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Nakamura 
Photography copyright © 2008, courtesy of chesspatzerblog.  
Hikaru Nakamura
Number of games in database: 1,459
Years covered: 1995 to 2016
Last FIDE rating: 2793 (2842 rapid, 2884 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2814
Overall record: +453 -184 =431 (62.6%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      391 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

MOST PLAYED OPENINGS
With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (115) 
    B90 B30 B42 B23 B33
 Queen's Pawn Game (58) 
    A45 D00 E00 A50 E10
 Queen's Gambit Declined (41) 
    D31 D37 D38 D30 D35
 Grunfeld (36) 
    D85 D91 D70 D86 D97
 French Defense (36) 
    C02 C11 C10 C16 C00
 Nimzo Indian (35) 
    E32 E21 E44 E46 E20
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (154) 
    B90 B30 B92 B76 B42
 King's Indian (81) 
    E97 E90 E92 E63 E94
 Ruy Lopez (55) 
    C67 C78 C65 C80 C60
 Sicilian Najdorf (49) 
    B90 B92 B99 B94 B96
 French Defense (43) 
    C11 C03 C12 C10 C04
 Queen's Pawn Game (36) 
    D02 A45 A40 A41 E00
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   M Krasenkow vs Nakamura, 2007 0-1
   Rybka vs Nakamura, 2008 0-1
   W So vs Nakamura, 2015 0-1
   Gelfand vs Nakamura, 2010 0-1
   Crafty vs Nakamura, 2007 0-1
   Nakamura vs Kramnik, 2012 1-0
   G Sagalchik vs Nakamura, 2003 0-1
   Nakamura vs Robson, 2012 1-0
   Nakamura vs Van Wely, 2010 1-0
   Nakamura vs Karjakin, 2013 1-0

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2004)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   US Championship (2012)
   Casino de Barcelona (2007)
   Corsica Masters (2007)
   Cap d'Agde (2008)
   Cap d'Agde (2010)
   Tradewise Gibraltar (2015)
   Gibraltar Chess Festival (2008)
   34th World Open (2006)
   Ordix Open (2009)
   Geneva Chess Masters (2013)
   Tradewise Gibraltar (2016)
   Torneo Continental Americano (2003)
   Gibtelecom (2009)
   World Cup (2015)
   Ordix Open (2008)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Fighting Chess with Hikaru Nakamura by kenilworthian
   Notable Nakamura Games by iron maiden
   Hikaru! by larrewl
   Match Nakamura! by amadeus
   2016/2015/2014 Tournaments/2013 WCC by wanabe2000
   Art of War's favorite games 7 by Art of War
   2004 Wijk Aan Zee (Group B) by gauer
   Selected Tournaments and Favorite Games (2011) a by partien

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Hikaru Nakamura
Search Google for Hikaru Nakamura
FIDE player card for Hikaru Nakamura


HIKARU NAKAMURA
(born Dec-09-1987, 28 years old) Japan (federation/nationality United States of America)

[what is this?]
Awarded the title of IM in 2001 and that of GM in 2003, Nakamura is reigning US Champion, his prior victories coming in 2004, 2009 and 2012. He is the world's second-ranked player as of October 2015.

Prodigy

Christopher Hikaru Nakamura was born December 9, 1987 in Hirakata in Osaka, Japan, to a Japanese father and an American mother. He is the younger brother of Asuka Nakamura. When he was two years old, he and his mother and brother moved to the United States. He started playing chess when he was seven, coached by his stepfather, Sunil Weeramantry. He was the youngest player in US history to defeat an International Master (Jay R Bonin) in a USCF-rated game (10 years, 0 months), to become a National Master (USCF) (10 years 79 days), to defeat a Grandmaster (Arthur Bisguier) in a USCF-rated game (10 years, 117 days), and to become an IM (13 years 2 months), although most of these records have subsequently been surpassed. In 2003 he became the USA's youngest-ever grandmaster (15 years 2 months and 19 days), a record later broken by Fabiano Caruana and Ray Robson.

Championships

<Youth> In 2001 he won the World U14 championship.

<National> When he won the Chessmaster US Championships 2005 (2004) (on tiebreak from Alexander Stripunsky), he was the youngest player to win the US championship since Robert James Fischer. He also won the US Championship (2009) outright by half a point ahead of the joint runners-up Robert Lee Hess and Alexander Onischuk, and the US Championship (2012) outright by a full point ahead of the winner of the 2010 and 2011 events, Gata Kamsky. He won the national title for a fourth time when he took out the US Championships (2015) with 8/11, half a point ahead of the outright runner up Ray Robson.

