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Hikaru Nakamura
Number of games in database: 1,352
Years covered: 1995 to 2015
Last FIDE rating: 2799 (2850 rapid, 2883 blitz)
Overall record: +428 -178 =392 (62.5%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      354 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (100) 
    B90 B42 B30 B23 B33
 Queen's Pawn Game (56) 
    A45 D00 E00 A50 D05
 Queen's Gambit Declined (39) 
    D31 D37 D38 D30 D35
 French Defense (36) 
    C02 C11 C10 C16 C00
 Nimzo Indian (33) 
    E21 E32 E44 E46 E20
 Grunfeld (32) 
    D85 D91 D70 D86 D97
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (150) 
    B90 B30 B92 B42 B23
 King's Indian (75) 
    E97 E90 E92 E63 E94
 Sicilian Najdorf (48) 
    B90 B92 B99 B94 B96
 Ruy Lopez (41) 
    C67 C78 C80 C65 C60
 French Defense (41) 
    C11 C03 C12 C10 C04
 Queen's Pawn Game (32) 
    A41 D02 A45 A40 E00
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   M Krasenkow vs Nakamura, 2007 0-1
   Gelfand vs Nakamura, 2010 0-1
   Rybka vs Nakamura, 2008 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
   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)
   Corsica Masters (2007)
   Tata Steel (2011)
   Cap d'Agde (2008)
   Cap d'Agde (2010)
   US Championship (2012)
   Tradewise Gibraltar (2015)
   34th World Open (2006)
   Gibraltar (2008)
   Ordix Open (2009)
   Geneva Chess Masters (2013)
   Torneo Continental Americano (2003)
   5th Gibraltar Chess Festival (2007)
   Gibtelecom (2009)
   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
   King's Indian Defense(2) by Volcach
   tdeled best games by td14
   toms best games by td14
   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
   Nakamura's Noteables voted by members 1/26/08+ by ffpainz

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

(born Dec-09-1987, 27 years old) Japan (citizen of 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 third-ranked player as of April 2015.


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.


<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.

<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 kicks 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 currently stands in 2nd place, excellently situated to take advantage of the opportunity to qualify for the Candidates tournament in 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.

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. In September 2013, he played board 2 for the Italian team Obiettivo Risarcimento which also placed 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. 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.


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. His peak rating and ranking to date were in March 2015 when he reached 2798 and world #3. He attained a "live" rating of 2803.6 during the US Championship in 2015.

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

Last updated 15 Apr 2015

 page 1 of 55; games 1-25 of 1,353  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. L Au vs Nakamura 1-043 1997 Hawaii opB83 Sicilian
3. Nakamura vs J Bonin 1-036 1997 Marshall Chess ClubC02 French, Advance
4. Nakamura vs B Karen 0-152 1997 Nassau FuturityB06 Robatsch
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. S Kriventsov vs Nakamura  1-095 1999 Eastern OpenA49 King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4
11. D Schneider vs Nakamura 0-153 1999 Manhattan CC-chB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
12. Nakamura vs A Aleksandrov  ½-½60 1999 U.S. OpenC47 Four Knights
13. Nakamura vs J Fang 0-121 1999 Eastern Class- chB06 Robatsch
14. Nakamura vs O Adu  1-037 1999 Washington Eastern opB54 Sicilian
15. A Hoffman vs Nakamura 0-135 1999 U.S. Open 99E61 King's Indian
16. D Moody vs Nakamura 0-120 1999 U.S. OpenB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
17. Nakamura vs G Gaiffe 1-054 1999 U.S. Open (5)B23 Sicilian, Closed
18. Wang Yue vs Nakamura 1-0112 1999 Wch U12A04 Reti Opening
19. S Kriventsov vs Nakamura  1-024 1999 Rated TournamentB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
20. Wojtkiewicz vs Nakamura 1-042 1999 U.S. OpenE62 King's Indian, Fianchetto
21. Nakamura vs M Waxman 1-031 1999 Manhattan CC-chC45 Scotch Game
22. A David vs Nakamura  1-025 1999 World opB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
23. Nakamura vs Efimenko  ½-½27 2000 KasparovChess Cadet GP netC17 French, Winawer, Advance
24. Nakamura vs G Zaichik 0-159 2000 World OpenB15 Caro-Kann
25. R Byrne vs Nakamura ½-½22 2000 New York State-chD72 Neo-Grunfeld,, Main line
 page 1 of 55; games 1-25 of 1,353  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 839 OF 839 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-17-15  Rama: Mr. Nakamura has two Big Games coming up in Siberia. He must beat Peter Svidler in Rd5 with white in order to improve his tournament standing. Then he must beat Tomashevsky in Rd6 with black in order to make sure of his Grand Prix standing.
May-17-15  SirRuthless: I don't agree. +1 or +2 will probably be enough. Tomashevsky isn't playing very well. A win vs Jobava, MVL , Jakovenko or even Caruana with black (based on their head to head history) are all reasonable results. He should just keep playing reasonable chess and let the others implode.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Kinghunt: If Nakamura does not qualify from the Grand Prix, he is still very likely to qualify via rating. Caruana will qualify via the Grand Prix (almost certainly, given today's results), leaving Nakamura just behind Topalov and ahead of Grischuk. At present, Nakamura is 16 points ahead of Grischuk, so Nakamura is looking likely to maintain his average rating lead.

