Naka Loses to Carlsen, Shares Lead with Anand

After a disappointing loss to Magnus today, Nakamura still shares first play with Anand, who he will face next. There is no question that the second half of Tata will be more difficult for Nakamura than the first half was, but it isn’t so easy to discount his stellar performance. The game between Nakamura and Carlsen today was a Sicilian Najdorf, where Nakamura went wrong with 25…Qa5, when white has a crushing attack which was fantastically executed by Carlsen. While I was watching the game I had an engine running that suggested 26. Nxe6 as winning, however, Carlsen’s move Rdf1 is actually even stronger.

I have to admit, despite the fact that he is arrogant and there are many reasons to dislike him personally, I am cheering for Nakamura in this tournament. He is after all America’s best shot at having an elite player with a future who may hang around in the top ten for a while. Not to discount Kamsky, who I greatly admire and will be cheering for in his appearance at Candidates, but Nakamura lately has been outperforming him considerably.