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Hikaru Nakamura vs Alexander Onischuk
US Championship (2015), St Louis, MO USA, rd 11, Apr-12
Scotch Game: Scotch Gambit. Advance Variation (C45)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Naka probably refused so he could prepare for the Grand Prix series.

Next one is May 13 - 27.

Apr-12-15  SirRuthless: Nakamura is good with those organizers. They invited him but he refused so he could prepare for the most important event of his career. These three tournament wins will mean little to him if he doesn't qualify for Candidates. Priorities.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Penguincw> Yup. Must be very deflating for Robson.
Apr-12-15  bobthebob: Dobson can't be that deflated because he wasn't counting on a move like b4 so early in his game to make it such an easy win
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: I just mean that he was surely hoping that Onischuk would hold so that he (Robson) could tie Nakamura for first. Nakamura freely admitted that Onischuk could have held the draw.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <keypusher: First! (I put all of you on ignore.) But Sir Ruthless, I think you're wrong. I expect Nakamura to play for a win, and get it.>

Oh, I do love being right.

Apr-12-15  SirRuthless: Love being right about what? Nakamura tried to take the game to a draw but Oni voluntarily gave up a pawn and failed to draw what should have been drawn endgame. Not like this was some deep prep or Nakamura was playing for a win from move one. His opponent tossed his cookies and Nakamura collected. This win actually reminds me of how Carlsen seems to walk into wins sometimes. His opponents puke on themselves and he simply collects.
Apr-12-15  schweigzwang: According to Maurice, it was the engines doing the cookie-tossing.
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <Karne: Hikaru is the David Bronstein of our era> Generalized drivel. Have you ever actually analyzed anything?
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <His opponent tossed his cookies and Nakamura collected.>

Ewwww. SR, you have got to work on your metaphors.

Apr-12-15  Marmot PFL: Nakamura's good tactical sense seldom deserts him, even in simplified positions he is very alert. This is one reason he always wins at blitz.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: I rather half-expected to return from my chores and find this game still in progress. Question: if Black doesn't play 26...Re2 and 27...Nf2, can he hold the draw?
Apr-12-15  Karposian: <An Englishman> I think that even after 26...Re2, Black could possibly still hold it, but it's difficult.

After something like 27...Rb6 28.Rxd3 Rxc6 29.b5, White is probably winning, but Naka would still have a job to do, and could easily have gone wrong somewhere in his quest of bringing his b-pawn to the promised land!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: Nakamura the David Bronstein of our era? I don't thinks so. Bronstein was more creative and "out there". He's more like an improved Frank Marshall who still gets his butt kicked by Carlsen's Capablanca.
Apr-13-15  Pulo y Gata: < Nakamura the David Bronstein of our era?>

Bronstein was a world championship contender (his not winning the title was subject to speculation), and you are correct to say that Bronstein was more creative. But this last bit may be related to Nakamura's time when knowledge is just a click away. Meaning, Bronstein had more "chance" to be creative and original because during his time, the players do their own research and discoveries without the help of a computer and database.

I hope Nakamura gets to contend for the crown because he plays exciting chess.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: <Pulo y Gata: this last bit may be related to Nakamura's time when knowledge is just a click away. Meaning, Bronstein had more "chance" to be creative and original because during his time, the players do their own research>

Nakamura also does his own research with the help of a second or two, and I don't think chess is played out - he has just as much opportunity if not more to be creative (please don't misconstrue; I'm not saying Nakamura isn't creative).

Here's the rub: Bronstein's peers also had access to, more or less, the same information systems of the time; but he was still known for his outstanding imagination above and beyond.

Nakamura is known more for his quirky and aggresive nature - much like Frank Marshall, but with sounder fundamentals.

Nakamura may be more focused on the World Championship title than Bronstein was, who seemed to sacrifice that aspect of chess for the beauty of the game. Nakamura *must* be less liberal than Bronstein in his approach if he wants to have a chance in this more accurate modern era.

But that is pure speculation and I like both their styles. I simply think Nakamura/Marshall is a better comparison.

Apr-13-15  Moszkowski012273: Perhaps 24...h6
Apr-13-15  Pulo y Gata: <Nakamura also does his own research with the help of a second or two, and I don't think chess is played out - he has just as much opportunity if not more to be creative (please don't misconstrue; I'm not saying Nakamura isn't creative).

Here's the rub: Bronstein's peers also had access to, more or less, the same information systems of the time; but he was still known for his outstanding imagination above and beyond.>

I see your point, but what I am saying is that the whole computer era, the database age, has changed chess radically because of easier access to information. In Bronstein's time, a player analyzes without these technological help, and so the players draw from their own talent, training, and imagination. At Nakamura's time, no one at the top, really plays the opening without these technological aids, hence the area of imagination is very much unlike Bronstein's day. The database gives you pathways, patterns, theory. In Bronstein's time, the area for exploration is very wide open and the key is only the human brain (not another, artificial, brain (i.e., machine): this is what I mean when I say that Bronstein had more "chance" to be creative and original. Nakamura used to play offbeat openings, but look at him now, he had succumbed to the realities of his time.

Apr-13-15  MNW: Oh wow, it's not that often do you see the scotch gambit played at high levels. It made me excited; it is my main weapon and underappreciated.
Apr-13-15  SirRuthless: <Pulo y Gata> Using the KID and Dutch as drawing weapons in the GP Series is succumbing to the realities of the time? Are you joking? Sure he doesn't play the grob or parham attack any more but Nakamura is about as unconventional a player can be an remain in the top 10 for pretty much the last four years solid.
Apr-13-15  SirRuthless: <MNW> I don't think the opening was a big part of the reason white won this game. Don't get too excited about the Scotch.
Apr-13-15  Pulo y Gata: SirRuthless, the realities of Nakamura's time, in the context of my comment you are reacting to, are the use of engines and databases in analysis and preparation. What plausible explanation could you give on Nakamura's adoption of main lines to reach the elite? You might think I am suggesting that he's not creative, far from it: he's one of the most creative GMs of his time! (Also, even in main lines, players get to discover wrinkles, refinements, etc- with comp's substantial help.)

Again, you go back to the context of my message, which is a comparison with Bronstein and their different times.

Love Hikaru's latest twitter post bdw. ;)

Apr-13-15  DrChopper: Marshall was more straightforward that any player ever, always going for threats and attack. He liked very much some aggressive gambits. Marshall had a hard time against the top players of his time (Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine, Tarrash, Tartakower) but was very effective against the rest.

Nakamura is much more solid and resilient in any kind of position. The only guy he can't beat is Carlsen right now. Nakamura plays somewhat the same openings than Bronstein and like exploring new ideas and making chaos on board. Bronstein seems to be more aggressive since it seems to be harder to create something great in the opening right now and Nakamura is not that much straightforward when he has white. They play the same kind of chess and are both great tacticians.

People like comparing Naka with Larsen but seriously he has way more points in common with Bronstein. It's true that Larsen was getting owned by Fisher but he was also getting owned by almost all the other great players too of his time. Nakamura don't play as much frequently surprising openings as Larsen, he's much more like Bronstein on this aspect. He like to try some weird continuations of some openings which are very used rather than play some old ideas like the Bird or the Philidor.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: I video annotated this game here:

Cheers, K

Apr-14-15  beenthere240: I remember Carlsen playing Ponziani's opening a few years ago and winning. And no it wasn't in a simul.
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