At this point, this is my guess for the Candidates field:

1. Anand (already officially qualified)
2. Caruana (Grand Prix very likely)
3. Tomashevsky (Grand Prix, 60/40 odds)
4. Topalov (rating, quite likely
5. Nakamura (rating, quite likely)
6. World Cup qualifier #1 (guess: Grischuk)
7. World Cup qualifier #2 (guess: So)
8. Organizer nominee (guess: Karjakin)

If the field ends up looking something like this, it's going to be much younger than last year. Definitely an event to look forward to!

May-17-15  Rolfo: A dreamfield
May-17-15  SirRuthless: I don't think Toma is going to finish well in this GP. The way he is leaking half points in games is reminiscent of MVL before he started his nosedive. He might be on +0 with Nakamura right now but Nakamura has had 3 blacks and has never been in trouble and only missed maybe one big chance to go +1. He is playing for control. I think Nakamura will beat Jobava with black and could beat MVL with white as well as Svidler. I just think he is going to qualify from GP and the Rating slots will go to Topalov and Aronian somehow. My guess for world cup is Kramnik and ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Kinghunt> At present, Nakamura is 16 points ahead of Grischuk, so Nakamura is looking likely to maintain his average rating lead.>

Hmmm, how do you calculate that? I downloaded the FIDE rating lists for Jan 2015 through May 2015 and they indicate (assuming that my spreadsheet is correct) that Grischuk has an average rating of 2798 and Nakamura an average rating of 2789, for a 9-point rating lead for Grischuk. True, Nakamura's rating has been increasing (2776 in Jan-2015 and 2799 in May-2015) and Grischuk's rating has been decreasing (2810 in Jan-2015 and 2780 in May 2015) so Nakamura's chances of overtaking Grischuk in the ratings looks good. But only 5 of the 12 rating lists used to calculate the ratings average have been published, so anything can still happen and we probably won't be able to get an accurate picture until later in the year.

And if Nakamura doesn't qualify for the Candidates Tournament based on his Grand Prix results, he still has a chance to qualify via a top-2 placing at the World Cup.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Kinghunt: <AylerKupp> You are right, of course. I based my post off, and didn't read carefully enough to understand how projected those ratings. Nakamura, while in good position to take the #2 rating spot, is currently trailing Grischuk (and Topalov). So his Candidates spot, while still more likely than not, is more tenuous than I had thought.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Kinghunt> Yeah, projections are fun but risky. And the assumption that the players' current live rating will remain constant for the remaining of the year would only be accurate if the player does not play any additional games for the rest of the year! Highly unlikely, even for Grischuk.

