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Hikaru Nakamura
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons  
Number of games in database: 3,189
Years covered: 1995 to 2022
Last FIDE rating: 2736 (2829 rapid, 2900 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2814

Overall record: +547 -227 =660 (61.2%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 1755 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (222) 
    B90 B30 B51 B42 B50
 Ruy Lopez (140) 
    C65 C67 C78 C84 C80
 Queen's Gambit Declined (113) 
    D37 D31 D38 D30 D35
 Reti System (105) 
    A06 A04 A05
 Queen's Pawn Game (96) 
    A45 D02 D00 E10 A50
 Grunfeld (73) 
    D85 D70 D91 D78 D80
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (213) 
    B90 B80 B30 B76 B52
 Ruy Lopez (197) 
    C67 C65 C78 C70 C80
 Queen's Gambit Declined (137) 
    D37 D31 D39 D30
 King's Indian (104) 
    E97 E90 E63 E92 E94
 Queen's Pawn Game (97) 
    D02 A40 A45 A41 A46
 Giuoco Piano (84) 
    C53 C50 C54
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
   So vs Nakamura, 2015 0-1
   Crafty vs Nakamura, 2007 0-1
   Sagalchik vs Nakamura, 2003 0-1
   Nakamura vs Kramnik, 2012 1-0
   Nakamura vs Karjakin, 2004 1-0
   Beliavsky vs Nakamura, 2009 0-1
   Nakamura vs J W Loyte, 2001 1-0

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

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Corsica Masters (2007)
   Cap d'Agde (2008)
   Gibraltar Masters (2008)
   Magnus Carlsen Invitational (2020)
   Meltwater Tour Final (2021)
   Ordix Open (2009)
   New In Chess Classic (2021) Speed Chess Championship 2017/18 (2017)
   Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour Finals (2020) Speed Chess (2020)
   American Continental (2003)
   Champions Showdown (2019)
   Chessable Masters (2021)
   Pro Chess League (2018)
   PRO League Group Stage (2019)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Naka's Nook Mistook Fredthebear by fredthebear
   Notable Nakamura Games by caracas1970
   book: Fighting Chess with Hikaru Nakamura by Baby Hawk
   Fighting Chess with Hikaru Nakamura by kenilworthian
   Notable Nakamura Games by iron maiden
   Video link kibitz put Fredthebear in new century by fredthebear
   Hikaru! by larrewl
   2020 The Corona Beer & Black Bears Matter More by fredthebear
   Match Nakamura! by docjan
   Match Nakamura! by amadeus

   🏆 11th Norway Chess
   Nakamura vs Mamedyarov (Jun-06-23) 1/2-1/2
   Nakamura vs Mamedyarov (Jun-06-23) 1-0, armageddon
   Firouzja vs Nakamura (Jun-05-23) 0-1, armageddon
   Firouzja vs Nakamura (Jun-05-23) 1/2-1/2
   Nakamura vs A Tari (Jun-04-23) 1-0

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

(born Dec-09-1987, 35 years old) Japan (federation/nationality United States of America)

[what is this?]

Awarded the title of IM in 2001 and that of GM in 2003, Nakamura won the US Championship in 2004, 2009, 2012, 2015 and 2019. He was the world's second-ranked player as of October 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 Championship 2005 (2004) (on tiebreak from Alexander Yevgenyevich 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 Championship (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 Gennadyevich 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. He qualified by rating to participate in the World Cup (2015), and is doing so although he has already qualified for the Candidates Tournament of 2016 via the Grand Prix series of 2014-15. He defeated Richmond Phiri, Samuel Shankland in the first two rounds, as well as Ian Nepomniachtchi in a third round thriller that Nakamura won in the deciding Armageddon blitz tiebreaker game after the three previous sets of rapid and blitz tiebreakers had been drawn. In the Round of 16 (the fourth round) he won against Michael Adams by 1.5-0.5 but lost to Pavel Eljanov in the quarter final, bowing out of the event.

