Nakamura, the Gracious Chess King

Hikaru Nakamura’s star in the chess firmament is rising even as Gata Kamsky’s is flickering (and will hopefully rekindle). The 19-year-old resident of White Plains, New York, came in an uncontested first this weekend in the National Open in Las Vegas.

Nakamura first broke records at the age of 10, when he became the youngest master ever in America, and then again at 15, when he became a grandmaster at a younger age than Bobby Fischer. His interest in chess seemed to wane when he entered college but now the passion is backand he is playing and studying chess with avengence.

Nakamura was graciousa rare and welcome quality in a world of grandmasters known for their runaway cocksureness—when Jennifer Shahade interviewed him for Chess Life Online She told him that he owed his victory to “playing real openings for a change” and to the encouragement offered by fans.

“Considering my recent results have been less than stellar,” he said, “and the fact that my confidence hasn’t been as high as in the past, it was so nice that so many players offered me kind words and wished me good luck. That other people still believe in me, meant a lot.”

One Response to “Nakamura, the Gracious Chess King”

  1. Evan Rosenberg Says:

    After playing alongside Hikaru in the USATE in 2005, I understand personally Hikaru’s extraordinary ability to transform garbage openings into dangerous attacks. If he is prepared to seriously redesign his opening repetoire, he certainly has the potential to reach 2700 and beyond. Best of luck to him, and RIP 2. Qh5, you will be missed, dubious second move…

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