- Hikaru Nakamura
: "For the football player with a similar name, see
Infobox chess player
playername = Hikaru Nakamura
birthname = Hikaru Nakamura
country = USA
datebirth = birth date and age|1987|12|9
title = Grandmaster
rating = 2697
(No. 31 on the July 2008 FIDE ratings list)
peakrating = 2697 (July 2008)
Hikaru Nakamura, (中村光 "Nakamura Hikaru", born
December 9 1987in Hirakata) is an American chess Grandmaster (GM).
He was born in
Hirakata, Osaka Prefecture, Japan, to a Japanese father and an American mother, and at the age of two years old, he moved with his parents to the United States. Nakamura began playing chess at the age of seven and was coached by his Sri Lankan stepfather, FIDE Master and chess author Sunil Weeramantry. Within three years, at age 10 years and 79 days, Nakamura achieved the title of chess masterfrom the United States Chess Federation(USCF), becoming the youngest American ever to earn the title and breaking the record previously set by Vinay Bhat. In 2003, Nakamura solidified his reputation as a chess prodigy, by earning, at age 15 years and 79 days, the grandmaster title, breaking by three months the record of Bobby Fischerfor youngest American to have claimed the GM title, surpassed only by Fabiano Caruana.
Nakamura is generally regarded as an aggressive player who is reluctant to draw games early, having once said in an interview that "there is no point of taking draws" [" [http://beta.uschess.org/frontend/player_32_12.php GM Hikaru Nakamura] ". Accessed Oct. 16, 2006] . He prefers instead to exploit all prospective winning chances, giving him a style of play described by the U.S. Chess Federation as marked by "astonishing creativity...relentless determination... [the making] of unexpected moves and a will to win". Nakamura says the bishop is his favorite chess piece. [ " [http://www.uschess.org/news/press/uspr0522.php GM Hikaru Nakamura Named 2005 Samford Chess Fellow] ". June 20, 2005]
June 20, 2005, Nakamura was selected as the 19th Frank SamfordChess Fellow, receiving a grant of $32,000 to further his chess education and competition.
He has been described as having an uncommon enthusiasm for chess and as being much more approachable than other players of his ability. For instance, just after winning the U.S. Championship, he played numerous 1-minute games with all comers in the lobby of the hotel where the competition had taken place [Daaim Shabazz. " [http://www.thechessdrum.net/newsbriefs/2004/NB_Nakamura3.html Why Nakamura's Victory is Good for Chess] ". Dec. 9, 2004]
He is also very skilled at
blitz chess, and has been called "easily the best blitz player in America" [" [http://beta.uschess.org/frontend/player_32_12.php GM Hikaru Nakamura] ". Accessed Oct. 16, 2006] and "one of the best blitz players in the world." [ " [http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=3348 Five years of Playchess.com] ". Accessed Oct. 16, 2006] Even in games with only one or two minutes in which to make all of his moves, Nakamura has shown an ability to create complicated combinations.
Though primarily a serious tournament chess player, Nakamura has also served as a commentator and game annotator, most prominently on the ChessNinja website, operated by chess author
A resident of
White Plains, New York, Nakamura often played in the weekly New York Masterschess tournament at the Marshall Chess Club, which he won several times.
In April 2004 Nakamura achieved a fourth-place finish in the "B" group at the Corus tournament at
Wijk aan Zee.
Nakamura qualified for the 2004 world chess championship, contested in
Tripoli, Libya, and reached the fourth round, defeating grandmasters Sergey Volkov, Aleksei Aleksandrov, and Alexander Lastinbefore falling to England's Michael Adams, the tournament's third-seeded participant and eventual runner-up.
He won the 2005
U.S. Chess Championship(held in November and December 2004), scoring seven points over nine rounds to tie grandmaster Alex Stripunskyfor first place, with whom he had drawn in the tournament's third round. Nakamura defeated Stripunsky in two straight rapid chess playoff games to claim the title and become the youngest national champion since Fischer. Nakamura finished the tournament without a loss and, in the seventh round, defeated grandmaster Gregory Kaidanov, then the nation's top-ranked player.
Following that victory, Nakamura played a challenge match dubbed the "Duelo de Jóvenes Prodigios" in
Mexicoagainst Ukrainian grandmaster Sergey Karjakinand defeated his fellow prodigy, 4.5-1.5.
In November and December 2005 Nakamura entered the FIDE World Chess Cup seeded 28th (of 128 players) but failed to advance beyond the first round, losing each of his two games to Indian grandmaster
Surya Gangulyand becoming the second-highest-ranked player to leave Khanty, Russia, without having won a game.
In 2006 Nakamura helped the US team win the bronze medal in the International
Chess Olympiadat Turin, playing third board behind Gata Kamskyand Alexander Onischuk(2006 US Champion).
Nakamura is currently living in
Vancouver, Canada, where he attends the University of British Columbia.
In January 2007 Nakamura shared second place in the
GibTel Mastersin Gibraltar. [ [http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=3650 Akopian wins GibTel Masters in Gibraltar] , Accessed April 9, 2007] He placed first in the tournament the following year. cite web | title=2008 Gibtelecom Chess Festival|url=http://www.gibraltarchesscongress.com/gib2008/index.html| accessdate=2008-02-01]
In October 2007 Nakamura won the Magistral D'Escacs in
Barcelona[ [http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=4207 Nakamura wins the Magistral D'Escacs] , Accessed October 27, 2007] and the Corsicancircuit rapid chess tournament. [ [http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=4224 Nakamura wins the Corsican circuit rapid chess tournament] , Accessed November 03, 2007]
Nakamura is well known in the chess community for playing on the Internet regularly. He plays primarily on two chess sites:
ICC('Smallville') and Playchess('Star Wars').