<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 would have qualified him 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 kicked 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 stood in 2nd place overall, excellently situated to take advantage of the opportunity to qualify for the Candidates tournament in 2016. He took full advantage of this in FIDE Grand Prix Khanty-Mansiysk (2015), when he came =1st to qualify for the Candidates Tournament of 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 Chess Festival (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 Group A (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 Group A (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 Sparkassen (2011), in August he came =1st in the 2011 US Open Championship with 7.5/9 and in October he came =3rd in the Grand Slam Chess Final (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 Group A (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 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 Group A (2013) event. He then followed up in May 2013 with equal 2nd at the Norway Chess (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 (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 Masters (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. His good form continued at the category 22 Norway Chess (2015) event, where he was undefeated to place =2nd (3rd on a narrow SB tiebreak), behind Topalov and alongside Anand with 6/9 and a TPR of 2900. In September he competed in the second leg of the inaugural Grand Chess Tour at Sinquefield Cup (2015), and finished equal second with 5/9 behind Aronian in what amounted to a par for rating performance. October saw Nakamura compete in the lucrative Millionaire Chess (2015) tournament, which he won after battling through a complicated tiebreak system that involved a playoff to decide a playoff for fourth, and then winning a knockout rapid game semi-final that was called after round 7 of 9 of the main standard time event. He finished the year with a poor performance at the London Chess Classic (2015) where he came in toward the bottom of the field after scoring 4/9.

He started 2016 with an upbeat result at the Tradewise Gibraltar (2016), winning first prize after a rapid and blitz game tiebreak that ended in an Armageddon victory against runner-up Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.

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 31 points accumulated in 49 games played.

<World Team Championship> Nakamura played board 1 for the USA at the World Team Championship (2010), scoring individual gold and team silver. He also played top board at the FIDE World Team Championship (2013), winning individual silver and helping his team to 4th place in the event.

<European Club Cup> He played top board for the SK Husek Vienna in the European Club Cup (2009) and top board for the Italian club Obiettivo Risarcimento Padova in 2012 and 2013, second board for the Italian club in 2014 and board 3 for the same club in 2015. He scored individual bronze in 2013 and 2014.


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.

The 2016 edition of the Zurich Chess Challenge was a two-part event, which kicked off with a preliminary Zurich Chess Challenge (Opening Blitz) (2016) to determine who had three whites in the five rounds of the Zurich Chess Challenge (2016) (rapid). Nakamura placed first in the Opening Blitz earning the use of the white pieces in three of the five rounds of the first section of the actual tournament, the round robin rapid event where he placed equal first alongside Anand. Nakamura playing the black pieces three times in the second section of the event, the Zurich Chess Challenge (Blitz) (2016), again placed equal first with Anand to tie the overall score, but won on tiebreak to take first prize.

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 remained unchallenged as such until Carlsen defeated him in a match in February 2018 by a margin of 14-10.

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. In September 2015 his rating reached 2814 despite which he was still ranked world #4 behind Carlsen, Anand and Topalov respectively. However in October 2016, his ranking reached its highest point so far, 2816, when his ranking was world #2, his highest ranking so far.

Sources and references

(1) Wikipedia article: FIDE Grand Prix 2012–2013 (2); (3) Further details are at this post: Hikaru Nakamura; (4) (podcast interview by Ben Johnson through iTunes); Live rating list:; Wikipedia article: Hikaru Nakamura

