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Hikaru Nakamura
Number of games in database: 1,230
Years covered: 1995 to 2014
Last FIDE rating: 2787 (2800 rapid, 2906 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2789
Overall record: +405 -171 =346 (62.7%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      308 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (96) 
    B90 B42 B30 B23 B33
 Queen's Pawn Game (47) 
    A45 D00 E00 A50 D05
 French Defense (35) 
    C02 C11 C10 C16 C00
 Queen's Gambit Declined (34) 
    D31 D37 D38 D30 D35
 Nimzo Indian (31) 
    E21 E44 E46 E20 E32
 Grunfeld (28) 
    D85 D91 D70 D86 D97
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (136) 
    B90 B92 B30 B42 B23
 King's Indian (66) 
    E97 E90 E63 E94 E92
 Sicilian Najdorf (46) 
    B90 B92 B99 B94 B96
 French Defense (40) 
    C11 C03 C12 C10 C04
 Ruy Lopez (36) 
    C67 C78 C80 C65 C60
 Slav (29) 
    D10 D17 D11 D15 D12
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Krasenkow vs Nakamura, 2007 0-1
   Gelfand vs Nakamura, 2010 0-1
   Rybka vs Nakamura, 2008 0-1
   Nakamura vs Kramnik, 2012 1-0
   Crafty vs Nakamura, 2007 0-1
   G Sagalchik vs Nakamura, 2003 0-1
   Nakamura vs Robson, 2012 1-0
   Anand vs Nakamura, 2011 0-1
   Beliavsky vs Nakamura, 2009 0-1
   Nakamura vs T Hillarp Persson, 2005 1-0

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

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Casino de Barcelona (2007)
   Cap d'Agde (2008)
   Cap d'Agde (2010)
   Corsica Masters (2007)
   Tata Steel (2011)
   US Championship (2012)
   Ordix Open (2009)
   Gibraltar (2008)
   Geneva Chess Masters (2013)
   34th World Open (2006)
   Torneo Continental Americano (2003)
   5th Gibraltar Chess Festival (2007)
   Gibtelecom (2009)
   Ordix Open (2008)
   X Anibal Open (2003)

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
   King's Indian Defense(2) by Volcach
   Art of War's favorite games 7 by Art of War
   Selected Tournaments and Favorite Games (2011) a by partien
   NAKAMURA'S BEST GAMES by notyetagm
   2012/2013/2014 Tournaments by wanabe2000
   Interesting Opening Lines by EruditeEgress
   Nakamura's Noteables voted by members 1/26/08+ by ffpainz

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

(born Dec-09-1987, 26 years old) Japan (citizen of United States of America)

[what is this?]
IM (2001); GM (2003); 3-time US Champion (2004, 2009 and 2012); world #1 rapid, blitz and bullet player, world #5 player (of the standard time game - August 2014).


Christopher Hikaru Nakamura was born December 9, 1987 in Hirakata in Osaka, Japan, and is the younger brother of Asuka Nakamura. When he was two years old he and his family moved to the United States. He started playing chess when he was four, 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.


<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.

<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 Alexey 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.

<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.

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.

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 30.5 points accumulated in 48 games played.

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

<European Club Cup> In October 2013, he played top board for the Italian team O.R. Padova in the European Club Cup (2013), and won individual bronze, his team placing 10th.


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.

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


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

As of 1 August 2014, Nakamura's ratings were:

<Standard> 2787, maintaining his position as the top ranking player in the Americas. He is the #5 player in the world;

<Rapid> 2800 (world #8); and

<Blitz> 2906 (world #2).

Sources and references

(1) Wikipedia article: FIDE Grand Prix 2012–2013 (2); (3) Further details are at this post: Hikaru Nakamura; Live rating list:; Wikipedia article: Hikaru Nakamura

