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Predrag Nikolic vs David Navara
FIDE World Cup (2005), Khanty-Mansiysk RUS, rd 1, Nov-27
Benoni Defense: Fianchetto Variation. Hastings Defense (A63)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-29-05  Mameluk: If you should ever play move like Bf3, save it for the World Cup.
Dec-01-05  LIFE Master AJ: Its a goooood game by Nikolic.

Did you know Nikolic was once one of the 5-10 best players in the world?

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <Its a goooood game by Nikolic.

Did you know Nikolic was once one of the 5-10 best players in the world?>

What year was he in the top five?

Dec-02-05  LIFE Master AJ: This is not just an opinion either. (Sonas shows this as well. See the "Chess-Metrics" website at
Dec-21-05  LIFE Master AJ:
Aug-16-07  aazqua: This is NOT A GOOD GAME by Nikolic. This is ANOTHER obvious blunder by his opponent. See Notable game 1 of Nikolic for another UN-notable game where his opponent plays a complete duffer move to throw the game away. In this case there were two moves, although by the second the outcome was already decided. Black has the advantage at move 39. Material is even, both kings are a little loose but white's is looser, and queen side pawn structure clearly favors black w/his passed pawn and white weak c pawn. Then black inexplicably throws the game with Bf3 aloowing the queen fork. Thinking that b-c5 barely covers most of the bases (down the exchange + a pawn isn't so bad) he is slapped in the face w/c4 forcing the outright loss of the bishop. Could this be Navara's worst move of the year? Likely. After losing the bishop, Navara inexplictably gives up ANOTHER fork w/qa4 rc4 and now another minor piece must go as well. These moves are the types of things you expect from a 1300 level player. Nikolic was lucky to not lose this game. Is he the guy that got nailed for falsifying his rating? I've yet to see a decent game from him. There's no way this guy was ever top 5-10.
Aug-16-07  Mameluk: What is this, a new discipline Nikolic bashing?:) This is clearly not a great game from Nikolic, but not bad, the position before Bf3 was about equal. And Nikolic was a top 10 player dear boy, maybe not top 5, and has a 2646 rating in 47 years. But OK, but why this nonsense abou falsifying rating? Nikolic deserves public excuse.
Aug-16-07  Karpova: I never heard about Nikolic falsifying ratings also. Shirov accused Azmaiparashvili of illegally increasing his rating while Crisan (caught) and Afromeev (not caught yet) are well-known cases.
Aug-16-07  aazqua: Maybe it was the Azma guy? Wasn't there someone recently that snuck into a world champ cycle based on a dubious rating? I still haven't seen an impressive game from Nikolic.
Aug-16-07  Prugno: <aazqua> This is simply because Nikolic's style is based on an extremely refined positional sense, and most fans are not strong enough to be "impressed" by that kind of play.

A good starting point to appreciate his chess could be the Rowson book on Zebras, with a couple of excellently annotated examples of quiet but convincing Nikolic games.

By the way, he is well-known as a sportsman and, I'm quite sure, was never involved in game fixing to boost his rating. You might be confusing him with some of his compatriots from ex-Yugoslavia, who have been known to resort to that kind of illegal tactics.

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: <LifeMasterAJ> There are several reasons not to trust chessmetrics ratings. Incompleteness of the (chessmetrics)database is probably the most prominent one.
Aug-16-07  aazqua: I'm sure he's a "cherio" sort of fellow and quite the sportsman. Certainly possible that I've confused him with a fellow Slav (those Slavs all look the same, right?). Can someone mention a game of his that is impressive in any fashion? The four supposedly "notable" games all involve ugly gaffs by his opponents. I'm not a fan of his but I do think I appreciate strong positional play from a strong player - say Kramnik or Karpov - I just don't see Nikolic as being in the same category.
Aug-17-07  Karpova: <aazqua: Certainly possible that I've confused him with a fellow Slav (those Slavs all look the same, right?)> Are you joking??
Aug-20-07  aazqua: No. Their women all look like men. You'd think the razor was never invented in that place. What are you, some sort of Slover?
Aug-20-07  aazqua: No disrespect to the razor of course. It's an instrument of fantastic utility.
Nov-25-07  LIFE Master AJ: <<Aug-16-07 alexmagnus: <LifeMasterAJ> There are several reasons not to trust chessmetrics ratings. Incompleteness of the (chessmetrics)database is probably the most prominent one. >>

Actually, I agree with you!

The ChessMetrics database is NOT complete. However, it IS much more reliable than just merely guessing!

For example, any chess history buff can tell you that Geza Maroczy was an extremely strong player. He won - quite a few - international tournaments, and was seriously considered as a legitimate World Championship contender. But how strong was this player, really?

Jeff Sonas shows him as the 11th strongest player who ever lived!!! (

Now, if you would like to reject that out of hand, fine. But unless you can offer your own list of ratings ... based on 1/1000th the work that Mr. Sonas has put in ... then I would have to say that you are not interested in serious debate, only throwing around hollow and meaningless criticisms.

May-02-08  aazqua: Marcozy as the 11th strongest player who ever lived. Sounds like Jeff Sonas is really on to something there. Is Jeremiah Wright the 10th strongest?
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