Links

This form does not yet contain any fields.
    1948 World Chess Championship 1962 Candidates 2.c3 Sicilian 2.f4 Sicilian 2011 European Team Championship 2011 Russian Championship 2012 Capablanca Memorial 2012 Chess Olympiad 2012 European Women's Championship 2012 London Chess Classic 2012 U.S. Junior Championship 2012 U.S. Women's Championship 2012 US Championship 2012 Women's World Chess Championship 2012 World Rapid and Blitz Championships 2013 Alekhine Memorial 2013 Beijing Grand Prix 2013 European Club Cup 2013 European Team Championship 2013 FIDE World Cup 2013 Kings Tournament 2013 London Chess Classic 2013 Russian Championship 2013 Tal Memorial 2013 U.S. Championship 2013 Women's World Championship 2013 World Blitz Championship 2013 World Championship 2013 World Rapid Championship 2013 World Team Championship 2014 Russian Team Championship 60 Minutes A. Muzychuk A. Sokolov aattacking chess Abby Marshall Accelerated Dragon ACP Golden Classic Adams Aeroflot 2010 Aeroflot 2011 Aeroflot 2012 Aeroflot 2013 Agrest Akiba Rubinstein Akiva Rubinstein Akobian Alejandro Ramirez Alekhine Alekhine Defense Alekseev Alena Kats Alex Markgraf Alexander Alekhine Alexander Grischuk Alexander Ipatov Alexander Khalifman Alexander Morozevich Alexander Onischuk Alexander Stripunsky Alexandra Kosteniuk Alexei Dreev Alexei Shirov Alexey Bezgodov Almasi Amber 2010 Amber 2011 Amos Burn Anand Anand-Carlsen 2013 Anand-Gelfand 2012 Anand-Gelfand World Championship Match Anand-Topalov 2010 Anastasia Bodnaruk Anatoly Karpov Andrei Volokitin Andrew Martin Andrew Paulson Android apps Anish Giri Anna Ushenina Anna Zatonskih Anti-Marshall Lines Anti-Moscow Gambit Antoaneta Stefanova apps April Fool's Jokes Archangelsk Variation Arkadij Naiditsch Arne Moll Aron Nimzowitsch Aronian Aronian-Kramnik 2012 Artur Yusupov Astrakhan Grand Prix 2010 attack attacking chess Austrian Attack Averbakh Baadur Jobava Bacrot Bangkok Chess Club Open Bazna 2011 Becerra Beliavsky Benko Gambit Bent Larsen Berlin Defense Biel 2012 Bilbao 2010 Bilbao 2012 Bilbao 2013 bishop endings Bishop vs. Knight Blackburne blindfold chess blitz Blumenfeld Gambit blunders Bobby Fischer Bologan Book Reviews books Boris Gelfand Boris Spassky Borislav Ivanov Borki Predojevic Boruchovsky Botvinnik Botvinnik Memorial Breyer Variation brilliancy British Championship Bronstein Bronznik Brooklyn Castle Browne Brunello Budapest Bundesliga California Chess Reporter Camilla Baginskaite Campomanes Candidates 2011 Candidates 2011 Candidates 2012 Candidates 2013 Candidates 2014 Capablanca Carlsen Caro-Kann cartoons Caruana Catalan Cebalo Charlie Rose cheating Cheparinov chess and education chess and marketing chess cartoons chess history chess in fiction Chess Informant chess lessons chess psychology chess ratings chess variants Chess960 ChessBase DVDs ChessBase Shows ChessLecture Presentations ChessLecture.com ChessUSA ChessUSA blog ChessVibes ChessVideos Presentations Chigorin Variation Chinese Chess Championship Christiansen Christmas Colle combinations Commentary computer chess computers correspondence chess Corsica Cyrus Lakdawala