Caruana and Nakamura in the Italian Team Championship

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage

Last weekend Hikaru Nakamura and Fabiano Caruana played in the Italian Team Championship. The world's #6 and #7 were in fact sitting side by side, playing for the same team "Obiettivo Risarcimento" from Padova. While Nakamura played only three games, Caruana is still active for his team.

Caruana and Nakamura, board 2 and 1 for "Obiettivo Risarcimento"

EventItalian Team Championship  | PGN by TWIC
DatesApril 27th-May 1st, 2012
LocationArvier (Aosta Valley), Italy
System7-round Swiss (14 teams)

Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura, Gawain Jones, Marie Sebag and Alberto David are among the players

The Italian Team Championship is under way in Arvier (Aosta Valley). A total of 14 teams are playing 7 rounds according to the Swiss pairings system. About 20 GMs are playing and many IMs, including almost all of Italy's best players. Matches are played over 4 boards.

"Obiettivo Risarcimento" from Padova is the big favorite, with no less than two top 10 players in their line-up and an average rating of 2639. The next two teams on the starting list, Scavolini-Datagest from Pesaro (the reigning champions, with GMs Emil Sutovsky, Sabino Brunello and Mihail Marin) and Chieti (with GMs Gawain Jones, Marie Sebag and Carlos Garcia Palermo) both have an average rating of 2517.

Here's the list of teams and their main players:

  • Scavolini-Datagest – Pesaro (winner 2011, Sutovsky, S.Brunello, Marin).
  • Obiettivo Risarcimento - Padova (2nd in 2011, Caruana, Nakamura, Kiril Georgiev, Godena)
  • Libertas – Nereto (3rd in 2011, Antoniewsky),
  • Chieti (Gawain Jones, Marie Sebag)
  • Milanese – Milan (Alberto David, Marina Brunello),
  • Trieste, (Lenic, Skoberne)
  • Arrocco - Roma  (Csaba Horvath),
  • Torveca Caffè – Vigevano (Salvador)
  • Banca Nuova - Palermo  (Palac)
  • Pizzato Elettrica - Marostica
  • Accademia - Bologna
  • Centro Studi – Palermo
  • Eporediese - Ivrea
  • Latina

The competition started on Friday, April 27th. The second and third rounds were both played on Saturday and the fourth round on Sunday. On Monday there are two rounds again and on Tuesday morning the last round will be played.

World's number 6 player Hikaru Nakamura only played three games for his team. He joined the "Obiettivo Risarcimento" squad on early Saturday morning (the starting time of 08:45 won't have made the players very happy!) and defeated Alberto David of Luxembourg in a game where the evaluation changed many times.

[Event "TCh-ITA 2012"]
[Site "Arvier ITA"]
[Date "2012.04.28"]
[Round "2"]
[White "David, Alb"]
[Black "Nakamura, Hi"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A90"]
[WhiteElo "2604"]
[BlackElo "2771"]
[PlyCount "102"]
[EventDate "2012.04.27"]

1. d4 e6 2. c4 f5 3. g3 Nf6 4. Bg2 Bb4+ 5. Nc3 O-O 6. Nf3 b6 7. Qb3 Bxc3+ 8.
Qxc3 Bb7 9. b3 d6 10. O-O Qe7 11. Bb2 Nbd7 12. Rad1 Rae8 13. d5 e5 14. Nh4 g6
15. Nf3 Nh5 16. e3 h6 17. Nh4 Kh7 18. f4 e4 19. b4 Ra8 20. Rc1 a5 21. a3 Ndf6
22. Rfd1 axb4 23. axb4 b5 24. Bf1 bxc4 25. Bxc4 Qf7 26. Qd4 Ng7 27. Bb3 Nge8
28. Rc2 Nd7 29. h3 Ndf6 30. Rg2 Bc8 31. Rc2 g5 32. Ng2 Rg8 33. Rdc1 Nh5 34.
fxg5 hxg5 35. g4 fxg4 36. Qxe4+ Bf5 37. Rf2 Ng3 38. Qxf5+ Qxf5 39. Rxf5 Nxf5
40. Bc2 gxh3 41. Bxf5+ Kh6 42. Ne1 g4 43. Rc4 Ra2 44. Nd3 Rg5 45. Rf4 Ng7 46.
Be4 Rxb2 47. Nxb2 Nh5 48. Rf7 Re5 49. Bf5 Rxe3 50. Nd3 Kg5 51. Rf8 Rg3+ 0-1

