Viswanathan Anand vs Hikaru Nakamura – London Chess Classic 2011 – King’s Indian Defense

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Anand opens with d4 and Nakamura responds with one of his favorite opening weapons as black – the King’s Indian Defense. Anand chose an aggressive line involving an early 9. b4 and 10. c5 – creating instant tension in the center and queenside.  Nakamura opportunistically played a quick kingside pawn advance with 12. …g5 – however after the straightforward 13. Nc4, Nakamura hesitated and decided to employ a slower and more positional plan with 13. …h6 instead of pushing forward with the attack on 13. …f4.  Anand reacted by energetically opening the queenside, and after Nakamura’s 18. …h5, it appeared that the loss of tempo with 13. …h6 would prove critical.  After 20. Nb5 it seemed that Anand had achieved a dream position as white against the King’s Indian Defense – opening the queenside with great coordination and pressure before black was able to start making concrete threats on the kingside. However, Anand began to falter with 22. Kh1 and after 23. d6?! – Anand had closed the center and deprived himself of many potentially deadly tactical shots in the center and queenside.  At this point Nakamura began to play a very stubborn and active defense, however after 34. …Nd7 – Nakamura only had 2 minutes left on the clock to reach the time control at move 40, with Anand having 24 minutes.  While trying to flag the American chess champion, Anand committed a few inaccurate moves – however the World Chess Champion really gave the game away with 40. Rxa5? – abandoning the lateral defense of his kingside and the f3 pawn to snatch a meaningless pawn on the A-file.  Much better was 40. Rd3 – consolidating white’s position and creating pressure against black’s exposed minor pieces on the d-file.  Nakamura finished the game accurately after reaching the time control with 40. …Bc5 – and Anand was forced to resign in a lost position after 49. …Kh6.

PGN available here: http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1649582

Interface used is ICC: http://www.chessclub.com/from/WStewart/

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