A game full of fireworks even though the Benoni flowed into several odd moves by black allowing White to obtain a small but lasting advantage. White passed d-pawn was a strong trump for the endgame, while its counterpart on f4 was a constant source of worry. Rustam Kasimdzhanov exchanged the pieces down to B+N endgame and finally picked up the f4-pawn. He proceeded to convert the material advantage into full point. Hikaru Nakamura admitted after the game that he should have played Nh5 on move 7 instead of move 8, and that this would be within his preparation. He mixed up the lines and then lost a tempo with e6-e5. He mentioned that 9…exd5 and 10…Nd7 might have been somewhat better choice. After 10…Nf4 black is clearly worse. Kasimdzhanov added that he felt white got small advantage after the e4-e5 push. He also said that the endgame with white Bishop against black Knight would probably be drawn, despite the extra material, and that is why he decided to keep a pair of minor pieces on the board. But when the opportunity presented itself, white exchanged the Bishop for opponent’s Knight. Nakamura agreed, but wondered whether he could have built a fortress in the endgame with Knights and pawns. Read a report on the Round at Chess Blog.

Kasimdzhanov, Rustam (2699) – Nakamura, Hikaru (2775)

Result: 1-0
Site: Thessaloniki GRE
Date: 2013.05.22
[…] 1.d4 ¤f6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 g6 4.¤c3 d6 5.e4 ¥g7 6.h3 O-O 7.¤f3 e6 8.¥d3 ¤h5 9.O-O e5 10.¦e1 ¤f4 11.¥xf4 exf4 12.e5 dxe5 13.¤xe5 ¤d7 14.¤f3 ¥xc3 15.bxc3 ¤f6 16.£d2 ¤h5 17.¦e5 f5 18.¦ae1 £d6 19.¥c2 ¥d7 20.£d1 a6 21.¥a4 b5 22.¥b3 ¦ae8 23.cxb5 axb5 24.c4 b4 25.¦xe8 ¦xe8 26.¦xe8+ ¥xe8 27.£a1 ¤f6 28.£e5 £xe5 29.¤xe5 ¤d7 30.¤d3 ¢f8 31.¤xf4 ¢e7 32.¤d3 ¢d6 33.f4 ¤f6 34.¢f2 ¥d7 35.¢e3 ¥c8 36.¤e5 ¢e7 37.¥c2 ¤e8 38.g4 ¤d6 39.g5 ¥d7 40.¢d2 ¤c8 41.¢c1 ¤b6 42.¢b2 ¤a4+ 43.¥xa4 ¥xa4 44.a3 bxa3+ 45.¢xa3 ¥c2 46.¢b2 ¥a4 47.¤d3 ¢d6 48.¤f2 ¢e7 49.¢c3 ¢d6 50.h4 ¢e7 51.¤d3 ¢d6 52.¤b2 ¥e8 53.¤d1 ¥a4 54.¤e3 ¥d7 55.¤f1 ¥a4 56.h5 ¥d7 57.¤g3 ¥e8 58.¢d2 ¢e7 59.¢c3 ¢d6 60.¢d3 ¢e7 61.¢e2 ¥a4 62.¤f1 ¥d7 63.¢f2 ¥a4 64.¢g3 ¥d1 65.h6 ¥a4 66.¤e3 ¢f7 67.d6 ¥c6 68.d7 ¥xd7 69.¤d5