Last updated: 2019-04-02 09:05:41

 page 1 of 137; games 1-25 of 3,425  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. S Predescu vs Nakamura 1-0641995U.S. National Scholastic Grade 2 ChampionshipB08 Pirc, Classical
2. Nakamura vs J Bonin 1-0361997Marshall Chess ClubC02 French, Advance
3. L Au vs Nakamura 1-0431997Hawaii opB83 Sicilian
4. Nakamura vs B Karen 0-1521997Nassau FuturityB06 Robatsch
5. Stripunsky vs Nakamura 0-1431998Marshall Chess ClubB40 Sicilian
6. Bisguier vs Nakamura 0-1211998Somerset ACN Action SwissE70 King's Indian
7. B Karen vs Nakamura  0-1261998Nassau g/30B23 Sicilian, Closed
8. P MacIntyre vs Nakamura  1-0541998US Amateur Team EastA07 King's Indian Attack
9. J Thinnsen vs Nakamura 1-035199899th US OpenA45 Queen's Pawn Game
10. Nakamura vs I Krush 1-062199899th US OpenB67 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack, 7...a6 Defense, 8...Bd7
11. S Kriventsov vs Nakamura  1-0241999Rated TournamentB80 Sicilian, Scheveningen
12. Nakamura vs J Fang 0-1211999Eastern Class ChampionshipB06 Robatsch
13. A David vs Nakamura  1-025199927th World OpenB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
14. D Moody vs Nakamura 0-1201999100th US OpenB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
15. Nakamura vs A Aleksandrov  ½-½601999100th US OpenC45 Scotch Game
16. Wojtkiewicz vs Nakamura 1-0421999100th US OpenE62 King's Indian, Fianchetto
17. Nakamura vs G Gaiffe 1-0541999100th US OpenB23 Sicilian, Closed
18. A Hoffman vs Nakamura 0-1351999100th US OpenE61 King's Indian
19. D Schneider vs Nakamura 0-1531999Manhattan CC-chB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
20. Nakamura vs M Waxman 1-0311999Manhattan CC-chC45 Scotch Game
21. Stellwagen vs Nakamura  ½-½421999Wch U12B93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4
22. Khusnutdinov vs Nakamura  1-0781999Wch U12A26 English
23. Nakamura vs E Romanov 1-0111999Wch U12C45 Scotch Game
24. Y Wang vs Nakamura 1-01121999Wch U12A04 Reti Opening
25. Nakamura vs S Megaranto  0-1461999Wch U12B13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
 page 1 of 137; games 1-25 of 3,425  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 24 OF 24 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: It's fanciful to think Carlsen would have played a match with Nepomniachtchi to prevent Nakamura from getting a title match.

First, he already said he was unlikely to play except against Firouzja. And Nepomniachtchi, whom he had already beaten handily in a recent title match, certainly is the least likely to be an exception to that.

Second, he has an overwhelming record against Nakamura, so there's not much to prove in that regard. If Nakamura won the title, it would only add to Carlsen's "pointless to compete against this lot for the title" mystique.

Third, Nepomniachtchi has a much better record in title cycles than Nakamura, having won the Candidates convincingly on both tries and having title match experience with Carlsen. Those are good reasons to consider him the favorite if there were a Naka-Nepo title match. So even if Carlsen were somehow bothered by the idea of Nakamura winning the title, he could just sit back and depend on Nepomniachtchi to handle it.

Then why did Nakamura say what he said? There are a number of possible reasons. Self-importance around his imagined rivalry with Carlsen, or a desire to make a headline to boost his brand, or bitter feelings about his poor record against Carlsen are the first few that come to mind.

Jan-03-23  stone free or die: I'm a little late picking up on this, but I think <beat>'s analysis strikes me as fairly solid.

If it were blitz then Naka would offer a better case for challenging Carlsen's dominance.

Aside - I had to google AMOG:

Lordy, that kind of stuff belongs in the manosphere.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: Najamura was what, 25 years old when he tweeted that? 25 year olds are prone to hyperbole. They just got their first auto insurance rate drop, for goodness sake.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: It is a fairly safe bet that, aged 25, we all said or did stupid stuff best forgotten
Jan-04-23  stone free or die: <CIO> pretty funny!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: I was agog at AMOG. Also had to look it up. Suppose if I were more alpha I'd have known about it from the alpha meetups I've been missing. I hear they discuss terminology and such.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Check It Out> <Najamura was what, 25 years old when he tweeted that?>

But we aren't discussing what he tweeted 10 years ago. We're discussing what he said on twitch last July: "It stings that the draw would've got me second, I'm annoyed because that would've been a great result. But it doesn't sting in the sense of thinking that I would've gotten a match, because I don't think I would've."

Jan-05-23  stone free or die: I still like <CIO>'s insurance comment.

