra3 Bc8 {, then White is without the tactic that allowed his rook to come alive because Black's king is no longer on the back rank.}) 34... h5 35. Bxg4 hxg4 36. Ra3 a6 37. Rb3 Nxd5 38. Rxb7+ Kf6 {and while it looks messy, Black has serious advantage.}) 34. Ra3 a6 35. Rb3 b5 36. Ra3 Bc8 37. Bxb5 $1 {Boom! Down goes the wall. Black is not lost on the board yet, but combined with a serious deficit on the clock, So had more than four minutes left vs. Tabatabaei's less than one minute, things become impossible very quickly.} axb5 38. Ra8 Kg7 39. Rxc8 Kf7 40. Rb8 b4 (40... Nxd5 {According to the computer, Black could also play} 41. Rxb5 Ke6 42. a4 Kd7 {but how do you assess this position when you don't have time to think?}) 41. a4 bxa3 42. bxa3 Nxd5 43. a4 Ke7 $2 ({The wrong square for the king. Black could have saved the endgame with} 43... Nb4 44. a5 Ke6 45. Rb6 Nd5 46. Rb7 Nb4 {and neither side has anything better than a repetition. Obviously, Tabatabaei could not use a draw for anything, but the text move does not contribute with anything in terms of winning chances to Black's position.}) 44. a5 Nb4 45. Rb6 Kd7 ({Now} 45... Nd5 $4 {is simply met with} 46. Rb7+ {which is why the king had to be on e6.}) 46. a6 Nd5 ({Black had to sacrifice the knight for the a-pawn, although} 46... Nxa6 47. Rxa6 Ke6 48. Kf2 {wins for White.}) 47. Rb8 { 1-0} * [Event "http://www.Chess.com"] [Site "http://www.Chess.com"] [Date "2022.04.01"] [Round "3"] [White "Tabatabaei, M. Amin"] [Black "So, Wesley"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D00"] [WhiteElo "2623"] [BlackElo "2778"] [Annotator "cahan"] [PlyCount "126"] [EventDate "2022.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Bf4 c5 4. e4 cxd4 5. Qxd4 Nc6 6. Bb5 {The computer do not like this move, but it has been played in several online events by strong players with good results. So, obviously, it can prove to be dangerous for Black.} ({The computer-approved} 6. Qa4 {leads to about equal chances after} Nxe4 7. Nxe4 dxe4 8. Bb5 Bd7 9. O-O-O {.}) 6... a6 ({In the previously mentioned games, Black gave preference to} 6... Bd7 {which may also be the best move. However, the text move also has its points. First and foremost, it forces White's light-squared bishop off the board.}) 7. Bxc6+ bxc6 8. e5 Ng8 $6 ({Or} 8... Nd7 $5 9. Nf3 (9. e6 fxe6 {should not be anything special for White. }) 9... e6 {when Black should not be worse.}) 9. O-O-O e6 10. Ne4 $1 Bd7 11. Nd6+ Bxd6 12. exd6 f6 ({Black hints at playing ...e6-e5 at some point, but more importantly, it also takes the e5-square away from White's pieces. A solid alternative was} 12... Nf6 13. Nf3 O-O 14. Bg5 h6 15. Bh4 Rc8 {with more or less even chances.}) 13. Nf3 $1 Rb8 ({Solid and logical, putting the rook on the open file. By contrast, it would have been extremely risky to play} 13... e5 {when the king is still stuck in the center and Black being miles behind in development. For instance,} 14. Rhe1 Kf8 15. Nxe5 ({also} 15. Bxe5 fxe5 16. Nxe5 Nf6 17. Rd3 Kg8 18. Rg3 {is scary for Black.