Happy 30th Birthday to Hikaru Nakamura, a four-time United States Champion!

Happy 30th Birthday to Hikaru Nakamura, a four-time United States Champion!

09 December 2017, 06:30 GMT

# Name Classic +/− Rapid Blitz Age
1 Carlsen 2832.4 −4.6 2908.0 2986.0 27
2 ↑2 Caruana 2807.8 +8.8 2751.0 2804.0 25
3 ↓1 Aronian 2802.6 −2.4 2819.0 2863.0 35
4 ↓1 Mamedyarov 2799.0 0.0 2814.0 2770.0 32
5 Vachier-Lagrave 2788.9 −0.1 2839.0 2853.0 27
6 So 2787.0 −1.0 2763.0 2824.0 24
7 Kramnik 2787.0 0.0 2795.0 2784.0 42
8 ↑1 Nakamura 2780.4 −0.6 2823.0 2853.0 30
 
Last update: 09 December 2015, 18:38 GMT
# Name Classic +/− Rapid Blitz Age
1 Carlsen 2830.1 −3.9 2873.0 2878.0 25

2

↑3

Nakamura

2796.2

+3.2

2842.0

2884.0

28

3 ↑1 Kramnik 2796.0 0.0 2793.0 2817.0 40
4 ↓1 Anand 2795.7 −0.3 2777.0 2764.0 45
5 ↑3 Giri 2788.0 +4.0 2754.0 2793.0 21
6 Aronian 2787.9 −0.1 2746.0 2814.0 33
7 Caruana 2787.4 +0.4 2829.0 2665.0 23
8 ↓6 Topalov 2786.2 −16.8 2771.0 2647.0 40
9 ↑2 Vachier-Lagrave 2779.3 +6.3 2787.0 2871.0 25
10 So 2775.0 0.0 2652.0 2726 i 22
   

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London Chess Classic Round 6 and GM Hikaru has White vs Magnus Carlsen (photo johnchess) - will it be Hikaru's day? He's already advanced 'Harry the h-pawn'...