But, as <beatgiant> reiterates - <Nakamura> did make the claim, which you can see in this reddit post with archived clip from his stream:

<> also noted it in a tweet:

My own thinking is that <Naka> was just spouting off, but likely believed it all the same.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: <beatgiant> Got you. It's a fairly meta discussion with <tga>, typical in general with chess players. If I pull that with my wife, I get in trouble, especially when I'm right. Do I still do it? Of course!
Jan-14-23  thegoodanarchist: <beatgiant: <thegoodanarchist> But if Nakamura came in second in the Candidates, and Carlsen decided to defend his title, Carlsen would play a match with the player who came in first in the Candidates, namely Nepomniachtchi. Or am I missing something?>

What <keypusher> said:

<What <tga> is saying is that Carlsen would choose to defend his title if Nakamura finished second specifically to deny Nakamura a title match.>


<keypusher: ...Doesn't seem especially plausible to me, but it sounds like Naka agrees with <tga> -- at least it seems like the likeliest explanation for Naka's comment.>

Not plausible? Because you don't think people at the top care about who their successor is? That's a strange hypothesis you're floating, Scott.

Jan-14-23  thegoodanarchist: <beatgiant: <keypusher> I was reacting to <tga>'s final point: <<<...MC said he <would> play the match if he got an interesting opponent, e.g. Alireza. Well, Naka would (IMHO) also be in the category of an "interesting" opponent to Magnus...>>>

That particular point seems to fall apart, given the fact that <it wasn't going to be a Carlsen-Nakamura match in any case>.>

It was just poorly written. My apologies for the confusion. I will try to make it clearer:

You don't need to play someone otb to be an "opponent" of them.

If Naka finished 2nd, MC could "play" him as an opponent by participating in a match with the <1st> place player. Thus keeping Naka out of the WCC, without actually playing a match against him.

I hope that helps clarify what I was trying to convey earlier.

Jan-14-23  thegoodanarchist: This whole thread is very interesting as an example of human nature.

What do I mean? Well, <Eggman> went from saying:

<I don't get it. <<<What basis does Nakamura have for thinking that he wouldn't be contesting a World Championship Match next year if he had finished second in the candidates rather than Ding?>>>>

to saying

<Why did Naka say what he said? Perhaps the dominated Nakamura feels an obsessive resentment which he is projecting onto Carlsen.>

In other words, AFTER I offered a plausible explanation, our inquisitive commentator's mental state went from a lack of understanding (e.g., <I don't get it>), and questioning (e.g., <what basis does Nakamura have...?>) to an entirely different mental state of having the answer (<Nakamura feels an obsessive resentment>) & certitude (<But surely the dominating Carlsen wouldn't reciprocate.>)!


So from merely the statements we have to glean in the comment thread, suddenly <I don't get it> turns into <surely I know the mental state of MC with regards to the WCC>!

No wonder Spock thought that human beings are fascinating.

Jan-14-23  thegoodanarchist: <beatgiant: It's fanciful to think Carlsen would have played a match with Nepomniachtchi to prevent Nakamura from getting a title match.>

Well, "fanciful" means <overimaginative and unrealistic>.

Along with <Eggman> you come across as being extremely confident in your evaluation/assessment of the thinking of elite Super GMs.

Naka has been in the elite for going on 16 years now. And although he hasn't explicity stated it, he <seems> to have gamed the scenarios the same way I did.

<First, he already said he was unlikely to play except against Firouzja.>

No one, and I mean <no one>, was giving GM Hikaru a chance of coming in first. He surprised everyone, including himself apparently (if you follow his YouTube channel).

<And Nepomniachtchi, whom he had already beaten handily in a recent title match, certainly is the least likely to be an exception to that.>

Irrelevant. The topic of the conversation was NOT <a potential 2nd WCC match with Nepo>! The topic is "Why does Naka think that finishing 2nd wouldn't net him a WCC match?"

<Second, he has an overwhelming record against Nakamura, so there's not much to prove in that regard.>

"prove" has nothing to do with it. It's about the reigning king participating in the making of the NEXT king.

<If Nakamura won the title, it would only add to Carlsen's "pointless to compete against this lot for the title" mystique.>

So confident! Do you know Magnus that well?

<Third, Nepomniachtchi has a much better record in title cycles than Nakamura>

Irrelevant (again) to the topic of discussion. It's about rivalry and dominance, not past history.

<Those are good reasons to consider him the favorite if there were a Naka-Nepo title match..>

Irrelevant. Again.