Danailov Daniil Dubov Dave MacEnulty Dave Vigorito David MacEnulty David Navara Davies Deep Blue Deeper Blue defense Delchev Ding Liren Dmitry Andreikin Dmitry Gurevich Dortmund 2010 Dortmund 2011 Dortmund 2012 Dortmund 2012 Dortmund 2013 Doug Hyatt draws dreams Dreev Dutch Defense DVD Reviews DVDs Dvoirys Dvoretsky Easter Edouard Efimenko Efstratios Grivas endgame studies endgames Endgames English Opening Esserman Etienne Bacrot European Club Cup 2012 European Individual Championship 2012 Evgeny Sveshnikov Evgeny Tomashevsky Exchange Ruy Fabiano Caruana Falko Bindrich farce FIDE Grand Prix FIDE ratings Fier fighting for the initiative Finegold Fischer football Francisco Vallejo Pons Fred Reinfeld French Defense Ftacnik Gajewski Gaprindashvili Garry Kasparov Gashimov Gata Kamsky Gelfand Geller Geneva Masters Georg Meier GGarry Kasparov Gibraltar 2011 Gibraltar 2012 Gibraltar 2013 Gibraltar 2014 Giri Grand Prix Attack Greek Gift sacrifice Grenke Chess Classic 2013 Grinfeld Grischuk Grob Gruenfeld Defense Grünfeld Defense Gulko Gunina Guseinov Gustafsson Gyula Sax Hans Ree Harika Dronavalli Haworth Hedgehog Hennig-Schara Gambit Henrique Mecking HHou Yifan highway robbery Hikaru Nakamura Hilton Hjorvar Gretarsson Hort Horwitz Bishops Hou Yifan Houdini 1.5a Howard Staunton humor Humpy Koneru Ian Nepomniachtchi Icelandic Gambit Igor Kurnosov Igor Lysyj Iljumzhinov Ilya Nyzhnyk Imre Hera Informant Informant 113 Informant 114 Informant 115 Informant 116 Informant 117 Informant 118 insanity Inside Chess Magazine Ippolito IQP Irina Krush Ivan Sokolov Ivanchuk J. Polgar Jacob Aagaard Jaenisch Jaideep Unudurti Jakovenko Jan Timman Jay Whitehead Jeremy Silman Jimmy Quon John Grefe John Watson Jon Lenchner Jonathan Hawkins Jonathan Speelman Jose Diaz Judit Polgar Julio Granda Zuniga Kaidanov Kalashnikov Sicilian Kamsky Karjakin Karpov Karsten Mueller Kasimdzhanov Kasparov Kavalek Ken Regan Keres KGB Khalifman King's Gambit King's Indian King's Tournament 2010 Kings Tournament 2012 Kirsan Ilyumzhinov KKing's Gambit KKing's Indian Klovans Komodo Korchnoi Kramnik Kunin Larry Evans Larry Kaufman Larry Parr Lasker Lasker-Pelikan Latvian Gambit Laznicka Le Quang Liem Leinier Dominguez Leko Leonid Kritz lessons Lev Psakhis Levon Aronian Lilienthal Linares 2010 Lombardy London 2009 London 2010 London 2011 London Grand Prix London System Lothar Schmid Luke McShane Macieja Magnus Carlsen Main Line Ruy Malakhov Malcolm Pein Mamedyarov Marc Arnold Marc Lang Marin Mariya Muzychuk Mark Crowther Marshall Marshall Gambit Masters of the Chessboard Mateusz Bartel Max Euwe Maxime Vachier-Lagrave McShane Mega 2012 mental malfunction Mesgen Amanov Michael Adams Miguel Najdorf Mikhail Botvinnik Mikhail Tal Mikhalchishin Miles Minev miniatures MModern Benoni Modern Modern Benoni Moiseenko Morozevich Morphy Movsesian Müller music Nadareishvili Naiditsch Najdorf Sicilian Nakamura Nanjing 2010 Navara Negi Neo-Archangelsk Nepomniachtchi New In Chess Yearbook 104 New York Times NH Tournament 2010 Nigel Short Nikita Vitiugov Nimzo-Indian NNotre Dame football Norway Chess 2013 Notre Dame football Notre