The match SS Milanese vs Obiettivo Risarcimento Padova with David-Nakamura on board 1

Later that day the American drew with White against Emil Sutovsky in just 10 moves, and on Sunday morning a draw with Black against Gawain Jones lasted 17 moves. Taking into account the following tweet by Nakamura, it looks like he won't play in the remaining rounds:

A few games, a few rating points, and a good warmup for the US Championship! Now off to France and Mont Blanc for some fun!

Local hero Fabiano Caruana, who played on board 2 when Nakamura was also playing, still seems to have a good appetite for chess despite his busy schedule. He warmed up with a draw in the first round, with White against Mladen Palac of Croatia. He then defeated both Sabino Brunello and Carlos Garcia Palermo. Especially that encounter against Brunello was a good example of Caruana's will to win in every game.

[Event "TCh-ITA 2012"]
[Site "Arvier ITA"]
[Date "2012.04.28"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Brunello, S."]
[Black "Caruana, F."]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E60"]
[WhiteElo "2587"]
[BlackElo "2767"]
[PlyCount "152"]
[EventDate "2012.04.27"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. c4 Bg7 4. g3 c5 5. d5 b5 6. cxb5 a6 7. bxa6 d6 8. Nc3
O-O 9. e4 Nxa6 10. Be2 Bh3 11. Ng5 Qc8 12. Nxh3 Qxh3 13. Bf1 Qc8 14. Be2 Qh3
15. Bf1 Qd7 16. h4 Rfb8 17. a3 Qc7 18. Bc4 Nd7 19. f4 Qa5 20. Qc2 Nb6 21. Bxa6
Qxa6 22. h5 Na4 23. hxg6 hxg6 24. Nd1 Qa5+ 25. Kf2 c4 26. Qxc4 Qc5+ 27. Ne3
Nxb2 28. Qxc5 Nd3+ 29. Kf3 Nxc5 30. Ra2 Ra4 31. e5 dxe5 32. fxe5 Bxe5 33. Rh4
Rb3 34. Rxa4 Nxa4 35. Rc2 Nb6 36. Ke4 Bxg3 37. Rb2 f5+ 38. Kf3 Rxb2 39. Bxb2
Bc7 40. Bd4 Kf7 41. Bxb6 Bxb6 42. Nc4 Bc7 43. a4 Ke8 44. a5 Kd7 45. a6 Kc8 46.
Ne3 Be5 47. Nc4 Bd6 48. Ne3 Bc5 49. Nc4 g5 50. Ne5 g4+ 51. Kg2 Kc7 52. Nf7 f4
53. Ne5 f3+ 54. Kf1 Kd6 55. Nxg4 Kxd5 56. Nh6 e5 57. Nf5 e4 58. Ne7+ Kc4 59.
Nc6 Kc3 60. Ke1 Kd3 61. Ne5+ Kc2 62. Nc6 e3 63. a7 Bxa7 64. Ne5 f2+ 65. Ke2 Kc3
66. Ng4 Bb6 67. Nh2 Kd4 68. Nf1 Ke4 69. Ng3+ Kf4 70. Nh5+ Kg4 71. Nf6+ Kh3 72.
Nd5 Kh2 73. Nf4 Bc7 74. Nd5 Kg1 75. Nxe3 Bf4 76. Nf1 Kg2 0-1

At the moment of writing Caruana is only 0.6 rating points behind Nakamura on the live rating list, but the Italian league games probably won't be included in the May 1st FIDE rating list.

Fabiano Caruana and Hikaru Nakamura, playing side by side in Aosta Valley

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