<So even if Carlsen were somehow bothered by the idea of Nakamura winning the title, he could just sit back and depend on Nepomniachtchi to handle it.>

Old adage: If you want something done right, do it yourself.

"Depend" on Nepo? Pure conjecture, without any founding basis.

<Then why did Nakamura say what he said? There are a number of possible reasons. Self-importance around his imagined rivalry with Carlsen, or a desire to make a headline to boost his brand, or bitter feelings about his poor record against Carlsen are the first few that come to mind.>

Let's circle back to the beginning. Why did <Naka> say what he said?

I tried to present a hypothesis based on historical facts, but you deem it "fanciful". Then you postulate "a number of possible reasons" which are all based on your mind-reading capabilities.

OK then.

Jan-14-23  thegoodanarchist: < stone free or die: I'm a little late picking up on this, but I think <beat>'s analysis strikes me as fairly solid.>

No surprises there.

<If it were blitz then ...>

Off topic. It's about classical, not blitz. A whole different animal.

<Aside - I had to google AMOG. Lordy, <<<<that kind of stuff belongs in the manosphere.>>>>>

Just curious - I mean no offense - but why do you continually appoint yourself as the language police?

"AMOG" doesn't violate any posting guidelines. And, it is an apt observation of human nature. Why are you so antagonistic/upset about it?

Jan-14-23  thegoodanarchist: <<<<Check It Out:>>> Najamura was what, 25 years old when he tweeted that? 25 year olds are prone to hyperbole.>

Which doesn't change the fact that a) it was done, b) it's part of the public record, and c) most people don't forget the wrongs committed against them, and we know MC has a <stellar> memory.

< <<<<<perfidious:>>>>> It is a fairly safe bet that, aged 25, we all said or did stupid stuff best forgotten>

True. But people you have insulted rarely forget that you have insulted them. And often, when they can do something about it, they take the opportunity. AMOG is gonna AMOG.

Jan-14-23  thegoodanarchist: <Check It Out: ... the alpha meetups I've been missing.>

You're probably not invited, for comments like this one:

<Check It Out: ...If I pull that with my wife, I get in trouble...>

Don't worry, I'm not invited either.

< beatgiant: ...we aren't discussing what he tweeted 10 years ago. We're discussing what he said on twitch last July...>

Thank you for trying to keep the discussion on topic.

Jan-14-23  stone free or die: A <tga> flooding of the plains - we are truly blessed!
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <thegoodanarchist> Your main criticism of me was mind-reading, yet we are both mind-reading and moreover, you're claiming that Nakamura successfully read Carlsen's mind.

Here are our two different reads:

Yours: <Carlsen cares so much about preventing Nakamura from getting a title match that he would play another title match with Nepomniachtchi to prevent it.>

Mine: <Carlsen meant what he said, when he said he wasn't likely to play a title match against anyone but Firouzja, and that includes the case that Nakamura came in second in the Candidates.>

Of the two, my read at least is better aligned with what Carlsen has publicly stated. Do you disagree? Then can you give me any supporting quote by Carlsen for your point of view?

As for the other details you criticized, I already gave my reasons, and you didn't really rebut them, only called them speculative and irrelevant.

Yes, my opinions are speculative. We are discussing a thing that might have, but did not actually, occur. That entails being speculative. The verdict comes down to whose model of the situation has the strongest concrete evidence.

As for the relevance, I was giving a reason why Carlsen might not care much to prevent Nakamura from becoming champion, a reason why even if he did care, he wouldn't feel a strong need to play Nepomniachtchi again to prevent it, and a few reasons why Nakamura might have said what he said.

Yes, a person can disagree with my arguments, but I have a hard time seeing how one can call them irrelevant. What would be more interesting would be actual reasons for the disagreement. This post is already getting long, so I may discuss that in a future post if time permits.

Mar-11-23  Sally Simpson: Beating Hikaru.

A good article this.

This lad lost to Nakamura in 1999 in a drawn KB - KNP ending and with that win Nakamura hints that he may not be where he is today. His chess career may not have taken off.

