Person of day   -  9 DECEMBER 2020

HIKARU NAKAMURA

HIKARU NAKAMURA

Hikaru Nakamura was born on 9th December 1987 in the Japanese city of Hirakata. His Japanese father and American mother moved to the US when he was 2. Soon his parents divorces and Nakamura’s stepfather was the FIDE master Sunil Weeramantry,

In 2001, Hikaru came second in the U14s world championship and then he made his debut in the men’s American championship and won the title of grandmaster in 2003, beating Robert Fischer’s record. Having qualified from North America for the FIDE knockout world championship in Libya in 2004, he knocked out Segrey Volkov, Alexander Lastin, Alexey Aleksandrov and only lost to the future finalist, Michael Adams. Garry Kasparov, speaking about talents, called Hiakru one of the world’s most promising chess players, equal to Carlsen and Karjakin, after which the whole world began to talk about the American.

In the next few years, Hikaru Nakamuda became the next star of Internet-blitz. The American played round the clock through ICC and Playchess.com, managing to defeat his opponents and chat with his numerous supporters, which drew amazement from the latter. In 2005, Hikaru won the American championship for the first time. Nakamura’s rise was influenced by the magnificent return of Gata Kamsky- competing with the legend of the 1990s in the US, the American entered the chess elite.

He is the winner of tournaments in Corsica (2013), Gibraltar (2008) and San-Sebastian (2009) and he became the world champion of Fischer’s chess in 2009. Hikaru Nakamura’s rating surpassed the mark of 2700 and he started to get invited to super-tournaments. In 2011, in Wijk aan Zee, the American won 9 out of 13 points against the world’s strongest grandmasters and took first place. In matches, he defeated Ruslan Ponomariov and David Navara.

One of the world’s strongest chess players began to train with Garry Kasparov, who by that time had stopped working with Magnus Carlsen. Though Kasparov’s meetings with his new student did not go on for long, the American confidently entered the list of top 10 players in the world. However, Hikaru himself was not inclined to overestimate the results of his work with the legendary champion: “I am sure that there are chess players who were better than Karparov in middlegame and endgame. But he could gain an advantage in the debut- that was his main strength. When he could no longer do that, he lost his title to Kramnik.”

He is a regular medallist of the World Mind Sports Games in Beijing. He is the winner of super-tournaments in London (2013) and Zurich (2015). As a member of the American team, he is the two-time bronze medallist of the Olympiad and a vice world champion. He was also the vice world champion in blitz in 2014 and he is a three-time winner of the American championship. In the 2015 World Cup, he reached the quarter-finals, where lost to Pavel Eljanov. He was a participant of the FIDE Grand Prix 2012-2013 and 2014-2015- out of the latter, Hikaru qualified for the candidates’ tournament in 2016.

After one of today’s strongest chess players, Fabiano Caruana, moved to the American federation, there was a match between the ex-Italian and Nakamura for the right of leadership in the Olympiad and Hikaru lost 8:10. It seems that this order was justified, since the American national team won gold medals in the Baku Olympiad in 2016. 

The maximum rating of Kasparov’s student reached 2816. Despite his underwhelming personal score against Magnus Carlsen, many believe that Hikaru Nakamura may challenge the Norwegian for the championship in the future.