Nakamura is the Ultimate Blitz Champion!

by Sagar Shah
4/30/2016 – Hikaru Nakamura came all guns blazing on day two of the Ultimate Blitz. He scored 11.0/18 and finished a full point ahead of others. Wesley So took the second spot with 10 points and Garry Kasparov was right behind him on 9.5. Caruana was able to muster only 5.5 points. The event was a huge success as it attracted a lot of attention from fans all over the world. By having a look at few of the games in this report there is only one thing we can say, "Garry you must play more often!"

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Photos by Lennart Ootes

As the day two began, and we looked forward to nine rounds of blitz, just about everyone had a chance to win the title. After the first day of nine rounds of blitz this is how things stood:

The playing hall

Prominent spectators included US Women's Champion Nazi Paikidze (right) and runner-up Tatev Abrahamyan

The day began with a bang when Wesley So played a brilliant game against Garry Kasparov in the tenth round. This is what the commentators and Garry had to say about the game:

  • Maurice Ashley: "The day started with a thunderbolt: Wesley So playing one of the finest attacking game since Morphy!"

  • Yasser Seirawan: "Wesley's game against Kasparov will go down in history as one of the greatest blitz games ever played. I will remember that game for the rest of my life."

  • Garry Kasparov: "It reminded me of games Morphy played against amateurs."

Both the players saying their prayers before the game?!!

[Event "Ultimate Blitz Challenge"] [Site "Saint Louis USA"] [Date "2016.04.29"] [Round "10.2"] [White "So, Wesley"] [Black "Kasparov, Garry"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A41"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "49"] [EventDate "2016.04.28"] [EventType "blitz"] 1. Nf3 g6 2. e4 Bg7 3. d4 d6 4. c4 Bg4 $5 {Garry doesn't go for his favourite King's Indian.} 5. Be2 Nc6 6. Nbd2 $5 {A very interesting move. The d4 pawn is taboo.} e5 7. d5 Nce7 8. h3 Bd7 9. c5 $1 {Way to go! That's the first pawn sacrifice.} dxc5 10. Nc4 $1 {Attacking the e5 pawn.} f6 {A very ugly move but necessary.} 11. d6 $1 Nc8 12. Be3 b6 13. O-O Bc6 14. dxc7 Qxc7 15. b4 $1 { Pawns don't really matter for Wesley in this game!} cxb4 16. Rc1 Nge7 17. Qb3 $1 {Look at the White pieces. So co-ordinated! And the black king is completely stranded.} h6 {A completely atypical move for Garry. But he just couldn't come up with a move.} 18. Rfd1 b5 19. Ncxe5 $1 {Two pawns and now a knight!} fxe5 20. Bxb5 Rb8 21. Ba4 $3 {A very hard move to make in blitz, keeping all the threats alive.} Qb7 22. Rxc6 $1 Nxc6 23. Qe6+ N8e7 24. Bc5 Rc8 25. Bxe7 {What a power packed game by Wesley. To beat Garry in this manner is highly commendable.} 1-0

Retired or not retired, this man doesn't like to lose!

Just have a look at the board posiiton to see how dominant White's position was!

The gift for a superb win over Garry Kasparov: Lotis Key gives a kiss to adopted son Wesley So

Wesley scored another win in the next round and was a full point ahead of Nakamura

Fabiano Caruana had a completely horrid day at the event. He started with 3.5/9 and ended with 5.5/18. He scored just two points and was surely out of sorts. As an example have a look at this position:

Fabiano Caruana - Garry Kasparov, Round 12

Garry has just played his bishop to d3. Now Fabiano could have just picked up the rook on c8. Instead he went Qg3 allowing Black to pick up the c2 pawn. Here's the exciting end of the game for you to play over:

