[Event "FIDE Grand Prix-I KO 2022"] [Site "Berlin"] [Date "2022.02.12"] [Round "1.1"] [White "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Black "Rapport, Richard"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D36"] [WhiteElo "2736"] [BlackElo "2763"] [PlyCount "141"] [EventDate "2022.02.12"] [EventType "k.o."] [EventCountry "GER"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2022.02.13"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bg5 c6 6. Qc2 Be7 7. e3 Nbd7 8. Bd3 Nh5 9. Bxe7 Qxe7 {Anand: \"Interesting choice by Rapport, but he probably wants a solid opening.\"} 10. O-O-O Nb6 11. h3 g6 {Black wants to re-route his knight with ...Nh5-g7 and bring out his light-squared bishop to f5.} 12. Nf3 Ng7 13. g4 {Stopping the light-squared bishops from being exchanged.} Be6 14. Ne2 {The knight is headed to f4, keeping pressure on the kingside.} O-O-O 15. Kb1 ({The game referred to in the post-game interview with Nakamura was} 15. Nf4 Kb8 16. Be2 Ne8 17. Nd2 Nd6 18. h4 Bc8 19. Nb3 Ne4 20. Bf3 f5 {with a draw in Kasparov,G (2760)-Smyslov,V (2550) Moscow 1988.}) 15... Kb8 16. Rc1 Ne8 { Black maneuvers patiently and. as per middlegame basics, activates his worst-placed knight.} 17. Nf4 Nd6 18. a4 Ndc4 {Unusually for Nakamura, he had already consumed about 49 minutes on his clock by this point. And this is where he started his excellent onslaught on Black's position, uncorking a brilliantly imaginative sequence of moves.} 19. a5 {Outwardly, this even looks dubious, as White parts with a pawn now along with an exchange of queens.} Qb4 20. Qc3 Qxa5 21. Qxa5 Nxa5 {Though Black is a pawn up here, observe that his queenside knights will take a long, long time to return back to action.} 22. Ng5 {White starts his onslaught now.} Rdf8 {One of those \"mysterious rook moves\" which is forced here.} (22... Rde8 {will be met with} 23. Nfxe6 fxe6 24. Nxh7 $1 Rxh7 25. Bxg6 Reh8 26. Bxh7 Rxh7 27. g5 {and White's connected passers on the kingside will decide the game in his favor.}) 23. Bxg6 $3 { Brilliant $1 This is the point behind the pawn sacrifice which started with 19. a5.} Nb3 (23... hxg6 24. Ngxe6 fxe6 25. Nxg6 Nbc4 26. Nxh8 Rxh8 27. h4 { and White's connected passers on the kingside look menacing. This was the crux of Nakamura's imagination.}) 24. Nfxe6 $6 (24. Nxh7 $1 Rc8 (24... Nxc1 25. Nxf8 Bxg4 (25... Rxf8 26. Nxe6 fxe6 27. Kxc1 {is a simple win for White.}) 26. Rxc1 fxg6 27. hxg4 Rxf8 28. Rh1 {and White still has a huge advantage.}) 25. Nxe6 Nxc1 26. Kxc1 fxg6 27. Nf6 {and White has some advantage here.}) 24... fxe6 25. Nxh7 Rfg8 $6 ({Better was} 25... Rxf2 26. Rc2 Nd2+ 27. Ka2 Nbc4 {and Black has counterplay.}) 26. Bd3 Nxc1 27. Kxc1 {White has sacrifced an exchange for the sake of gaining connected passed pawns on the kingside.} Rg7 28. Nf6 Rf7 $2 { This proved to be a decisive error.} (28... Rh4 $1 {Stopping White's kingside pawns.} 29. f3 Nc4 30. e4 {with a complicated dynamic ending where it is difficult to predict any advantage for either side.}) 29. g5 Rxf6 {Black decides to part with the exchange and try to hold the resultant ending.} 30. gxf6 Rf8 31. h4 Rxf6 32. h5 Rh6 33. Kd2 $16 {White brings his king to the kingside, after which he will gain a decisive advantage.} Kc7 34. Ke2 Kd6 35. Kf3 Ke7 36. Kg4 Kf6 37. Rh3 Nc8 38. Rf3+ Kg7 39. Bg6 {White is winning now.} Nd6 40. Kg5 a5 41. Rf4 Ne4+ 42. Bxe4 dxe4 43. Rxe4 {A pure rook ending has been reached and Nakamura patiently converts his advantage.} Rf6 44. f4 Rf5+ 45. Kg4 Rb5 46. Rxe6 a4 47. Re7+ Kh6 48. Re8 Rxb2 49. Rh8+ Kg7 50. Ra8 b5 51. e4 Ra2 52. Ra7+ ({White could have won with a speedier finish here, but it was probably too difficult to spot and was not necessary too:} 52. e5 b4 53. f5 b3 54. f6+ Kf7 55. d5 $3 {The important nuance of winning the rook ending here.