Dame Football Nov. 2009 News Nyback Nyzhnyk Olympics 2010 Open Ruy opening advice opening novelties Openings openings Or Cohen P.H. Nielsen Parimarjan Negi Paris Grand Prix passed pawns Paul Keres Pavel Eljanov pawn endings pawn play pawn structures Pesotskyi Peter Heine Nielsen Peter Leko Peter Svidler Petroff Philadelphia Open Phiona Mutesi Pirc Piterenka Rapid/Blitz Polgar Polgar sisters Polugaevsky Ponomariov Ponziani Potkin poultry Powerbook 2011 problems progressive chess QGD Tartakower QQueen's Gambit Accepted queen sacrifices Queen's Gambit Accepted Queen's Indian Defense Radjabov Ragger rapid chess Rapport Rashid Nezhmetdinov rating inflation ratings Ray Robson Regan Reggio Emilia 2010 Reggio Emilia 2011 Reshevsky Reti Rex Sinquefield Reykjavik Open 2012 Richard Reti Robert Byrne robot chess Robson Roman Ovetchkin rook endings RReggio Emilia 2011 rrook endings RRuy Lopez RRuy Lopez sidelines Rubinstein rules Ruslan Ponomariov Russian Team Championship Rustam Kasimdzhanov Ruy Lopez Ruy Lopez sidelines Rybka Rybka 4 S. Kasparov sacrifices Sadler Sakaev Sam Collins Sam Sevian Samuel Reshevsky Sao Paulo/Bilbao 2011 Sao Paulo/Bilbao 2012 satire Savchenko Schliemann Scotch Four Knights Searching for Bobby Fischer Seirawan self-destruction Sergei Tiiviakov Sergey Karjakin Sergey Shipov Shakhriyar Mamedyarov Shankland Shipov Shirov Short Sicilian Sinquefield Cup sitzfleisch Slav Smith-Morra Gambit Smyslov Spassky spectacular moves Speelman sportsmanship Spraggett St. Louis Invitational stalemate Staunton Stockfish 4 Stonewall Dutch Suat Atalik Super Bowl XLIV Sutovsky Sveshnikov Sveshnikov Sicilian Svetozar Gligoric Svidler sweeper sealer twist Swiercz tactics Tactics Taimanov Tal Tal Memorial 2009 Tal Memorial 2010 Tal Memorial 2011 Tal Memorial 2012 Tal Memorial 2012 Tarjan Tarrasch Tarrasch Defense Tashkent Teimour Radjabov Terekhin The Chess Players (book) The Week in Chess Thessaloniki Grand Prix Three knights Tim Krabbé time controls Timman Timur Gareev Tomashevsky Tony Miles Topalov traps TWIC types of chess players Ufuk Tuncer underpromotion Unive 2012 University of Notre Dame upsets US Championship 2010 US Championship 2011 USCF ratings USCL V. Onischuk Vachier-Lagrave Vallejo van der Heijden van Wely Vasik Rajlich Vasily Smyslov Vassily Ivanchuk Vassily Smyslov Velimirovic Attack Veresov Veselin Topalov video videos Vienna 1922 Viktor Bologan Viktor Korchnoi Viktor Moskalenko Viswanathan Anand Vitaly Tseshkovsky Vitiugov Vladimir Kramnik Vladimir Tukmakov Vugar Gashimov Wang Hao Wang Yue Watson Welcome Wesley Brandhorst Wesley So Wijk aan Zee 2010 Wijk aan Zee 2011 Wijk aan Zee 2012 Wijk aan Zee 2013 Wijk aan Zee 2014 Wilhelm Steinitz Willy Hendriks Winawer French Wojtkiewicz Women's Grand Prix Women's World Championship World Champion DVDs World Cup World Cup 2009 World Cup 2011 World Cup 2011 World Junior Championship World Senior Championship WWijk aan Zee 2012 Yasser Seirawan Yates Yermolinsky Yevseev Yu Yangyi Yuri Averbakh Yuri Razuvaev Zaitsev Variation Zaven Andriasyan Zhao Xue Zug 2013 Zukertort System Zurich 1953 Zurich 2013 Zurich 2014