A better (??) but just as risky approach is to project a player's rating based on their ratings for the first 5 months of the year. In that case Nakamura's and So's average rating has been increasing since Jan-2015, but in So's case not monotonically. Since I already had a spreadsheet set up to calculate each player's average rating, I did that projection, fitting a trendline (Excel is wonderful!) to each player's monthly ratings so far, calculating their rating based on the trendline formula for each of the next 7 months, and averaging the results. This, of course, assumes (a BIG assumption) that a player will not have either a very good month or a very bad month, and So's example indicates that this is not a reasonable assumption. Still, it's "fun".

The "results" indicate a reasonable curve fit (R2 values in the range of 0.7) for a power relationship (R=Ax^B) for Grischuk, Topalov, and Nakamura but a poor one (around 0.4) for So based on his relatively poor performance in the 2015 US Championships. I didn't bother calculating the trendlines for either Giri or Kramnik since both of them had downward trends although, if either or both have one or more good performances during the rest of the year, I will have to do so.

At any rate, the formulas project the following Dec-2015 and (in parenthesis) the average ratings for 2015 for these players:

Nakamura 2814 (2801)
Topalov 2797 (2798)
So 2797 (2789)
Grischuk 2772 (2785)

Probably not too unreasonable projections. But, like I said, these calculations are for fun only and not to be taken seriously, although the formulas might be reasonably accurate after the Nov-2015 rating list comes out as far as projecting the Dec-2015 ratings and average ratings for 2015 since they are not likely to change too much in only one month.

May-18-15  SirRuthless: <<<<<I think Nakamura is going for a conservative strategy in the GP for two reasons:>

1)If he draws his way to the finish here, then it is unlikely he will lose more than one place in the world rankings on the june list, thus continuing to improve his 2015 rating average.>

2)If he finishes +2 then that score, going by other GP events in this cycle, will be good for at least T-2 and 113.3 GP points if its a 3 way tie, 125 GP points if it's a 2-way tie and 140 points for solo 2nd. The idea is in all three other GP events +2 was a great score and if Toma finished a spot below that, it would likely be shared and not be enough to retain his current 45 point lead.>

In short I think Nakamura is aiming for +2 by the end of the 11 rounds and will start taking on some serious risks to play for wins with both colors in round seven.>

Everything is still to play for right now. For example if Caruana were to lose with white tomorrow, Tomashevsky were to lose with black, Nakamura were to win with white then Suddenly he is tied for the lead at +1 with Tomashevsky two games back and basically in a must win scenario with white against Nakamura in round 6. At some point Nakamura will have to win a game or two though. Jobava, MVL and Jakovenko look like they could be the ones he is lurking for.>

