Hikaru Nakamura wins Grand Chess Tour Paris

by Johannes Fischer
6/12/2016 – Hikaru Nakamura convincingly won the Grand Chess Tour Paris. After a shaky start into the second day of the blitz tournament he started to win game after game. World Champion Magnus Carlsen, however, failed to find his form and lost one game after the other. After 16 of 18 rounds Nakamura was 2.5 points ahead and had won the tournament with two rounds to go.

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Magnus Carlsen...

...and Hikaru Nakamura were dominating day one of the blitz tournament

After the first day of the blitz tournament in Paris Nakamura was half-a-point ahead of Carlsen in the table that combined rapid and blitz results. Their rivals were trailing far behind and it was clear that either Carlsen or Nakamura would win the Grand Chess Tour Paris. But both had a bad start into day two of the blitz tournament and both lost in the eleventh round: Nakamura against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Carlsen against Fabiano Caruana.

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave played a good tournament and finished third

But Nakamura recovered and started to gather points while Carlsen did not manage to get going. After a draw in round 12 against Vachier-Lagrave he lost again  in round 13 - this time against Levon Aronian.

Levon Aronian

Vladimir Kramnik (left) before his game against Carlsen.
For Kramnik the second part of the blitz tournament
was just horrible: he scored only 1.0/9.

Anish Giri lost against Nakamura but won against Carlsen

Round 16 already proved to be decisive. While Nakamura won against Fressinet Carlsen tried too hard against Veselin Topalov and suffered one more defeat. After 16 rounds Nakamura was 2.5 points ahead of Carlsen and had clinched tournament victory.

But the encounter between Carlsen and Nakamura in the final round of the event was still prestigious and with a win in this game Nakamura would have been the new number one on the live-blitz-rating list. But Carlsen kept his nerves, won the game and ended the tournament on a positive note.

Despite this loss Nakamura was clear winner of the Grand Chess Tour in Paris. He won the rapid tournament and in the blitz tournament he shared first place with Carlsen and he had been dominating both events.

The winner of Paris: Hikaru Nakamura

Table - Blitz Tournament

Here and in the other tables the given ratings refer to classical ratings

Table - Rapid Tournament

Games- Blitz Tournament

 

Games - Rapid Tournament

 

Final result of the Grand Chess Tour Paris

 

Photos: Grand Chess Tour

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Tournament page Paris...

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Johannes Fischer was born in 1963 in Hamburg and studied English and German literature in Frankfurt. He now lives as a writer and translator in Nürnberg. He is a FIDE-Master and regularly writes for KARL, a German chess magazine focusing on the links between culture and chess. On his own blog he regularly publishes notes on "Film, Literature and Chess".