Nakamura Wins in Round Four

the only decisive game in round four at the LCC was the one between the American GM Hikaru Nakamura and the local Michael Adams.
A game that I liked (ChessBase 12)

[Event "6th London Chess Classic"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2014.12.13"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Black "Adams, Michael"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D30"]
[WhiteElo "2767"]
[BlackElo "2745"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "79"]
[EventDate "2014.??.??"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]

1. d4 {After the fascinating Evans gambit Hikaru switches to the semi-closed
openings. Which does not mean that he is up for a lenghty maneuvering battle...
} Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Bg5 Be7 5. Qc2 {Diagram [#] The words with which
Hikaru described his game in the opening are fun to listen "Well, I do not
know, it was interesting, I kind of just played something..."} ({The usual
continuation is} 5. Nc3 h6 6. Bh4 O-O 7. e3 Ne4 {and this was played by
Nakamura himself with the black pieces recently} 8. Bxe7 Qxe7 9. Rc1 c6 10. Bd3
Nxc3 11. Rxc3 dxc4 12. Rxc4 Nd7 13. O-O e5 {Aronian,L (2801)-Nakamura,H (2786)
Antalya 2013}) 5... h6 6. Bxf6 Bxf6 7. e3 c5 $6 $146 {Adams felt tempted to
use the absence of the white knight on c3 and strike in the center at once. t
will turn out that this attempt is premature and that the American GM had done
his homework well.} ({Instead} 7... O-O {would have transposed into the usual
QGD} 8. Nc3 b6 {and also} (8... c5) ({or} 8... c6 {are normal continuations})
9. O-O-O $5 Bb7 10. cxd5 exd5 {with interesting play.}) 8. cxd5 cxd4 9. Bb5+ {
The forced play is favourable for the first player who is slightly better
developed.} Bd7 10. dxe6 $1 {Diagram [#] A nice temporary piece sacrifice,
which was part of Nakamura's preparation.} (10. Bxd7+ Qxd7 11. dxe6 Qxe6 12.
O-O Nc6 13. exd4 O-O $1 {is nothing for White.}) 10... Qa5+ ({The bishop on b5
is defended tactically} 10... Bxb5 11. exf7+ Kd7 {or else White regains the
piece at once} (11... Ke7 12. Qc5+) (11... Kf8 12. Qc5+) (11... Kxf7 12. Qb3+
$16) 12. Qf5+ Kc6 13. a4 Ba6 14. b4 {and White will regain the material and
will have strong attack fro free} dxe3 15. b5+ Kb6 16. Ra3 exf2+ 17. Kxf2 $18)
11. Nbd2 Qxb5 ({Hikaru revealed at the press-conference that he mainly checked
the line} 11... Bxb5 12. Qc8+ Qd8 (12... Bd8 13. exf7+ Kxf7 14. Qxb7+ Bc7 15.
Nxd4 $1 {[%csl Ra8,Rb5][%cal Rb7a8,Rb7b5] loses heavily material for Black.}) (
{Nigel Short was very excited to play in "immortal style"} 12... Ke7 13. Qxh8 (
13. Qxb7+ Kxe6 {is unclear, to say at least...}) 13... Nd7 14. Qxa8 Nc5 15. Qc8
Nd3+ 16. Kf1 Nf4+ 17. Nc4 {"And that's the end of the excitement" Short.}) 13.
Qxb7 O-O 14. Qxb5 $1 $16 {The key move pointed out by Hikaru. Indeed, the rook
is poisoned} (14. Qxa8 $2 dxe3 15. fxe3 Qd3 16. exf7+ Kh8 17. Kf2 Qe2+ 18. Kg3
Bc6 19. Qxa7 Be5+ 20. Kh3 Bd7+ 21. g4 Rxf7 {with decisive attack for Black} 22.
Nxe5 Bxg4+ 23. Nxg4 Rxa7 $19)) 12. exd7+ Nxd7 13. Qe4+ Kf8 14. Nxd4 Qxb2 15.
Rb1 Qxa2 16. Qxb7 {Diagram [#] All these moves were more or less forced. Now a
curious situation arises where it becomes evident that Black will sooner or
later lose his a pawn and there will be an endgame four versus three on the
kingside. Will this be a win for White or a draw will depend on the
