It's blitz: Kasparov against Caruana, So and Nakamura

by Sagar Shah
4/26/2016 – On 28th and 29th of April we will witness 18 rounds of blitz chess: the top three finishers of the US Championship 2016 will fight Garry Kasparov. The last time we saw Garry playing blitz in public was exactly a year ago when he thrashed Nigel Short 8.5-1.5. He will now face the best in the business: Caruana, So and Nakamura. Here are the details and some pre-match trash talk!

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It's going to be a great spectacle when Garry Kasparov will take on the top three finishers of the US Championship 2016: Fabiano Caruana, Wesley So and Hikaru Nakamura.

This is the first time Garry will play publicly after
he crushed Nigel Short 8.5-1.5 in blitz a year ago

The tournament has the the following format:

  • It will be a four player sextuple Round Robin. Each player will play against the other six times.
  • The time control is 5 mins + 3 seconds delay (not increment)
  • The prize fund is $ 50,000
  • The first game begins at 1 p.m. local time in Saint Louis. This would be 7 p.m. CET or 6 p.m. GMT.
  • The games can be watched live on the official website.

It's great that the best three players finished at the top of the
US Championship - it makes the blitz tournament even more interesting.

The first thing that Garry told Yasser after entering the studio
was, "Look, Yasser I have lost some weight!"

Kasparov enters the studio around 2 hours and 30 minutes

"I hope Garry will not be in the best of forms (laughs).
But I think he will be practising on"

Yes, Garry is often seeing playing Blitz on our online chess platform Be careful if you are playing there, you might just bump into Garry who might be beating everyone with an anonymous handle!

Hikaru began with the friendly trash talk right after the US Championships ended.

Hikaru: It will be interesting to see how Garry does against us!

Maurice Ashley: How Garry does against you guys as opposed to how you guys do against Garry?

Hikaru: Of course!

Maurice: The trash talking starts early!

Nakamura: I mean if you look at Basketball you see that people always say Stephen Curry is better than Michael Jordan. With every passing generation, the players are better than the previous one. That's why I think it will be more interesting from Garry's point of view than our.

Maurice: Because you are supposed to be the better?

Hikaru: Well, we are supposed to be. But many consider him to be the best player ever! So it will be interesting.

Garry was in the studio when Nakamura said this

Garry: "For a moment I thought he was doing it on purpose [not finishing in the top three] (laughs!) I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw him trailing. For me it was almost a given that I would be facing Nakamura, Caruana and So. It would be interesting to see how I fare against one of the best blitz players in the world [Nakamura]. I don't know if they are better, but they are surely much younger!"

It will be 18 rounds of blitz chess to remember! What do you think will happen? Will Garry thrash these youngsters like he beat Nigel Short a year ago, or will he find himself out of shape and struggle against the deadly trio? We look forward to your views in the comments section below.



The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 13 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

Sagar Shah is an International Master from India with two GM norms. He is also a chartered accountant and would like to become the first CA+GM of India. He loves to cover chess tournaments, as that helps him understand and improve at the game he loves so much. He is the co-founder of the ChessBase India website.
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Rational Rational 4/29/2016 07:05
Seeing Kasparov playing blitz for me was like when Proust tasted the Madeleine it spontaneously brought a host of memories back
luisnux luisnux 4/29/2016 01:10
I love Kasparov's aggressive style. I think that he'll beat all of them new kids on the block. He's awesome!!!!!
paulegaevsky paulegaevsky 4/29/2016 12:46
Nice game by Wesley So! Though inexperience in blitz tournament in this level but as i have said previously at the age of 16 Wesley is the former Asian Blitz King ahead of Le Quang Liem, Ding Liren and Yu Yangyi ...tomorrow he will do much better.
syuanjiang syuanjiang 4/28/2016 11:38
Not bad for the old champ in the first day - beat everyone else exactly once and score 4.5 out of 9 (half points behind the leaders)
Omoplata Omoplata 4/28/2016 11:01
Caruana beat Nakamura in their blitz match in St Louis 2015 (+3 -2 =3):
woodpushkin woodpushkin 4/28/2016 03:17
Beyond awesome! Go Garry Go. Don't gno who will win but I predict GM Kasparov will obliterate each player at least once. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. Study! Yes chess love
paulegaevsky paulegaevsky 4/27/2016 06:55
Wesley So at the age of 16 is the former Asian Blitz king ahead of Yu Yangyi, Ding Liren and Le Quang liem will do better here in this blitz tournament.
Mendheim Mendheim 4/27/2016 05:16
@ jhoravi
Why should anyone get a credit for moving instantly instead of moving after the delay? Was there any such credit in former times when playing with analogous clocks?
Even though, one might argue, there is some kind of credit, as moving instantly means to increase the time pressure on the opponent.
jhoravi jhoravi 4/27/2016 02:00
The problem with the 3second Delay is that there's no credit in moving instantly instead of moving 3 seconds longer.
scoobeedo scoobeedo 4/27/2016 01:55
This is in my opinion the most interesting blitz tournament of the last ten years.