 page 1 of 50; games 1-25 of 1,230  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 B Karen 0-152 1997 Nassau FuturityB06 Robatsch
3. Nakamura vs J Bonin  1-036 1997 Marshall Chess ClubC02 French, Advance
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. B Karen vs Nakamura  0-126 1998 Nassau g/30B23 Sicilian, Closed
7. Nakamura vs I Krush 1-062 1998 Cardoza US opB67 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack, 7...a6 Defense, 8...Bd7
8. Stripunsky vs Nakamura 0-143 1998 Marshall Chess ClubB40 Sicilian
9. Bisguier vs Nakamura 0-121 1998 Somerset ACN Action SwissE70 King's Indian
10. Nakamura vs J Fang 0-121 1999 Eastern Class- chB06 Robatsch
11. Nakamura vs M Waxman 1-031 1999 Manhattan CC-chC45 Scotch Game
12. Nakamura vs G Gaiffe 1-054 1999 U.S. Open (5)B23 Sicilian, Closed
13. D Schneider vs Nakamura 0-153 1999 Manhattan CC-chB90 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. Nakamura vs O Adu  1-037 1999 Washington Eastern opB54 Sicilian
17. S Kriventsov vs Nakamura  1-024 1999 Rated TournamentB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
18. Nakamura vs A Aleksandrov  ½-½60 1999 U.S. OpenC47 Four Knights
19. A David vs Nakamura  1-025 1999 World opB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
20. S Kriventsov vs Nakamura  1-095 1999 Eastern OpenA49 King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4
21. A Hoffman vs Nakamura 0-135 1999 U.S. Open 99E61 King's Indian
22. Wang Yue vs Nakamura 1-0112 1999 Wch U12A04 Reti Opening
23. Nakamura vs J Friedel 1-067 2000 New Hampshire op 50thC45 Scotch Game
24. Nakamura vs Kotronias 0-125 2000 World OpenB65 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack, 7...Be7 Defense, 9...Nxd4
25. C Balogh vs Nakamura 0-1115 2000 Elekes mem IMB23 Sicilian, Closed
 page 1 of 50; games 1-25 of 1,230  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 817 OF 817 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: It's not just you.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: One need not look beyond <MissScarlett's> other noms de guerre, in which he has fulfilled the role of house racist admirably, to wit: <BobCrisp>, <Feldgrau> and <IndigoViolet> are but several.

The handle may change, but the underlying venom never does.

Aug-29-14  tzar: Let's see what the "inept" player can do today.
Aug-30-14  zborris8: I don't know why it would be considered racist. If anything, it's only half-racist. Okay, that was a bad joke, so you'll have to forgive me, as I'm in a strange mood.

But seriously, even if his "honorable ancestors" used to defecate in a hole, they've certainly come a long way. Nothing beats Japanese ingenuity:

Japanese Scientists Create Meat from Poop

Aug-30-14  bobthebob: <I don't know why it would be considered racist.>

which is the statement almost all racists make when they get called out.

that and "just kidding".

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Japan is an ultra modern state. I'd feel like a caveman there. Also, their trains don't derail regularly, like ours do. Of all the advanced countries, we must have the slowest and most dangerous commuter rail network. Japan can run trains at 250mph. Ours do half of that, because of all of the accidents.
Aug-30-14  zborris8: <bobthebob> Thanks for sharing.
Aug-30-14  Jambow: Transporting people across an island roughly the size of California with one of the larger population densities is a far different task than across the continent of North America which has much lower population density and an older infrastructure.

Considering how many people don't contribute to our national productivity, the social burdens and declining culture Amish buggies seem more likely than 250mph bullet trains.

Maybe I'm just pessimistic about our future as a nation but it looks bleak from my seat.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I think the future looks wonderful. As americans live longer, we become wiser and better people. As the population stabilizes, I see greater productivity and health for everyone. Greater automation and finally a 30 hour week, for many industries.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Believe that, for the first time, Americans' life expectancy has actually declined. Too many jelly doughnuts and all that, I should think.
Aug-31-14  MissScarlett: The IQ of the average American will be declining too. Reading this site, it's none too great to start off with!
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: If one were to judge the average IQ, not to mention EI (emotional intelligence) of the British by <MS's> sterling example, his posts would tell a sorry tale indeed.

We may be thankful that, as with every other country represented here, there are plenty of decent Britons to offset the negativity engendered by this poster.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <Believe that, for the first time, Americans' life expectancy has actually declined. Too many jelly doughnuts and all that, I should think.>

More like future gains in life expectancy have a reduced acceleration, but gains are still occurring. It would help if the government subsidized the production of low fat, lower salt alternatives in supermarkets, for those who don't have the time or skill to cook fresh foods each day.

Aug-31-14  Jambow: <HeMateMe> I need a pair of your glasses as I see a sickly obese population that all too often are on disability by the time they are 55, many young people who don't contribute to anything but crime and anarchy. I see we don't produce much and keep borrowing money because we don't other than printing money.

