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Nakamura Goes to Biel

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The Biel GM Tournament starts Sunday. It's the usual double round-robin with six players. Gelfand is the top seed and by far the veteran of a youth-skewed event. US Champion (and Black Belt contributor) Hikaru Nakamura isn't even the youngest player in the field, thanks to Magnus Carlsen. Volokitin, who just turned 19, is the second seed. (Bauer and Pelletier round out the field.)

We haven't seen much from Carlsen since he exploded onto the scene by winning the Corus C group in 2004. 2550-rated 14-year-olds seem like old news these days.


Speaking of child prodigies, Karjakin is playing in Taiyuan, China, along with other prodigies Bu Xiangzhi, Luke McShane, Harikrishna, Wang Hao etc.

Yes, Carlsen has experienced a number of setbacks lately making his rating drop to the mediocre 2528... However, it now seems that he has overcome his problems and is back in 2600+ form. His play in the European and Norwegian Championships looked much better than it has been doing in a while. He's certainly still more promising than guys like Nguyen, and I think it will show over the next few years.

Nakamura wins his first against Bauer. I guess tommorow he meets Gelfand who one could infer "dissed" him earlier this year.

In other news, Karjakin is for once playing a mediocre tournament!

So far Carlsen confirms that he is back in top shape. 1.5/3 so far, drew Gelfand as Black today. (Yesterday over here.)

Do you know why double-winner Moro wasn?t invited by to Biel?

Interesting win from Nakamura in Round 5. He willing trades his "good" bishop for Black's "bad" (albeit outside the pawn chain) bishop and this with all 16 pawns on the board (and the center pawn position locked up). For him to achieve a win in this kind of positional lockdown (particularly with the above mentioned anti-intuitive exchange of bishops) indicates a deep deep understanding. Everyone knows he is a capable attacker - nice to see that the rest of his game is maturing nicely as well.

"For him to achieve a win in this kind of positional lockdown (particularly with the above mentioned anti-intuitive exchange of bishops) indicates a deep deep understanding. "

Pushing the K-side pawns, and getting f5 in is standard strategy for this type of position, but I agree - Nakamura put on a positional clinic today in the implementation of that plan. The maneuvering was suberb, and it really looked like he was a level above Pelletier in comprehension.

Why does this event not get more press, as in daily, on Chessbase nor on this site?!


Okay, now Carlsen lost in 15 moves. Maybe he's been taking secret lessons from Kramnik.

I believe Carlsen has withered under the pressure of all the hype made over him (Boy Wonder, etc.). I never thought he was in the league with Karjakin, but you'd hear these comparisons used. Everybody likes the adorable boy with the orange juice at the table and he became a media darling.

Carlsen is very talented still, but to lose in 15 moves (the way he lost) is symptomatic of something else... probably not chess. Maybe he's growing disinterested. Is coach Agdestein's football rubbing off?

I believe Carlsen is no less talented than Karjakin. This collapse was weird, though. Never seen anything like it from him. Looks like a total blackout. I don't know the reasons, you can only speculate. Pressure of hype, perhaps. Growing disinterested, absolutely not!

One small piece of advice for gloating Nakamura fans : dust your cristal balls!
Today, Carlsen drew a nice game against Guelfand (although some snake-tongues are saying it was all preparation) and Nakamura... lost horribly against Bauer (true, he lasted 38 moves, but he was lost before the 20th) !
And BTW Magnus drew both his games against Hikaru (who is 3 years older and rated 132-points higher than him). Conclusion : let's wait and see... and enjoy !!

Probably preparation from Gelfand's side as well. Carlsen clearly has a way to go before he is on the same level as Hikaru though. He also lost like a dog against Volokitin.

Of course. Why would you expect the best 14-year-old in the world to be as good as the best 17-year-old?


So, the pieces move differently for Volokitin than they do for Carlsen because there is an age difference? It is quite possible for the best 14-year-old to defeat the best 17-year-old in today's chess world. Indeed, Fischer was ahead of ANY 17-year-old when he played, so it is not outside of the realm of possibility that one could overcome the age difference, which I am assuming you are crediting with a difference in experience. (Arguing ability based on age alone makes absolutely no sense.) Carlsen has also beaten Shirov, who is significantly stronger than Volokitin.



I was talking about Nakamura, not Volokitin who is a bit older. Of course anything can happen in a single game, but I was meaning to respond to the statement "Carlsen clearly has a way to go before he is on the same level as Hikaru"

It only makes sense that the younger of the prodigies has not yet reached the same level.

I suppose what I meant was that the difference is really stark, which is not true of the difference between Volokitin and Nakamura (the best 19 year old vs best 17 year old).

Well, I see the Nakamura squad are adamant in their premature cristal-ball judgement of who is (or will be who in the junior chess world. I disagree (I think we should wait and see... and above all ENJOY what Karjakin, Carlsen, Nakamura and the others each have to offer) and it so happens that today Nakamura was destroyed again in his game against Pelletier...

A few gems I have noted:

Unless you mean of course that, judging from Biel, "the best 17-year old" is better than "the best 19-year old"...

Right. But wouldn't you agree that age is not experience alone ? Or do you think Fischer at 17 had exactly the same ability as when he became World Champion, only less experience ??

Volokitin maybe is better but not by too much. No I am not adamant in claiming Carlsen will be this and Nakamura that. You can never tell. My only thought is that Carlsen is kind of stuck at the 2500 level and that he can play games that show a high level of inconsistency which probably means immaturity. He is tactically really good but strategically not as good. In other words, initially I was amazed at how strong he was having played for just 5 years. Now as we see more of him, we realize that he is not anywhere near as fully developed as Karjakin is. Super talented but lacking alot in maturity.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on July 17, 2005 4:39 AM.

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