<World championship cycle> Seeded number 87 and aged 16, Nakamura reached the final 16 in the FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2004), defeating 46th seed Sergey Volkov, 19th seeded Aleksej Aleksandrov, and 51st seed Alexander Lastin in the preliminary rounds before bowing out to number 3 seed and finalist Michael Adams in the round of 16. He qualified to play in the World Cup (2013) through his rating, and defeated Peruvian WGM Deysi Estela Cori Tello in the first round, Azeri GM Eltaj Safarli in the second round and Indian GM Baskaran Adhiban in the third round, but was eliminated in the Round of 16 (fourth round) by Ukrainian GM Anton Korobov. He qualified by rating to participate in the World Cup (2015), and is doing so although he has already qualified for the Candidates Tournament of 2016 via the Grand Prix series of 2014-15. He defeated Richmond Phiri, Samuel Shankland in the first two rounds, as well as Ian Nepomniachtchi in a third round thriller that Nakamura won in the deciding Armageddon blitz tiebreaker game after the three previous sets of rapid and blitz tiebreakers had been drawn. In the Round of 16 (the fourth round) he won against Michael Adams by 1.5-0.5 but lost to Pavel Eljanov in the quarter final, bowing out of the event.

<Grand Prix Series 2012-2013> He started the Grand Prix series with last at the FIDE Grand Prix London (2012). After bouncing back into contention with outright second in the FIDE Grand Prix Zug (2013), a poor showing at the FIDE Grand Prix Thessaloniki (2013) eliminated him from contention for the top 2 spots that will qualify for the 2014 Candidates Tournament. (1) He did however place 3rd behind Fabiano Caruana and Boris Gelfand in the FIDE Grand Prix Paris (2013) to accumulate 300 GP points and place 6th in the 2012-13 Grand Prix series. Subsequently, his only chance to play in the 2014 Candidates Tournament was to be nominated as the Organizer's wild card once the venue was settled, however this did not eventuate.

<Grand Prix Series 2014-2015> Nakamura competed in the first leg of the series at the FIDE Grand Prix Baku (2014), where he scored 6/11 to place 3rd-7th, half a point behind the joint leaders Caruana and Gelfand. He therefore kicked off with a GP tally of 82 points, representing the even distribution of points applicable to each place from 3rd to 7th. In the second leg of the series, namely the FIDE Grand Prix Tashkent (2014), he placed =2nd and stood in 2nd place overall, excellently situated to take advantage of the opportunity to qualify for the Candidates tournament in 2016. He took full advantage of this in FIDE Grand Prix Khanty-Mansiysk (2015), when he came =1st to qualify for the Candidates Tournament of 2016.

Standard tournaments

In 2005, he won the 7th Foxwoods Open (2005).

In 2007, he won both the National Open (2007) that was held in Las Vegas and the Casino de Barcelona (2007).

The following year, he beat Bu Xiangzhi in the play-off to win the Gibraltar (2008) Masters Open with 8.0/10.

Nakamura tied for first with Evgeny Najer at the World Open (2009) after taking two last-day byes, each worth half a point and won the Donostia Chess Festival (2009) in tiebreak over Ruslan Ponomariov.

In 2010, he came =4th at Corus (2010), and was equal top scorer in the victorious Rising Stars team in the Rising Stars - Experience (2010) tournament. He scored 5/9 (+1 -0 =8) at the Tal Memorial (2010), placing =4th, and finished the year with =4th place in the London Chess Classic (2010).

Nakamura began 2011 by taking clear first place at the A-Group of the prestigious category 20 Tata Steel (2011) (formerly Corus) with a 9/13 score (+6 -1 =6) and a 2880 performance rating, ahead of a powerful field including the world's top four players: World Champion Viswanathan Anand, Magnus Carlsen, Levon Aronian and former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik. In June 2011, Nakamura placed =3rd in the Bazna King's Tournament (2011), in July he scored 4.5/10 at Dortmund (2011), in August he came =1st in the 2011 US Open Championship with 7.5/9 and in October he came =3rd in the 4th Bilbao Masters (2011) with 5/10. The following month, he suffered a lapse in form at the category 22 Tal Memorial (2011), scoring 3/9 and coming last but recovered to finish 2011 with second place behind Kramnik at the category 20 London Chess Classic (2011), scoring +4 -1 =3 (TPR of 2887).