The field is very interesting:

One of the best blitz players, Nakamura, is playing in his best discipline, blitz!

Caruana, who beat last year Nakamura comfortably in a blitz session is very likely underrated in blitz. After winning the USA championships, he will play free of pressure. From here my congratulations to you!

So is clear much better as his blitz rating says. We remember, he was leading the ICC blitz rating list, and jumped then on a chess engine.

And then the question mark. They highlight of this blitz tournament:
Garry Kasparov, the blitz monster. It is possible that he is the best blitz player of all time (Fischer?). Anyway, chess developed, but Kasparov showed with demolishing Nigel Short in blitz that he is still a force in blitz.

- - -

I have to say to the organizers and sponsors of this blitz tournament a VERY BIG THANK YOU!!!

You deserve to be mentioned:
ICC chessclub, R.G. ROSS, explore st. louis, chess24, Chi-Chi LLC.

You are sponsoring here something, that could be something for the history books. Well done!
Mendheim Mendheim 4/27/2016 11:54
3 sec. delay is an interesting mode and better than increment. The reason is, you cannot accumulate time on your clock by playing just any (stupid) moves. That is what happens, when players reach a winning position, but are short of time. If the opponent has no counter play you can just shuffle your pieces around and gain time on the clock. Now, with the delay mode, you are always on 3 seconds after your clock is down to zero. No chance to increase your time. Usually this mode is called BRONSTEIN mode after his inventor. So why not call it here correctly by his name. We used to say "Fischer clock", that's okay, but we should also remember the great player who first proposed the delay mode and call it "Bronstein clock".
Sourav4chess Sourav4chess 4/27/2016 09:59
Garry will win. Beat them all.
Sourav4chess Sourav4chess 4/27/2016 09:56
Two genaration battle. Garry will win.
thlai80 thlai80 4/27/2016 08:31
@The Boomerang, Raffael was also speculated to be the player Rafael Vaganian.
Schachspieler2 Schachspieler2 4/27/2016 07:24
Who is Garry Kasparov?
thlai80 thlai80 4/27/2016 05:59
If an amateur like me still plays blitz and reading chess after more than 10 years inactive in tournament play, Kasparov must be still be very active at least in online chess. Remember he groomed Carlsen to be #1, Kasparov definitely has some tricks up his sleeves. These players do not scare him.
vincero vincero 4/27/2016 03:39
naka proving that chess players away from the board....are not any more intelligent then checker players...for make the claim that every generation gets not only wrong but.....imbecilic....considering it is long accepted that there are "greats" all fields that have stood the test of history.
lets hope naka is just having some fun......
aaronnimzowitsch aaronnimzowitsch 4/27/2016 01:57
hahahaha Kasparov will win easily. You dont know Garry Kasparov ???
vladivaclav vladivaclav 4/27/2016 12:58
If Nakamura doesn't win that blitz tournament, mocking will be merciless and will be lasting for years
Aighearach Aighearach 4/27/2016 12:36
The only one whose performance is likely to be similar to Short will be Caruana, since he's not really a blitz player. Kasparov is surely the underdog against Nakamura, contrary the impression given by GM Ashley.

So is an underdog, of course, because he lacks high level experience. Nakamura has been in the public eye since he was a wee lad, and is particularly good at blitz.
ArisR ArisR 4/27/2016 12:04
Garry will trash those pretenders comfortably
Queeg Queeg 4/26/2016 11:54
What's this 5+3 time control? C'mon, that's correspondence chess, but no blitz. And why delay, instead of increment?
fightingchess fightingchess 4/26/2016 11:41
let's not discuss results much. of course garry understands he does not have much of a chance against his opponents. this is just blitz. let's have some fun and hope for exciting games.
ff2017 ff2017 4/26/2016 11:33
I think everyone is underestimating Caruana, remember he crushed Nakamura last year, absolutely crushed him.

What I want to happened" 1. Kasparov 18-0 2.Nakamura 3. Caruana 4. So

What will happen. 1.Nakamura 2. Caruana 3. Kasparov 4. So
The Boomerang The Boomerang 4/26/2016 11:11
Wasnt Kasparov " Raffael" from playchess with the astronomical 3400 blitz rating? If so then he is quite strong in blitz even though that was a few years ago.

