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On the Board Early
Jeff Pearlman
December 17, 2001
Only 14, Hikaru Nakamura is the best young U.S. player since Bobby Fischer
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December 17, 2001

On The Board Early

Only 14, Hikaru Nakamura is the best young U.S. player since Bobby Fischer

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It is funny, watching the brothers sitting side by side on a sofa in the family's living room. From Asuka, tall and confident, the words flow. He is a sophomore at White Plains High, an A student and trombonist in the school's marching and jazz bands. He speaks of the beauty of chess, for which he has gained a greater appreciation as he has eased away from the game. In contrast Hikaru is slouched and shy. He is homeschooled by Carolyn, which allows him to travel to tournaments. In the past year he has visited Spain (twice), Hungary and Slovenia, as well as Kansas City, Philadelphia, Tulsa and Milwaukee. He, too, cherishes the game, but, he says, "I get tired of the traveling."

Soon enough we will learn whether the next Bobby Fischer is truly the next Bobby Fischer or, more happily, the first Hikaru Nakamura.

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