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Nakamura Continues To Reign Over Arena Kings In Season 9 Week 10

Nakamura Continues To Reign Over Arena Kings In Season 9 Week 10

NathanielGreen
| 9 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Hikaru Nakamura won his third consecutive Arena Kings on April 13 and has now claimed victory in all six weeks he's played in Season 9. For the second straight week, GM Oleksandr Bortnyk was Nakamura's opponent in the final while the semifinalists were GM Jose Martinez and IM Le Tuan Minh.

This week's Arena Kings was streamed by 66 players out of the 1,181 total contestants in the overall field. Only streamers are eligible for the knockout portion of the tournament.

How To Watch?
You can watch Arena Kings on Chess.com/TV most weeks. You can also enjoy the show on our Twitch channel and catch all our live broadcasts on YouTube.com/ChesscomLive.

After last week's Chess960, players were back to standard games and openings in Week 10 for the two-hour arena and the 16-player knockout at time controls of 3+0.


Arena

Nakamura, GM Robert Hess, IM Le Tuan Minh, GM Alexandra Kosteniuk., James Chirilov (@ChessBrainiac13), and FM Anna-Maja Kazarian were highlighted by showrunner FM James Canty III throughout the first two hours of the event. As per usual, Nakamura dominated the arena portion, scoring 90 points after ending on a 22-game winning streak. Bortnyk finished third with 70 points.

Kosteniuk had a very relatable moment during one of her games on the Chess.com stream, moving her king back to e1 and then trying to castle. 

Kazarian had probably the best moment of the arena portion, however, with her reaction to an atypical circumstance in a typical endgame situation: both players racing to promote in a pawn ending with just seconds on each player's clock.

Knockout

The round of 16 almost brought a monumental upset after @Strider23cpk defeated Martinez in their second game, but Martinez took care of business in their third contest. It was the only match of the round to be decided 2-1, and Strider entered Twitch chat the next round and called it the best win of his life.

Martinez was involved in the most interesting quarterfinal match as well, with every other match being decided by two points. Once again sent to the brink, he won his second and third games against GM Sergei Zhigalko. Their second game featured some offbeat opening play.

That set up semifinals which—for the second consecutive week—included all four of what by now can potentially be considered the "Mount Rushmore" of Arena Kings players: Nakamura, Bortnyk, Le, and Martinez. However, both matches were decided 2-0. Martinez's slightly inconsistent form in the previous two rounds did not hold up against Nakamura, and Bortnyk followed with a sweep of Le which took a combined 162 moves.

Nakamura entered the final on what, even for him, is a pretty ridiculous streak of 28 consecutive victories. He pushed that number to an even 30 before Bortnyk finally held him to a mere draw. However, the match concluded one game later as Hikaru wrapped it up by a 3.5-0.5 margin.

Arena Kings Season 9 | Week 10 Final | All Games

Standings, Results, Prizes

Just like last week, Nakamura earned $500 for first place and Bortnyk won $350 for second, while the $200 semifinalist prize went to Martinez and Le. The four quarterfinalists won the usual $100 each with ninth place through 16th getting $50 (pending confirmation of fair play). The full standings of the knockout field are below:

 Arena Kings Season 9 | Week 9 | Final Knockout Standings

Rk Country Username2 Rating
1 Hikaru 3204
2 Oleksandr_Bortnyk 2970
3-4 wonderfultime 2964
3-4 Jospem 2942
5-8 Zhigalko_Sergei 2929
5-8 vugarrasulov 2853
5-8 jcibarra 2820
5-8 moro182 2797
9-16 OhanyanEminChess 2751
9-16 SlipperySpeedster 2307
9-16 emiliochess 2168
9-16 SundramNaam2SunaHoga 2161
9-16 Strider23cpk 2138
9-16 MikhailTal-ReBorn 1998
9-16 kbkhan91 1492
9-16 LoLsuppAddict 1226

Full arena standings here.

All prizes are published in the results report here. 

Arena Kings is a tournament held every Wednesday for streamers on Chess.com. A two-hour Arena is followed by a knockout of the top 16 streamers from the arena. Both sections use a 3+0 time control and games begin at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time/18:00 Central European each week.

NathanielGreen
Nathaniel Green

Nathaniel Green is a staff writer for Chess.com who writes articles, player biographies, Titled Tuesday reports, video scripts, and more. He has been playing chess for about 30 years and resides near Washington, DC, USA.

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