Hikaru Nakamura emerged from bad form in recent tournaments to win the Unive Crown Group, a four-player round robin, in the Netherlands. Nakamlura had a 4.5-1.5 score ahead of Sergei Tiviakov and Anish Giri, both of the Netherlands, and women’s world champion Hou Yifan of China, in that order.
Nakamura is noted for his speed games and his frequent blazing combinations. But today’s game shows another side of his ability, a game of maneuver. Nakamura attacked Tiviakov’s French defense in unusual (and questionable) style, moving his queen’s pawn twice in five moves, thus exchanging a tempo for free tactical prospects and frustration of any opening preparation by his opponent.