To Play or Not to Play

By Lubomir Kavalek
Special to The Washington Post
Monday, August 31, 2009; 9:57 AM

During the last few months, Hikaru Nakamura, 21, has traveled back and forth from North America to Europe, adding Japan for good measure. The frequent traveling finally caught up with the young U.S. champion in Amsterdam, where he competed in the Rising Stars vs. Experience tournament, and he became ill and lost several games. Let’s hope he has time to rest before his tough schedule starts at the end of the year. He may want to follow Magnus Carlsen’s example.

A year ago, Carlsen was reaching for the world’s top spot. The 18-year-old Norwegian star is currently rated third behind Veselin Topalov and the world champion Vishy Anand. Since withdrawing from the FIDE Grand Prix last December, he has not been playing as often as he used to. Taking a break from tournaments may not be bad at all. Carlsen can look at his past, fine-tune his openings and play with vigor in the future. He will be fine. Bobby Fischer hid from competitions in the 1960s a few times and every time he came back, he played better.

The Robson Watch

The 14-year-old IM Ray Robson from Florida is closing in on the grandmaster title. He needs only one more GM norm. August was a great month for him. After sharing first place in Tromso, Norway, Robson won the 23rd FIDE Invitational in Chicago last week with a 7-2 score. He made GM norms in both events.

Here is the full article.

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