}) 15... fxe5 16. Bxe5 Qg5+ ({if} 16... Nf6 {then} 17. Rd3 $1 {gives White an attack that Black will likely not survive.}) 17. Kb1 Nf6 18. h4 {with a strong ongoing initiative and attack for White. Not something you want to risk in the first game of anything, let alone a rapid-play tiebreaker for a spot in the final.}) 14. Rhe1 Qb6 15. Qxb6 Rxb6 16. Be3 Rb8 17. c4 ({It is logical to attack the center in this fashion and to keep the pawn push c4-c5 in reserve to support the lone ranger on d6. But another option was} 17. Nd4 e5 18. Nb3 Kf7 19. f4 e4 20. Nc5 Rd8 21. h3 Bc8 22. Bd2 Rxd6 23. Bb4 Re6 ({if} 23... Rd8 {then} 24. Nxe4 {is clearly better for White: a lead in development as well as much better-placed pieces.}) 24. Nxe6 Bxe6 25. c4 {and White has an advantage.}) 17... Kf7 18. Rd3 (18. Nd2 $5) 18... Nh6 19. Ra3 ({White could also consider} 19. Bxh6 gxh6 20. Nd2 ({This knight move is better than} 20. c5 e5 21. Nd2 Rb5 {and Black has solved all of his problems.}) 20... e5 21. f4 e4 22. Ra3 Rhg8 23. g3 {with a fascinating position where White seems to have the upper hand.}) 19... Nf5 20. Bc5 h5 ({A good practical decision for Black. If Black instead decided to defend passively with} 20... Ra8 {when} 21. g4 Nh6 22. h3 {with an edge for White.}) 21. Rxa6 Ra8 22. Rxa8 Rxa8 23. Kb1 e5 24. h3 $6 ({This seems like an odd move, allowing his g- and h-pawns to be fixed on light squares, the color of Black's bishop. It was better to play} 24. Nd2 Ke6 25. b3 Nxd6 26. a4 Nb7 27. Ba3 g5 28. f3 {when all results are still possible.}) 24... h4 25. b3 Ke6 26. Kb2 g5 27. Re2 $6 Be8 28. a4 $2 ({A better option was} 28. Nd2 Nxd6 29. a4 Ra6 30. Re1 Bg6 {when Black may have an edge, but it is not anything special.}) 28... dxc4 29. Rd2 cxb3 30. Kxb3 Kd7 $1 31. Bb6 $4 ({A dreadful mistake. White should have tried} 31. Ka3 Bf7 32. Nh2 Bd5 33. Ng4 Rf8 34. Ne3 Nxe3 35. fxe3 Rb8 36. Bb4 f5 {when Black is better and might win, but there is a long way to go.}) 31... Nxd6 32. a5 $6 ({White could also have tried} 32. Bc5 {but after} Bf7+ 33. Ka3 Bd5 {, Black is winning.}) 32... Bf7+ 33. Kb4 Bd5 $1 34. Rc2 Nc8 $1 {The first move in a sequence that stops all of White's counterplay and ultimately wins the a-pawn.} 35. Rb2 Nxb6 $1 36. axb6 Ra6 $1 ({ Precise play by Wesley So. Combined with the next move, this idea ensures a decisive advantage for Black. By contrast,} 36... Rb8 37. Kc5 Kc8 38. Ne1 Kb7 39. Kd6 {would have provided White with some counterplay although Black still should have the better chances.}) 37. Kc3 (37. Kc5 $4 Ra5+ {wins on the spot for Black.}) 37... Kc8 $1 {Now Black is winning. He never lets the advantage slide, not even a little bit.} 38. Nh2 f5 39. Nf1 Kb7 40. Ne3 Be6 41. Rd2 Rxb6 42. Rd8 Kc7 43. Rf8 f4 44. Nc2 Rb3+ 45. Kd2 Kd6 46. Rf6 Ke7 47. Rh6 c5 48. Rh7+ Bf7 49. Ne1 Rb2+ 50. Kc3 Rxf2 51. Nd3 Re2 52. Nxc5 Kf6 53. Nd7+ Ke6 54. Nc5+ Kd5 55. Nd7 Be6 56. Nf6+ Kc6 57. Re7 Bf5 58. Ne8 Rc2+ 59. Kb4 Rxg2 60. Rc7+ Kd5 61. Rc5+ Kd4 62. Rc4+ Ke3 63. Nf6 Bd3 {0-} 0-1