People may have added a few years but are they really living? I was just at a water park yesterday and I was like wow we live to eat, the mirror is only slightly kinder.

I love America or what was America, not perfect but a land of hope and dreams and opportunity. Still is on some level but the foundation is in real bad shape.

I am a technician for automated equipment and it does amaze me sometimes, but my job often is sedimentary. Recently I spent three weeks physically working and after the initial shock I felt much better. Even the Amish might teach us something after all if we will learn.

Time will tell about America and perhaps sooner than we might like.

<perfidious> Ignorance is universal but so is good cheer.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <Jambow: > That myth has been dispelled. With a greater life expectancy has come greater activity in senior years. witness all of the older people jogging, walking, doing yoga, biking, etc. I know pockets, certain areas, are not benefitting from older age. Manhattan above 96th street has a disproportionate number of people who are obese and diabetic. They seem unwilling to change, and will cost the taxpayers a bit more, as treatments prolong life. The deep south has the same problem. But overall, the majority seem willing to exercise more as they age, seek more frequent medical care, and work part time past the age of 65.

They will have to. As we age, pensions will be smaller and will take longer to achieve. Full social security benefits will be pushed up to a higher age. People will have to work harder to maintain good health as seniors. All good.

Aug-31-14  Everett: <I am a technician for automated equipment and it does amaze me sometimes, but my job often is <sedimentary.> Recently I spent three weeks physically working and after the initial shock I felt much better. Even the Amish might teach us something after all if we will learn.>

I think the Amish life expectancy, without the drugs and surgery, is similar to the rest of the country.

And there is some irony to having a job that involves maintaining automated equipment. Nothing wrong with it, just interesting considering the discussion.

Aug-31-14  Everett: <More like future gains in life expectancy have a reduced acceleration, but gains are still occurring. It would help if the government subsidized the production of low fat, lower salt alternatives in supermarkets, for those who don't have the time or skill to cook fresh foods each day.>

There is nothing wrong with high amounts of fat and salt, as opposed to type. Every cell membrane is made up of lots fat/cholesterol, and every chemical reaction involves salts.

Nearly every hormone is a cholesterol molecule, and the entire nervous system is sheathed in fat.

Aug-31-14  bobthebob: <t would help if the government subsidized the production of low fat, lower salt alternatives in supermarkets>

Oh please.
People should take responsibility for themselves and not act like 5 year olds who needs the government to mommy them.

You can go through any supermarket, read a label and find plenty of low-fat, low-salt foods.

Besides, the government has politicized the salt issue. According to a recent study by the NE Journal of medicine, you are better off not following the guidelines. <found that those who consumed fewer than 3,000 milligrams of sodium a day had a 27% higher risk of death or a serious event such as a heart attack or stroke>

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: unclear. Those consuming less food might already be aged or sick and simply are eating less food in general, thus, less salt consumption. Extra salt means higher blood pressure, in general.

Weight watchers makes a low salt soup, but it is expensive. ALL canned goods are high in salt. If the government game food producers an incentive (or a tax threat) to make canned goods with lower salt content, this would be helpful for a lot of people, who need some help in getting to their proper sodium goals.

Aug-31-14  bobthebob: <unclear. Those consuming less food might already be aged or sick and simply are eating less food in general, thus, less salt consumption>

That isn't what the study concluded.
They studied 100,000 people. Not aged and sick people.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Absentee: <HeMateMe: As we age, pensions will be smaller and will take longer to achieve. Full social security benefits will be pushed up to a higher age. People will have to work harder to maintain good health as seniors. All good.>

Sounds thrilling.

Aug-31-14  bobthebob: <If the government game food producers an incentive>

By incentive, you mean give them tax payer dollars.

<this would be helpful for a lot of people>

It would be far more helpful short and long term if people took responsibility for themselves, read the labels and don't expect the government to bail them out or give out taxpayer money to make their non-salty soup less expensive.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <Sounds thrilling.>

Well, are YOU the one who is willing it die younger, so that the others can get a nice fat pension and never work a day for the last 30 years of their lives? Soon it will be the last 40 years, and so on...

Obviously, changes have to be made. Our system of municipal pensions and social security can't survive without tweaking the parameters.

Premium Chessgames Member
  waustad: There is already a Rogoff page. Why has this one been hijacked too?
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: This is the new health and welfare state page. Didn't you get the memo?
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