He started 2012 by coming =2nd (4th on count back) at the Reggio Emilia (2011), half a point behind Anish Giri, and then came =5th at Tata Steel (2012), scoring 7.5/13 (+3 -1 =9). He followed up in April 2012 with 1st at the 6th Annual Grand Pacific Open held in British Columbia. He competed in the Tal Memorial (2012) held in June, scoring 4/9. In July/August 2012, Nakamura placed a solid =3rd at the Biel Chess Festival (2012), but underperformed at the 28th European Club Cup (2012), although in October 2012, he recovered to some extent by winning the 4 player double round robin 16th Unive Tournament (2012) (crown group) with 4.5/6 (+3 -0 =3). Nakamura finished 2012 with a strong 3rd placement in the London Chess Classic (2012) behind Carlsen and Kramnik, adding enough rating points to restore him to the top 10.

2013 started with a modest 7/13 result for outright 6th at the Tata Steel (2013) event. He then followed up in May 2013 with equal 2nd at the Norway Chess Tournament (2013) with 5.5/9, half a point behind Sergey Karjakin and 3rd on tiebreak behind Carlsen; he also placed =2nd with 6/9 at the preliminary Norway Chess Tournament (Blitz) (2013) held to determine the draw for the main tournament, and earned the right to play with the White pieces in 5 games out of 9. In June 2013, he contested the category 22 Tal Memorial (2013), and was outright leader after 6 rounds. However, he lost the last 3 game to place 6th with 4.5/9, winning more games (4) and losing more games (4) than any other player in the tournament. Soon after, he came =3rd in the Houston Open in July 2013. In September he played in the quadrangular double round robin category 22 Sinquefield Cup (2013), and was in contention for first place until the last round, when he drew against Gata Kamsky finishing second with 3.5/6 (+2 -1 =3; TPR 2863) behind Magnus Carlsen.

Nakamura's first event in 2014 was the category 20 Tata Steel (2014) where he scored 5/11 (+2 -3 =6) to shed a few rating points for FIDE's February rating list. He next competed in the category 23 Zurich Chess Challenge (2014) in which he placed 4th with 2/5 after coming agonisingly close to defeating World Champion Magnus Carlsen. He came 2nd with 3.5/5 in the Zurich Chess Challenge (Rapid) (2014) which followed the standard time event, to remain in 4th in the overall event with the results of the standard and rapid events combined. In April, he participated in the inaugural Gashimov Memorial (2014), a category XXII 6-player DRR event inaugurated in honor of the late Azeri grandmaster, scoring 5/10 and placing =3rd behind Carlsen and Caruana. At the London Chess Classic (2014), he scored 2.5/5 to place 4th.

Nakamura's start to 2015 was to win the powerful Tradewise Gibraltar (2015) with 8.5/10 (+7 =3), and return a PB on his live rating and his new FIDE rating due in March. Despite cracking the 2800 barrier in the live ratings during the RR category 22 Zurich Chess Challenge (2015) held in February, he placed outright 2nd in the standard portion of the event behind Anand, ahead of Kramnik, Karjakin, Aronian and Caruana respectively. His second place in the Zurich Chess Challenge (Rapid) (2015) with 3/5 made him =1st with Anand in the overall event, but he won an Armageddon tiebreaker with the former World Champion to win first prize. His good form continued at the category 22 Norway Chess (2015) event, where he was undefeated to place =2nd (3rd on a narrow SB tiebreak), behind Topalov and alongside Anand with 6/9 and a TPR of 2900. In September he competed in the second leg of the inaugural Grand Chess Tour at Sinquefield Cup (2015), and finished equal second with 5/9 behind Aronian in what amounted to a par for rating performance. October saw Nakamura compete in the lucrative Millionaire Chess (2015) tournament, which he won after battling through a complicated tiebreak system that involved a playoff to decide a playoff for fourth, and then winning a knockout rapid game semi-final that was called after round 7 of 9 of the main standard time event. He finished the year with a poor performance at the London Chess Classic (2015) where he came in toward the bottom of the field after scoring 4/9.

He started 2016 with an upbeat result at the Tradewise Gibraltar (2016), winning first prize after a rapid and blitz game tiebreak that ended in an Armageddon victory against runner-up Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.

