08 August 2009

CCM9: Nakamura, Grischuk, and Rybka

This year's Chess Classic Mainz has finished (see Preview: Chess Classic Mainz 2009 for links to the events on the official site) and, along with its coverage of the traditional chess events, Chessbase.com provided extensive reports on the chess960 events. For the top chess960 event, Chessbase reported on both days of the four-player, double round robin preliminary inand covered the winners of the three events in

A video wrapup of press conferences is on Nakamura 960 Champion [webcast.chessclub.com]. At 8:05 into the clip, Macauley Peterson asks a question about game two of the final Nakamura - Aronian match. The start position of the game is shown in the following diagram.

Start Position 451

Nakamura had Black, and the game started 1.b3 b5 2.f3 f6 3.d4 f5. When Peterson asked about 2...f6 and 3....f5, Nakamura replied,

The reason I played ...f6 is that at the start of the game I felt with the Bishops on a1 and h1 (and vice versa) that the key was going to be whose Bishops were better. White played 1.b3 and if I play ...g6, he trades off the Bishops and then I can't castle O-O, and whoever gets the first move there would have the stronger Bishop on the diagonal so that's why I played 2...f6. Then after 3.d4 f5 I felt that my Bishop was simply stronger than his because I control all the breaks in the center. I can play ...e5 or ...c5, so even though I lose a tempo I thought it was the right decision to play 3...f5.

A little later, discussing the same game, Nakamura added,

Game two was the one game where the general principle of playing in the center did not really apply. In certain positions you can play more for diagonals or play on the flanks as opposed to playing strictly in the center, but overall I felt that the main principle to follow is to play in the center.

Here is the PGN of that game, courtesy of Chess Tigers.

[Event "CCM9 - Chess960 Rapid WCh"]
[Site "Mainz"]
[Date "2009.07.30"]
[Round "8.1"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Result "0-1"]
[Variant "chess 960"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "brnnkqrb/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/BRNNKQRB w GBgb - 0 1"]

1.b3 b5 2.f3 f6 3.d4 f5 4.Nd3 g6 5.Qf2 Bf6 6.g3 Qh6 7.e3 Ne6 8.Qe2 Nb6 9.Nc3 a6 10.Nc5 Nxc5 11.dxc5 Qg7 12.Qd3 b4 13.cxb6 cxb6 14.Nd5 Bxa1 15. Nc7+ Kf7 16.O-O Bc3 17.f4 Bxh1 18.Kxh1 Qf6 19.Rbd1 Qc6+ 20.Qd5+ Qxd5+ 21. Rxd5 Rb7 22.Nxa6 Ra8 23.Nxb4 Bxb4 24.a4 Bc5 25.Re1 e6 26.Rd3 d5 0-1

I'll discuss other games from CCM9 in future posts on this blog.

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