    Entries in Hikaru Nakamura (42)

    Monday
    Apr142014

    Nakamura Interview

    Here's a wide-ranging interview, closing with a few comments about Vugar Gashimov and the memorial tournament in his honor starting in a few days.

    (HT: Jaideep Unudurti)

    Sunday
    Mar022014

    Nakamura AMA on Reddit

    Here, excerpts here. (AMA = "Ask Me Anything".)

    Thursday
    Feb202014

    Interviews with Aronian & Nakamura

    Over on the ChessBase website.

    Wednesday
    Feb052014

    Carlsen Wins Zurich Chess Challenge; Caruana Second on Tiebreaks Ahead of Aronian

    Magnus Carlsen had a very bad time of things in the (quick) rapid games on Tuesday, and came close to losing his lead at the Zurich Chess Challenge. Close, but not close enough for Levon Aronian and Fabiano Caruana to catch him. All three players won their first game - Carlsen over Boris Gelfand, Aronian over Viswanathan Anand and Caruana over Hikaru Nakamura - and it looked like the deal was done. Carlsen enjoyed a two point lead over Aronian and a three point lead on Caruana, with just four games to go.

    But then it got interesting. Aronian outplayed Carlsen and won handily to close to within a point. Caruana only drew with Gelfand, so he only closed his gap to two and a half points. In round 3 Carlsen drew with Nakamura, and while Aronian remained a point behind after a draw with Gelfand, Caruana got another half a point closer by defeating Anand. (That was three losses in a row for Anand, incidentally.)

    Round 4 was the big chance. Caruana outplayed Carlsen, coming to within a single point of the leader. Had Aronian managed to defeat Nakamura, he would have caught Carlsen in first. Nakamura has been a regular "customer" of his for some time now, but not today. Nakamura won a good game, and so Aronian remained a point behind.

    Round 5 was a mere formality. Carlsen had White against Anand, and cynically (but understandably) repeated game 8 of their match pretty much move for move. The players conducted the whole game at blitz tempo, called it a draw, and Carlsen clinched. (I enjoyed Nakamura's disdainful expression as he looked up at the electronic display as this was going on.) Caruana and Aronian played a real game, which also ended in a draw, and thus they finished tied for second, a point behind Carlsen. (Caruana took second on tiebreak.) Here are the full final standings:

    1. Carlsen 10 (out of 15 - the classical games were scored double)

    2. Caruana 9

    3. Aronian 9

    4. Nakamura 7.5 (he finished the rapid with a very strong 3.5/4)

    5. Anand 5

    6. Gelfand 4.5

    Saturday
    Feb012014

    Nakamura On Carlsen

    Here are two interesting quotations from Hikaru Nakamura. First, from his Twitter account last year, after Magnus Carlsen won the title:

    Starting to realize that I am the only person who is going to be able to stop Sauron in the context of chess history.

    Second, there's this from the cover of the latest issue of New In Chess Magazine. [N.B. I haven't received my copy yet, and perhaps all is clearly explained therein.]

    I do feel that at the moment I am the biggest threat to Carlsen.

    I think this may be an example of what psychologists call precommitment: one removes possible paths of escape so that he has no choice but to face a particular challenge. Given this lack of choice, moreover, one is likelier to muster one's full effort - the only way out is through, as the saying goes.

    Objectively, these remarks are doubly dubious. First, he has never beaten Carlsen in a classical game, so it's hard to see why Middle Earth should put its ("preciousssss"?) resources behind H.N. Baggins. Second, while Levon Aronian perhaps showed a little psychological weakness in his final round game with Carlsen in last year's Sinquefield Cup, why not go for him? He's the world's clear #2 at the moment, and there's no obvious reason why he couldn't beat Carlsen in a match; likewise Vladimir Kramnik when he is on song. I don't mean that either would be a favorite against Carlsen, but if we're discussing "best chances" they look like the best options at the moment. One might also wonder why Nakamura is a better option for the next cycle than some of the younger players coming up, like Fabiano Caruana and Anish Giri. None of this is to deny that Nakamura could have his chances as well, only the plausibility of his statements.