Team Events

<Olympiads> Nakamura has represented the U.S. in the Olympiads of 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014, helping his country to the bronze medal in 2006 and 2008. He scored 6/10 during the Chess Olympiad (2010) on top board for the USA and a performance rating of 2741 and 6/9 in the Chess Olympiad (2012), coming in fourth on top board. His overall score in Olympiads is 31 points accumulated in 49 games played.

<World Team Championship> Nakamura played board 1 for the USA at the World Team Championship (2010), scoring individual gold and team silver. He also played top board at the FIDE World Team Championship (2013), winning individual silver and helping his team to 4th place in the event.

<European Club Cup> He played top board for the SK Husek Vienna in the European Club Cup (2009) and top board for the Italian club Obiettivo Risarcimento Padova in 2012 and 2013, second board for the Italian club in 2014 and board 3 for the same club in 2015. He scored individual bronze in 2013 and 2014.

Rapids

Nakamura is one of the world's best rapid and blitz players, and the world's best bullet (one-minute) player. He regularly plays on the internet, usually at the ICC where he is the highest rated player (userid <Smallville>), and at Playchess, where he is known as <Star Wars>. He has set many rating records under different categories. In 2008, he challenged and broke blitz king Alexander Grischuk ’s record at ICC of 3737, reaching 3750. Grischuk subsequently challenged Nakamura to a 20 game 3 minutes blitz match, which Nakamura took out convincingly by 14.5-5.5. (2) He also won the first ICC Open in 2011 ahead of over 2000 other contestants. (3)

In 2007, he won the annual Corsica Masters (2007), defeating Rustam Kasimdzhanov in the final. One of the most convincing demonstrations of Nakamura’s ability as a rapid player was when he won the Cap d'Agde (2008), defeating Bu Xiangzhi, Anatoly Karpov and Vassily Ivanchuk in the playoff matches to take first prize in a field that included Carlsen. Nakamura also defeated Carlsen to take out the BNbank Blitz (2009). He was runner-up to Ivanchuk at the Cap d'Agde (2010) in the playoff. He also defeated Rising Stars team mate Anish Giri for the right to play at Amber 2011.

In 2012, Nakamura won the trifecta of silver medals at the SportAccord World Mind Games (Men's Rapid) (2012), the World Mind Games (Men's Blitz) and the World Mind Games (Men's Blindfold) events. He closed out 2013 by winning the London Chess Classic (Knockout) (2013), defeating Gelfand in the final by 1.5-0.5, after qualifying for the final by winning the preliminary London Chess Classic (Group C) (2013).

In June 2014, he competed in both the FIDE World Rapid Championship (2014) and the FIDE World Blitz Championship (2014) that were held in Dubai. In the former, he scored a relatively meager 8.5/15, losing 40 rapid rating points, while he was much more successful in the latter, scoring 16/21, being the runner up by a point behind the winner Magnus Carlsen. His blitz rating skyrocketed to over 2900. Subsequently he competed in the Super Rapidplay Open that was a companion event to the 2014 London Classic (see above), winning the event with an almost perfect score of 9.5/10. He also competed in the London Elite Player Blitz that was the other companion event, and placed =1st with 6/10.

He has authored the book Bullet Chess: One Minute to Mate.

Matches

In December 2004, Nakamura played the best-of-six game Karjakin - Nakamura Match (2004) in the "Duelo de los Jovenes Prodigios" (Duel of the Wonder Boys) in Cuernavaca, Estado de Morelos, Mexico, winning 4.5-1.5 (+4 -1 =1). In May 2011 at the St Louis chess club, he won the Nakamura - Ponomariov Match (2011) by 3.5-2.5 (+2 =3 -1). In June 2014, he played for the Cez Trophy Navara - Nakamura Match (2014) in Praha, Czechia, which involved a 4-game standard time match against David Navara. He won the match by 3.5-0.5.

960 Chess

In August 2009, Nakamura defeated Aronian in Mainz, Germany to become the 960 World Champion and remains unchallenged as such.

Ratings and rankings

Nakamura's highest ranking as a Junior (U20) was #3 in April 2004 and 2005. He first broke into the world's top 100 in October 2004 when he was still 16 years old, and has remained in the top 100 continuously since that time. He reached the world's top 10 in January 2011, and has remained in that elite group continuously since January 2013. In September 2015 his rating reached 2814 despite which he was still ranked world #4 behind Carlsen, Anand and Topalov respectively. However in October 2016, his ranking reached its highest point so far, 2816, when his ranking was world #2, his highest ranking so far.

