Agde Recap, Upcoming Events, General Musings

November 03, 2008 • General

Since I was in a rush to finish the prior blog as I had to rush off to the airport, I will attempt to add a little bit more about the event. Looking back on the event now that I’ve had a day of rest&relaxation, I’d like to point out to everyone (primarily Mig) that Ivanchuk did in fact offer me a draw before I went Rc2 in the second rapid game. What I have noticed is that most people have failed to recognize is that once we reached that endgame, I was not playing for a draw and blitz tiebreaks. That was obviously my original gameplan, however the situation was very much of a low risk high reward case where I would have had to make a disastrous blunder in order to lose. So the comments I have which suggest that somehow Ivanchuk was only drifting towards blitz are quite erroneous. Another story which I must comment on are the appauling remarks which Anatoly Karpov made in an interview on the last day in Cap D’Agde. Although I have a great deal of respect for Karpov and his chess abilities, I think that perhaps he needs to re-evaluate the Russian school of chess as I think saying that Caruana has a better understanding of chess than Carlsen is quite absurd to say the least. One other key point which I would like to make is that I was also highly disappointed in the manner of which Conquest and Vachier-Lagrave completely misunderstood my ending against Ivanchuk in game 1. To put it simply, at no point there is white “completely winning” as Vachier-Lagrave rather arrogantly commented. In fact, based on the body language of Ivanchuk, it was quite clear that he also felt I was the one pressing for a win in the endgame. All in all, I feel that the better player won in the final match.

For now, I will be in Paris for a few days before I head off to Austria to play in the Austrian League on November 7,8,9. After this, I will head to the Olympiad in Dresden which begins on November 12th if I remember correctly. Currently, I would very much liken myself to my beloved Tennessee Titans in the sense that they are currently 8-0 (NFL) and the best team, yet they consistently get no respect or press coverage for their solid wins. I think the exact same can be said of my chess. Everyone says Ivanchuk blew the match and I didn’t win it. If that is how it goes, so be it. Since this seems to be my little period of talking about sports, I’d also like to take a page out of the Curt Schilling book and say that nothing feels better than being able to shut up all the naysayers. Last, but not least, as the US election is now only two days away, I would encourage anyone who wishes to see the US return to prestige and preeminence vote for Obama. Perhaps the US will be ok under McCain, but I do not have very much optimism.



  1. Phil Irwin

    Congratulations on your victory. I hope you had a chance to guzzle champagne while the “naysayers” looked for crow recipes. Bravo!

  2. Congrats on everything! Those were some great games to watch. You have many fans who look forward to seeing you play. Keep up the good work!


  3. Congrats on your victory. I knew you could do it. Enjoy your victory get some rest if you can. I will be looking forward to going over every move you play in these up coming tourneys. Can you give us some great tactics ? Quick question : Are you playing in the U.S. World Open in Philly this year ? I sure hope so . Your Chess Bud Knowledge from ICC

  4. TicTacMAte

    Mr. Nakamura, Bravo on your victory. You still have many more to come. It is great fun to watch your continued growth as a player and a person. I hope you do learn to ignore the imbeciles in chess like MIG syncophants that really mean little to you. The back-stabbin bitches like him need to be shut down. Folks be hatin on you Naka, get used to it. They only hate the great ones.

  5. Congratulations on the victory! Hope you don’t wear yourself out by playing in both Cap d’Agde and the Austrian league before the Olympiad.

  6. Hikura – It’s always good to relax once in awhile. 🙂 Hope the Austrian League matches prove to be a good precursor for you! Knock them dead or hold them steady as the case may be… There will be tons of us watching the ‘live’ events taking place in Dresden! “Good Luck” to you and the USA team once again. :^)

  7. Hikaru,
    I was thrilled to see you win Agde. I loved congratulating you for shutting up the naka-haters at And I have already voted for Obama by absentee ballot. I too was born in Japan (way back in 1954) and am half Japanese. I am so proud of you, both as a person and as a chessplayer. I was singing “Mama said Naka you out” after your victory and hopefully I’ll be singing “We dropped Obama on you” tomorrow 😀

  8. Bravo! Great win! My only advise I can offer is try to ignore the naysayers, the only thing they live for is to goad you into saying something they can complain about and try to drag you down. Ten years from now the only thing remembered is your wonderful win over people “they” said you couldn’t beat.

