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Hikaru Nakamura vs Alexander G Beliavsky
Rising Stars - Experience (2009), Amsterdam NED, rd 8, Aug-29
Italian Game: Giuoco Pianissimo (C50)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-29-09  Veryrusty: 71. ... Kc7 is a nice crisp way to force resignation, trapping the Knight and winning it in five moves, while the King is a helpless bystander since Kxb5 lets the a Pawn queen.
Aug-30-09  Winter: Nice job, Beliavsky. Another case of Elo rating is nothing but numbers...
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: Seems more to me it was Naka who played far below his strength.

But still a good job by Big Al.

Aug-30-09  zatara: <winter>

Yes..with 48 elo points difference this game should be able to bring the whole system down..


..and pls stop blaming Naka's illness every time he loose..this crapy play it's actually his style..

Aug-30-09  The Rocket: why is it that almost always when nakamura plays a 2700+ elo guy in classical chess he loses.... is he really worth 2700 elo?.

its not just this game..

Aug-30-09  dasp3edd3m0n: I strongly disagree with that comment...Nakamura has recently proven himself to be capable of competing against the best. He has been to a lot of tournaments recently, the stress has probably gotten to him.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Nakamura perhaps overlooks that 18...Nd5 19 exd5 Bxd5 hits both knight and queen. He avoids that, but never quite digs out.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Can GMs be beat by the Piano? I thought the opening was a dead draw, thus no GM activity. Seemed like Naka played passively in the opening, let black grab the center. Nice endgame technnique.

Was Beliasky in the candidates matches in the early 80s, when Kasparov was rising to his first match with Karpov?

Aug-31-09  The Rocket: "strongly disagree with that comment...Nakamura has recently proven himself to be capable of competing against the best."

he plays brilliantly opposite 2600 players but opposite modern 2700+(particulary famous ones) he either draws or lose in classical chess.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Troller: <HeMateMe> I think this opening is good enough for GM practice, and in fact several top GMs employ it once in a while. Karpov was fond of it as well, if I remember correctly: It may not be all that critical, but there is ample scope for play if one avoids too much simplification.

Beliavsky lost the quarterfinal to Kasparov 1983 by the score 6-3. He cracked in the end, losing game 8 and 9. He was clear second in the IZ 1½ pts after Kasparov the year before. Surprisingly, this is the only time he reached the match stage of the Candidates (he did play in the Candidates preliminary round robin in 1985 though). He has always been erratic in his performances, I suppose that is why he has never gotten close to the WC. He is four times Soviet Champion and certainly belonged to the elite from mid-70s to mid-90s or so. I remember he had a great result in Belgrade 1993(?).

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheAlchemist: <He has always been erratic in his performances, I suppose that is why he has never gotten close to the WC.>

GM Mikhalchishin, Beliavsky's long time friend, writes that Beliavsky, while having a great fighting spirit, is too stubborn sometimes and often lacks cold calculation, which has cost him dearly many times, like in Groningen 1993, when he started with 4 wins, but then continued trying too hard (supposedly even remarking "I don't play for a draw, because my name is Beliavsky") and even missed out completely in the end, or in the last game of the European Championship a few years back against Nisipeanu a draw would have guaranteed him a medal as it turned out, but he played on and lost. On the other hand, this attitude allowed him to score 100% in Alicante in 1979 I think.

But I think that even at his very best he wasn't as strong as the best players and he never had a realistic chance for a shot at the WC.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <supposedly even remarking "I don't play for a draw, because my name is Beliavsky>

"When I win with white, it's becuase I am white. When I win with black it's because I'm Bogolubow!"

Aug-31-09  The Rocket: "and often lacks cold calculation"

what does cold? calculation mean?

Aug-31-09  Jim Bartle: "Cold" in this sense means calculation with no emotion, no intuition, just calculation with concrete variations.

I believe Beliavsky also tries to take on opponents in openings where they are considered to be experts, such as in Kasparov vs Beliavsky, 1991, where Seirawan wrote that he couldn't understand why he would play into a variation where Kasparov was considered unbeatable.

Aug-31-09  Open Defence: some times you just have to distance yourself from the emotions of the game.. maybe it was felt Beliavsky did not do this but perhaps got carried away by the emotional surge too often...
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheAlchemist: <The Rocket> Maybe my choice of words was a bit unfortunate and confusing, I couldn't really find the appropriate terms so this is the result :-), so I apologize.

Anyway, what I meant was that sometimes it's better (safer) to think of a tournament (especially longer ones) as a whole, i.e. when it's good to "rest" (make shorter draws if possible) instead of going all out in each game and then burning out in the final rounds, because you have no energy left. In short, you have to use your forces rationally, especially if one isn't so young anymore.

Also, "calculating" would be someone who prefers taking a draw in a messy position rather than risk losing. However, as I've said this was and to an extent still is against his principles, though he has "calmed down" lately due to his age. So, should we rather say he doesn't like the "safe approach" instead, maybe?

But many chess fans prefer this type of players who prefer to fight (even at the risk of losing) instead of taking the safe way out.

On the game mentioned by <Jim Bartle>, this is another of Beliavsky's weaknesses, sometimes he is too stubborn and will challenge his opponents in variations they like, even though someone might have suggested he'd be better off playing something else.

A typical example would be Spassky vs Beliavsky, 1975, where he played the Grunfeld against Spassky, even though memories were still fresh of Spassky defeating even Fischer in this line. Also, in that game he declined Spassky's draw offer and won, but in two other occasion he declined Spassky's draw offer and on both times he ended up losing (I think they were Beliavsky vs Spassky, 1980 and Spassky vs Beliavsky, 1988, one of these was a last round game that cost him the tournament win, but I don't know which one)

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Someone above mentioned that Beliavsky has won the USSR championship 4 times, is that true? I know korchnoi has done it 4 times, and I think Svidler and Morozovich have won the Russia closed 4 times.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: A great example of the bishop dominating the knight.
Oct-24-09  Chess Carnival: Well its a very late resignation.. it seems..

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