} cxd5 56. Ra7+ Kg8 (56... Ke6 57. Re7#) 57. e6 b2 58. Ra8+ Kh7 59. e7 b1=Q 60. Rh8+ Kxh8 61. e8=Q+ {winning}) 52... Kh6 53. Ra6 Kh7 54. Ra7+ Kh6 55. Ra6 Kh7 56. e5 b4 57. e6 b3 58. Kf5 Ra1 59. Rb6 Re1 60. Kf6 Re4 61. e7 Rxf4+ 62. Ke5 Rf1 63. Kd6 Re1 64. Kd7 c5 65. dxc5 Rd1+ 66. Kc7 Re1 67. Kd6 Rd1+ 68. Kc6 Re1 69. Rb4 b2 70. Rxb2 Rxe7 71. Ra2 1-0 [Event "Chess.com"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2022.02.12"] [Round "1"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [Black "Dominguez Perez, Leinier"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D20"] [WhiteElo "2772"] [BlackElo "2752"] [Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2022.??.??"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. e4 b5 {One can only admire Dominguez's spirit $1 After an extremely tense and tiring tiebreaker, he is not afraid to enter one of the most complex and sharp lines in the Queen’s Gambit Accepted.} 4. a4 c6 5. axb5 cxb5 6. Nc3 Qb6 {This is now more promising than 6... Bd7, at least according to Megabase.} 7. Nd5 {The most aggressive move. It should be noted that not only did the white pieces rapidly create threats while developing but they were moved at a very rapid speed by their commander too.} ({Another highly creative player had chosen instead:} 7. Be2 e6 8. Nh3 Bb7 9. O-O Nf6 10. e5 Nd5 11. Nxd5 Bxd5 12. Nf4 Nc6 13. Be3 Rd8 14. b3 {and the sharp battle eventually ended in a draw in Duda,J (2760) -Karjakin,S (2743) Wijk aan Zee 2022}) 7... Qb7 8. Bf4 e5 {A key resource to bring the idle pieces out.} 9. Bxe5 Nd7 10. Bf4 Ngf6 {Black needs to sacrifice the exchange but at least is gaining the initiative back.} 11. Nc7+ Kd8 12. Nxa8 Qxe4+ {Another important, subtle move that destroys White's coordination.} 13. Ne2 Qxa8 14. f3 {Aronian intends to castle by hand.} ({Previously, White had tried to develop with} 14. Nc3 {but did not get much after} Bb4 $146 ({The predecessor was:} 14... a6 15. f3 Nd5 16. Bg5+ f6 17. Bd2 Nxc3 18. bxc3 Bd6 19. Kf2 h5 20. Qc2 Qa7 {1/2-1/2 (36) Skonieczna,B (2361)-Karasova,E (2315) ICCF email 2011}) 15. f3 Re8+ 16. Be2 a5 17. O-O Qc6 18. Re1 Bxc3 19. bxc3 Nd5 20. Qd2 b4 {Fodor,B (2120)-Dev,S (2243) Budapest 2021}) 14... Nd5 ({The other knight would not stand so well in the center.} 14... Nb6 15. Kf2 Nbd5 $6 16. Bd2 $1 {as Black has problems with the king.}) 15. Bg5+ $146 {And the former Armenian and now American defends once again his reputation as an extremely well-prepared player by banging out a novelty.} ({The predecessor saw:} 15. Bd2 Bd6 16. Nc3 b4 17. Ne4 Re8 18. Be2 Bb8 19. O-O N7b6 20. Ra5 h6 {Nechaeva,M (2372)-Dev,S (2248) Chess.com INT 2022} ) 15... f6 {An obvious reply, but it cost Black a precious [almost] half-an-hour on the clock.} ({In the future, the ugly self-pin} 15... N7f6 $5 { might be tested.}) ({As well as something wild like} 15... Be7 16. Bxe7+ Kxe7 17. Nc3 Re8 18. Kf2 Kf8 19. Nxb5 Qc6 20. Nc3 Nc5 $3) 16. Bd2 Bd6 17. Ng3 { This is the first moment in which White slightly slowed down and took some time on the clock. b2-b3 is a threat, and therefore Black's next is best.} ({ The other way to accomplish his plan was} 17. Kf2 {when} Qb8 {is not good due to} ({Therefore Black likely would have answered with} 17... Qc6 $1) 18. b3) 17... Qb8 18. Kf2 {White's plan is obvious: accomplish the development of pieces and castle by hand. After some more thought, Dominguez went for} Re8 ({ Here it appears that the maneuver} 18... Bc7 $1 {intending Bc7-b6 is strong, when} 19. Ba5 {can be met with} ({And if} 19. Be2 {then Black would have an extra choice in comparison to the game in the line} Bb6 20. Ba5 Qf4 $5 21. Bxb6+ N7xb6 22. Rxa7 Re8 $1 {with a strong initiative for the exchange.