He is the strongest bullet, blitz and standard player on the server and he has set many rating records under different categories. He is greatly feared as a 1min player, his own speciality.Many consider 'Naka' to be the strongest internet player ever. His creativity and quick grasp of the position makes him a very difficult opponent to beat.
Nakamura also won the 2008 Finet Chess960 Open (Mainz). [Chessvine Article, [http://chessvine.com/archives/64-GM-Hikaru-Nakamura-wins-the-Finet-Chess960-Open-Mainz.html "GM Hikaru Nakamura wins the Finet Chess960 Open (Mainz)"] ]
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In this diagramed position after black's 34th move, Nakamura - Novikov reached a position typical of Nakamura's complicated and tactical style. Nakamura, only 15 years old at the time, finds a nice tactic to secure some material and the game.The following game is Nakamura - Novikov, played in the 29th New York Masters 2002. Nakamura's annotations are given along with the text.
:1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e6 7.f3 b5 8.Qd2 Nbd7 9.g4 Nb6 10.0-0-0 Bb7 11.Nb3 Rc8 12.Na5 Ba8 13.a4!?This rare line has only been played two times, both games were draws. [ 13.g5 Nfd7 14.a4 b4 15.Na2 Nxa4 16.Bxa6 Qxa5 17.Bxc8 Ndb6=/+ Perez-Novikov, Aosta Open Italy 2002]
:13...Nc4 [ 13...d5 14.g5 Nfd7 15.exd5 Bxd5 16.axb5 Bb4 17.Nc6 Bxc6 18.bxc6 Rxc6 19.Bxb6 Rxb6 20.Qd4 0-0 21.Na4! Rb8 22.Qxd7 Qxg5+ 23.f4 Qxf4+ 24.Kb1+/- Andreev-Voitsekhovsky, 2000]
:14.Nxc4 bxc4 15.Qd4 Qc7 16.g5 Nd7 17.f4 [ 17.h4 e5 18.Qa7 Qxa7 19.Bxa7 h6 20.Bh3+/= De la Villa Garcia-Suba, Benasque Open 1995]
:17...h6 18.g6!?The idea behind sacking the pawn is to weaken the e6 and g6 pawns, and force black to move his king to f7. [ 18.gxh6 Rxh6 19.f5 Rh7 ( 19...Rh4 20.fxe6 fxe6 21.Bf2 Rh7 22.Bg3!+/= ) 20.fxe6 ]
:18...fxg6Novikov accepts the challenge. Perhaps f5 was better because once he takes on g6 his pieces get tied down, and black ends up with a very passive position. [ 18...f5!? 19.Bg2 Nf6~~ ]
:19.Rg1 Kf7 [ 19...e5?! 20.Qd2 g5 ( 20...exf4 21.Bxf4 Qb6 22.Rxg6 Rb8 23.b3 cxb3 24.Re6+ Kf7 25.Bc4+/- ; 20...Qb7 21.Qd5! Qxd5 22.Nxd5+/= ) 21.fxg5 hxg5 22.Nd5+/= ]
:20.f5 gxf5 [ 20...exf5 21.exf5 gxf5 22.Bh3-> ]
:21.exf5 e5 22.Qh4?!Missing a chance to get a winning position. [ 22.Qg4! Nf6 23.Qg6+ Ke7 24.Bg2+/- ]
:22...Nf6 23.Be2 Ke8 24.Rg6 Qf7 25.Qg3 Rb8 26.a5! Bc6 27.Bb6 h5This is the only move which makes any sense here, but it allows white to win an exchange. Maybe Novikov felt like giving up the exchange to get some counterplay because if he does not play h5 white has all the play.
:28.Qh4 d5 29.Qg3 Qe7 30.Bd4! Rxb2  31.Kxb2 exd4 32.Rxd4 Qa3+ 33.Kb1 Bd6? [ 33...Qb4+ 34.Kc1 Bd6~~ After the game, when I analysed with Novikov , he suggested this line. I did not find anything which was winning for white, and I think that black is at least even in this position if not better.]
:34.Qe3+ Kd8 (see diagram)
:35.Nxd5!!Clearly Novikov did not see this brilliant tactical shot as he used up most of his time trying to come up with a good move. In the end he had to settle for a losing endgame down an exchange.
:35...Qxe3 [ 35...Bxd5 36.Qxa3 Bxa3 37.Bxc4 Bc5 38.Rd3+- ; 35...Qxa5 36.Nxf6 Qe1+ 37.Qc1+- ; 35...Nxd5 36.Qxa3 Bxa3 37.Rxc6+- ]
:36.Nxe3 Kc7 37.Rxg7+ Nd7 38.Nxc4 Rb8+ 39.Nb6 Re8 40.Bf3 Re1+ 41.Ka2 Ra1+!Desperation
:42.Kxa1 Be5 43.c3 Bxg7 44.Bxc6 Bxd4 45.cxd4 1-0 [ 45.cxd4 Kxc6 46.d5+ Kd6 47.Nxd7 Kxd7 48.f6+- ]
* [http://www.hikarunakamura.com Hikaru Nakamura's Official Website]
* [http://www.bobby-fischer.net/US_Chess_Championship_2005_Games.html Play through Nakamura's 2005 US Championship Games]
* [http://www.chessninja.com ChessNinja website]
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