May-19-15  Rama: <At some point Nakamura will have to win a game or two...>


May-20-15  SirRuthless: Karjakin currently T(2-3) at 125 GP points for this event. Nakamura Currently on T(5-7) at 70 GP points for this event. Karjakin started this event 50 points behind Nakamura so if my math is right Karjakin is 5 points ahead right now and Tomashevsky is 15 GP points ahead. Nakamura will have white vs MVL and Karjakin will have white vs Jobava tomorrow. Tomashevsky will have black vs Anish Giri.
May-20-15  schweigzwang: Naka needs to win two (or more) but I think this is more for his qualifying-by-rating chances than for his GP chances, esp. since he no longer has any control over Tomashevsky's trajectory.
May-20-15  SirRuthless: He is 5 GP points away from Karjakin and 15 from TOmashevsky at the moment with 5 rounds to play. That can be covered easily in one round where he wins a game and they both draw. He has had 4 blacks and two whites against all the top performers in the field save Caruana. I think he is sticking to his strategy and has all to play for right now. Rating qualification is not guaranteed. Topalov could come from the woodwork along with Aronian and gain 30 points over the summer and sit on them through the end of the year. Who knows? Thinking about that right now would be a waste of his time.
May-20-15  schweigzwang: If he wins a bunch of games now he's likely to qualify both by GP AND by rating (though of course in this case someone else gets to use the rating spot). But if he "only" goes +2 that might not be enough for a GP slot (Toma could go +3 the rest of the way), but the roughly 2.5 ELO he would gain would be very helpful in qualifying by rating.
May-20-15  SirRuthless: <<<<<<My point is it isn't helpful for Nak to think about anything but choosing the right openings, playing good moves and staying positive. Thinking about rating qualification during this tournament is a good way to lose the focus it takes to compete.> I have a sneaking suspicion that +2 for Nak will qualify.> Tomashevsky has a brutal schedule ahead and could easily stay at -1 or get worse.>Karjakin has a tough schedule as well. It is going to be hard for either player to extract full points out of that group.> Nakamura on the other hand has (for him) very favorable pairings the last 5 rounds and has already played most of the top table guys.> SInce the three competing for the second GP spot are so close in GP points and there are so many games left, I think the player's elo ratings, pairings and color draw w.r.t those pairings will show over the 11 rounds and they will finish in the right order.>
May-20-15  schweigzwang: <My point is it isn't helpful for Nak to think about anything but choosing the right openings, playing good moves and staying positive. Thinking about rating qualification during this tournament is a good way to lose the focus it takes to compete.>

I certainly agree with this!

Premium Chessgames Member
  SteinitzLives: How does anyone here really know what Nak is thinking? Look at the actions yes, but don't assume thought processes.
May-20-15  schweigzwang: Well of course we don't know! That would take all the fun out of it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Kinghunt: I have spent a lot of time analyzing this situation, and everyway I look at it, it seems like Nakamura's best strategy is to win as many games as possible*.

*It is possible, though unlikely, that some player (not necessarily Nakamura) will find it in their best interests to actually lose their last round game. Seriously.

May-20-15  SirRuthless: <<<<Nakamura has a lifetime score of -2 vs his first six opponents in this GP and he had four blacks and two whites. He has a combined lifetime score of +5 vs his last five opponents with three whites and two blacks.>

I think his strategy was to survive with an even score or small plus over the first half of this GP and then play aggressively and score some wins in the last half against easier opponents(for him) and when players are getting tired they are easier to grind down in long endgames It must be a happy coincidence that three of his final five opponents are on a minus score through six rounds.>

One good thing is that his games have been mainly short and he has only gone into the second time control once in the first six games while most everyone else has had some long tiring struggles. Now it is up to him to win a couple games and see if the strategy pays off.>

I think he knew it was unlikely Tomashevsky would have a stellar GP but he couldn't have foreseen Kajakin getting hot over the last two rounds. >

May-21-15  Rolfo: <I think he knew it was unlikely Tomashevsky would have a stellar GP but he couldn't have foreseen Kajakin getting hot over the last two rounds. >

This is more in nature how the audience / fans would speculate, Naka ought to have only one focus going: play the next move AWAP

May-21-15  SirRuthless: Of course but idle speculation is half the fun for us. There are Masters of all level populating this site but I am just an amateur player so I don't have much to add on that front. For me the psychological element and the drama is where the fu lies and if I can have some fun with cg members with the narrative of these matches then I think I am positively contributing to this community. Anyway, I do think Naka and his second Kris Littlejohn (who is a computer science guy) did run various simulation and made certain assumptions about how the event would go. I am sure they are employing a conservative strategy in the early rounds and will now be more aggressive. +0 will not qualify so it's time to %^$t or get off the pot.
May-21-15  Rolfo: Of course Sir
May-21-15  MagnusVerMagnus: This is the H-BOMBS' last couple of chances probably to make the candidates, he is groveling to make it, cause he will be really desperate in 2 more years and this is pathetic enough.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jambow: <MVM> Gelfand and Anand qualified at just a bit older than Nakamura will be after several candidates cycles. So no reason to be desperate I think calm and focused is in order not panic. Almost seems as if Kasparov set the game plan. Solid then when they tire push.
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