Nakamura 'Bebops' To 19th Bullet Brawl Title
Nakamura posted a score of 249 with no chasers in sight. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Nakamura 'Bebops' To 19th Bullet Brawl Title

| 40 | Chess Event Coverage

The king of Bullet Brawl, GM Hikaru Nakamura, has claimed his 19th title and $400 after a dominant performance during the latest edition, finishing 59 points ahead of the second- and third-placed players, GMs Oleksandr Bortnyk and Arjun Erigaisi, respectively.

Having scored a record-breaking 82.5/84 just seven days ago, Nakamura posted a 70/79 score in the two-hour arena, all the while "bebopping" to "Macarena" live on Kick.

FM Anastasia Avramidou was rewarded for her consistency and picked up the $100 top female prize, ousting her usual IM rivals, Polina Shuvalova and Karina Ambartsumova, while Cesar Frank Talledos Lagos was a convincing winner of the community event.

The next edition of Bullet Brawl will take place on Saturday, February 24, 2024, at noon ET/18:00 CEST.


Rank Fed Title Name Username Rating Score
1 GM Hikaru Nakamura Hikaru 3282 249
2 GM Oleksandr Bortnyk Oleksandr_Bortnyk 3184 190
3 GM Arjun Erigaisi GHANDEEVAM2003 3160 190
4 GM Nikolas Theodorou NikoTheodorou 3077 178
5 GM Emin Ohanyan OhanyanEminChess 3056 177
6 GM Tuan Minh Le wonderfultime 3069 168
7 GM Andrew Hong SpeedofLight0 3004 162
8 IM Eray Kilic DonkyDonkyDonkey 3028 155
9 CM Artem Bardyk BardArtem 2949 151
10 GM Jose Martinez Jospem 3026 145
11 GM Nihal Sarin nihalsarin 3129 141
12 GM Frederik Svane frederiksvane 2978 129
13 FM Mauricio Ramirez CMmauricio 2892 128
14 GM Jose Ibarra jcibarra 2964 117
15 GM Sergey Drygalov sergoy 2900 111
16 GM Raunak Sadhwani RaunakSadhwani2005 3000 111
17 GM Alan Pichot platy3 2949 110
18 FM Manu David ManuDavid2910 2864 109
19 GM Denes Boros BlueWizzard 2862 108
20 IM Marcos Lianes ulises2013 2870 105

(Full final standings here)

With the 2024 Candidates Tournament little more than a month away, Nakamura's training regime appears to be an unorthodox mix of online bullet, blitz, and reacting to internet memes, a far cry from the traditional methods of training camps and months of work with seconds. His form in these quicker time controls has been intimidating.

From speed runs to Puzzle Rush, Nakamura is prioritizing online chess. Image: GMHikaru/Kick.

Speed chess fans around the world wait with bated breath to see if the classic coach adage that faster time controls are detrimental to your classical improvement can be disproven by a breakthrough performance for Nakamura, a player who dubs himself as a full-time content creator despite being the world number-three.

Nakamura is one of the pre-tournament favorites to win the 2024 Candidates Tournament in Toronto.

The American commenced Saturday's Bullet Brawl with a 32-game winning streak which included victories over GMs Nikolas Theodorou, Tuan Minh Le, Daniel Gormally, and the field's only other super GM Erigaisi. Down the exchange against Erigaisi, Nakamura clawed his way back into the game.

Erigaisi's tournament was full of barnstorming miniatures, and the most puzzle-worthy of his finishes came against Germany's IM Ruben Kollner and Bortnyk.

A loss to GM Andrew Hong eventually snapped Nakamura's streak, but the gap between Nakamura and his chasers had already become insurmountable, allowing the five-time U.S. champion to relax and interact with his viewers while cruising towards his final score of 249.

Hong is often a thorn in the side of Nakamura. Photo: Austin Fuller/Saint Louis Chess Club.

While Nakamura's level dipped slightly after this, he still managed to dispatch several GMs with creative, attacking play. His deconstruction of Le's Scandinavian Defense was a particularly brutal affair.

Now eyeing his 20th Bullet Brawl title, Nakamura is a fair way from his 64 Titled Tuesday victories (since 2020) but is catching up quickly.

How to review games?
The games from this week's Bullet Brawl can be found here.

Bullet Brawl is an exciting new titled arena that features's top bullet specialists and takes place weekly on Saturdays. The format is a two-hour arena with a 1+0 time control; the prize fund is $1,000.

Much like Titled Tuesday and Arena Kings, Bullet Brawl often features top GMs, including Hikaru Nakamura, Daniel Naroditsky, Andrew Tang, Tuan Minh Le, and many more!

Previous coverage:

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