(3079) Anand,Viswanathan (2790) - Nakamura,Hikaru (2708) [A81]
Corus A Wijk aan Zee NED (4), 19.01.2010
[Monokroussos,Dennis]



1.d4 f5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.0-0 0-0 6.b4 Nc6
To the eyes of a classicist, this is one goofy-looking move, but it's not illogical. White can send the knight into outer space with 7.b5, but that comes at a cost - the weakening of the c4 square and a potentially overextended pawn structure. Meanwhile, as long as the knight survives where it is, it makes a worthy contribution to the fight for the center.

7.a3 d5 8.Bb2 Ne4 9.Nbd2 Be6
Another seriously unattractive but intelligent move, fighting for the c4 square.

10.e3 a5 11.b5 Na7
The knight looks bad on a7, but it's not staying there.

12.Qe2 a4
Artificially isolating the b-pawn.

13.Rfc1
Properly ensuring that he gets in c4 before Black's Na7 clamps down on that square.

13...c6 14.bxc6 bxc6 15.c4 Nc8 16.Bc3
[16.Ne5 looks worthy of attention. Black must either attend to the c-pawn or take on e5, and in both cases White seems a little better.]

16...Ncd6 17.cxd5 Nxc3 18.Rxc3 Bxd5
Now Black's pieces are all very well coordinated, and the slight weakness on c6 isn't enough to give White anything serious.

19.Ne5 Bxg2 20.Kxg2 Bxe5 21.dxe5 Qa5!
The key resource that had to be foreseen.

22.Rac1 Qxe5 23.Rxc6 Qb2 24.Qd3 Rfd8 25.R1c2 Qb5 26.Qxb5 Nxb5
Black is fully equal.

27.Nb1 Rd3 28.Nc3 Nxc3 29.R2xc3 Rdd8 30.Rb6 Kf7 31.Rb4
How should Black deal with the threat to his a-pawn? Nakamura finds an elegant answer to this question, one I intend to copy for my own use.

31...Rd2 32.Rcc4 Rd3! 33.Rxa4 Rxa3
This is much more efficient than stacking the rooks in front of the a-pawn, waiting passively for White's next idea. There's nothing to play for anymore, so the draw would be appropriate even in a tournament where the kindergarten (Sofia) rules are in effect. 1/2-1/2