Sources and references

(1) Wikipedia article: FIDE Grand Prix 2012–2013 (2) http://dod.ru/chess/game/Crest/Smal...; (3) Further details are at this post: Hikaru Nakamura; Live rating list: http://www.2700chess.com/; Wikipedia article: Hikaru Nakamura

Last updated 6 February 2016


 page 1 of 59; games 1-25 of 1,460  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. S Predescu vs Nakamura 1-064 1995 U.S. National Scholastic Grade 2 ChampionshipB08 Pirc, Classical
2. Nakamura vs J Bonin 1-036 1997 Marshall Chess ClubC02 French, Advance
3. Nakamura vs B Karen 0-152 1997 Nassau FuturityB06 Robatsch
4. L Au vs Nakamura 1-043 1997 Hawaii opB83 Sicilian
5. P MacIntyre vs Nakamura  1-054 1998 US Amateur Team EastA07 King's Indian Attack
6. Bisguier vs Nakamura 0-121 1998 Somerset ACN Action SwissE70 King's Indian
7. Stripunsky vs Nakamura 0-143 1998 Marshall Chess ClubB40 Sicilian
8. B Karen vs Nakamura  0-126 1998 Nassau g/30B23 Sicilian, Closed
9. Nakamura vs I Krush 1-062 1998 Cardoza US opB67 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack, 7...a6 Defense, 8...Bd7
10. Nakamura vs O Adu  1-037 1999 Washington Eastern opB54 Sicilian
11. Nakamura vs G Gaiffe 1-054 1999 U.S. Open (5)B23 Sicilian, Closed
12. Wang Yue vs Nakamura 1-0112 1999 Wch U12A04 Reti Opening
13. S Kriventsov vs Nakamura  1-024 1999 Rated TournamentB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
14. D Moody vs Nakamura 0-120 1999 U.S. OpenB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
15. Wojtkiewicz vs Nakamura 1-042 1999 U.S. OpenE62 King's Indian, Fianchetto
16. S Kriventsov vs Nakamura  1-095 1999 Eastern OpenA49 King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4
17. D Schneider vs Nakamura 0-153 1999 Manhattan CC-chB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
18. Nakamura vs M Waxman 1-031 1999 Manhattan CC-chC45 Scotch Game
19. Nakamura vs A Aleksandrov  ½-½60 1999 U.S. OpenC47 Four Knights
20. A David vs Nakamura  1-025 1999 World opB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
21. Nakamura vs J Fang 0-121 1999 Eastern Class- chB06 Robatsch
22. A Hoffman vs Nakamura 0-135 1999 U.S. Open 99E61 King's Indian
23. Nakamura vs Mulyar 1-056 2000 World OpenA45 Queen's Pawn Game
24. Robert E Byrne vs Nakamura ½-½22 2000 New York State-chD72 Neo-Grunfeld, 5.cd, Main line
25. Eugene Levin vs Nakamura 0-196 2000 World OpenB95 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6...e6
 page 1 of 59; games 1-25 of 1,460  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Nakamura wins | Nakamura loses  
 

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 860 OF 860 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-08-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Offramp,

I'm with you, I want a Carlsen - Nakamura WC. Match.

You then come up with three 'don't thinks' why he won't win the title or even qualify. I agree there as well.

You suggest Carlsen - Giri will be a 'Yawnfest'. Again I agree but would dearly love to be proved wrong.

We can but hope Nakamura qualifies, he has as good a chance as everyone else.

Feb-08-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Wouldn't it be funny if Nakamura won Candidates and then Carlsen refused to play him similar to what Kasparov did to Shirov....

just kidding sort of

Feb-08-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <plang> That is not outside the realm. Hard to think though there would not be a sponsor for that match.
Feb-08-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: I think Giri would be the toughest opponent for Carlsen but the match would be boring (brilliant prediction, I know). The best hope for a competitive, exciting match is Caruana -- he and Carlsen seem to really go after each other.

As for Carlsen-Nakamura, I think offramp gets it right in the fourth paragraph, second sentence.

Feb-08-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  john barleycorn: Carlsen-Nakamura would be as exciting as Lasker-Janowski. Carlsen-Giri sort of Lasker-Schlechter
Feb-08-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <john barleycorn: Carlsen-Nakamura would be as exciting as Lasker-Janowski. Carlsen-Giri sort of Lasker-Schlechter>

Lasker-Schlecter was pretty exciting -- more exciting than I would expect Carlsen-Giri to be. Check out the games. <bridgeburner> computer-analyzed them all.

