Ruslan Ponomariov vs Hikaru Nakamura – King’s Indian Defense – St Louis International Match, Round 3

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Ponomariov opens with d4 and is answered by Nakamura’s King’s Indian Defense. In game 1, Nakamura lost by playing a line that involved 7. Nc6 and a long-term kingside attack with a later f5 and f4. However, in this game he went a different direction with 7. Na6 — looking for more play in the center as opposed to kingside expansion. Ponomariov played an interesting pawn sacrifice with 12. c5, however I believe it is objectively unsound as black is able to consolidate his position with an extra pawn and the 2 bishops. Nakamura showed some fantastic endgame technique, as he transformed his advantage of a pawn to winning an exchange, then sacrificing the exchange back to obtain a favorable Q+P endgame which he went on to convert in convincing fashion.

♕♕♕ FULL ARTICLE AVAILABLE HERE WITH INTERACTIVE PGN AND FURTHER COMMENTARY: CORRESPONDING ARTICLE WITH INTERACTIVE BOARD AND MORE: http://www.iChess.net/2011/05/26/nakamura-vs-ponomariov-2011-st-louis-international-match/

PGN:

[Event “St Louis International Match “]
[Site “Internet Chess Club”]
[Date “2011.05.19”]
[Round “3”]
[White “GM_Ponomariov”]
[Black “GM_Nakamura”]
[Result “0-1”]
[WhiteElo “2754”]
[BlackElo “2774”]
[Opening “King’s Indian: orthodox variation”]
[ECO “E94”]
[NIC “KI.15”]
[Time “16:07:30”]
[TimeControl “5400+30”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. O-O Na6 8.
Re1 c6 9. Be3 Ng4 10. Bg5 f6 11. Bh4 Qe8 12. c5 dxc5 13. dxe5 Nxe5 14. Nxe5
fxe5 15. Bxa6 bxa6 16. Qd6 c4 17. Rad1 Be6 18. Bg3 Rf7 19. Bxe5 Bg4 20. Bxg7
Bxd1 21. Bf6 Bg4 22. e5 Qd7 23. Ne4 Bf5 24. Qb4 Bxe4 25. Rxe4 Re8 26. f3
Rxf6 27. exf6 Rxe4 28. fxe4 Qd4+ 29. Kf1 Qxe4 30. Qb7 Qf5+ 31. Ke2 Qxf6 32.
Qb8+ Kf7 33. Qxa7+ Ke6 34. Qb7 Qe5+ 35. Kf3 Qf5+ 36. Ke3 Qc5+ 37. Kf3 c3 38.
Qc8+ Kd5 39. bxc3 Qxc3+ 40. Kg4 Qd4+ 41. Kh3 Qe3+ 42. Kh4 Qe7+ 43. Kg3 Qg5+
44. Kf2 {Black Wins}

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