Nakamura Beats Anand in Round 2 Zurich Chess Challenge

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 1/31/14, 12:52 PM.

Former World Champion Vishy Anand started badly at the Zurich Chess Challenge. In the second round the former World Champion lost with the white pieces to Hikaru Nakamura in a Berlin Ruy Lopez. The top clash between Magnus Carlsen and Levon Aronian was an English game and ended in a draw after 40 moves. Boris Gelfand and Fabiano Caruana drew a Leningrad Dutch after 56 moves.

It was already quite a coincidence that in the last eight classical games Vishy Anand and Hikaru Nakamura played against each other, Anand had White. On Friday the two were paired against each other, and again it was the Indian behind the white pieces. And there was another pattern: Nakamura had won the last two games, and again he won as Black this time!

In a Berlin Ruy Lopez, Anand repeated his 4.d3 and 5.Bxc6 line which he had also played against Magnus Carlsen in November in Chennai. With 6.h3 he followed his opponent, who had played like that against the French GM Laurent Fressinet last year, and on the next move he played a novelty.

It seemed that White had won the opening phase when Nakamura decided to put his king on the queenside. “Objectively I shouldn't even castle long but I felt it was very interesting. I have a feeling it's suspicious to say the least. I kind of just wanted to attack,” said Nakamura. And he got that attack.

When White pushed d3-d4 he more or less “forced” Black to sacrifice on h3, as one of the commentators, GM Peter Leko, said. During the game Nakamura was not sure at all whether it was correct, and he was happy to find out after the game that the computer liked it. Anand didn't find the best moves and soon there was no defense against Black's attack.

Nakamura beat Anand for the third time in a row as Black

The big game of the round was of course Carlsen-Aronian, a game with a historical average Elo of 2842. The world's #2 equalized rather easily against the world's #1, in fact. 

2872 vs 2812

“I tried to be a little clever in the opening which was not a good idea because I felt that [after 15 moves] Black is the only one who can be slightly better,” said Carlsen. However, the Norwegian played accurately and managed to keep the balance.

“Did you comment on Magnus’ cheapo 22.Bf3?”
“That's not a cheapo, that's a beautiful trick!”

Boris Gelfand and Fabiano Caruana played a topsy-turvy game. The Italian faced the rare 8.b4 but did remember that it had to be answered by 8...e5. Gelfand's decision to take a pawn on e5 was risky, and he admitted that after 16 moves “probably it's White who has to be careful.” However, Black then “completely misplayed it,” said Caruana. “I almost managed to lose.”
Women's World Champion Hou Yifan, one of the special guests in Zurich, watching the games
Main sponsor Oleg Skvortsov talking to Ljubomir Ljubojevic, with Genna Sosonko in the background

Zurich Chess Challenge 2014 | Results & pairings

Round 1 30 January 15:00 CET Round 2 31 January 15:00 CET
Carlsen 1-0 Gelfand Gelfand ½-½ Caruana
Aronian 1-0 Anand Anand 0-1 Nakamura
Nakamura ½-½ Caruana Carlsen ½-½ Aronian
Round 3 1 February 15:00 CET Round 4 2 February 15:00 CET
Aronian - Gelfand Gelfand - Anand
Nakamura - Carlsen Carlsen - Caruana
Caruana - Anand Aronian - Nakamura
Round 5 3 February 13:00 CET
Nakamura - Gelfand
Caruana - Aronian
Anand - Carlsen

Zurich Chess Challenge 2014 | Round 2 Standings

# Name Rtg 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pts SB
1 Carlsen,Magnus 2872 ½ 1 1.5/2 1.25
2 Aronian,Levon 2812 ½ 1 1.5/2 0.75
3 Nakamura,Hikaru 2789 ½ 1 1.5/2 0.50
4 Caruana,Fabiano 2782 ½ ½ 1.0/2
5 Gelfand,Boris 2777 0 ½ 0.5/2
6 Anand,Viswanathan 2773 0 0 0.0/2

Photos © Maria Emelianova. The Zurich Chess Challenge consists of five rounds of classical chess, played from Thursday to Monday (30 January to 3 February), followed by a rapid tournament with reversed colors on the last day (4 February). You can follow the live games here on the official website. 

