Kavalek at Huffington: A Nimble Chess Artist

8/23/2010 – The former U.S. champion Hikaru Nakamura is fast. The quicker the pace on the chessboard, the more he seems to enjoy playing. His nimble skills helped him to secure a place for the next traditional Amber tournament, a blindfold and rapid chess extravaganza played every spring on the French Riviera. GM Lubomir Kavalek show us one of Nakamura's games – a 17-move cruncher.

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A Nimble Chess Artist

By GM Lubomir Kavalek

Competing at the NH tournament in Amsterdam, Nakamura, 22, led the Rising Stars to a 26-24 victory over the chess veterans, the Experience team, on Sunday. Another member of the winning team, the young Dutch champion Anish Giri, 16, had an identical 6-4 score as Hikaru, but only one could qualify for the Amber tournament. In the blitz playoff, Nakamura defeated Giri 2-0, ensuring a spot among the world's best chess stars next March in Nice. The Israeli grandmaster Boris Gelfand from the Experience team posted the best overall result in Amsterdam with a 7-3 score.

Nakamura played the most bizarre game against Loek Van Wely, who loves sharp variations of the Najdorf Sicilian. As it happened to him in the past, after tilting at windmills, the Dutchman was blown away by the force of the winds. He brought the defeat on himself. Following the game Smith - Laznicka from this year's World Open, Van Wely's hand was faster than his brain and he made a losing blunder. But why did he chose to play this variation at all?

Apparently, Van Wely was commenting on Laznicka's victory for the magazine New In Chess, but his analysis must have been very superficial. He only needed to check my analysis of the game to see that there was something awkward with Black's position even after the best defense.

I am returning to it in my comments, enhanced by Deep Fritz 12.
I am sure, Nakamura was prepared for the alternatives, but after Van Wely's mistake, he won in a mere 17 moves.

Note that in the replay windows below you can click on the notation to follow the game.

Original column hereCopyright Huffington Post


The Huffington Post is an American news website and aggregated blog founded by Arianna Huffington and others, featuring various news sources and columnists. The site was launched on May 9, 2005, as a commentary outlet and liberal/progressive alternative to conservative news websites. It offers coverage of politics, media, business, entertainment, living, style, the green movement, world news, and comedy. It is a top destination for news, blogs, and original content. The Huffington Post has an active community, with over one million comments made on the site each month. According to Nielsen NetRatings, the site has around 13 million unique visitors per month (number for March 2010); according to Google Analytics the number is 22 million uniques per month.



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