Nakamura: Second, and Going Solo

Dec 15, 2011, 3:24 PM |

  NakaCarlsen.jpgA year ago, at the close of the 2010 London Chess Classic, Hikaru Nakamura and Garry Kasparov shared a cab home from the awards dinner at Simpson's in the Strand, discussing opening theory and, more importantly, the start of a new training regimen, with the former World Champion reprising to the role of coach.

The following month, Nakamura's biggest triumph: Clear first place at the Tata Steel tournament in Wjk aan Zee. With just one training session under his belt, most of the credit goes to the player, although when the news of his work with Kasparov finally became public, Nakamura described the advantages, both in terms of preparation and psychology, that he took from that one session.

On Monday, with a flashy win over Michael Adams, Hikaru achieved his second best performance, clear second place in the London Chess Classic, behind Vladimir Kramnik. But this success bookends his short-lived collaboration with Kasparov. Shortly before the tournament, Nakamura decided to strike out on his own...