Hikaru Nakamura

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is an American chess grandmaster. He is ranked No. 7 in the world by FIDE on the February 2014 rankings and is a three-time United States Chess Champion.

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GMHikaru579 karma

I will take the 5th on your question about GMPhoenix! :)

GMHikaru467 karma

  1. I for one do not have a quadrillion games memorized. Mainly, it is more a matter of ideas/concepts combined with an understand of piece play and then of course tactics. But, because all professionals have studied and played chess for so many years, it is just inherently a part of our understanding.

  2. In this day and age, everyone is so good that being even slightly worse is too much! I will always take equality!

  3. Openings matter only in so much as you are not worse or losing out of the opening!

  4. 1.e4 is certainly NOT more popular at the top levels of chess today! I think in general because many of the great champions (Fischer and Kasparov specifically) opened with 1.e4, it remains very popular at the amateur level.

  5. The only two aspects of chess which humans are better at are: blocked positions where only one side has a break due to the long term concept and ideas which are beyond a computer horizon and secondly, pure attacks like in the Kings Indian.

  6. I am not sure if a computer on a cell phone could beat the top humans, but any laptop would be more than sufficient to trounce us pitiful humans into oblivion!

  7. I think in general, when you play chess on the internet its not serious competition, so the goal is to have a good time. Secondly, if I tried playing long games on the internet, I'd have trouble being motivated or keeping up the intensity.

  8. Fischer would almost certainly lose to all of us, but this is due to the fact that the game has so fundamentally changed. If Fischer had a few years to use computers, I think he would probably be on the same level.

  9. I certainly hope to become World Champion, but it is a long process and I simply need to play good chess for now!

  10. My favourite players are Kasparov, Fischer and Tal. Mainly because they were more tactical and aggressive which is how I tend to play.


GMHikaru326 karma

I highly doubt that I could have come up with such a strategy at 9! :) I wish I could remember, but asking me to remember a game from 17?? years ago is too much!

GMHikaru326 karma

Hello Harlow_Monkeys!

When I play 1 blindfold game or any amount, (I have done 15 on two separate occasions) I essentially see the whole board, but I very rarely calculate deep lines beyond 2-3 moves. In tournaments such as the Amber Blindfold and Rapid where it is 1 game against another top level play, I very often will calculate 2-3 lines of about 5-6 moves. I wish I could say that I am some sort of mathematical genius and I see a bunch of right triangles or some picasso style art lines, but that would be going too far!

When I see the board, it is usually the blue board from the chess program chessbase with the white and black pieces. I suspect that for most modern day players, blindfold chess is a lot easier because of the endless hours we have all spent studying chess on computer screens.

GMHikaru274 karma

We aren't rock stars! :-D

GMHikaru191 karma

Chess is certainly still enjoyable but it has taken on a more serious role as it is my full time career. It will always be fun, but it will never be the same as when I was 12-13-14 years old and just playing the game without any worries in the world.

GMHikaru161 karma

I do not particularly support one side over the other as both candidates have serious flaws. However, one must look at what the incumbent has done over the past 20 years. It does not seem as though chess has fundamentally moved forward in a new direction. At the same time, it remains to be seen whether the opposition leader will be able to bring in money and sponsors which he speaks of in his campaign.

GMHikaru146 karma

To start, I have actually seen a few of Kingcrusher's videos on youtube and they are pretty good! At the moment, I am the #1 rated blitz player in the world, so I am certainly competitive. However, I do believe that because of my focus on becoming a better classical player over the last few years, I have gotten worse at blitz.

GMHikaru142 karma

Great question, apetresc!

I think chess960 is great as it is simply pure intuition and understanding without theory or computers. In my opinion, a lot depends on the trends. For example, at the moment everyone is playing the Berlin Defense which has severely reduced the number of games with 1.e4 If this trend of attempting to "kill" the excitement continues, it is hard to believe 960 won't take over at some point. However, if we start seeing a lot of deep preparation and exciting games in in the Najdorf or Dragon, then I think the scope of normal chess will continue for a very long time.

GMHikaru125 karma

Hello Jack, your question is very pertinent not only to my chess career but the very future of chess as well. I would say that nowadays, when I study, computers comprise 90% overall.

I do not play against computers anymore because it is severely depressing to lose every game without ever even having a chance!

I think mainly what can be learned from computers is a deeper understanding that almost all positions are ok with accurate play. In the past, many people assumed certain positions were automatically bad, but computers have shown that the rules and thought processes aren't always accurate!