Hikaru Nakamura: Flawless Victory of Double Standards

Время публикации: 11.04.2012 20:23 | Последнее обновление: 11.04.2012 20:23

FIDE.com has surprised me a little: Hikaru Nakamura won an open tournament, and I have completely overlooked his event! The #1 US chess player scored a flawless 6/6 in the Canadian Grand Pacific Open. Time for congratulations?

Photo fide.com

A look at the final table informed me that the #6 chess grandmaster in the world has dispatched amateurs rated in the 1900+-2300+ range on his way to the top. Moreover, not a single player rated  2400 or above took part in the tournament. It is somewhat strange that the pros decided not to compete against Naka for some reason. Anyway, whatever. Maybe the noble top GM just wanted to arrange an exclusive holiday for amateurs?

As a result of his impressive performance, Nakamura gained a few rating points. Those are as precious as gold at the top level. So what? Yes, there is an exploit in the rating system - the «400 points rule». It allows people to beat significantly lower-rated players and earn rating points as if they were rated just 400 points lower. In other words, a win against 1900 is worth the same for Nakamura as a win against a 2350, although the former is much easier to achieve. Nonetheless, such victories often prove to be Pyrrhic: by facing amateurs a top GM loses concentration and then squanders away the freshly gained points playing against his colleagues at super tournaments.

The reason why I have written this post is different. When the #1 junior chess player in the world Fabiano Caruana overtook Hikaru Nakamura on the live-rating list, Hikaru instantly made a bitter remark about his performance in Reyjkavik Open:

A quick reminder: the line-up of that tournament included such world-class players as Navara, Cheparinov, Krivoruchko, Sokolov, Hou Yifan, Gawein Jones, Hess and many other strong GMs. During the event Fabiono was challenged by five 2600+ players and scored 2 wins, 3 draws agains them. To give you a chance to compare his result with Nakamura's performance, I will provide a link. Feel the difference.

Right after his tweet Hikaru was asked by Natalia Pogonina to clarify his opinion:

Obviously, Nakamura replied with his actions instead of words by crushing not just "weaker players", but relatively defenceless amateurs. Maybe he thinks that's the right approach to supporting the image of one of the world's top grandmasters.

P.S. Mission accomplished: as of today Hikaru Nakamura has regained the #6 spot in the live-ratings and is clearly enjoying himself.

Screenshot from 2700chess.com


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