  9. I absolutely agree that your win at the Cap d’Adge 2008 proves again that you belong to the world-class elite.
    Qualifying easily, beating Vachier-Lagrave,Karpov and IVanchuk in one event is a stellar performance. Ivanchuk beat Anand in a 4-games rapid match earlier this year, so there’s no doubt that any rapid-rating would establish your level in the top 3 best players in the world.

    I am hoping you get a INVITATION to the NICE Rapid-Blind tournament again next year ( Melody Amber tournament on the French Riviera organized and sponsored by Van Osteroom. I believe you played there once at least), as it is also a high-level and high-profile tournament.

    Also, I believe that ChessBase was praising your overall victory at Cap D’adge, and certainly Europe-Echecs did as well. I know that your earlier victories in Corsica and in Gibraltar received lots of acclaim everywhere. So I do believe that you do get recognition for your obvious talent and world-class results, not just in rapids.

    Shameless plug now I also quoted one of your combinations on my blog
    See the link below ( last position).
    Every little bit helps, doesn’t it ?

  10. hikaru –

    fantastic win — it was tremendous to watch on ICC — the place went crazy after you won.

    a few questions/comments: where is the karpov interview?

    the PGN for your game with radjabov is messed up — you probably don’t want to revisit it since it was your only loss, but a lot of us like to see all of your games. speaking of which, keep us posted on the results and post the games from the austrian chess league. let us know who’s on your team, etc.

    regarding the ivanchuk match, you clearly outplayed him and deserved to win, but to say that “the better player won the final match” sounds like you’re saying you’re better than ivanchuk. I don’t think that’s what you meant, but it can certainly be taken out of context. by the way — your blitz skills had a lot to do with you winning this tourney, so to all the people who said you’re wasting your time on ICC, you might want to thank them for their advice as you deposit your 20 grand check.

    I’m really looking forward to the olympiad, the US has an exciting team. keep us posted on anything interesting that happens like some live blitz games busting out with carlsen or moro. 🙂 good luck!

  11. has live coverage of the Austrian league games. I saw that Hikaru won his first game against a ~2370 rated IM.

  12. First off congrats to Hikaru on his great success. Now to business.. I was very unhappy to read on that the coming World Blitz Championships in Kazakhstan -, did not include Hikaru Nakamura. I read in his last blog that he already has plans to play in the Austrian League which I understand, but I would like to know was he atleast invited to this event. Check this out, the matches will be game in 5 min WITH NO INCREMENTS. At that time control I personally believe that Hikaru is as good as anyone in the world. The list includes Moro Ivanchuck,Kamsky,gelfand ect.. If I were a betting man, I would put money on hikaru in that tourn. So my question simply is, is Hikaru getting invites to those types of tourns, what has to happen so that he does(if hes not), do the top players fear him at those time controls? (They must notice him by now), and how do Hikaru fans honestly feel he would do against those guys at that time control honestly. I would love to see it, and I look forward to him beating those great players in the years to come. As a fan, it was a REAL pleasure watching Hikaru match off against Karpov, Ivanchuck ect.. The pics alone were just amazing… Keep up the great work Hikaru!!

  13. Hello. In respect to what is going on with Gata Kamsky and the difficulties with his match against Topalov, and many people putting you down, do you think it’s possible you are target of a similar campaign to ruin you as Kamsky feels he is as a US chess player? This immediately came to mind as i read this entry. i think it is at least worth keeping in mind it’s possible. Roustam Kamsky has written more about what went on against Gata in the 90s on their website and compares it with how also Bobby Fischer was treated. They just don’t want Americans to shine.

    Any rate, it’s wonderful to see you do so well and i wish you all the best. Hopefully you will be a part of bigger tournaments in the near future.

  14. So was the Caribbean Gambit Chess Cruise canceled? Or was it a joke?

  15. Congratulations on your victory Hikaru. I knew you could do it! Keep working hard and all of your objectives will be achieved. The sky is the limit, man. Be safe, stay healthy, keep the motivation. Im anxiously awaiting the olympiad now.

    Best wishes
    Jimmie Beatty

  16. Much_Afraid

    Congrats on your victory at Cap D’Agde Hikaru! I was so happy to see you win that. I’m hoping this will open the door to more big event invites for you. In the meantime, ignore the naysayers. Those are just pathetic peoples’ attempts at stopping you as they know they sure as hell can’t stop you over the board, and that is what counts in the end. As your rating increases even further I believe you will eventually take over the world number one spot by force. Keep up the great play and best of luck to you in all of your future endeavors!


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