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Nakamura on 2.Qh5

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In this week's issue of Black Belt, coming out Friday, US champion Hikaru Nakamura annotates his Sigeman loss to Sasikiran. His comment on 2.Qh5:

SURPRISE! I actually wanted to avoid Krishnan's theory in both the Ruy and Scotch, as I felt he was very booked up. I also noticed that Kramnik had prepared this opening for some rapid games against Kasparov if Kasparov decided to play 1...e5. As the saying goes... "If any World Champion studies it then it has to be good!"

In case you've been in a cave, we've had an epic and fascinating discussion and investigation of 2.Qh5 and its origins here. Nakamura's entertaining game intro also deserves a larger audience:

Before delving into the game, I am going to give a little bit of historical background. Malmo is a town in southern Sweden primarily known as a seaport. It is separated from Denmark by the Oresund Strait. However, in 1999 the two governments decided to build a bridge which connects Sweden and Denmark. I must say that although there wasn't much to see in Malmo; the weather was pleasant and there were plenty of hot chicks all around!

The 2nd half of the tournament was played in a little town in Denmark. However, there was a train station five minutes away; so on the off day I decided to catch a train into Copenhagen and see the world famous "Tivoli Gardens."

I did not win this tournament, but I scored 6/9 and picked up four rating points. As always, you cannot win every tournament and I didn't win this one. I had a solid tournament though, so I am not overly disappointed.

Lastly, I would like to thank the sponsor Johan Sigeman, and the organizers Johan Berntsen and Lars Bech-Hansen for running a good tournament.

Good to see that despite his drive to the top of the chess world, he takes the time to notice the truly important things! I guess we know where he would be in the old "Alekhine and Capablanca go to the theater" anecdote.

Update: Hikaru later posted the following explanation to the other 2.Qh5 thread:

Hello everyone! After so many random comments I feel like explaining why I played 2.Qh5 and what inspired it. So here it goes...

The night before I was to play GM Sasikiran in round 7, I decided to connect to the wireless internet from my room in Denmark. As such, I couldn't avoid logging on ICC and chatting with friends. After talking randomly with some people Jason Doss a.k.a. Jdoss on ICC suggested that I play 2.Qh5! Although I think Jason was only half-serious at the time I thought it was a practical opening choice and more importantly a surprise. I have analyzed this line thoroughly, and will probably play 2.Qh5 in the future...maybe in Minnesota, who knows? I think that in order for chess to be interesting in the future people need to come up with new ideas and avoid all the computer-prepared variations, which makes chess dull and unexciting as players do not have to exhibit real skill.

Anyways in response to what some other Grandmasters have said; I do believe that 2.Qh5 is a playable move, in fact I had a very good position in the game, and was close to winning if I had in fact played 23.e5. Alas, due to my style I went for all or broke and lost the game. I truly believe that one only has one life to live, therefore one must enjoy this world. What does one loss mean in the scheme of life?

["do believe" was "do not believe" in his post, presumably a typo]


"and there were plenty of hot chicks all around! "

Nakamura knows what counts.

I've never heard "the old "Alekhine and Capablanca go to the theater" anecdote". Please suffer this fool gladly...

It has them both at the theater during the London tournament of 1922, and "Capablanca's eyes never left the chorus and Alekhine's never left his pocket chess set."

For those of you not in the know, I remember it as "the chorus girls" and, I'm assuming, their nice legs, not just a bunch of goofy singers in long robes.

Alekhine only married old women so he was not interested in the "girls".

Hey... we're at 187 strong on the other 2.Qh5 thread. You all have a lot of catching up to do.

On the serious side, I'm looking forward to seeing what Hikaru has to say about his mindset and the analysis of the game. We'll be able to get some of our questions answered on 1.e4 e5 2.Qh5! I think Kramnik is hiding his analysis.

I was surfing on the internet recently and saw an article by Gary Lane in his column "Opening Lanes" at chesscafe.com: http://www.chesscafe.com/text/lane70.pdf
There´s a game between now grandmaster Heikki Westerinen,-i don´t know if he was a grandmaster back then-, and Jón Kristinsson, a game played in Oslo 1973, starting 1. e4-e5 2. Qh5 etc...

"Alekhine only married old women"

True, but those elderly wives also happened to be wealthy...

Alekhine's choice of elderly, wealthy wives seems strategically sound to me. Perhaps the "hot chicks" of Malmo could have thawed his "game" though? I'm glad Naka enjoyed the scenery. All work and no play might burn him out.

hikaru says " have analyzed this line thoroughly, and will probably play 2.Qh5 in the future..."

he very well might be planning on 2. Qh5 in the future, but i think there is a decent chance that he is simply announcing to his future competitors that they are going to have to do some extra homework when they prepare to play him. a subtle form of gamesmanship.

I gathered that when I learned he played 2.Qh5. But you're right... his announcement really sends a message. It's twice as effective coming from a player of his caliber. His opponents may over-prepare or under-prepare.

Even if they do prepare I doubt it will cost them too many hours. Anyways I doubt anyone prepares for Hikaru it is like preparing for Morozevich.

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    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on May 5, 2005 2:53 PM.

    FIDE Gets Real was the previous entry in this blog.

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