Mamedyarov-Nakamura: Tactical considerations overpowering strategic factors.

  • CM juniortay
  • | Apr 29, 2014

I find the position above in yesterday's Mamedyarov-Nakamura game very interesting. I have started writing  Everyman's Move by Move books for intermediate players (and above...hopefully) and one major component of the job is to explain plainly in text how key factors determine the assessment of the positions.

Now in this position, White has:
1) The bishop pair
2) A queenside majority
3) The safer king (Kb1 vs Kf7)
4) The better pawn structure (Black is saddled with double g-pawns).
Sounds great eh?
However, Black has tactical factors in his favour here, for example:
1) The ability to open up the queenside files with ...b6 to get at the white king.
2) The speed in which the rooks can get into play (the king rook is already activated and the queen rook can be mobilised quickly after ...b6.
3) The inability of the bishop pair to help out in defence.
4) The potential danger to the white king in terms of  open queenside files after ...b6.

It is pretty interesting (to me at least)  to see White's position collapse in a  few moves though Mamedyarov did pull off a spectacular exchange  sacrifice to mess things up.

Cheers,Junior Tay

Author of The Benko Gambit: Move by Move, (Everyman 2014).


  • 3 years ago


    Excellent clear explanation! Thank you very much

  • 3 years ago


    I think it's very obvious that the 2700 GM considered all the factors and HE thought that his King was safer and he had the better position, based on the same factors that Junior mentioned.  I think that the point Junior is making is that, for example, in the case of the King, you can't just look at the fact that your K is in the castled postion behind a wall of pawns and hence is "safe".  He's not addressing everyone.  Just those folks who may not have considered all of the factors involved.  There's lots of players who may not have considered these factors or weighed them to varying degrees including the 2700 GM who lost.  He didn't have to push his pawns or castle....

  • 3 years ago

    IM gnaburits

    I think you are being a tiny bit dogmatic when considering the static factors, apparently favoring white. While clearly he has the bishop pair and a queenside majority, he has by no means the safer king, since there are no pawn breaks near Kf7 and white has no knights left (hence he can't possibly get at the black king without a material sacrifice). Instead, the very obvious break ...b6 will open a line straight in front of Kb1 and at the same time weakining white's Qside majority.

    Moreover, I don't think that white pawn's structure is better. The doubled g-pawns are not weak at all, while the e6-pawn is. But white himself has two clear weaknesses (d4 and h2).

  • 3 years ago

    CM juniortay

    Darn! I'm colour blind...Thanks for notifying.

  • 3 years ago


    However, Black has tactical factors in his favour here, for example:
    1) The ability to open up the queenside files with ...b6 to get at the black king.

    What? Black King?

  • 3 years ago


    "safer king" is the king on files which are harder to open, so f7 king is safer, which you explain in the next paragraph. Petrosian's games are full of his airy safer king

  • 3 years ago

    CM juniortay

    You are right! I can't count! Thanks for pointing out! OK..the error had been edited out Foot in Mouth

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