remaining pieces and the pawn structure. For example, very good for White
will be a pure knight endgame which a theoretical win. Very good for Black
will be a single rook endgame which is usually a draw. A critical moment had
arisen and Mickey has to make tough choice.} Rd8 (16... Rb8 $1 {suggested by
Hikaru was better. After} 17. Qxd7 Rxb1+ 18. Nxb1 Qxb1+ 19. Ke2 Qb2+ ({Black
cannot win the rook due to a cunning checkmate} 19... Qxh1 $4 20. Qc8+ Ke7 21.
Nf5# {[%csl Gc8,Re7,Gf5]}) 20. Kf3 g6 21. Qxa7 Bxd4 22. Qxd4 {[%csl Gb2,Rd4,
Rh1,Gh8] Diagram [#] Black will achieve one of the good combinations of pieces
when the game should be objectively a draw} Qb7+ 23. Kg3 Kg8 24. Ra1 Kh7 25.
Ra7 Qb8+ {"should be a draw"- Nakamura, Short.}) 17. Qb4+ ({Initially Nakamura
wanted to play} 17. Nc6 {but then he thought he is losing after} Nc5 $1 18. Qb4
Kg8 19. O-O Na6 {"I completely missed this move" Hikaru} 20. Qg4 h5 {A closer
look at the position reveals that it is a draw} 21. Qh3 Rxd2 22. Qc8+ Kh7 23.
Qf5+ Kg8 ({as Black cannot avoid the repetition with} 23... Kh6 $4 24. Rb5 $1
$18) 24. Qc8+ $11) 17... Kg8 18. O-O {Now logically the endgame in question
appears on the board after the sequence} a5 19. Qc3 Qd5 20. Qc7 Nf8 21. Rb5 Qd7
22. Qxd7 Rxd7 23. N2f3 Bxd4 24. Nxd4 {This weakens the pawn structure but the
knight is a trouble-maker and should be traded.} Ne6 ({The pawn can never be
saved} 24... Ra7 25. Ra1 a4 26. Rb4 a3 27. Rb3 a2 28. Rb2) 25. Nxe6 fxe6 26.
Rxa5 Kf7 27. g4 $1 {[%csl Re6][%cal Gh2h4,Gh4h5,Gg1g2,Gg2g3,Gf1b1,Gb1b5,Gb5e5,
Ga5a6,Ga6e6,Ge5e6,Yf2f4,Yg4g5] Diagram [#] White's plan is to advance the h
pawn to h5, bring the king to g3, eventually attack the e6 pawn with both
rooks (on a6 and e5 for example) and then push f2-f4 and g4-g5. Nakamura
thought that he has decent winning chances with both the rooks on the board
and cosidered the position a draw with a single pair of rooks.} Rc8 {[%cal
Gg1g2,Gg2g3,Gh2h4,Gh4h5,Gf2f4] It should be noted though that Vishy Anand's
classical knowledge and excellent memory gave us a good example to study and
understand the arising endgame. He mentioned the game Karpov-Hort, Waddinxween
1979 where the world champion then managed to win a similar endgame with only
one pair of rooks!} ({From the comment above, Nakamura suggested the idea}
27... Rhd8 28. h4 ({and he thought he needs to keep the two rooks alive with
the passive} 28. Raa1) 28... Rd1 29. Rxd1 Rxd1+ 30. Kg2 {[%cal Gh4h5,Gf2f4,
Gg2f3,Gf3e4]}) 28. Rb1 Rc2 ({Or else White improves the position as above}
28... Rdc7 29. Kg2 Rd7 30. h4 Rdc7 31. h5 Rd7 32. Kg3 Rdc7 33. Rbb5 Rd7 34. f4
{[%csl Ye6][%cal Gb5e5,Ga5a6,Gg4g5]}) 29. Ra8 Rc4 30. h3 h5 {A blunder.
Passive defense was more stubborn.} 31. gxh5 Rh4 32. Rh8 Kf6 ({Alas, the pawn
is untouchable} 32... Rxh3 $2 33. Kg2 Rh4 34. f4 $18 {[%csl Yh4] "The rook is
inboxed" Nakamura.} Rd5 35. Rb7+ Kf6 36. Rf8#) 33. Kh2 $1 {[%cal Rg1g8]
Diagram [#] The g file decides the battle.} Rd5 34. Rf8+ Ke7 35. Rf3 Rf5 ({
Black loses a second pawn after} 35... Rhxh5 36. Rb7+ Rd7 37. Rxd7+ Kxd7 38.
Rf7+) 36. Rxf5 exf5 37. Rg1 Kf6 38. Rg6+ Kf7 39. Rg5 Kf6 (39... f4 40. Rf5+ Ke6
41. Rxf4) 40. f4 {Diagram [#] The rook is lost, Adams resigned. A very nice
example of a nice opening preparation which lasted till the endgame!} 1-0

Complete report.

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