Nakamura Closes In On 10th Bullet Brawl Title
Nakamura sits atop the Bullet Brawl all-time leaderboard with nine wins. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Nakamura Closes In On 10th Bullet Brawl Title

| 27 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Hikaru Nakamura claimed his ninth title and the $400 prize for first place in September's first Bullet Brawl after a tense battle with GMs Daniel Naroditsky and Andrew Tang, who finished second and third respectively. GMs Oleksandr Bortnyk and Hans Niemann rounded out the top five in one of the most tight-knit editions in the event's history.

FM Anastasia Avramidou clutched the top female spot after finishing ahead of the multi-time winners WGM Meri Arabidze and IM Karina Ambartsumova, while "advancedrook" won the community event for the second week straight with a score of 225.

The next edition of Bullet Brawl will take place next week on Saturday, September 9, 2023, at 1 p.m. ET/19:00 CEST.

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

Nakamura added yet another online trophy to his ever-growing cabinet on Saturday after scoring 237 points with 64 wins, one draw, and six losses. With Naroditsky hot on his heels as the event drew to a close, the world number-three held his nerve and chalked up 11 wins in a row to quash any attempt at a late challenge.

A smooth run home for the bullet chess titan. Image:

The most impressive part of Nakamura's run was his 40-game unbeaten streak in the middle of the event which featured wins over GMs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Jorden van Foreest, Naroditsky, Bortnyk, and many others. The game against van Foreest would have made IM Levy Rozman proud as a well-timed rook sacrifice allowed Nakamura to finish the game in style.

A rook sacrifice continued to feature prominently in Nakamura's run. Against IM Jake Kleiman, one such tactic resulted in a beautiful checkmate. See if you can find his finish below.

Streaming from a remote location and with diminished internet speed, Naroditsky did well to score 62 wins, 11 draws, and just three losses en route to a 218 score (19 points shy of Nakamura). While blitzing out an Alapin Sicilian, the U.S.-based content creator remarked: "I'm very lucky to have a good connection normally."

Avramidou was a new winner of the female prize on Saturday and her 82 points stopped Arabidze from tightening her grip on the two-hour arena. Arabidze still performing powerfully, the highlight being a win over Polish GM Marcin Krzyżanowski in the final game of the event.

The up-and-coming 15-year-old Turkish IM Ediz Gurel also managed a 12th-place finish and even scored two wins against the eventual winner Nakamura. Gurel shot to fame after a remarkable win with the white pieces over Serbia's GM Velimir Ivic at the 2023 FIDE World Cup and shows that he is right up to speed with the world's best at bullet chess.

Gurel is shaping up to be a star of the future. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

With over 450 players participating in September's first Bullet Brawl, the event is quickly becoming a popular recurring event in the calendar. For those looking to hone their bullet chess skills, ensure to join each Saturday at 1 p.m. ET.


Rank Fed Title Name Username Rating Score
1 GM Hikaru Nakamura Hikaru 3297 237
2 GM Daniel Naroditsky DanielNaroditsky 3251 218
3 GM Andrew Tang penguingm1 3119 200
4 GM Oleksandr Bortnyk Oleksandr_Bortnyk 3137 199
5 GM Hans Niemann HansOnTwitch 3076 183
6 NM Tuan Minh Le wonderfultime 3076 173
7 GM David Paravyan dropstoneDP 3098 161
8 GM Jose Martinez Jospem 3122 150
9 GM Sergei Zhigalko Zhigalko_Sergei 3074 146
10 GM Denes Boros BlueWizzard 3032 142
11 FM Toivo Keinanen ToivoK3 2969 141
12 IM Ediz Gurel gurelediz 3032 139
13 GM Matthias Bluebaum Msb2 2992 134
14 GM Aman Hambleton KNVB 2926 129
15 CM Nika Volkov NikaVolkov 2948 125
16 IM Yaqiz Kaan Erdogmus legendisback1 2871 113
17 GM Rasmus Svane rasmussvane 2958 113
18 FM Goutham Krishna splendidkid 2837 104
19 FM Dias Issabayev Diaschess88 2714 103
20 IM Ruben Nunez Rutricks 2765 102

Bullet Brawl is an exciting new titled arena that features's top bullet specialists and now takes place weekly on Saturdays. The format is a two-hour arena with a 1+0 time control; the prize fund is $2,500.

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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