[Event "9th London Chess Classic 2017"] [Site "London"] [Date "2017.12.08"] [Round "6"] [White "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C45"] [WhiteElo "2781"] [BlackElo "2837"] [Annotator "AlexYermo"] [PlyCount "145"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nxc6 bxc6 6. e5 Qe7 7. Qe2 Nd5 8. h4 Bb7 9. c4 Nb6 10. Rh3 Qe6 11. f4 O-O-O 12. a4 d5 13. a5 Nxc4 14. b3 Bb4+ 15. Kf2 Nxa5 16. Bd2 c5 17. Rxa5 Bxa5 18. Bxa5 Qf5 19. Nc3 Qxf4+ 20. Kg1 Rhe8 21. Nb5 a6 22. Rf3 Qxe5 23. Qxe5 Rxe5 24. Bxc7 Ree8 25. Bxd8 Rxd8 26. Na3 Rd7 27. Bd3 Kd8 28. Bxh7 g6 29. h5 gxh5 30. Rf6 Ke7 31. Rb6 Rc7 32. Nc2 a5 33. Ne3 c4 34. Bc2 Bc6 35. bxc4 dxc4 36. Ra6 a4 37. Bxa4 Be4 38. Ra5 Ke6 39. Rxh5 c3 40. Bb3+ Kd6 41. Bc2 Bxc2 42. Nxc2 Ke6 43. Kf2 f5 {[#]} 44. Rh3 {Hikaru's choice shows his desire to stabilize the situation.} ({He had a direct plan of bringing his king up, but there were many tactics to calculate.} 44. Ke3 $1 { is a very human move, in reply to which} Kf6 {is the toughest defense.} (44... Rc8 45. Nd4+ Kd7 46. Rh7+ Kd6 47. Kd3 $1 f4 (47... Rg8 48. Nxf5+ Ke5 49. Ne3) 48. Rh6+ $1 Ke5 49. Re6+ Kd5 {and finally,} 50. Rg6 $1 {[#] puts Black in Zugzwang.} Ke5 (50... Rc7 51. Rg5+ Kd6 52. Nb5+) 51. Nc6+ Kf5 52. Ne7+) 45. Kd4 Rc8 $1 (45... Rg7 {gets turned away by} 46. Ne3 f4 47. Nd5+ Kf7 48. Nxf4 $18) ( 45... f4 $5 {is a try, but the black king can never support the pawn, so White should be able to navigate his way to a win after} 46. Ke4 Rc4+ (46... Rg7 47. Rf5+ Ke6 48. Nd4+ Ke7 49. Kf3 Rg3+ 50. Kf2 Rd3 51. Ne2 $18) 47. Kf3 Kg6 48. Rh4 $1 Kg5 49. g3 $18) 46. Rh6+ (46. Rh3 Rg8 47. Ne1 c2 48. Rc3 Re8 49. Nxc2 Re2 $11) 46... Kg5 47. Rh3 {[#] the c3-pawn drops, and it has to over now, right?} f4 {Well, not quite.} (47... Kg4 48. Ne3+ Kg5 49. Rg3+ Kh5 50. Nc2 {is an important step forward, as the black king is now cut off on the h-file.}) 48. Rxc3 {We're making progress now, but there's still a lot of work to be done.} Rd8+ 49. Ke4 Kg4 50. Nd4 (50. Rf3 Rh8 $3 {is surprisingly a draw.}) 50... Re8+ 51. Kd5 Rd8+ 52. Ke5 Ra8 {I must admit I don't see a forced win here. Nevertheless, I would have gone for this position, hoping to find a solution over the board.}) ({There was also a rather mechanical plan of rounding up the c-pawn:} 44. Rh1 Ke5 45. Rc1 f4 $1 (45... Ke4 46. Na3 $1 Rc5 47. Nb1 c2 48. Na3 {aiming for a pawn ending:} Kd3 (48... Rc3 49. Nxc2 Kf4 {would have been nice for Black if it wasn't for knight forks:} 50. Ne1 $18) 49. Rxc2 Rxc2+ 50. Nxc2 Kxc2 51. Ke3 $18) 46. Na3 Rc5 47. Nb1 c2 {[#] Look out!} 48. Nd2 {is the only way to win.} ({Not} 48. Na3 {because Black has the amazing resource} f3 $3 49. gxf3 Rc3 50. Nxc2 Kf6 {staying away from the forks and keeping White tied up.}) 48... Rc8 49. Nf3+ Ke4 50. Ne1 $18 {Remember this position, it represents White ultimate goal in this entire endgame.}) 44... Ke5 45. Rd3 Kf4 46. Rd4+ Kg5 47. Kf3 Rc8 48. Ra4 Rc7 49. Ra8 Kf6 50. Ra6+ Kg5 {Carlsen's defensive plan is taking shape. He avoids playing his pawn to f4, while keeping his king ready for counterattack should White attempt to move his king to the Q-side. Hikaru has to regroup.} 51. Nd4 $3 {[#]} Rc4 $1 ({Magnus avoids a devilish trap:} 51... c2 $2 {loses to a mating attack!} 52. Ne6+ Kh4 (52... Kh5 53. Nf4+ Kg5 54. Rg6+ Kh4 55. g3#) 53. g3+ Kh3 54. Nf4+ Kh2 55. Rh6+ Kg1 56. Ne2+ Kf1 57. Rh1# {The knight, as an extra piece, still has its limitations when it comes to playing on both sides of the board. It's strength, however, is in tactical motifs.}) 52. Ne6+ ({A good chance to get on the winning track was} 52. Ne2 $1 c2 53. Ra1 Kf6 54. Rc1 Kg5 55. Kf2 Kg4 {and now the final knight transfer:} 56. Ng1 Kf4 57. Nf3 Rc8 58. Ne1 $18) 52... Kf6 53. Nf4+ Ke5 54. Nd3+ Kd5 55. Ra2 (55. Ra5+ Kd4 56. Nf4 {was an idea, as} c2 57. Ne2+ Kd3 58. Rd5+ { ends in mate. This and similar lines illustrate the difficulty of playing such endgames. One has to calculate variations all the time!}) 55... Kd4 56. Nc1 c2 57. Ra5 Rc3+ 58. Kf4 Rc8 59. Rxf5 $2 {A tragic miss.} (59. Ra3 $1 Rc5 60. Rd3+ Kc4 61. Re3 Rc7 62. Kxf5 {would have clinched it for Nakamura.}) 59... Re8 60. Rf7 (60. Ra5 Re1 61. Ra1 Rd1 62. g4 Kc3 63. g5 Kb2 $11) 60... Re1 {Black will attack the knight that cannot leave the c-pawn unattended.} 61. Rd7+ Kc3 62. Rc7+ Kd2 63. Nb3+ Kd3 64. Nc5+ Kd4 65. Nb3+ Kd3 66. Nc5+ Kd4 67. Nb3+ Kd3 68. g4 Rf1+ 69. Kg5 Rb1 70. Nc5+ Ke3 71. Nb3 Kd3 72. Nc5+ Ke3 73. Nb3 1/2-1/2

Nakamura has mate in 45 moves

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