14780 reads 40 comments
5 votes


  • 3 years ago


  • 3 years ago


  • 3 years ago


    anand...please win today...I am always ur win or loose your legacy is untouched...but you cannot loose like this...Frown

  • 3 years ago


  • 3 years ago


    "it's a trick" by_carlsen :) lol dude you are cool :) great job idol,,, give the a sweet memories in this tournament lol... no one will take your place carlsen... ches is you are lol... ANYWAY,, GOOD LUCK TO THE REST AHAHHAAHHA

  • 3 years ago


    • Where is Vasiliy Ivanchuk ? - asked vasiliy_pupkin. Well, he is in Gibraltar!

  • 3 years ago


    Time to unmake the ring in the pit of Mt. Doom.

    Crush him Naka!

  • 3 years ago


    go carlsen

  • 3 years ago


    Time for the first Nakamura win against Carlsen .NAKAMURA for me the best player in the nakaLaughing

  • 3 years ago


    Have to agree....coverage here is excellent and chess just seems to be going from stregth to strength these days with so many exciting players around.

  • 3 years ago


    Great coverage and game analysis, Peter. I particularly enjoyed the Carlsen-Aronian game and their post-game interview laughter about the "cheapo", of which I agree with Magnus' "beautiful trick" assessment.

  • 3 years ago


    On further examination, Aronian is only +7−6=14 against Gelfand... if Gelfand can fight him to a draw or even win, then this tournament ought to be Carlsen's.

  • 3 years ago


    11 hours ago


    Anand needs to retire gracefully.


    Why do you say that? Don't you want to let him earn a living for the next 2 or 3 decades? Look at Karpov. Look at pro tennis. Should anand become an accountant just because of a few lost games?!?

    Gelfand beat Carlsen in the Candidates in london. I'm for the underdogs and elderly players. Grant them a living. Soon, you may be one of them yourself...

  • 3 years ago


    Carlsen should have an easy win against Anand.
    Aronian should have an easy win against Gelfand.
    Nakamura should have an easy win against Gelfand.

    So, the match ought to depend on the outcomes of:
    Carlsen v Nakamura
    Carlsen v Caruana
    Aronian v Nakamura
    Aronian v Caruana 

    Carlsen is +7−0=15 vs Nakamura.
    Carlsen is 
    +2−2=5 vs Caruana.
    Aronian is +8−4=7 vs Nakamura.
    Aronian is +4−1=2 vs Caruana.

    Far too close to call, except that Carlsen / Aronian ought to win.

  • 3 years ago


    Anand should retire. He is embarrassing himself.

  • 3 years ago


    Anand was a great world champion. However, it is Carlsen's time now. Maybe Nakamura or Caruana or Aronian  is next.

  • 3 years ago


    Lol @ People celeberating Naka's victory. Anand is not a strong player anymore and this victory does not make Naka closer to Carlsen or Aronian. You can remember that Nakamura was crushed badly in the TataSteel. Nakamura is always the punching bag for especially for Carlsen and for Aronian too.

  • 3 years ago


    ANAND GO AHEAD AND WIN ........Laughing

  • 3 years ago


    gg nakamura! Smile

    I am also happy to see aronian playing well,hopefully he does well in the candidates tournament.

  • 3 years ago


    Nakamura hasn't lost with white pieces to carlsen in classical since tal 2011 and it has been many games  since so it isn't about rarity of that color match up. People have the misconception that carlsen always beats naka but that isn't totally correct. The majority of their encounters and nearly all of them with naka having white pieces in classical chess end in draws. Based on that I'd say a draw is the likely outcome but who knows. Carlsen is producing masterpieces and nakamura, in spite of his recent wins vs naditch, rapport and anand has also lost a few games and is not  in his best form. I think nakamura will play for the draw from move one and try to get past the game and prepare for aronian with black pieces which will be a much tougher deal.

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