VG Nett quotes Carlsen on the Kasparov-Nakamura cooperation

11/11/2011 – Magnus Carlsen, as you probably know, was trained by Garry Kasparov in 2009 and 2010, then in March 2010 the two terminated their collaboration. Last week it was revealed that Kasparov had taken on a new trainee, American GM Hikaru Nakamura – since January this year. After a long New in Chess interview with both proponents now Magnus has aired his views in this VG Nett report.

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In the report in the Norwegian news page VG Nett, when asked about the the collaboration between Garry Kasparov ("perhaps the best ever chess player") and Hikaru Nakamura ("number nine player in the world), of which rumours have been circulating since January, Magnus Carlsen is quoted as saying:

"I am surprised, especially since I never got the impression that Kasparov had a great deal of respect for Nakamura's chess talent. This is why I have been reluctant to believe the rumors of the two working together."

VG Nett: The Norwegian chess star himself had Kasparov as coach in 2009 and 2010, but despite the great progress Carlsen terminated the partnership because he thought the Russian was making too many decisions for him. The partnership between Japan-born Nakamura and Kasparov was set up using the financial backing ("wallet") of Rex Sinquefield. VG Nett speculates that "the St. Louis billionaire has probably used up to one million Kroner already".

VG quotes from the interview in New in Chess on the collaboration. Nakamura, is says there, has been given access to Kasparov's giant database of openings. The duo have had a few sessions together, and also had arguments over priorities. Before the Dortmund tournament a third training session was planned to take place in Kasparov's summer residence in Croatia, but to his consternation Nakamura decided to skip this and play in a Las Vegas poker tournament instead. "Hikaru's talent is proven," Kasparov is quoted as saying, "but he must decide that it is more important to win in chess than in poker."

Magnus is further quoted:

"I noticed that Kasparov has spoken in a neutral fashion and has tried to play down the collaboration. He probably hoped that Nakamura would porduce better performances before the collaboration was made public. After all, since the nice win at Tata, Nakamura has not achieved very much."

Carlsen told VG he believes the pressure on Nakamura will be greater. He doubts that Kasparov's insights in Magnus' own game will make the American a tougher opponent in the future.

"I, too, know Kasparov well, and the way he thinks. Besides, I have a pretty good idea of what he thinks are my strengths and weaknesses. I've had very good resaults against Nakamura in the period since Kasparov has been his trainer. I think Nakamura has made and will make more progress as a result, but right now there are four to five players in the world, including me, who have significantly better understanding of chess than Nakamura. And I don't know if even a man like Kasparov can change that in the short term."

The answer, VG says, will be delivered at the Tal Memorial, which begins in mid-November in Moscow. There the world's elite, including Carlsen and Nakamura, will be in attendance.

Further reading

Breaking news: Carlsen and Kasparov join forces
07.09.2009 – It was the best-kept secret of the year: Magnus Carlsen, at 18 already the fourth highest ranked player in the world, has won the legendary Garry Kasparov, arguably the greatest player in chess history, as his personal trainer. The goal is to make Magnus the world's number one in the course of the coming year. The Norwegian newspaper VG has broken the news.
Kasparov and Carlsen on Norway's NRK talk show
22.09.2009 Nobody watches long interviews on the Internet any more – Google and YouTube have satiated us pretty much. But sometimes you have to make an exception. Here are Garry Kasparov and Magnus Carlsen talking about their cooperation to make the latter the number one in chess. The discussion on Norway's NRK Nett-TV talk show is charming and insightful. Video and full transcript.
Carlsen: I am constantly in touch with Kasparov
19.11.2009 – "Until recently I was a schoolboy," says a candid Magnus Carlsen, "I am not very accustomed to rigid, hard and painstaking work. Only by working with Garry Kasparov have I become aware of just how important it is." The 18-year-old winner of the 2009 World Blitz Championship, and the inofficial world number one player, gives credit where it's due in this Vremya (Time) interview.
Training in style – Kasparov and Carlsen in Marrakech
13.01.2010 – When you are the world's number one player, and when your coach is the legendary Garry Kasparov, then you don't go into training camp just anywhere. Magnus Carlsen travelled to Morocco, took residence in a five-star garden hotel, and conducted intense preparation for the Wijk aan Zee super-GM. The two also played a double simul for their hosts. We have games.
Bisik-Bisik with Garry Kasparov – Part 1
19.01.2010 – Last year Garry Kasparov visited Asia – for the first time since the Philippines Olympiad in 1992. He was in India and in Malaysia, where our reporter Edwin Lam did a Q&A with him. Kasparov spoke engagingly and candidly about Asia, his early career as a chess player, his protégé Magnus Carlsen and his Chess Foundation in America. Not a line of blah in this interview. Must read.
Goals met – Kasparov and Carlsen's new strategy
03.03.2010 – The cooperation between Garry Kasparov, arguably the greatest chess player in history, and Magnus Carlsen, one of its greatest talents, began early last year. The results came faster than anyone had expected: Magnus was number one in the last two world rankings. Now the work between the two takes a new direction, with Magnus making all career decisions on his own. Press release.
Now it's official: Kasparov is training Nakamura
01.11.2011 – Some knew, some thought they knew, and speculation was rampant during the Grand Slam Final in São Paulo and Bilbao. Yes, Garry Kasparov, who famously trained Magnus Carlsen, is now working with Hikaru Nakamura. The real story is in the details, straight from the protagonists themselves, and you can find them in the latest issue of New in Chess Magazine.

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