(1) Carlsen,Magnus (2802) - Nakamura,Hikaru (2741)
London Chess Classic 2nd London (4), 11.12.2010
[Saunders,J]



1.c4
Magnus is now a confirmed 'anglophile' when it comes to his choice of opening for White...

1...f5
... while Hikaru favours the Netherlands with Black. Of course it is not a true Dutch as White does not play d4 at any stage.

2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 d6 4.Nc3 g6 5.e3 Bg7 6.Nge2 0-0 7.0-0 e5 8.b3 Nbd7 9.d3 c6 10.Ba3 Qc7 11.Qd2 Re8 12.Rae1 Nc5 13.h3 e4 14.dxe4
[14.d4 isn't really an option because of 14...Nd3 and the knight makes a nuisance of itself.]

14...Nfxe4 15.Qc2 Nxc3 16.Nxc3 Be6 17.Rd1 Rad8 18.Bb2 Bf7 19.Rd2 a5 20.Rfd1 Be5 21.Ne2
So far, a lot of cautious jockeying for position has ensued, but now Hikaru makes a committal move.

21...a4 22.b4 Nd7 23.Bd4
[Note the immediate capture of the a-pawn with 23.Qxa4 would be a very bad idea because of 23...Nb6! 24.Qb3 Nxc4 and White is actually losing material. However, the a-pawn remains a liability in the long term as it is awkward to defend.]

23...Nb6
[23...Bxd4 is not a good idea as Black would be giving up a key defender of the d6 pawn.]

24.Bxb6! Qxb6 25.Rb1 Qc7 26.Nd4 Rc8 27.Rc1 Qe7 28.Rd3
[The a-pawn is still indirectly defended: 28.Qxa4? Bxg3! is good for Black.]

28...c5 29.bxc5 Rxc5 30.Qxa4 Rec8 31.Rb1 Rxc4 32.Qd1!
White was quite brave to surrender bishop for knight on move 24 but his positional plan appears to be to target Black's loose pawns on b7 and d6.

32...b6
[After this White takes a firm grip of the position. Perhaps 32...R4c5!? was worth a try, e.g. 33.Rxb7 R8c7 34.Rxc7 Qxc7 35.Qd2 Rc1+ 36.Kh2 Bxd4 37.Rxd4 Rc2 ]

33.Nb5 R4c5
[Hikaru was short of time. He looked at 33...Rd8 34.f4 Bf6 35.Nxd6 Rc3 36.Rxb6 Qc7 37.Rxc3 Qxc3 38.Qe2 Bd4!? but didn't have time to check all the implications.]

34.Nxd6 Bxd6 35.Rxd6 Bxa2 36.Ra1 Rc1 37.Rxc1 Rxc1 38.Rxg6+
A desperado move to secure the extra pawn.

38...hxg6 39.Qxc1 Qd6 40.h4 Bf7 41.h5 Kh7
[41...gxh5 42.Qc8+ Kg7 43.Qxf5 is worse.]

42.hxg6+ Kxg6 43.Qc2 b5 44.g4 Qe5
[44...Be6? 45.gxf5+ Bxf5 46.e4! wins a piece; but 44...b4!? seems worth a try since it is quite hard for White to restrain the b-pawn and Black's f-pawn is lost anyway.]

45.gxf5+ Kg7
[45...Kf6 46.Qc6+! Kxf5? 47.Bh3+ Kg5 48.f4+ wins the queen.]

46.Qe4 Qd6
The exchange of queens leads to a win for White as we shall see shortly.

47.Qh4 Bc4 48.Bf3 Qf6 49.Qxf6+ Kxf6 50.Be4 Ba2
[50...b4 51.f4 b3 52.Kf2 b2 53.Bb1 wins.]

51.f4 b4 52.Kf2 b3 53.Bd5 Kxf5 54.Kf3 Kf6 55.e4 Kg6 56.Ke3
[It's now a straightforward technical win though those of us less skilled at the game could easily mess it up. For example, 56.Kg4? Bb1! is a draw.]

56...Kh5 57.Kd4 Kg4 58.f5 Kg5 59.Ke5 1-0