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Did Hikaru Nakamura ruin his game by playing too much blitz?

  • #1
    It's clear now he will never challenge for the world championship. But perhaps he would have if not for his unhealthy addiction to stupid bullet which spoiled his full potential? We will never know.
  • #2

         I would not count Nakamura out of the race for world championship, nevertheless, I am not a fan of blitz chess because I think it encourages shallow thinking and bad habits; mea culpa, I do play 15 minute chess because my time schedule rarely allows more than a half hour for chess and I can still do some thinking about my move selection.  Love chess, but Life and family usually don't allow large blocks of time for chess.

  • #3

    I dont know that much about Nakamura, blitz, or ruined games, but I think anyone that has a rating over 2700 probably does not have a ruined game. He regularly beats the best players in the world, but at the moment isn't THE best player in the world. Far from ruined in my opinion.

  • #4
    Maybe Hikaru would have won the Grand Prix Tour this year if he hadn't indulged in 1.3 million glorious games of online bullet.

    Wesley So doesn't claim to be bullet champ but he deposited more winnings into his bank account this year.
  • #5

    Blitz chess kills your ideas. - Bobby Fischer


    I play way too much blitz chess. It rots the brain just as surely as alcohol. - Nigel Short


    Playing rapid chess, one can lose the habit of concentrating for several hours in serious chess. That is why, if a player has big aims, he should limit his rapidplay in favour of serious chess. - Vladimir Kramnik



    Based on this quotes above, it seems even at elite level, too much blitz/bullet can harm your classical chess.

  • #6
    So Hikaru taking second place in the GCT while winning three tournaments in 2016 and having tons of interests outside of chess is a bad thing?

  • #7
    urk wrote:
    Maybe Hikaru would have won the Grand Prix Tour this year if he hadn't indulged in 1.3 million glorious games of online bullet.

    Wesley So doesn't claim to be bullet champ but he deposited more winnings into his bank account this year.

    And maybe he would have played worse, who knows. He is ranked among the top 10 in the world and has been for some time. He's 60 some points away from top rated player in the world. And as for money, I doubt he really cares. There is no money in chess anyway, he probably plays the way he does because that's what he likes.

  • #8

    I don't know what it is but I am the world's worst bullet player, but I love it. Had to force myself to stop playing it as much in favor of daily just a few months ago at a friend's suggestion and my ratings all went up over 1600 (except bullethappy.png)...don't know if that would work for everyone, but it worked for me...and, yeah, Nak is a great player, how many of us even have a chance to be number one?

  • #9

    Doesn't it make him more famous? Like drinking that disgusting Red Bull brew. It must have its advantages.

  • #10

    I've thought that for some time now. Too much of one will diminish the other but still Carlsen

    beat him at both. Who knows what dangers may lurk in your madness!


  • #11

    "Wesley So doesn't claim to be bullet champ but he deposited more winnings into his bank account this year."


    In this London Chess Classic, So beat Nakamura (after a stupid knight blunder), Michael Adams and Topalov. Michael only played in the tournament because he is from England, definitely not as strong as he used to be. Topalov is in a major slump these days and in his last interview with Maurice Ashley admitted his concentration is going and will get worse as he ages.


    He has repeated these wins with the same opponents in previous tournaments and succumbed to several losses to Carlsen and Kramnik. The rest he drew. He's basically a version of drawish Giri who has had a few more wins, Giri Lite. Strong, yes? Versatile? We have yet to see. I don't think of So when I think of brilliant novelties or sacrifices. He plays it safe and capitalizes on others' mistakes. If other players do the same against him, it comes out a draw.


    Should we admire drawish play or Nakablunders? Probably, neither. Let's see So in 2017. He'll need to win against other players like Ding Liren.


  • #12

         Mikhail Botvinnik was not a fan of blitz chess.  Mikhail Tal loved to play blitz.  Who was right?  I don't know.

  • #13

    No, it hasn't . if anything, it has improved his attacking skills. :)

  • #14

    Nakamura is still playing world class classical chess. He's pretty much as good as he ever was. There are many reasons why players don't get chances at the world championship, but I doubt blitz is one of them. 

    I can play plenty of blitz/bullet, but I separate my thought process (if I even have one) during those games from my thought process in slow games. 

  • #15

    His style has always been to play well in very complicated positions and come out on top in tactics against his opponents. However, his weakness is certainly playing precisely in simpler (relatively!) positions, and Magnus Carlsen is very good at exploiting this. He even said that Magnus beats him a lot because Magnus can take advantage of his slight inaccuracies. 

  • #16

    I believe Naka needs more personal coaching and training. He was trained and coached by Kasparov for some time. Maybe next time he seeks Yusupov's service. Naka is great but he needs top guidance to become WCC.

  • #17

    Actually, I'd say he just needs some luck..

  • #18

    Naka needs then the blessings of some Babaji or Zen Master. I dont like Shamans. I am not kidding.

  • #19
    Maybe Hikaru just needs more Red Bull...
  • #20
    Some people run sprint. Others run marathon. And there are many classical distances in between. Blitz is chess but not same chess as full tournament chess. Bullet is a 50m run.
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