Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Chess960: Transcript of Showdown in Saint Louis 2015 - SP436 Caruana v Nakamura (with a comment by me)

Here is a transcript of the second fischer random game between Hikaru Nakamura and Fabiano Caruana at the Showdown in Saint Louis competition 2015.

Rumours have it that the organizers experienced technical difficulties during the event, so there are no PGN records for the games available in the public domain. I have had to reconstruct the games from the video recordings on Youtube and Chess24. In order to save time and effort, I have transcribed only the opening phases of each of the games, since that is what interests us in Chess960 - the rest is just chess!

To save space in the comment text, the three commentators are initialed as Yasser Seirawan (YS), Jennifer Shahade (JS) and Maurice Ashley (MA).

Game 1 SP436: Fabiano Caruana verses Hikaru Nakamura

NOTE: Some browsers may not display the game properly

Transcriptions of the other other games will follow over coming days......

My commentary:
Move 13 Caruana to play - how beautiful is that!

Nakamura playing black, deliberately drops a pawn and then offers a queen trade!?! That breaks all the conventions of normal chess (don't simplify when down in material). But like the commentators said, Nakamura is bluffing and Caruana doesn't fall for it. If white exchanges queens, black gets a really good game with a knight biff on b4 and an attacking rook and the bishop pair. Check out the beautiful X-RAY defense by Naka here. His queen is indirectly defending both his undefended bishops without a direct line to them. Naka is even prepared to expose his weak back rank and increase the risk.

Cool stuff. C'mon people, where is the excitement for Chess960 Fischer Random Style. You would never get a position like this is old chess. It is only move 12 and so much has happened already!

Enjoy 960

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