(3086) Nakamura,Hikaru (2708) - Carlsen,Magnus (2810) [C77]
Corus A Wijk aan Zee NED (5), 21.01.2010

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.Bxc6 dxc6 6.d3 Bd6 7.Nbd2 Be6 8.0-0 0-0 9.b3 Nd7 10.Bb2 b5N
New move, but not a new idea - this thrust is known in the regular Exchange Ruy, and is used to keep a White knight off c4.

11.d4 f6N 12.h3N c5 13.d5 Bf7 14.a4
White attempts in earnest to permanently lock the queenside before trying to attack on the kingside, and Carlsen fights just as resolutely to keep the queenside open.

14...Nb6 15.c4 c6 16.Nh4 Re8 17.Nf5 Bf8 18.Qg4 Kh8 19.f4
[19.Bc3 is interesting, aiming to clarify the queenside situation thanks to the threatened Ba5.]

19...exf4 20.Qxf4 bxc4 21.bxc4 cxd5 22.cxd5 Qb8 23.Qh4 Nxd5 24.Rab1 Qb4!
A very smart, pragmatic choice. [24...Nb4 is the obvious move, but best? Probably not: it's objectively no better than Carlsen's move, while giving Nakamura all kinds of chances to win with a brilliant attack. 25.Nh6 (25.e5 isn't so good 25...Rxe5 26.Bxe5 Qxe5-/+ ; but 25.Bxf6 is enough for a draw: 25...gxf6 26.Qxf6+ Kg8 27.Rb3 (27.Rf3 Bg6 28.Rg3 Ra7 (28...Qc7 29.Rxg6+ hxg6 30.Qxg6+ Kh8 31.Rb3 Re7 32.Rg3 Rg7 33.Nxg7 Qxg7 34.Qh5+ Qh6 35.Qf5 Bg7 36.Nf3 Rf8 37.Qxc5= ) 29.Nf3 Rxe4 30.Rd1 Nd3! 31.Ng5 Bg7 32.Nh6+ Kh8 (32...Bxh6? 33.Nxe4 c4 34.Rxg6+ hxg6 35.Qxg6+ Rg7 36.Qxh6+/- ) 33.Ngf7+ Rxf7 34.Nxf7+ Kg8 35.Nh6+ Bxh6 36.Rxg6+ hxg6 37.Qxg6+ Bg7 38.Qxe4 Bd4+ 39.Kf1 Qf8+ 40.Ke2 Nf4+ 41.Ke1 Qf6=/+ ) 27...Bxb3 28.Qg5+ Kh8 (28...Kf7?? 29.Nd4+ Qf4 30.Rxf4# ) 29.Qf6+ Kg8 30.Qg5+= ) 25...Ba2 26.Rxf6! Ra7 and maybe Black survives, though I wouldn't bet on it. (26...Bxb1? 27.Nf7+ Kg8 28.Ng5 h6 29.Qxh6!! gxh6 (29...Qh2+ 30.Kxh2 Bd6+ 31.Rxd6 gxh6 32.Rxh6+- ) 30.Rg6+ Bg7 31.Rxg7+ ; 26...Qa7? 27.Nf5 Bxb1 (27...gxf6 28.Qxf6+ Kg8 29.Rf1 Bg7 30.Nxg7 Rf8 31.Qg5 Rxf1+ 32.Nxf1 Bf7 (32...Kf7 33.Qf6+ Kg8 34.Nf5+- ) 33.Nf5+ Bg6 34.N1e3 c4 35.Bd4 Qd7 36.Qf6+- ) 28.Rh6 Kg8 29.Rxh7 c4+ 30.Kh1 Nd3 31.Qh5 Nf2+ 32.Kh2 Bd6+ 33.Nxd6 Kf8 34.Bf6 gxf6 35.Qh6+ Qg7 36.Qxg7# ) 27.Ng4 Be7 28.Qh5 Bxf6 29.Nxf6 gxf6 30.Bxf6+ Rg7 (30...Kg8 31.Qg5+ Kf7 32.Rf1 Ke6 33.Rd1! Rf7 34.Qf5+ Kd6 35.Nb3+ Kc7 36.Qxc5+ Kb7 37.Rd4! Qc8 38.Rxb4+ Ka8 39.Qd5+ Rb7 40.e5 Bxb3 41.Rxb3 Qc1+ 42.Kh2 Qf4+ 43.Rg3 Qxa4 and Black survives, though White can keep trying.) 31.Bxg7+ Kxg7 32.Qg5+ Kh8 33.Qf6+ Kg8 34.Qg5+ Kh8= ]

