Friday, 22 January 2010

Nothing like good ol' American hype

The clash between Carlsen and Nakamura at the current Corus tournament was probably interesting due to the apposite styles of the two players. In their round 5 game Nakamura (the aggressive American) went for a solid variation of the Ruy, while Carlsen (the technical European) sac'ed a piece for 3 pawns in the middle game. Eventually the game was drawn when the players reached bishop v knight ending where all the pawns had come off the board.
The American media put another spin on the clash however. To the LA Times, this was a clash to mirror Ali v Frazier. (To be fair it actually reads "the Ali-Frazier of chess?" where the 'Fox News' question mark is thrown in to avoid taking responsibility for the actual statement). This post by blogger Peter Nichols focusses on the rivalry between Carlsen and Nakamura, as well as the differences between European and US chess.
But ultimately it was Carlsen himself who put the 'rivalry' into perspective, observing that with Nakamura ranked 28th in the world, his real rivals were higher up the rating list. Nonetheless he was diplomatic enough to suggest this may change in the future.


Anonymous said...

Yanks rule ! LOL

TrueFiendish said...

Although Nakamura's rating suggests he's 28 in the world, the strength of his play at the moment would put him the top 10.

Robinson said...

On the live ratings list Nakamura is currently No. 19 (Jan. 26, 2010) and he is one of the fastest upward-moving players on the list. At this level on the next ratings list, combined with his reputation as a fighting player, he will receive more invites to the elite round-robin tournaments. If he continues to perform at his current level, he will soon be in the Top 10. I think that will qualify him as one of Carlsen's main rivals. It nearly seems as though this is inevitable, if not in the next year or two, certainly in the next five.