Nakamura Almost Perfect At Titled Tuesday

Nakamura Almost Perfect At Titled Tuesday

| 20 | Chess Event Coverage

Yesterday, GM Hikaru Nakamura was almost perfect in's Titled Tuesday blitz tournament. The American grandmaster finished on 10.5/11 and a full point ahead of GM Gadir Guseinov, the only player he drew with.

Nobody has won Titled Tuesday more often than Nakamura, who scored his eighth tournament victory. It was only his third unshared victory though: He finished on 8.0/9 both in July 2015 and March 2016.

In most cases the tournament has ended in a tie for first, and often lower prices had to be cut into very small amounts for multiple winners. That's why experimented by adding two rounds for this month's edition.

And it was that very last, 11th round that made the difference. After 10 rounds Nakamura was leading the tournament together with the only player he had "dropped" half a point against: GM Gadir Guseinov of Azerbaijan. But whereas Guseinov lost his last game, Nakamura added yet another win.

Gadir Guseinov came second.

The tournament winner played 1.b3 in five of his six white games. This usually led to fairly normal middlegame positions where he had a slight edge, as in the next game. Look how White profits from the oddly placed rook on a5.

Here's another example, with Nakamura winning the pawn on c7 and then finishing off the game with good technique. Especially 26.Bd7 is kind of cool.

Nakamura was in excellent shape this time, and won by a point.

The only time Nakamura played 1.e4 was against GM Alexander Fier. The Brazilian grandmaster was still in Amsterdam as he had just finished playing the Batavia Tournament. He managed to reach the infamous f+h rook endgame and could have drawn it somewhere, but in practice (and with little time!) it's extremely hard.

As said, Guseinov could have actually tied for first with Nakamura if he had won instead of lost in that final round. The Azeri blitz specialist lost to the eventual number three in the tournament, GM Maksim Chigaev.

32nd seed Maksim Chigaev came third. | Photo courtesy Russian Chess Federation.

In the final standing below you'll notice two former top grandmasters. It's very nice to see the legendary Icelandic GM Johann Hjartarson playing some online blitz, and GM Gata Kamsky should be mentioned here too.

Kamsky could also be seen in the Aeroflot Blitz (after playing the regular open), and he joined Titled Tuesday for the first time, scoring 7.5/11. Here's his win vs GM Simon Williams (who might have been impressed by Kamsky's cool handle!).

The Titled Tuesday tournament delivered about a thousand games, so there's bound to be quite a few funny moments. Let's look at some examples. For starters, a typical breakthrough combination that's nonetheless instructive for many of our readers: tried 11 rounds for the first time, and it might actually be a bit too long, at least for some players. GM Georg Meier allowed a pretty mate in one in the final round:

Something similar happened in the following game, but this time it was White really setting it up, and Black missing the idea:

And now that we've discovered an actual theme here, let's add a last example with a double-knight checkmate:

Final Standings (all players with 7.5 points or more)

# Rk Fed Title Username Name Score SB Prize
1 1 GM Hikaru Hikaru Nakamura 10.5 75.25 $500
2 53 GM GGuseinov Gadir Guseinov 9.5 62.75 $400
3 32 GM Fandorine Maksim Chigaev 9 56 $250
4 5 GM Genghis_K Federico Perez Ponsa 8.5 48.25 $62,5
5 27 GM Anton_Demchenko Anton Demchenko 8.5 47 $62,5
6 36 IM Yaacovn Yaacov Norowitz 8.5 42.25 $62,5
7 111 GM GMMelik Melikset Khachiyan 8.5 40.25 $62,5
8 11 GM igorkovalenko Igor Kovalenko 8 51
9 68 GM chito89 Axel Bachmann 8 47.5
10 37 GM platy3 Alan Pichot 8 44.5
11 203 GM GM_Splinter Dusko Pavasovic 8 43.75
12 30 GM TenisMaster Yuniesky Quesada 8 43.5
13 42 GM Izoria123 Zviad Izoria 8 42.5
14 12 GM Noukii Yannick Gozzoli 8 40.25
15 22 GM Dr-Bassem Bassem Amin 7.5 48.25
16 2 GM GeorgMeier Georg Meier 7.5 45.25
17 14 GM gkchesstiger Gata Kamsky 7.5 44.25
18 113 IM Unico10 Giuseppe Leiva 7.5 43.75
19 153 GM eldur16 Johann Hjartarson 7.5 42.25
20 108 IM Hunninn Bjorn Thorfinnsson 7.5 40
21 24 GM SergeiAza Sergei Azarov 7.5 38.25
22 18 GM ChadaevNikolay Nikolay Chadaev 7.5 37.25
23 45 GM Cayse 7.5 36.25
24 88 FM kleinebeer98 Thomas Beerdsen 7.5 34.25

227 players started in this edition of Titled Tuesday, including no fewer than 67 GMs. Nakamura won the $500 first prize, Guseinov got $400 and Chigaev $250. Four players shared the fourth and fifth prize.

The next Titled Tuesday will take place on April 4 at 1 p.m. Pacific time with a $1,500 prize pool. The live broadcast will be available on and

Note that the entire month of April will see Titled Tuesday tournaments every Tuesday. The dates are April 4, April 11, April 18 and April 25.

The winners will qualify for the 2017 Speed Chess Championship. Find more about this here!

Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

Between 2007 and 2013 Peter was running ChessVibes, a major source for chess news and videos acquired by in October 2013.

As our Director News & Events, Peter writes many of our news reports. In the summer of 2022, The Guardian’s Leonard Barden described him as “widely regarded as the world’s best chess journalist.”

In October, Peter's first book The Chess Revolution will be published!

Company Contact and News Accreditation: 

Phone: 1 (800) 318-2827
Address: PO Box 60400 Palo Alto, CA 94306

More from PeterDoggers
14-Year-Old Lu Miaoyi Wins Chinese Women's Championship; Wang Yue Takes Open

14-Year-Old Lu Miaoyi Wins Chinese Women's Championship; Wang Yue Takes Open

$4 Million Buy-In Tournament Planned For November With Abdusattorov, Caruana, Nepomniachtchi, Niemann

$4 Million Buy-In Tournament Planned For November With Abdusattorov, Caruana, Nepomniachtchi, Niemann