Hikaru Nakamura Vs Ruslan Ponomariov – Queen’s Gambit – 2011 St Louis International Match – Game 6

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Nakamura opens with the Queen’s Gambit as white, and deviates early from their game 4 line by playing 6. Qc2 instead of 6. e3. Ponomariov initiates an early queen trade with 8. …Qg6, which leads to a slight worsening of his position due to the cost of time and therefore space. Nakamura engages in subtle positional maneuvering which slowly builds a pressing advantage, as Ponomariov fails to sense the growing danger and continues making natural consolidating moves. 21. Rac1! marks the turning point in the game, as black’s pieces are simply too tied up to defend against white’s creeping attack. An excellent positional victory by Nakamura, not permitting the slightest counter-play by his former world champion opponent.

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[Event “St Louis International Match”]
[Site “St Louis”]
[Date “2011.05.22”]
[Round “6”]
[White “GM_Nakamura”]
[Black “GM_Ponomariov”]
[Result “1-0”]
[WhiteElo “2774”]
[BlackElo “2754”]
[Opening “QGD: Charousek (Petrosian) variation”]
[ECO “D31”]
[NIC “QO.05”]
[Time “16:12:29”]
[TimeControl “5400+30”]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Be7 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bf4 c6 6. Qc2 Bd6 7. Bxd6 Qxd6
8. e3 Qg6 9. Qxg6 hxg6 10. b4 a6 11. f3 Nd7 12. Bd3 Ne7 13. Nge2 g5 14. Kf2
Nf6 15. g4 Kd8 16. Kg3 Bd7 17. a4 Nc8 18. h3 Re8 19. Kf2 Nd6 20. a5 Re7 21.
Rac1 Nfe8 22. Ng3 g6 23. h4 gxh4 24. Rxh4 f5 25. gxf5 Nxf5 26. Nxf5 gxf5 27.
Rh8 Rb8 28. Na4 Kc7 29. Nb6 Be6 30. Rf8 Rf7 31. Rxf7+ Bxf7 32. Bxf5 Nd6 33.
Bd3 Rh8 34. Rg1 Kd8 35. Na4 Nc4 36. Nc5 Rh2+ 37. Rg2 Rxg2+ 38. Kxg2 Kc7 39.
Bxc4 dxc4 40. Na4 Be8 41. Nc3 b6 42. e4 Kb7 43. Kf2 c5 44. bxc5 {White wins}

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