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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Nakamura Attack

This is a repeat of a post from the old Blog, but I'm posting it again because I just won a game against it in a 5 minute game on Playchess.

The Parham Attack, aka Wayward Queen Attack, Danvers Attack, or Patzer Opening, and now these days, The Nakamura Attack is characterized by the moves 1.e4 c5 2.Qh5?!

Originally the move was named after U.S. master Bernard Parham. Parham also played early development of his queen in other openings like the Sicilian Defense.

Obviously the move violates opening principles because it develops the Queen too early and subjects it to attack. Still the opening can cause Black some problems as shown in some games by the super strong U.S. GM Hikaru Nakamura who plays it frequently in Internet blitz games and actually played it a couple times in tournament play against other GM’s.

Of course when your rating is over 2600, as is Nakamura’s, you can play a lot of things. On the other hand, Dutch GM Hans Ree called 2.Qh5 "a provocative but quite sensible move” and Nakamura himself said he believes it’s a playable move.

At first I thought Nakamura might be pulling our leg, but you know what? When GM’s, especially highly rated ones, sit down to play and there’s money, rating points and prestige on the line, they don’t play silly stuff. Nakamura may be accused of goofing off on the Internet, but OTB is another matter. I've played titled players and even against me they don't take unnecessary chances in the opening by playing inferior stuff. They've played the same openings against me that they would play against their peers. Anyway, one thing is sure: there is no direct refutation.

In this game, with a little better play my opponent could have maintained an equal position. Could Nakumura and Ree be right?

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