}) 19... Bxa5 20. Rxa5 Qb6 21. Ra1 Ne5 $1 {and another nice maneuver will be completed with Ne5-c6 $1}) 19. Be2 Bc7 $1 {The same maneuver is still excellent; however, Aronian managed to escape the danger zone.} 20. Re1 Bb6 21. Kg1 Ne5 {And this maneuver is still there; Black is heading for the d4-pawn. But… this is the moment in which the computer goes bananas, and it falls in love with White's position.} ({Something solid like} 21... Qc7 22. Kh1 Bb7 23. Bf1 {seemed normal.}) ({It is clear why Black is reluctant to open the d-file at once.} 21... Bxd4+ $6 22. Kh1 Bb6 23. Qc2 {The black king is about to catch a cold along the d-file.}) 22. Kh1 $1 {This was part of his plan anyway.} Nc6 23. b3 $3 {Aronian knows that the opening of the files can only serve him well.} c3 { The only reasonable move.} ({Or} 23... cxb3 24. Qxb3 {which is simply horrible for Black.}) 24. Bxb5 $1 Bd7 {It seems as if the c3-passer is too big to fall.} ({After} 24... Rxe1+ 25. Bxe1 Nxd4 {White has} 26. Bc4 c2 27. Qd2 Qd6 28. Ne4 { followed by Be1-f2 $1, eventually reaching the c2-pawn.}) 25. Rxe8+ Bxe8 26. Be1 {And White starts to play around the passer.} ({A pity $1 The forcing lines after} 26. Bxc6 $1 Bxc6 27. Bxc3 $3 {would have won the game on the spot. The lines are super-complicated, but the machine confirms that Black cannot hold on to the extra pieces, say} Nxc3 28. Qc2 Bxd4 29. Qd3 Qe5 ({Or:} 29... Nb5 30. Ne2 Qd6 31. Nxd4 Qxd4 32. Qxd4+ Nxd4 33. Rd1) 30. Nf5 {And most lolvely followup is} Ne2 31. Rd1 Bb5 32. Nxd4 $3 Bxd3 33. Nc6+ {A nice geometrical combination $1}) 26... Nxd4 27. Bxe8 {Most likely Aronian simply believed that this is the easiest route to victory.} ({However, stronger seemed to get rid of both black knights at once with} 27. Bc4 $3 Qe5 28. Bxd5 c2 29. Qd2 Qxd5 30. Bf2 Bc6 (30... Bg6 $2 31. Ne2) 31. Bxd4 Qxd4 32. Qxd4+ Bxd4 33. Rc1 {when White should convert his material advantage.}) 27... c2 $1 { The only move $1} ({White certainly liked the prospect of} 27... Kxe8 28. Bxc3 $1 Nxc3 29. Qe1+ Nce2 {And now the fine finishing touch} 30. Ra2 $1 ({Rather than} 30. Nxe2 Nc2 $1)) 28. Qd3 Kxe8 29. Bd2 ({It was not too late to convert with} 29. Ne2 $1 Qe5 30. Nxd4 Bxd4 31. Rc1 {when, despite the scary passer, White is somehow always in time.} Bb2 ({Or} 31... Ne3 32. Bg3 Qc5 33. Bf2) 32. Bg3 Nb4 33. Bxe5 Nxd3 34. Bxb2 {and White wins.}) 29... Qe5 30. Rc1 ({Not:} 30. Re1 $4 Qxe1+ 31. Bxe1 c1=Q) 30... f5 $1 {Dominguez finds the only idea to stay in the game.} 31. Qc4 Ne3 {But the time trouble finally takes its toll.} ({ The knight entry should have been prepared with the preliminary} 31... f4 32. Ne4 ({Or} 32. Qc8+ Kf7 33. Ne4 h6) 32... Ne3 {Then} 33. Qc8+ Ke7 34. Bb4+ Kf7 35. Qf8+ Kg6 36. Bd6 Qf5 37. Qe8+ Qf7 38. Qxf7+ Kxf7 39. Bxf4 Nd5 40. Bd2 Bd8 { Leads to a very peculiar endgame where White cannot find a proper way to swap the knight on d4. Therefore, nothing would have been clear yet $1}) 32. Qc8+ { Now Aronian wins by force} Kf7 33. Qd7+ Kg6 (33... Kf6 {loses even faster after } 34. f4 $1) 34. f4 $1 {Nevertheless, the queens are traded.} Qe6 ({Since} 34... Qxf4 35. Qe8+ {drops the knight.}) 35. Qxe6+ Nxe6 36. Ne2 $1 {Precision $1 The c2-pawn is not going anywhere, so why give Black another pawn in return $2} ({would have won as well.} 36. Bxe3 Bxe3 37. Rxc2) 36... Ng4 37. g3 Nc5 38. b4 Nd3 39. Rxc2 Ngf2+ 40. Kg2 Ne4 41. Nc1 {The new-American is delivering $1} 1-0