c/o Max Vitek, Contributing Writer

c/o Max Vitek, Contributing Writer

This week, we will be looking at a position taken from one of Hikaru Nakamura’s immortal games. Playing the black pieces, the young prodigy faced the experienced Polish grandmaster Michał Krasenkow in the second round of the Casino de Barcelona tournament in 2007. Krasenkow, known for his aggressive attacking style, had just unleashed a brutal tactical shot after 20. Nc6 Rxc6 21. Bxf6, appearing to force Nakamura to give up his queen for a rook and a knight after …Nxf6 22. Rxb6 Rxb6. Nakamura, however, had something else in mind. Can you find the brilliant sequence Nakamura played, isolating a critical weakness in white’s position, and attacking it with devastating precision?

Last Week’s Solution:

Qe2+! Kc2 2. d3+ Kxc1? 3. O-O#

Although there are several checks in the position, only Qe2 is winning, as it both protects the white pawn on c4 and continues to force the black king down the board. The elder Morphy, overlooking his son’s next move, played the ambitious Kxc1, losing immediately to O-O#. After 2…Kb1, white still has a forced checkmate in 10 moves; the computer gives 3. O-O Bc5 4. Be3+ Kxa2 5. Bxd4 Bxd4 6. Qc2 b5 7. b4+ Ka3 8. Rb1 bxc4 9. dxc4 Bb2 10. Qxb2 + Ka4 11.Ra1#

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