Generation encounter: Beliavsky vs Nakamura under scrutiny

by ChessBase
9/16/2009 – One, the current US Champion, was born in the year the other, a former World Championship candidate, had just won the Soviet Championship for the third time. Their scintillating encounter, analysed by Dennis Monokroussos in his Wednesday night Playchess lecture, took place earlier this year at the NH Tournament in Amsterdam. Watch and learn on the server.

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Dennis Monokroussos writes:

The NH Tournament in Amsterdam, which finished a couple of weeks ago, wasn't a great event for Hikaru Nakamura. Some heavy travel the past few weeks may have helped get the flu (or something flu-like), and the result was his worst performance of the year. He only won one game, but the good news is that it was a great one.

Out of sorts: top US grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura

The victim was the legendary Alexander Beliavsky, a former World Junior Champion, World Championship Candidate and a four-time Soviet Champion. He's 55, but with a rating of 2662 he remains a member of the elite, if no longer a member of the Grand Slam scene. Best of all, he continues to work very hard at the game, and is renowned for his uncompromising chess (that's the title of his chess autobiography).

Alexander Beliavsky, who had been Soviet Champion three time before Nakamura was born

In their second game in the event, Beliavsky took his revenge, but in the game we'll look at in this week's Playchess show, he was the victim. Playing white in a Classical King's Indian, he followed the script and went for the queenside while Nakamura went king-hunting on the other flank. It looked like Beliavsky had the better of it – that was certainly the opinion of the online commentators I saw – but Nakamura's extremely energetic attacking play, replete with sacrifices, led to a successful conclusion.

The scintillating encounter of generations at the NH tournament in Amsterdam

More than this I will not say, so that if you haven't seen the game, you won't have any of the surprises taken away in advance. So here's what you do: tune in Wednesday night (9 p.m. in the Eastern Time Zone; 3 a.m. Thursday morning CET) on the Playchess server. Just log on, go to the Broadcast room and find Beliavsky-Nakamura under the Games tab. Double-click, watch, and enjoy – that's it! Hope to see you then.

Dennis Monokroussos' Radio ChessBase lectures begin on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST, which translates to 02:00h GMT, 03:00 Paris/Berlin, 13:00h Sydney (on Thursday). Other time zones can be found at the bottom of this page. You can use Fritz or any Fritz-compatible program (Shredder, Junior, Tiger, Hiarcs) to follow the lectures, or download a free trial client.

You can find the exact times for different locations in the world at World Time and Date. Exact times for most larger cities are here. And you can watch older lectures by Dennis Monokroussos offline in the Chess Media System room of Playchess:

Enter the above archive room and click on "Games" to see the lectures. The lectures, which can go for an hour or more, will cost you between one and two ducats. That is the equivalent of 10-20 Euro cents (14-28 US cents).

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Dennis Monokroussos is 41, lives in South Bend, IN, where he teaches chess and occasionally works as an adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University-South Bend.

At one time he was one of the strongest juniors in the U.S. and has reached a peak rating of 2434 USCF, but several long breaks from tournament play have made him rusty. He is now resuming tournament chess in earnest, hoping to reach new heights.

Dennis has been working as a chess teacher for ten years now, giving lessons to adults and kids both in person and on the internet, worked for a number of years for New York’s Chess In The Schools program, where he was one of the coaches of the 1997-8 US K-8 championship team from the Bronx, and was very active in working with many of CITS’s most talented juniors.

When Dennis Monokroussos presents a game, there are usually two main areas of focus: the opening-to-middlegame transition and the key moments of the middlegame (or endgame, when applicable). With respect to the latter, he attempts to present some serious analysis culled from his best sources (both text and database), which he has checked with his own efforts and then double-checked with his chess software.

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