Chess: Hikaru Nakamura follows Fischer’s footsteps to win in Reykjavik

Chess: Hikaru Nakamura follows Fischer’s footsteps to win in Reykjavik

Hikaru Nakamura received the Fischer Random world championship in Reykjavik, in an occasion which marked 50 years since Bobby Fischer defeated Boris Spassky in Iceland in essentially the most well-known match in chess historical past. Fischer Random is a chess variant the place the again rank items are positioned randomly, and is an efficient means of escaping ebook openings.

Nakamura, 34, a five-time US champion who has change into a streamer with greater than one million followers, misplaced just one sport all through, although he wanted an Armageddon on the finish to clinch the ultimate towards Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi, who performed below a impartial Fide flag.

The symbolism of an American beating a Russian once more half a century after 1972 was not misplaced on the brand new champion, who stated: “It’s form of becoming, there’s some irony. The gods no less than appear to have a way of humour, and it appeared to work out the identical means because it did then.”

Within the semi-finals, Nakamura defeated the 18-year-old Uzbek Nodirbek Abdusattorov 3-0, whereas Nepomniachtchi hustled Magnus Carlsen 3-1. The world champion was sad with the time management of 25 minutes for the primary 30 strikes, then 5 minutes for the remainder of the sport with a five-second per transfer increment from transfer 31. He wished 10 seconds, as many FR positions are too complicated to soak up at a look.

Reykjavik had a $150,000 (£130,000) first prize and different awards to match, so attracted the world’s high gamers, however it’s nonetheless questionable whether or not FR can actually take off as a substitute for conventional chess.

Anecdotal proof is that makes an attempt to introduce the variant at nationwide or membership stage have did not generate entries, whereas there may be little steering on the ideas of fine play. Nakamura noticed that it’s best to keep away from creating your knights at e3/d3 as a result of Black can simply maintain them out of the sport by e7-e6 or d7-d6. Not less than that’s a begin. As an alternative of “knight on the rim is dim” we now have “knight at d3, disagree”.

3840 Eltaj Safarli v Nils Grandelius, Dubai 2015. White to maneuver and win.

Final weekend, Fide introduced that Carlsen had formally confirmed, in writing, that he has given up his proper to defend his classical world title, and that China’s Ding Liren had acquired the official invitation to play the match towards Nepomniachtchi in the summertime of 2023.

This week, Carlsen stated that he could be keen to re-enter the championship cycle sooner or later if it included extra video games at quicker cut-off dates.

Surprisingly, Nakamura had by no means beforehand received an official world title of any type, regardless that at numerous occasions he has been ranked No 2 in classical and No 1 in speedy and blitz. His breakthrough in Reykjavik unleashed a exceptional burst of vitality.

Inside a couple of hours of victory, his stream had printed a video together with his sport by sport account of how he received. Subsequent morning, he performed in’s Titled Tuesday and received first prize but once more in that.

By Wednesday, Nakamura was in Toronto for the quarter-finals of‘s $200,000 international knockout the place he beat Jan-Krzysztof Duda 5-2. The Polish No 1 misplaced the primary three, and in some desperation used the Bongcloud 1 e3 e5 2 Ke2 in sport 4, which Nakamura transformed with calm strategic chess.

Again in June, England over-50s and over-65s made a clear sweep of the world senior championships because the groups led by Michael Adams, Nigel Quick and John Nunn held off their US rivals.

A golden repeat is about for this week as Friday’s ninth and last spherical of the European 50+ title race in Dresden begins with England having received seven and drawn one in every of their eight matches with out shedding a single sport. They can not now be caught, no matter occurs in spherical 9, which kicks off at 9am GMT, and the place England 1 meet England 2.

This spectacular efficiency will be assessed in numerous methods, and one in every of them is as a tribute to the distinctive weekend match circuit that developed in Britain within the Seventies and Nineteen Eighties. These occasions took no prisoners. There have been six rounds, together with three on Saturday when play usually began at 9am and completed not far wanting midnight.

Taking part in areas had been usually primary, however entry charges had been very low and prizes had been excessive, the opponents had been usually younger, hungry and bold, whereas the atmosphere spawned sharp and tough opening traces just like the Grand Prix Assault, the 150 Assault, the Barry, and the DERLD.

Those that emerged on the finish with prize-winning scores of 5.5/6 usually went on to change into IMs and GMs, and the survivors at the moment are exceptional for his or her sturdiness and longevity. Mark Hebden and Keith Arkell, the 2 high boards in Dresden, have ridden the weekend circuit and its diminished Twenty first-century rewards all the way in which from the early Seventies, Their large expertise has stored them common prize-winners into their 60s. John Emms, the captain, has taken a barely totally different route as a author and coach, who has been notably profitable in serving to Shreyas Royal, 13, obtain an IM title. Fourth board Glenn Flear has his area of interest in chess historical past because the participant who was invited to the GM match at London 1986 because the lowest-ranked participant, bought married in mid-event, and received first prize forward of Boris Spassky and different greats.

Lu Miaoyi. Do not forget that title. The little-known 12-year-old Chinese language lady is in rivalry to change into among the many high three girls chess gamers of all time, alongside the legendary Judit Polgar and Hou Yifan.

Lu’s mom Xu Yuanyuan was Chinese language girls’s champion in 2003 and a double world lady champion. Lu discovered chess at three, bought her first Fide score at 5, and was 2200, grasp stage, at 10. Throughout the pandemic lockdown, Xu took her daughter to Hungary and Serbia, the place she has performed nicely over 100 classical video games this yr. An interview chronicles their journey.

The climax to this point got here in Tuesday’s last spherical of the Serbian League, when Lu defeated Armenia’s No 3-ranked lady Lilit Mkrtchian in a very good 18-move sacrificial miniature. The consequence raised Lu’s Fide score to 2399, worldwide grasp customary, simply outdoors the highest 50 girls within the Fide rankings, and never far wanting Polgar and Hou at age 12. It’s time for this distinctive expertise to be given higher-level alternatives.

3840 1 Qh6+ Kf7 2 Rf4! exf4 3 Re1! with the profitable menace of 4 Qg7/h7 mate.

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