Kindred’s Special: They Lamented that Chess was Dead; Tain’t so!

Why did some very famous grandmasters from the past say this?  Maybe true in the era where imagination began to stale and ideas were housed like a neatly  overloaded and tied Pandora’s box. Oh, there were great moments, great tournaments and games that saw strategic and tactical masterpieces created, but the wholeness of new ideas remained shut for many years until the emergence of young lions whose chess talent mirrored the technical developments of ever broadening breakthroughs that gels with human imagination.

The Tradewise Gibraltar Masters Tournament saw the young American lion, GM Hikaru Nakamura, triumphant over a strong field.  He is one of the best at creating new ideas over the board or, at least, being more than willing to test his ideas and judgment in important competitions. He went on to win the 2015 US Chess Championship held in Saint Louis, Mo.

White:  GM Baskaran Adhiban (2630)  vs. Black:  GM Hikaru Nakamura  (2776)  Opening: Queen’s Gambit

1. d4  d5  2. c4  d:c4  3. e4  b5!?

This move is a rare bird; maybe now that someone of Nakamura’s essaying it will make it more digestible.

4. a4  c6  5. Nc3  a6!

Old theory went 5. … b4 which has met with problems because of 6. Nce2.

6. a:b5 c:b5  7. N:b5 a:b5 8. R:a8  Bb7  9. Ra1 e6  10. Ne2  B:e4  11. b3

Alternative moves might  be 11 f3/Nc3/Be2.  HN give 11. Nc3 Bb4 12. Be2 Nf6 saying  Black is okay here.

11. … Nc6  12. Nc3

White missed 12. b:c4 Nb4 13. Nc3 Nc2+ 14. Ke2 N:d4:+ 15. Ke3 and either White or Black is winning HN.

12. … Bb4  13. Bd2  B:c3  14. B:c3 b4  15. d5  b:c3  16. d:c6 Q:d1+ 17. K:d1  c:b3  18.c7 Kd7

HN misses a sharper and clear win by 18. …Ne7 19. Bb5+ Kf8  20. Ke2 b2  21. Rad1  g5  22. Rd8+ Kg7 23. Bd3  c2!! winning.  Having missed this opportunity, the position is becoming messy.

19. Ra3!  b2  20. c8/Q+  K:c8  21. R:c3+  Kd7 22. Bd3  b1/Q+ 23. B:b1 B:b1  24. Rb3  Be4 25. Rb8 g5?!

This should have only drawn. Correct to keep a plus was 25…Bc6  26. Ke2   Ke7 27. Rc1 Be8 28. Rc7+ Kf8 which should be winning for Black.

26. Ke2 Ke7  27. h4?

The losing move and finally HN settles down and produces a very educational endgame.  White could have saved a draw probably by 27. Rc1 Kf6  28. Rcc8 Kg7 29. f3 Bf5 30. g4 Bg6 31. Re8 h5 32. h4 h:g4  33. h:g5 keeping the Knight out of play,and Black cannot get untangled.

27. … g:h4  28. R:h4  Bc6 29. Rc4 Be8  30. Rc7+ Kd6 31. Ra7 Ne7 32. Rd8+ Ke5 33. Rb7 Kf6 34. Rdb8  Ng6 35. Rb6 h5  36. f3  Ba4 37. R:h8 N:h8  38. Ke3  Ng6 39. Ra6 Bb3  40. Ra5 Bd5 41. Ra7 e5  42. Ra5 Be6 43. Rb5 h4  44.Rb1 Kg5 45. Rb5 f6 46. Rb7 Nf4  47. Kf2 Nh5  48. Rb6 Bf5 49. Rb8  Bg6  50. Rb4 Nf4  51. Ra4  Bf7 52. Ra7 Kg6 53. Ra1 Bd5 54. Rd1 Kg5  55. Rd2  f5  White Resigns.

An instructive endgame featuring Knight, Bishop, King and 3 Pawns vs. Rook, King and 2 Pawns.

The 64-square chessboard once more gives rise to a pictorial battle free of bloodshed but rich in tactics, strategy, and battle between two-minds.

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7 Responses to “Kindred’s Special: They Lamented that Chess was Dead; Tain’t so!”

  1. kindredspiritks Says:

    As an afterthought to presenting the fact that chess lives in its many decades mode, I suggest you read THE THORESEN CHESS ENGINES COMPETITION BY Erik Kislik reported in the April ’15 issue of CHESS LIFE MAGAZINE. For the computer techie buffs it is a worthwhile read and study.-Don.

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