A story much like E von Feyerfeil vs Lasker, 1889 (kibitz #4) where a loss or a draw in one game may have changed the course of chess history.

There is also an interesting back story The lad actually beat Naka in a recent online game and was then asked to visit the Zoom Room and give the organisers a 360 view of where he is playing.

Mar-11-23  stone free or die: Yes, <Sally> a good article by Nate Solon.

I think the "butterfly effect" aspect isn't the main take home, at least for me. It's the section on cheating, the zoom call, and the psychological effect of being suspected of cheating, etc.

And the brief mention of Niemann, the perspective bit:

<he Hans Niemann cheating scandal led to me having a curious sort of 15 minutes of fame. I wrote a popular post that got me invited onto a couple of mainstream media podcasts. I even interviewed for a new position at related to fair play (they ultimately told me they decided not to create the position). I’ve thought a lot about cheating in chess, but mostly from the perspective of websites or tournament organizers trying to minimize cheating. Being on the other end, as a player potentially suspected of cheating, gave me another perspective.>

Of course, there's also the "path untaken" theme explored - but that's a well-worn, er, path, is it not?


Mar-11-23  Sally Simpson: Also that part about how feeling slightly relieved at not beating Kramnik because he would under the spotlight again.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: A chess game is an intensely private thing. It's always going to be a struggle making it, and accepting it as, a public event
Mar-30-23  SChesshevsky: Hikaru gets another win with the Sicilian Kalashnikov. After a recent win versus Dominguez Perez at the American Cup, he beats Kramnik in the 3/28 titled tuesday. Kind of impressive in a really interesting game. Appears opponents are going to have to start prepping this.
Mar-30-23  fabelhaft: [Event "Live Chess"]
[Site ""]
[Date "2023.03.28"]
[Round "?"]
[White "VladimirKramnik"]
[Black "Hikaru"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B32"]
[WhiteElo "2976"]
[BlackElo "3188"]
[TimeControl "180+1"]
[EndTime "10:04:59 PDT"]
[Termination "Hikaru won on time"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5 5. Nb5 d6 6. N1c3 a6 7. Na3 Be6 8. Nc4 Rb8 9. Nd5 Bxd5 10. exd5 Nce7 11. Be2 Nf6 12. Ne3 g6 13. c4 h5 14. O-O Bh6 15. b4 O-O 16. Qb3 b6 17. Bb2 Nd7 18. Qa3 a5 19. bxa5 Nc5 20. Bc3 bxa5 21. Bxa5 Qd7 22. Bb4 Ra8 23. Qc3 Rfc8 24. a3 Qa7 25. Rae1 Ne4 26. Qd3 f5 27. Bd1 Nc5 28. Qe2 Qb6 29. Bc2 Qa6 30. Kh1 h4 31. Nd1 Nd7 32. Nb2 Bg7 33. Bb3 Nc5 34. Ba2 e4 35. Bb1 Re8 36. f3 Nc8 37. Bxc5 dxc5 38. fxe4 Nd6 39. Qf2 fxe4 40. Nd1 Qxc4 41. Ne3 Qd4 42. Qxh4 Rf8 43. Ng4 Rxf1+ 44. Rxf1 Rf8 45. Rxf8+ Bxf8 46. Qe1 c4 47. h3 c3 48. Bc2 Qd2 49. Qxd2 cxd2 50. a4 Nc4 51. Kg1 Nb2 52. a5 Kg7 53. a6 Bc5+ 54. Kf1 d1=Q+ 55. Bxd1 Nxd1 56. d6 Kf7 57. d7 Ke7 58. Ne5 Ne3+ 59. Ke2 Nxg2 60. a7 Nf4+ 61. Kf1 Bxa7 62. Nc6+ Kxd7 63. Nxa7 Kd6 64. Nb5+ Kc5 65. Nc3 Kd4 66. Nd1 e3 67. Ke1 Ke4 68. Nc3+ Kf3 69. Nb5 Nd3+ 70. Kd1 e2+ 0-1

Mar-30-23  SChesshevsky: Thank you <fabelhaft>.

Also saw video of Hikaru livestream of this game on YouTube. Provided by Daily Dose of Chess or Chess Daily Dose or something like that.

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