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

Tournament page Grand Chess Tour...

Grand Chess Tour on Twitter...

Tournament page Paris...

Tournament page Bruxelles...


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".


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french_fries french_fries 6/21/2016 12:27
Hi. Question: Where can i download complete game of this event? Thanks!!!
Resistance Resistance 6/14/2016 09:46
About Naka and Magnus...
Well, as thlai80 has already mentioned, I think Carlsen's overwhelming record against Naka is due, not only to Carlsen's great talent, but to him, Magnus, being a pretty uncomfortable player for Hikaru. There is something in his style that doesn't fit Naka at all. Naka's play is rather concrete, while Carlsen's is more intuitive, abstract. Hikaru inclines towards sharp, irrational stuff, while Carlsen avoids that type of game. Since sharp, calculating play is more difficult and energy consuming than intuitive play, Hikaru might go wrong more often than Magnus, who relies on his natural, immediate grasp to do what he does at the board. This, in turn, might make feel Magnus more comfortable and secure about his chess, whatever the situation --whatever the position--, while in Naka's case, things might not be that clear at times. Also, Magnus' temperament is calmer than that of Naka's, and so, he might tend to avoid desperate or irrational courses of action when pressed by the circumstances.

I can see Hikaru beating Magnus in a match for the World Championship, but it would take of him much study of Carlsen's way of playing: not only an analysis of Magnus losses or most famous games, but a grand-scale analysis of his games and overall strategies.

Resistance Resistance 6/14/2016 07:50
Beautiful pictures! Beautiful place; the illumination... Good report, though I would've loved having a more complete one, with more details about these last four days. Thank you for your coverage, Chessbase.
thlai80 thlai80 6/14/2016 05:34
@chessdrummer, there's no floodgate. Very much like Shirov vs Kasparov. Nakamura style simply doesn't work against Carlsen. Carlsen is superior in every part of the game and simply more talented, the only trump Nakamura has is preparation. He can be better out of opening, and still draw or lose. Even if Nakamura ever get a classical win vs Carlsen, 1 out of many games will not rattle the world champion. Anand, Kramnik, Ivanchuk or Aronian in their day will beat Carlsen as they are superior in certain style and positions of the game vs Carlsen. Not so for Nakamura.
Masquer Masquer 6/14/2016 02:42
Why are the crosstables showing the players' classical ratings when this event was blitz/rapid ??
santie54321 santie54321 6/13/2016 09:01
And Naka's mental block against Carlsen continues....
donwaffel donwaffel 6/13/2016 07:06
Theese jippos are fun but not serious. Only you thing so.
DJones DJones 6/13/2016 01:46
He lost 3/4 games coming down the stretch but beat Nakamura in their direct encounter which close the difference once the tournament was already in hand. Your quoting of points makes no reference to context.
ebit ebit 6/13/2016 01:25
"World Champion Magnus Carlsen, however, failed to find his form and lost one game after the other. "


1. Carlsen 11,5/18
2. Nakamura 11,5/18
TMMM TMMM 6/13/2016 12:16

Giri did not only finish on 50%: He scores 4.5/9 in the rapid, 4.5/9 on the first day of blitz, and 4.5/9 on the second day of blitz. That's a perfect 50% score!
charlysl charlysl 6/13/2016 09:31
Live Blitz Ratings!!!

28 ↑54 Caruana 2743.8 +78.8
29 ↓23 Kramnik 2739.0 −102.0
DJones DJones 6/13/2016 05:49
Magnus is going to play a bullet match with him this summer. It's coming then no matter what.
chessdrummer chessdrummer 6/13/2016 05:34
Yada yada. Nakamura will never make 2600... will never make 2700... will never beat a top ten player... will never win an elite tournament... will never make top ten... will never make 2800... etc., etc. It's all been said before. He certainly has a mental block against Carlsen, but the Norwegian cannot allow a single loss or the floodgates will open.
jhoravi jhoravi 6/13/2016 04:17
That kind of position is a win in Long games but is lost in Blitz games.
TallVenusian TallVenusian 6/13/2016 03:22
SneakyPete -- it's in the Round 1 report - "And while Carlsen was pondering whether to defend b2 with Qh2 or a5 with Qd8 he overstepped the time and lost."
Karbuncle Karbuncle 6/13/2016 03:09
@ SneakyPete, Carlsen lost that game on time. He forgot to keep track of it.
beck15 beck15 6/13/2016 02:39

Carlsen lost on time.
algorithmy algorithmy 6/13/2016 01:39
@ SneakyPete
Carlsen lost on time!! he was wining indeed
DJones DJones 6/13/2016 01:14
There are more tournaments than the title. Maybe he is this era's Larsen and that's OK with me. Caruana will challenge magnus and maybe giri but I don't enjoy their chess.
VVI VVI 6/13/2016 01:11
Naka is always disappointing against Magnus; even when leading the fray with 2.5 points.
With such weak temperament against Magnus, he has no chance at WCC title.
SneakyPete SneakyPete 6/13/2016 01:00
Carlsen, M.2855–So, W.27700–1
C65GCT Rapid Paris 2016(1)09.06.2016

How can this game be a win for Black ? I have white way ahead on stockfish with the white king escaping via C2 ?? Can anyone fill me in ?
Augusta2022 Augusta2022 6/13/2016 12:07
Naka still lacks everything to become a Wch-challenger. And he still can't play vs Carlsen. I'm sorry to say this but we need some new blood to challenge Carlsen.
wengardz wengardz 6/13/2016 12:05
Coongrats GM Wesley So!
vladivaclav vladivaclav 6/13/2016 12:04
well deserved victory for nakamura. interesting and exciting event overall. and we all know the name of only player who finished with 50% (18/36). congrats to him as well. he he
DJones DJones 6/12/2016 11:36
Actually two did. The fact that he donated points to Carlsen and still won ahead of the world champion and possible greatest of all time says it all really.
Denix Denix 6/12/2016 11:22
One game ended in mate
bbrodinsky bbrodinsky 6/12/2016 11:14
Congrats to Nakamura. Hey, Naka against Fischer in 5-minute, what a match that would be.