Feb-08-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  john barleycorn: <keypusher> yor are right Lasker-Schlechter was a pretty good match. But I did not claim otherwise. I wrote <Carlsen-Giri sort of Lasker-Schlechter>
Feb-08-16  ughaibu: Was there a match as exciting as Lasker-Schlechter before it? And was there another as exciting before 1954?
Feb-08-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <ughaibu: Was there a match as exciting as Lasker-Schlechter before it? And was there another as exciting before 1954?>

The Steinitz-Chigorin matches were exciting, but the chess was at a far lower level. I've never really looked at the Botvinnik-Smyslov matches; apparently I am missing out.

Feb-08-16  ughaibu: <The Steinitz-Chigorin matches were exciting>

I guess I'm missing out as well. I'll take a look myself.

Feb-08-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  john barleycorn: <keypusher: ...

The Steinitz-Chigorin matches were exciting, ...>

And interesting in the aspect that they sorted out a theoretical discussion about the Evans Gambit. Who would do this nowadays in a championship match?

Feb-08-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <keypusher: <ughaibu: <The Steinitz-Chigorin matches were exciting> I guess I'm missing out as well. I'll take a look myself.>

It's like watching two cavemen take turns whacking each other over the head.

<john barleycorn: <keypusher: ... The Steinitz-Chigorin matches were exciting, ...>

And interesting in the aspect that they sorted out a theoretical discussion about the Evans Gambit. Who would do this nowadays in a championship match?>

Two theoretical discussions, actually. In 1889 Steinitz played 1.Nf3 so Chigorin could play his ...Bg4 defense, which Steinitz disapproved of.

Plus they played the cable match in part to test Steinitz's Nh3 in the Two Knights Defense.

Feb-08-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: I attended the Lasker-Schlechter match - it was very exciting
Feb-08-16  Keyser Soze: <The best hope for a competitive, exciting match is Caruana -- he and Carlsen seem to really go after each other>

I agree. I just don`t know what the heck happened to Aronian. He seems to be the natural challenger while ago.

Feb-09-16  Jambow: I think the only player right now that would have reasonable odds vs Carlsen is Caruana and then still he is a big underdog.

I also think Nakamura would do far better than many anticipate, based on their previous encounters, but only Nakamura has to gain in that showdown, what would Carlsen gain if it was a landslide in his favor? Nakamura would have one prime objective and the highest motivation to crack the Carlsen code, and while the lock has never been opened he has been only one tumbler away recently. Even if he lost the match and that seems the likely result, Nakamura's game would probably go up 25 elo long term.

Giri well he can hold a draw vs Carlsen so far, but press Carlsen when it counts in those deceiving drawish looking positions and I don't like his odds.

I would love Carlsen vs. Nakamura but again I'm an optimist to some degree with Nakamura. Caruana would be my next choice and the only one that could probably win the match near term.

Feb-09-16  SirRuthless: Whoever wins Candidates will face Carlsen and deserve to. I will support that player.
Feb-09-16  Nonnus: Same here. But before the Candidates is over I'll be supporting Nakamura.
Feb-09-16  ayodaman: Win the candidates, Nakamura might. But to Carlsen, lose he will in the championship.

But Nakstar fans, worry not. For Smeagolship crown, still he has and forever he will have.

Feb-09-16  nok: <<Who would do this nowadays in a championship match?> In 1889 Steinitz played 1.Nf3 so Chigorin could play his ...Bg4 defense, which Steinitz disapproved of.>

Iirc the 1889 match wasn't for the title. Note it was a best-of 20 games when Steinitz favoured the first-to-x-wins (draws don't count) format for the championship. Maybe that's why the play was swashbuckling. I'll gladly accept historical proof to the contrary, though.

Feb-09-16  paavoh: @plang: <I attended the Lasker-Schlechter match - it was very exciting>

You must be very old, or reincarnated.

Feb-11-16  SirRuthless: Nakamura cross 3200 bullet rating on chess.com around 4pm pacific standard time February 11th 2016. The chat room explodes.
Feb-12-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Party Animal: 3200 bullet rating on the net won't get Naka The World Championship Title from Carlsen. He's wasting his time.
Feb-12-16  SirRuthless: http://www.theguardian.com/sport/20...
Feb-12-16  schweigzwang: <He's wasting his time.> I'm sure Nakamura is the only one qualified to decide whether he is wasting his time or not.
Feb-12-16  Everett: My own prediction is Aronian, when everyone has counted him out.
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