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Hikaru Junction

Hikaru Junction

Chess Blog

Tournament: Part II

Hello all,

And welcome back to Hikaru Junction, the only chess blog on the internet that waves the flags that the robots made. Today we’ll be looking at the second half of the last tournament I played, in which I scored 0/3 due to some atrocious mistakes. Cheers to schadenfreude! After scoring 1/3, with a win and two draws, in the first half of the tournament, I was a little demoralized, but still took a positive attitude into the first game. I was wrong to do so, as it turned out.

Charles Hua–HikaruShindo Empire City Open 2017
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 {I played the opening as usual, developing my pieces in fairly standard fashion.} 5. d3 Be7 6. O-O b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 {The move weakens the d3 pawn– I generally prefer to only play c3-d4 as it’s more efficient if at...

Tournament: Part I

Hello all–

Welcome to Hikaru Junction, the only chess blog on the internet with absolutely unimaginative titles. Today I thought I’d catch you all up on the last tournament I played in over the board, as a way of easing back into this blogging business. In any case, I last played at the Empire City Open in NYC, where I scored a rather pitiful 1/6. Hopefully my mistakes will prove instructive. Let’s get into it, then!

Mario Guevara-Rodriguez–HikaruShindo Empire City Open 2017
1. c4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 e6 4. e3 b6 {Since White hasn’t fianchettoed his bishop, Black can control the light squares.} 5. Be2 Be7 {b4 is a better location, since it discourages d4.} 6. O-O O-O 7. d4 d6 8. Qc2 {White prepares to push the e-pawn.} Bb7 {Black finally fianchettoes, preventing the advance.} 9....

Short Draws in the World Cup

Hello everyone, and welcome to Hikaru Junction, the only chess blog on the internet that wakes up every evening with a big smile on its face. I recently responded to a question in the discussion thread for the last blog: 174075, which made me consider the way I evaluate short draws, especially in a knockout format. This blog, we’ll be looking at several of the very short draws from the World Cup.

As I mentioned in that thread, my criteria for determining whether a short draw is merely annoying, or detrimental to the tournament, include the reasoning for the draw. To identify some of the "best" and "worst" short draws in the World Cup, I’ve taken each draw under 20 moves and applied the following method:

If the higher-rated player is Black, and thus both players (rather than, in th...

Three World Cup Brackets

Hello everyone, and welcome to Hikaru Junction, the only chess blog on the internet whose castles stand upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand.

Today, I’ll be previewing each matchup in the second round of the world cup for the first three sections of the bracket, some more in-depth, some less so. I’ll cover several more tomorrow, and try to finish the day afterwards. Let’s get started, as I’m writing this between the tiebreaks finishing and the next game starting one day later. A final note: I’ll be listing players in the following format: Player(seed, pre-tournament rating.)

Section One

Magnus Carlsen (1, 2822) vs Aleksey Dreev (64, 2648)
This appears to be an easy win for the World Champion given the large rating disparity between the two players. Dreev has previously com...

Blitz vs Standard Chess with Radars

Hello, and welcome to Hikaru Junction, the only chess blog on the internet whose author supports a team in the twelfth tier of English football. Today we’ll be examining the differences between blitz and regular chess using my new favorite analysis tool, the radar graph.

To accomplish that aim, I’ve done radars for three players from one tournament: the 2009 Tal Memorial, a round-robin also with nine rounds, similar to the Norway Blitz tournament. (Vladimir Kramnik (6/9,) Magnus Carlsen (5.5/9,) and Viswanathan Anand (5/9.))

Let’s now take a representative player from the Norway Chess blitz tournament. For a decent representative we want someone who had a good tournament, as we would expect the results to be generally better in longer chess than in blitz chess. However, we don’t w...

Preliminary Chess Radars

Hello everyone,

welcome to Hikaru Junction, the only chess blog on the internet with an opinion on white chocolate. (1. disgusting, 2. not chocolate)

I've made a new chess visualization comparing players to each other in the same tournament. (Here, specifically, the Norway Chess blitz tournament this year.)

The categories measured:
Point % (from possible points...

New Chess Visualization

Hello everyone–
This is a story all about how my blog got flipped–turned upside down: I have a post, with something I hope will be interesting (I’ve been working on it for a while.) Despite that, though, this will be a quick read as I have been quite busy. (I don’t know how greenpawn does it.)

I have been working to develop a visualization on how different chess players approach the game. To this end, here is an example demonstrating the different play styles of Karjakin and Carlsen.

Title here

(I'm sorry. I've tried, and I can't make it bigger. I know, I know....

Halfway in the Chess Olympiad

The danger of writing blog posts about current news (and especially chess news) is that they tend to become outdated quickly. However, there’s one thing that I don’t think will change anytime soon, and that is the sadness and frustration of Aaron the a-pawn. Here he is.

Aaron the a-pawn.

Why is Aaron sad? The answer is that tickets are still not on sale for the World Chess Championship. This makes him worried, because the poor organization to this point might make a championship difficult.

However, his compatriot Beaufort is more excited. ...

A Response to Radio Jan and My Thoughts on World Chess

Radio Jan’s commentary at the wrap-up of the Sinquefield Cup last week was very entertaining, and, as several have pointed out, true in sentiment. It is undeniable that many top players don’t necessarily begin their games against other Super-GMs aiming to win them, or go into tournaments with the intention of providing entertaining spectacle for the fans. The commentary, by the way, is below.


However, several of Radio Jan’s claims are false, from his assertion about Nakamura (“Now look at him: he’s playing the Catalan…” ) to his claim that Anish Giri “ have to play a lot of draws to get those forty rating points back and I don’t see it happening.”

So let’s start out by taking a look at the percentage of Catalans Nakamura has played in the last eight years. ...

Measuring Improvement

Today I’d like to talk about improvement, and how it is possible. For all of us. Not only is it possible, but, especially in chess, there are measurable results. Not only in terms of rating, as is clear, but in terms of tangible performance in games against the same opponents. I’d like to examine four games to discuss how I improved from one to another, and what yardsticks we may use to determine whether we feel success has been achieved. To that end, here is the first– it started with a Two Knights, but I’ve skipped a little ways in, as the opening wasn’t anything special. I played this opponent when he was six, one of the best in the U. S. for his age, I believe.

HikaruShindo–L. F-Y. Anderson CK 2014

20. Kg1 {Forced– it’s double check, and Kh1 would be immediately mated with...
Last Post 04 Mar '18
Posts 47
Blog since 27 Mar '15