    As a practical matter though, it's quite interesting. By making such a bold statement he is putting pressure on himself to deliver results, and if that's what he needs to train his best it may be a good strategy. I get the feeling too that Nakamura's remarks about Carlsen get under the latter's skin a little. More than once - including after their game today - I've seen Carlsen rankle a bit when any suggestion arises that Nakamura is an especially difficult opponent for him. Maybe irritating cool customer Carlsen is also part of the plan.

    Are Nakamura's comments exemplars of the best kind of sportsmanship? Perhaps not, but they're not really rude, either. I think they're primarily his attempt to psych himself up, and they're a little amusing too - at least the one calling Carlsen "Sauron". So let's end this post on appropriately absurd and light note:

    Saturday
    Feb012014

    Nakamura On Anand?

    After defeating Viswanathan Anand yesterday in round 2 of the Zurich Chess Challenge, Hikaru Nakamura tweeted this:

    Form is temporary but class, class is permanent.

    Assuming this is a statement recognizing Anand's enduring greatness as a player despite his hitherto poor play in the tournament (and going back a year or two), it's a good and gracious thing for Nakamura to say. Well done.

    Sunday
    Dec152013

    Nakamura Wins London Chess Classic

    It wasn't pretty, but when you win, who cares? Hikaru Nakamura won the rapid event that was this year's London Chess Classic, defeating Boris Gelfand 1.5-.5 in the final after defeating Vladimir Kramnik by the same score in the semis.

    Starting with the semi-finals, Nakamura drew his first game with Kramnik pretty easily with the black pieces, but in game two Kramnik had what was probably some excellent preparation and obtained an advantage. Kramnik's strategy of meeting the 7.a3 line against the Tarrasch with 7...g6, heading for a Gruenfeld, was pretty sensible, and 16...Nb4! was an excellent trick that got White into some trouble. Nakamura sacrificed the exchange for a pawn and began a long and unpleasant defense. After 41...h6, with the idea of ...f5, it looked like Kramnik was finally going to win the d-pawn and convert his advantage into a full point. Nakamura played the tricky 42.d7, and now Kramnik avoided one trick but fell into another.

    The obvious error is 42...Kxd7?, which allows 43.Bxh6! If Black doesn't take the bishop White will probably draw anyway, and if he does then 44.Nxf6+ Ke6 45.Nxd5 Kxd5 46.Kf3 followed by 47.Kg4, 48.f4 and 49.h5 swaps off Black's last pawn to force the draw. The right move was 42...Bf8!, whose point becomes obvious after Kramnik's choice, which was 42...Kf7?: 43.Nc5! The pawn is protected and the knight is immune, and that's why the bishop needed to be on f8. Kramnik played 43...Bf8 now, but it's too late: 44.Ba5! Be7 45.Bb6! and Nakamura probably had a fortress.

    Kramnik tried to break through in a mostly non-committal way for a while, but after 59...Kg6 60.Bb6 Bxg5 61.Ne6! (with the simple but important point that 61...Rxd7?? allows the winning fork 62.Nf8+) the position was messy and White was no longer worse. Kramnik quickly - and wrongly - played 61...Rd3+, and after 62.Ke4 was clearly upset by what had happened. He had to sac his bishop for Nakamura's d-pawn, and though Nakamura now had the upper hand the position was still drawish. As anyone who has played much tournament chess knows, however, a slightly worse position after one has been better for a long time feels like a disaster, and it's very hard to stop sliding. Sure enough, Kramnik's 64...Re7+ was poor, and after 65.Ne5+ he uncorked 65...Kf6??, only to resign after a few moments of horror when Nakamura played 66.Bd8. Ouch.