25.Bc1 Qxa4 26.exd5 Qxh4 27.Nxh4 Bxd5 28.Ba3= Re3 29.Ra1 Rd3 30.Rfd1
Probably wasting a tempo. [30.Nhf3 ]

30...a5 31.Nhf3 a4 32.Rdc1 Kg8
[32...g6 may improve, with the idea of ...Bh6.]

33.Kf2 c4?!
Carlsen must be very confident that the resulting position is drawn; otherwise, it's hard to see why he'd give away the pawn and his bishop pair.

34.Bxf8 Kxf8 35.Nxc4 Rb3 36.Nfd2 Rb4 37.Ra3 Rc8 38.Rac3 Be6 39.Na3
[39.Ne3 Rd8 40.Ke2+/- ]

39...Rd8 40.Nf3 Rb3 41.Rxb3 axb3 42.Rc6 Bd5
[42...Ke7 43.Rb6 Ra8 44.Nb1 Ra2+ 45.Nbd2 Bd5 46.Ke3 h5 47.Nh4!+/- ]

43.Rb6+/- Rc8 44.Nb5
[44.Rb5 Bf7 45.Rb4+/- followed by Nd4 or Nb1-d2.]

44...Rc2+ 45.Kg3 h5!! 46.Nbd4 Ra2 47.Ne6+
[47.Nxb3? h4+!! (47...Rb2? 48.Nc5! Rxb6 49.Nd7++- ) 48.Kf4 (48.Nxh4 Ra3= ; 48.Kxh4 Rxg2= ) 48...Ra4+ 49.Ke3 (49.Kf5 Kf7! with the threat of 50...g6#!) 49...Ra3 50.Nfd2 Bxg2= ; 47.Nf5 b2 48.Ne3 Be4 49.Nd2 h4+ 50.Kxh4 b1Q 51.Nxb1 Re2 52.Nc4 Bxb1 53.Rb8+ Ke7 54.Rxb1 Re4+ 55.Kh5 Rxc4 56.Kg6+/- f5 57.Rb7+ Ke6 58.Rxg7 Rc8 59.h4 Rc2 60.g3 Rh2 61.h5 Rh3 62.Kh6 Kf6 63.Rg5 Rh2 64.Rg6+ Ke5 65.Ra6 Rg2 66.Ra3 Kf6 67.Rf3 Rg1 and Black holds.]

47...Kf7 48.Nf4 Be4 49.Rb4
This looks like the least promising option, but it's a draw in any case. [49.h4 b2 50.Nd2 Ba8! 51.Nc4 g5 52.hxg5 fxg5 53.Nxh5 Bxg2 54.Nxb2 is a draw, of course, but White can play for an attack. It would be ironic if White managed to win this, as Carlsen himself pulled out a win in a somewhat similar ending against Wang Yue within the past year.; 49.Rxb3 g5 50.Nxh5 Kg6 51.Nf4+ gxf4+ 52.Kxf4 Bxf3 53.Kxf3 is a drawn ending.]

49...h4+! 50.Kg4
[50.Kxh4 g5+= ; 50.Nxh4?? b2-+ ]

50...b2 51.Nd2 Ba8 52.Nc4
[52.Nd3? b1Q 53.Nxb1 Rxg2+ 54.Kf4 (54.Kxh4?? Bf3 55.-- g5# ) 54...Rg3-+ ]

52...g5 53.Rxb2
[53.Nd3?? Ra4 54.Ncxb2 Rxb4+ 55.Nxb4 Kg6! 56.Nc4 f5# ]

53...Rxb2 54.Nxb2 gxf4= 55.Kxf4 Bxg2 56.Kg4 f5+ 57.Kxf5 Bxh3+ 58.Kg5 Be6 59.Kxh4 1/2-1/2