Mamedyarov – Nakamura, Tromsø ending


Towards the tail end of round 11 (the final round) of the Tromsø Olympiad, whilst I was watching to see if David Howell could win his struggle, I also watched several other endings. The one which caught my eye most was Mamedyarov-Nakamura, where I was intrigued to see if it was a win for white or a draw: I didn't know which.

The crucial position

Hikaru took on g5, 40…hg, and resigned a couple of moves later. The point is that white will eventually sacrifice on f7 and the resultant king and pawn ending is won: white's king muscles black's king away from g6, and the pawn promotes.

The spoiler

On the evening of the game Hikaru tweeted:


I was puzzled. If 40…hg was the losing blunder, then what should he have played? The only sensible alternative is (perhaps, but we will come to that later) 40…h5.

Before I…

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Published by chessmusings

Chris Torres is a nationally renowned scholastic chess coach working in both Bakersfield and the San Francisco Bay Area. His classes have attracted players of strengths ranging from rank beginners to world champions. A chess professional since 1998, Chris is widely recognized as one of the main driving forces behind the explosion in popularity and sudden rise in quality of scholastic chess in California. Currently, Chris Torres has the ranking of candidate master and serves as the President of the Torres Chess and Music Academy. Mr. Torres’ hobbies include playing classical guitar and getting his students to appear on the national top 100 chess rating lists.

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