Wijk Aan Zee: Two Draws in the Major Group. Nakamura-Ivanchuk Encounter Left Questions

The first two draws took place in the major group of the Wijk aan Zee Super-GM tournament.

In Radjabov-Caruana encounter White managed to equal chances in Grunfeld defence and the game ended in a calm draw. 

Nakamura-Ivanchuk duel is unclear and leaves more questions than definite answers. Not long ago the rivals exchanged victories in Reggio Emilia tournament. 


White has an obvious compensation for the pawn. White pieces are poorly developed, however, c3 passed pawn keeps them some considerable hope.

The logical would be, for example, 17.Bh5+ Kg7 18.Rad1 Rg8 19.Qd7+ Kh8 20.Qf7 c5 21.Qxf6+ Bg7. But American chose 17.Rfd1, allowing 17…h5!.

Nakamura then playes a weird move 18.a4. If that was an attempt to dominate, it could hardly be considered as successful. Ivanchuk could have answered 18…Be7! and 19.Qd7 c2! 20.Rd6 Qxd7 21.Rxd7 Rad8! works in his favor. Instead, the fight ended in repetition 18…Rb8 19.Ba7 Ra8 20.Be3 Rb8 21.Ba7 Ra8 1/2-1/2

Probably only opponents are able to describe their own decisions.

[Event «74th Тата Стил GMA»] [Site «Wijk aan Zee NED»] [Date «2012.01.14»] [Round «1.5»] [White «Nakamura, Hikaru»] [Black «Ivanchuk, Vassily»] [Result «1/2-1/2»] [ECO «D31»] [PlyCount «42»] [EventDate «2012.??.??»] 1. c4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nf3 e6 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. g3 b5 6. Bg2 Bb7 7. Ne5 Qc8 8. O-O Nd7 9. b3 b4 10. Ne4 Nxe5 11. dxe5 c3 12. Qd3 a5 13. Be3 f5 14. exf6 Nxf6 15. Nxf6+ gxf6 16. Bf3 Kf7 17. Rfd1 h5 18. a4 Rb8 19. Ba7 Ra8 20. Be3 Rb8 21. Ba7 Ra8 1/2-1/2 [Event «74th Тата Стил GMA»] [Site «Wijk aan Zee NED»] [Date «2012.01.14»] [Round «1.3»] [White «Radjabov, Teimour»] [Black «Caruana, Fabiano»] [Result «1/2-1/2»] [ECO «D85»] [PlyCount «53»] [EventDate «2012.??.??»] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Be3 c5 8. Rc1 Qa5 9. Qd2 cxd4 10. cxd4 Qxd2+ 11. Bxd2 O-O 12. Nf3 e6 13. h4 Nc6 14. e5 Rd8 15. Bg5 Re8 16. Be3 h6 17. Bd3 Bd7 18. Rb1 Rab8 19. Nd2 Ne7 20. Ne4 Bc6 21. g4 Red8 22. Ke2 Nd5 23. Rhc1 Bf8 24. Bd2 Nb6 25. Be3 Nd5 26. Bd2 Nb6 27. Be3 1/2-1/2your web browser and/or your host do not support iframes as required to display the chessboard

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