Nakamura is Flamed on Eve of Chess Match

There is a rich tradition in coffeehouse chess of trash talking. In blitz games, in particular, chess hustlers often verbally harass their opponents in mid-play to distract them and soften them up for the kill. Chess lore is also full of sore losers’ flaming adversaries whom they perceive as clueless. (Even a monkey pecking at a typewriter can occasionally pound out a sonnet worthy of Shakespeare.) After one such defeat, the great Aron Nimzowitsch (1886-1935) is said to have climbed up on the chessboard, dropped to his knees, and shouted to the heavens, “Oh Lord, why did I have to lose to this idiot?”

The tradition of verbal abuse at the chessboard is alive and well, especially on the Web. Hikaru Nakamura, the top board on the New York Knights and an omnipresent Internet devotee, used to like to tell opponents “Bend!” and “Resign and spare yourself further humiliation.”

Hikaru is paired tonight in the U.S. Chess League against the Boston Blitz’s Larry Christiansen. Yesterday, Hikaru was online at the Internet Chess Club observing the moves of a game from the World Championship in Mexico City. Larry, or at least someone using his account, was online too and decided to get foul with Hikaru:

LarryC-BOS(GM) kibitzes: when i beat u
LarryC-BOS(GM) kibitzes: im a be like
LarryC-BOS(GM) kibitzes: bend over
LarryC-BOS(GM) kibitzes: and ill even come if u want as drunk as i am now
LarryC-BOS(GM) kibitzes: lol

Nakamura, who was apparently watching football as well as the World Championship, played it cool and did not respond. Just as well because it turned out that the sophomoric kibitzer wasn’t Christiansen, my sources say, but someone impersonating him (a Boston Blitz teammate, perhaps?) who had access to his user name and password.

My memoir King’s Gambit: A Son, a Father, and the World’s Most Dangerous Game is full of amusing examples of players’ misbehaving. The book has been out less than a week, and is still available at a special introductory rate at Amazon of 34% off.

9 Responses to “Nakamura is Flamed on Eve of Chess Match”

  1. Derek Slater Says:

    Yikes. I guess it’s actually a semi-UNprofessional league (if in fact a team member did that).

  2. Globular Says:

    The person responsible has been roundly chastized by the team Manager.

    The Blitz apologize to Mr. Nakamura and to the NY Knights.

    (We’re still going to kick their butts though.)

    -Matt Phelps
    Manager, The Boston Blitz

  3. Globular Says:

    I should state the obvious; the kibitzer was NOT GM Christiansen, in case anyone believes it really was him.


  4. Derek Slater Says:

    I’m going to take a wild guess that is wasn’t Kelleher either. 🙂

  5. Globular Says:

    Or Foygel… 🙂

  6. Bill Parness Says:

    The person who wrote this, was obviously turned on sexually and it was obvious that chess expertise turned him on. He was also a pervert. I hope it was not Larry

  7. Mark Says:

    Probably Krasik. He has a bit of nasty in him. Untitled, unrespectful.

    Yes, it was Krasik.

  8. Deadest Draw But Knights Finally Rally « thepHtest Says:

    […] doesn’t get any more drawish in chess than two lone kings. This is the position in which Hikaru Nakamura, playing Board 1 for the New York Knights, finally agreed to a cessation of hostilities with […]

  9. for the record Says:

    Just for the record, it wasnt Krasik, it was Williams.

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