Nakamura-Kramnik: What happens if White plays 62.c8=Q?

It was the game of Round 9 as Hikaru Nakamura of the US stunned Vladimir Kramnik of Russia to push Russia off the sole lead at the 40th Chess Olympiad in Istanbul. Black went for a Rook sac, a pawn roll down the center, and a King march, but Nakamura was unstoppable because the compensation was not enough for Black. At one point it did seem Black could claw back a draw. However, it was not to be. White even underpromoted to win! Can you see in the diagram on the left and figure out what happens if White plays 62.c8=Q? Check your answer with the Chess King applet and Houdini analysis. You can also replay the full game between the two powerful grandmasters in the Chess King board.

Nakamura, Hikaru (2778) – Kramnik, Vladimir (2797)

Result: 1-0
Site: 0:09.29-0:00.02
Date: 2012.09.06
[…] 1.¤f3 ¤f6 2.g3 g6 3.¥g2 ¥g7 4.c4 c6 5.d4 d5 6.cxd5 cxd5 7.¤c3 ¤e4 8.£b3 ¤xc3 9.bxc3 O-O 10.¤d2 e6 11.e4 ¤c6 12.O-O ¤a5 13.£d1 £c7 14.£f3 b6 15.¥a3 ¦d8 16.e5 ¥a6 17.¦fe1 ¦ac8 18.¥b4 ¥h6 19.£d1 ¤c6 20.¥a3 ¤a5 21.¥b4 ¤c6 22.¥a3 ¤a5 23.¤b1 b5 24.h4 ¤c6 25.¥c5 £b8 26.£e2 ¤a5 27.¤d2 ¦xc5 28.dxc5 £c8 29.¤f3 £xc5 30.¤h2 ¥g7 31.h5 g5 32.h6 ¥xh6 33.£h5 ¥g7 34.£xg5 ¤c6 35.¤g4 £e7 36.£xe7 ¤xe7 37.a4 d4 38.axb5 ¥xb5 39.¦xa7 d3 40.¦xe7 d2 41.¦d1 ¥e2 42.¤e3 ¥xe5 43.c4 h5 44.¦a7 h4 45.¦a2 ¥xd1 46.¤xd1 hxg3 47.fxg3 ¥xg3 48.c5 f5 49.¦a7 e5 50.c6 e4 51.¥h3 ¦c8 52.¦a6 ¦f8 53.¦a5 f4 54.¢f1 e3 55.¢e2 ¦f6 56.¦a8+ ¢g7 57.¦a7+ ¦f7 58.¦b7 ¢f6 59.¢f3 ¦e7 60.¦xe7 ¢xe7 61.c7 e2 62.c8=¤+
(62.c8=£ exd1=£+ 63.¢e4 £b1+ 64.¢e5 f3+ 65.¢d5 d1=£+ 66.¢c5 £d6+ 67.¢c4 £bd3# (0:00:11) 62.c8=Q)
62…¢f6 63.¢xe2 ¢e5 64.¤b6 ¢d4 65.¥g2 ¥e1 66.¤d5 ¢e5 67.¤b4 ¥h4 68.¤d3+ ¢f5 69.¢xd2 ¢g4 70.¢e2 ¥f6 71.¤1f2+ ¢g3 72.¥f3 ¥d8 73.¤e4+ ¢h4 74.¤e5 ¥c7 75.¤g6+ ¢h3 76.¤e7 ¥d8 77.¤f5 ¥b6 78.¢f1 ¢h2 79.¥g4 f3 80.¤h4
(80…¢h1 81.¤xf3 ¥f2 82.¤xf2# (0:00:10) 80.Nh4)
(80…¥d8 81.¤xf3+ ¢h1 82.¤f2# (0:00:10) 80.Nh4)
Finally, White corners Black for a checkmate with two knights and a bishop!