    Gelfand's semi-final win against Michael Adams came with considerably less drama. Gelfand had White in their first game, but was if anything slightly worse until Adams blundered an exchange with 24...Nd7, missing the surprising double attack resulting from 25.0-0-0! Black had to surrender the exchange, and while the subsequent play was by no means perfect Gelfand's win was the normal result. In the rematch Gelfand wound up with a big advantage in a 6.Be3 Ng4 Najdorf, but for simplicity's sake returned first one and then the second of his extra pawns to achieve a trivially drawn endgame.

    In the final Nakamura had White in game 1 and played the very risky but semi-sound 11.Nxf7 in a Russian System Gruenfeld. Black was forced to surrender the exchange, but obtained a massive initiative in return. The key moment came on move 17, when Gelfand played 17...Ne4. While perhaps not a mistake, it allowed Nakamura to swap a pair of knights and then play f3, making his king a good deal safer than it had been. Perhaps the position was still objectively equal, but the resulting position was one where it would be more challenging for Black to keep proving sufficient compensation. Instead, 17...Nce6 would have kept the tension and some advantage for Black.

    The next important moment was on move 22, when Gelfand played 22...Qf6, apparently under the assumption that his c-pawn was indigestible. This was a mistake, and he should have played something like 22...Rd7 instead, covering it. With a pawn for the exchange and very active pieces Black would have maintained equal chances. After 22...Qf6 23.Rxc7 Ne6 (possibly another inaccuracy) 24.Rd7 White was a clean exchange ahead, and with accurate defense Nakamura neutralized Gelfand's initiative and won the game.

    Game two was a good fight in an Averbakh King's Indian. Gelfand was close to getting something substantial for a while, but Nakamura maintained enough activity to avoid serious trouble. The need to avoid a logical draw forced Gelfand to overpress a bit, and then he wound up in some trouble of his own. To his credit, he stayed mentally tough and held the draw in a worse rook endgame, but of course that wasn't enough to save the match.

    Another very good result for Gelfand, but the best result was obviously the champion's. Nakamura went through the entire event undefeated, going +5 =7 overall. He's #3 in the world for a reason!

    Wednesday
    Nov272013

    World Team Championship, USA Beats Russia 3-1 In Round 2

    It seems that there are three things you can count on in life: death, taxes, and the Russians underperforming in team events. The Russians drew with Armenia in round 1, which was only a mild upset (and admittedly a better result than the U.S.'s 2.5-1.5 loss to Ukraine), but they were dispatched by the Americans 3-1 in round 2. Hikaru Nakamura defeated Vladimir Kramnik in what one would normally think of as a Kramnik-like performance, and for dessert leapfrogged Kramnik into third place on the live rating list. The other victory came from Ray Robson, who took advantage of Nikita Vitiugov's losing the thread in a very sharp Slav Marshall Gambit. Here's a quick look at both games.

    Overall, Germany and Azerbaijan lead the World Team Championship with 4 match points (i.e. 2-0 scores in their matches) and 5.5 board points; Ukraine has 4 match points and 5 board points to sit in third. It's a ten team round-robin though, so the current standings aren't too important just yet.

    Wednesday
    Nov132013

    Nakamura: Anand Is Now The Favorite

    Or at least that's what Hikaru Nakamura thought when this interview was made, which seems to be after game 3 (HT: Ross Hytnen). Given the way Nakamura closes  the interview, it's possible that he would no longer subscribe to the conclusion in the title:

    I think if Carlsen does not win tomorrow or at least show some sort of advantage, then the rest of the match will be in Anand's favour. While it is hard to pick a winner, I think that at the moment, Anand is a small favourite.

    It seems that there are a number of other interesting match-related articles on that website, so while you're there check out the links to the right and below the article too.

     

    Tuesday
    Oct222013

    Caruana-Nakamura An Exciting Draw at the European Club Cup

    I'm not going to analyze the game, but today's fight between world #4 Fabiano Caruana and world #5 Hikaru Nakamura at the European Club Cup was worthy of their ratings and their rankings. (The earlier link may be supplanted, so go here for something more permanent.)