Previewing The Sinquefield Cup (4): Can Nakamura Beat Carlsen?

In a previous article Previewing The Sinquefield Cup (3): Can Caruana Beat Carlsen?, I discussed the likelyhood of Caruana beating Carlsen during the upcoming Sinquefield Cup. In this follow-up I want to take a look at the number four on the starting list, Hikaru Nakamura.


In the database I found 25 encounters in classical chess between Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura. In the overall head to head Nakamura is clearly the underdog, sofar he scores only 30%. What’s more, he has yet to beat Carlsen in a classical game, whereas Carlsen has beaten Nakamura no less then ten times!

Last Encounter

The last encounter in a classical game between the two was during the Gashimov Memorial earlier this year. I will annotate the game below.

Click on the moves below to start playing and show a chess board:

Considering their head to head count and and the fact that Carlsen seems a bit of an Angstgegner for Nakamura, I don’t think it is likely that the American is going to be a serious threat yet to Carlsen during the Sinquefield Cup. On the other hand, there is a first time for everything, isn’t there?

To be continued…



  1. Marco Pernechele October 6, 2014

    Nakamura seems not to have fully recovered from his old illness : weakness in the endgame – although this ending was really difficult and played partially in zeitnot , in the end he lacked the sufficient lucidity. But Carlsen is truly a(n) hammer and , as always , if you give him your finger he takes the whole arm in a few moves . An angstgegner Fischer-like for everybody , I think ! Nakamura however is still very young and could definitely improve his play . But : 1 ) he must cease to play too many blitzes ,
    bullet games and the like and 2 ) he has to find a better trainer , like Caruana managed to do . In my opinion ,he still needs two – three more years to show his true strength.

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