USA vs India – Nakamura – Sasikiran – 2012 World Chess Olympiad

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2012 World Chess Olympiad, Istanbul Turkey

Round 4

USA — India

GM Hikaru Nakamura 2778 – GM Krishnan Sasikiran 2707

Fighting for first place in the 2012 World Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, the USA faced a very powerful team from India. With Gata KAmsky being squeezed and ultimately losing on Board 2, and Boards 3 and 4 ending in draws — it was up to our young superstar Nakamura to save the day for the US. Hikaru unwrapped the Scotch Game, quite possibly refined during his work with Kasparov a few years ago. His 15.Qe3 preparing to complete mobilization with Bd3 and Rhe1 seems to be a new move in this exact position. With 16.Re1 Hikaru protected his e5 strongpoint pawn, and then launched his a-pawn with 17.a4! Black played to undermine the white e-pawn with 17…d6 and 18…Nd7, while Hikaru began drifting towards the black king with 18.a5, 19.Nb5 and 20.Qb3! When Black lost the thread a bit with 20…Ba8 (?!), Hikaru’s 21.f4! totally activated the White forces. The attacking sequence 23.Na7+, 24.Bxe5, 25.Qb8+ and 26.Bh3+ netted white the exchange. With 30.Nc6+, 31.Rxg7+ and 32.Qxc6, Hikaru returned the exchange for a promising Q+R ending with a passed a-pawn. Mutual mistakes in time pressure — Hikaru’s 36.a6 (?!) and Sasikiran’s 37…Rxa7(??) saw the black king walk into a forced mate with 39.Qe8+.

A huge win — keeping team USA in the hunt for the gold!

[Event “Chess Olympiad”]
[Site “Istanbul TUR”]
[Date “2012.08.31”]
[EventDate “2012.08.28”]
[Round “4.1”]
[Result “1-0”]
[White “Hikaru Nakamura”]
[Black “Krishnan Sasikiran”]
[ECO “C45”]
[WhiteElo “2778”]
[BlackElo “2707”]
[PlyCount “77”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nxc6 bxc6 6. e5
Qe7 7. Qe2 Nd5 8. c4 Nb6 9. Nc3 Bb7 10. Bf4 O-O-O 11. O-O-O g5
12. Bg3 h5 13. h4 g4 14. Kb1 Bg7 15. Qe3 Rde8 16. Re1 c5
17. a4 d6 18. a5 Nd7 19. Nb5 Nxe5 20. Qb3 Ba8 21. f4 gxf3
22. gxf3 Qf6 23. Nxa7+ Kd8 24. Bxe5 Rxe5 25. Qb8+ Kd7 26. Bh3+
Re6 27. Qb5+ Ke7 28. Bxe6 fxe6 29. Rhg1 Rd8 30. Nc6+ Bxc6
31. Rxg7+ Qxg7 32. Qxc6 Qd4 33. a6 Qd3+ 34. Ka1 Qd2 35. Qe4
Kd7 36. a7 Ra8 37. Kb1 Rxa7 38. Qxe6+ Kc6 39. Qe8+ 1-0

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