01 August 2010

Central vs. Flank Expansion

After studying the two Nakamura vs. Movsesian games in Banska Stiavnica 2010 I decided that the second game, with Movsesian playing White, was more instructive. The first diagram, showing the position after four moves, reveals the start position: SP954 RKRNBBNQ. Movsesian has chosen to start playing immediately on the Kingside (h-side for the purists), while Nakamura has paid more attention to the center. I discussed this choice some time ago in a post titled Attention to the Chess960 Center.

The second diagram shows the position some moves later. Both players have continued to follow their initial opening strategy, expanding in different parts of the board. Now they decided it was the right time to castle -- 14.O-O-O Bd7 15.Kb1 O-O-O -- and the resulting position could have easily arisen from the traditional start position (SP518 RNBQKBNR). After a few more moves, Nakamura grabbed the h-Pawn with ...gxh5, used it as a decoy to draw White's pieces, then launched a winning attack on the White King. For the full game score, see the link above to Banska Stiavnica 2010.

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