After less than a year of co-operation, and barely six weeks since it was officially confirmed, Hikaru Nakamura is parting company with part-time trainer Garry Kasparov.
Freelance mediamaker Macauley Peterson, who was responsible for the video coverage of the London Chess Classic event, broke the news of the split in an article at the USCF website.
Nakmura's comments during his commentary stint at the London Chess Classic were less than complementary about Kasparov, so perhaps it is not that surprising.
Q. Tell us a little more about working with Garry Kasparov. Are you enjoying those sessions?
Nakamura – There's something to be gained. Mainly it’s the opening preparation he did with his team over the past 20-25 years of his chess career, and that’s really the strength of working with someone like Kasparov - his opening preparation. Because a lot of his wins came just out from getting good positions out of openings as a player. So it’s mainly just looking at openings and working from there. There are other things like studies and some endgames, but it’s pretty much the openings.
Q. So he doesn’t look at particular middlegames that much with you?
Nakamura - No, like I said, his strength was in openings. You look at middlegames or endgames and I’m quite convinced there are other players who are better than he was, but he was able to get advantages out of the openings so that was his main strength, and when he wasn’t able to do that, that’s why he lost his title to Kramnik.
Q. Simple as that?
Nakamura - Well, pretty much.
Q. Interesting. But your training sessions are continuing anyway?
Nakamura - Um, we’ll see.
Kasparov during a book signing at the London Chess Classic (photo by Ray Morris-Hill)