And who of these players could beat Short 8.5-1.5 is another interesting question.
ebit ebit 4/26/2016 11:08
It will be a desaster for Kasparov, Nakamura will win with a big margin.
bbrodinsky bbrodinsky 4/26/2016 11:00
Oh, sorry for another quick comment, but I have to say this to the organizers. When Naka plays Kasparov, please have some Jerry Springer-like bouncers very close by to break up the "festivities" that might result.... Hey, I propose that the four of them, after the chess match, engage in a wrestling match.... I don't discount Kasparov's chances here, he's definitely the craziest of the four....
bbrodinsky bbrodinsky 4/26/2016 10:55
As an old-timer (I remember Spassky-Petrosian, '66), I hope Garry at least has a respectable result. A result of even 50% would be a victory for him. Let's be honest, the other three are in chess shape, are half his age (or less), it's not really fair competition. However, in the back of my mind is this: would Kasparov embarrass himself agreeing to this competition, or does he know his chances here are decent? He DID take apart (an exhausted) Nigel Short, which was a surprise. The favorite's got to be Naka (despite all the haters). Kasparov is a real dark horse here, a potential Black Swan for the American three. This is so interesting. If Kaspy won, it would be the young guys who would be terribly embarrassed. The only way Kaspy really, really loses is if his result is really atrocious, like 5-13 or something like that.
Dr_Ivannik Dr_Ivannik 4/26/2016 10:50
Fischer was the greatest blitz player in the history of chess.
Halflash Halflash 4/26/2016 10:33
If Kasparov finishes 1st, I would put him in a higher rank than Bobby Fischer. Returning to competition at this age is a proof of his greatness, very unique in chess history.
Besides, it is the fight between Chess at its best from 20th century against 21th century !
Who will win ?!
Bill Alg Bill Alg 4/26/2016 09:50
If Kasparov can still compete, then he has surely wasted ten good years of professional chess he could have had.
Steven E DuCharm Steven E DuCharm 4/26/2016 09:48
Kasparov will klobber these klowns konvincingly
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 4/26/2016 09:47
@ Hawkman : I agree that Nakamura will very probably be above Kasparov. For So, I would say the contrary, but I think it is quite possible that there would be a surprise there. As for Caruana, as I explained in my previous posts on this page, I think that his low level in blitz, compared to his very high level in standard chess, would quite certainly not be sufficient for him to beat Kasparov.

And it transpires from what Kasparov says that what interests him is to confront Nakamura, as he is one of the best blitz players on the planet : knowing Kasparov as he is, it seems to me totally obvious that he must have prepared very well, and that he must have played sufficiently online to verify that his current level is at least not too different from the level of the best blitz players in the world. And as Caruana is 218 points below Nakamura in blitz, I don't see how it would be possible that Kasparov could be below Caruana in this tournament. Otherwise, he would not have accepted to play in such a tournament.
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 4/26/2016 09:27
@ chessalem : Very interesting ! And quite consistent with the fact that I had noticed that So is classified as "inactive" in blitz, for the official ranking. The real level of So could indeed be a surprise in this tournament : I'm quite curious to see if it will be the case or not...
DJones DJones 4/26/2016 09:16
Joseuvm:n Yes, Nakamura missed the last Blitz WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP because he was busy winning millionaire chess. In the edition of the blitz world championship in 2013, Nakamura finished t-2-3 with Ian Nepo and behind carlsen. I wont say he is the second best blitzer int he world anymore but if you think he is some punk who has lost everything then you are a fool.
Hawkman Hawkman 4/26/2016 08:25
My prediction is:

chessalem chessalem 4/26/2016 07:11
Wesley's blitz rating is grossly underrated in as much as he hasn't participated in any major blitz tourney as of late- i.e. the world blitz championship for example. He plies his trade more on the online arena where he dismantle his opponents just as a praying mantis preys on its hapless victims.
chessalem chessalem 4/26/2016 06:59
Behold my proof...Wesley tops ICC blitz rating, lichess blitz rating before playing against a cheater using an engine, just a notch below Naka in the blitz rating...the evidence points to an irreversible conclusion in his favor beyond reasonable doubt. Let the verdict be guilty as charge.
chessalem chessalem 4/26/2016 06:57
Wesley will run circles around this field. Remember I told you let it be let it be done.
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 4/26/2016 06:47
@ josuevm and sharpnova : you seem to think that Caruana will fare well, and that So will not be good at all ; I think you don't take into account the difference between the standard chess level and the blitz level of these players : So is 61 points above Caruana in blitz - a quite significant difference (it is exactly the same difference as, for exemple, between Carlsen and Giri in standard chess). And Caruana, in blitz, is only world n° 85, 218 points below Nakamura (who is world n° 2, 7 points only behind Carlsen). It's approximatively the same difference as - in standard chess - between Carlsen and Matthias Bluebaum, who is world n° 153 !!

The level of the top players in standard chess and in blitz can differ very widely, and, in blitz, we mustn't reason on the basis of the standard chess level of the players !...