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Nakamura Annotates Gelfand Scorcher Print E-mail
By GM Hikaru Nakamura   
January 11, 2010
The World Cup Champion and the US Champion face off. Photo Tony Rich of CCSCSL

US Champion Hikaru Nakamura's incredible round five win in the World Team Championship over World Cup Champion Boris Gelfand was featured on venues such as, Ben Finegold's Blog , chessninja , The Week in Chess and IM Ginsburg's blog. Now CLO readers are treated to GM Hikaru Nakamura's own analysis. At the time of writing, the US team is tied for the lead with Russia after six rounds.

Gelfand,Boris - Nakamura,Hikaru  [E97]

USA-Israel, World Team Championship

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0–0 6.Be2 e5 7.0–0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Nd2 Ne8!?

According to theory this variation is supposed to be bad for Black. The first time this variation came to my attention in 2008 when I played in the Montreal International. In the first round of the tournament my good friend, GM Pascal Charbonneau, won a nice miniature in this variation. Later on, I found out that another friend, FM Jack Yoos also has played the variation. In many ways, they both inspired me to take up this variation, and I will definitely be buying the next round of drinks we have together!
10.b4 f5 11.c5 Nf6 12.f3 f4 13.Nc4 g5 14.a4 Ng6 15.Ba3 Rf7 16.b5 dxc5 17.Bxc5 h5 18.a5 g4 19.Kh1 g3 20.b6 Bf8
21.Bg1 This was the variation played in the game which first caught my attention. 21...Nh4 22.Re1 Nxg2! 23.Kxg2 Rg7 24.Nxe5 gxh2+ 25.Kh1 Nxe4! 0–1 Roozmon-Charbonneau, Montreal 2008
 21...axb6 22.Bg1 Nh4 23.Re1 Nxg2
 A surprising blunder played under immense pressure. It turns out that 24.Kxg2 draws, but to paraphrase the Matrix, "We are still only human!"
24.Kxg2 Rg7 25.hxg3 (25.dxc7 gxh2+ 26.Kh1 hxg1Q+ 27.Rxg1 Qxc7 There is still a lot of play left here, although the position is roughly balanced.) 25...Rxg3+ 26.Kh1 Rh3+ 27.Bh2 Ng4 28.Qd5+ Kh7 29.Qf7+ Bg7 30.fxg4 Rxh2+ 31.Kxh2 Qh4+ 32.Kg2 Qg3+ 33.Kh1 Qh3+ 34.Kg1 Qg3+ 35.Kf1 Qh3+ 36.Kf2 Qg3+ With a forced repetition of moves.
Gelfand during the game, Photo Tony Rich of CCSCSL

24...Nxe1 25.Qxe1
25.cxd8Q g2#
25...Qxc7 26.hxg3 Black is still significantly better here, but it will require some work now.
Nakamura during his Gelfand battle, Photo Tony Rich of CCSCSL

26.Kxg2 Rg7+ 27.Kh1 Bh3 28.Bf1 Qd3!!
A complete shocker. At this point, Boris sunk into a deep think and started shaking his head. Indeed, there really is no worse feeling than when you think you have weathered the storm only to face more unpleasant surprises.
29.Nxe5 Bxf1 30.Qxf1 Qxc3 31.Rc1 Qxe5 32.c8Q Rxc8 33.Rxc8 Qe6 0–1

Gelfand and Nakamura analyze after their game. Photo Tony Rich of CCSCSL

Watch the games live on the official website at 8 AM EST. For daily game analysis, see Ben's Blog on the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis website. Ben also annotated the Nakamura-Gelfand game. See previous CLO reports on the Opening Ceremony, Round 1 and Robson's Annotations of Round two.