[Event "Ultimate Blitz Challenge"] [Site "Saint Louis USA"] [Date "2016.04.29"] [Round "12.1"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "Kasparov, Garry"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B90"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "80"] [EventDate "2016.04.28"] [EventType "blitz"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. h3 e6 7. g4 Be7 8. Bg2 Nfd7 9. Be3 Nc6 10. Qe2 O-O 11. O-O-O Nxd4 12. Bxd4 Qc7 13. f4 b5 14. g5 b4 15. Na4 e5 16. Be3 exf4 17. Bxf4 Ne5 18. Qf2 Rb8 19. h4 Bg4 20. Rd2 Rfc8 21. b3 Qa5 22. Bh3 Be6 23. h5 {Diagram [#]} Nc4 $1 {Garry doesn't miss a chance like this. } 24. Re2 Bxg5 25. bxc4 Bxc4 (25... Bxf4+ 26. Qxf4 Qxa4 27. Bxe6 fxe6 28. Rg1 $13) 26. Bxg5 Qxg5+ 27. Re3 Bd3 $2 28. Qg3 $4 (28. Bxc8 $1 {Fabiano doesn't see that he could pick up this rook. This just explains his form at the event.}) 28... Rxc2+ 29. Kd1 Qxh5+ 30. Qg4 Qe5 31. Rxd3 Rxa2 32. Rd2 Qa1+ 33. Ke2 Rxd2+ 34. Kxd2 Qxh1 {Black has just too many pawns!} 35. Nb2 Qh2+ 36. Bg2 h5 37. Qg5 Qe5 38. Qxe5 dxe5 39. Bf1 a5 40. Bc4 h4 0-1

In blitz when you are not in great form and your opponents are strong, one mistake follows another.
Have a look at the endgame between Caruana and Nakamura below:

[Event "Ultimate Blitz Challenge"] [Site "Saint Louis USA"] [Date "2016.04.29"] [Round "16.1"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A07"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "134"] [EventDate "2016.04.28"] [EventType "blitz"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 e6 4. O-O Be7 5. b3 O-O 6. Bb2 c5 7. c4 d4 8. e3 Nc6 9. exd4 cxd4 10. Re1 Ne8 11. d3 f6 12. Nbd2 e5 13. Ne4 Nc7 14. c5 Be6 15. Nfd2 Bd5 16. Nc4 Ne6 17. Ba3 b5 18. Ncd6 Bxd6 19. cxd6 b4 20. Bc1 Bxe4 21. Bxe4 Qxd6 22. Qh5 g6 23. Qf3 Rac8 24. Bh6 Rf7 25. Rac1 Ne7 26. Rxc8+ Nxc8 27. Rc1 Ne7 28. h4 Kh8 29. Ba8 Nc5 30. Bd2 a5 31. h5 Kg7 32. h6+ Kh8 33. Rc4 Rf8 34. g4 f5 35. Bg5 Ne6 36. Bd2 e4 37. dxe4 fxg4 38. e5 Qxe5 39. Qe4 Qxe4 40. Bxe4 Rc8 41. Rxc8+ Nxc8 42. Bd5 Nc7 43. Bc6 Ne7 44. Bd7 Kg8 45. Bxg4 Kf7 46. Kf1 Nc6 47. Ke2 Ne5 48. Bh3 Ke7 49. f4 Nf7 50. f5 g5 51. Kd3 Nb5 52. Kc4 Nc3 53. Kxd4 Kf6 { Diagram [#]} 54. Bxc3 bxc3 55. Kxc3 {The position should be a draw but both sides have to play carefully.} Nxh6 56. b4 g4 57. Bg2 axb4+ (57... a4 58. b5 Nxf5 59. b6 Nd6 60. b7 Nxb7 61. Bxb7 Kg5 $11) 58. Kxb4 Nxf5 59. a4 Ne3 60. Be4 $4 {Just about any other bishop move would have drawn. Now Black wins a crucial tempo with Ke5.} (60. Bb7 $1 Ke5 61. a5 Kd6 62. a6 Kc7 $11) (60. a5 $2 Nxg2 61. a6 Nf4 62. a7 Nd5+ $19) 60... Ke5 $19 61. Bh1 Kd6 62. a5 Kc7 63. Kc5 g3 64. Kd4 g2 65. Bxg2 Nxg2 66. Ke4 Nh4 67. Kf4 Ng6+ {This game quite accurately showed how Fabiano was botching up in quite simple positions.} 0-1

Meanwhile Wesley continued to show that his practice sessions with Aleksandr Lenderman had helped him, as he defused this highly dangerous position against Garry Kasparov:

[Event "Ultimate Blitz Challenge"] [Site "Saint Louis USA"] [Date "2016.04.29"] [Round "13.2"] [White "Kasparov, Garry"] [Black "So, Wesley"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A13"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "74"] [EventDate "2016.04.28"] [EventType "blitz"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. c4 e6 3. b3 Nf6 4. g3 d4 5. Bg2 Nc6 6. O-O e5 7. d3 Bc5 8. b4 Nxb4 9. Nxe5 O-O 10. a3 Na6 11. Nd2 Re8 12. Nef3 Bd6 13. Nb3 c5 14. e3 dxe3 15. Bxe3 Qc7 16. Bg5 Nd7 17. d4 Nb6 18. dxc5 Nxc5 19. Nxc5 Bxc5 20. Bf4 Qd8 21. Qc2 h6 22. Rad1 Qf6 {Diagram [#] From here on starts an excellent sequence of moves.} 23. Be5 Rxe5 (23... Qe7 {was also possible.}) 24. Nxe5 Qxe5 25. Rfe1 (25. Rd8+ Bf8 $19) 25... Bf5 $1 {The only move or else Re8 and Rd8 would have ended the game.} 26. Rxe5 Bxc2 27. Rd2 Nxc4 $1 {Quickly blitzed out by Wesley. What an accurate defence.} 28. Rxc5 Nxd2 29. Rxc2 Rd8 30. Bxb7 {The position is almost drawn now. Good defense by Wesley.} Rd7 31. Ba8 g6 32. f4 Nb3 33. Kf2 Re7 34. Bd5 Nd4 35. Rd2 Nf5 36. Rd3 Kg7 37. Bb3 h5 1/2-1/2

Nakamura showed the audience why he is considered as one of the best blitz players in the world

Hikaru scored 2.5/3 against Fabiano and 2.0/3 against Wesley. It speaks a lot about Kasparov's strength as a chess player that he managed to beat Hikaru with a score of 2.0/3. Here is one of their games where Garry was able to put up a staunch defence and hold the draw.

[Event "Ultimate Blitz Challenge"] [Site "Saint Louis USA"] [Date "2016.04.29"] [Round "14.2"] [White "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Black "Kasparov, Garry"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A50"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "98"] [EventDate "2016.04.28"] [EventType "blitz"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. f3 c5 4. d5 d6 5. Nc3 e6 6. e4 Bg7 7. Nge2 exd5 8. cxd5 a6 9. a4 Nbd7 10. Ng3 h5 11. Be2 h4 12. Nf1 Nh5 13. Be3 f5 14. exf5 gxf5 15. Nd2 Ne5 16. f4 Ng4 17. Nc4 O-O 18. O-O {Diagram [#] Black can take the bishop on e3, but Garry, of course couldn't resist the temptation of plonking his knight to g3.} Ng3 $5 19. hxg3 hxg3 20. Bxg4 fxg4 21. Ne4 $1 {Great defence by Hikaru who gets ready to sacrifice his knight for the g3 pawn.} Qh4 22. Nxg3 Qxg3 23. Qe1 $1 {The queen has to be exchanged and White would clearly be better.} Qxe1 24. Raxe1 Bd7 $6 (24... Rf6 {was the best.}) 25. Nxd6 Bxa4 26. Bxc5 b6 27. Ba3 (27. Bxb6 Rfb8 28. Bc5 Rxb2 29. f5 $18) 27... Bb3 28. Kh2 (28. f5 $5 g3 29. Rf4 $18) 28... Bxd5 29. Kg3 b5 30. Rd1 Ba2 31. Kxg4 Rab8 32. Bc5 b4 33. Rd2 a5 34. Ra1 b3 35. Re1 Rxf4+ $1 {Great alertness shown by Garry.} 36. Kxf4 Bh6+ 37. Kg4 Bxd2 38. Re7 Bb4 39. Bxb4 Rxb4+ 40. Kg5 Bb1 41. Ra7 a4 42. Ne8 Kf8 43. Nf6 Rd4 44. g4 Rd2 45. Rxa4 Rxb2 46. Rb4 Kf7 47. Nd5 Rd2 48. Rb7+ Kf8 49. Rb8+ Kf7 1/2-1/2 

The crucial game of the tournament in round 15 where Nakamura was able to beat So

[Event "Ultimate Blitz Challenge"] [Site "Saint Louis USA"] [Date "2016.04.29"] [Round "15.2"] [White "So, Wesley"] [Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D37"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "78"] [EventDate "2016.04.28"] [EventType "blitz"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 Nbd7 7. c5 c6 8. h3 b6 9. b4 a5 10. a3 Ba6 11. Bxa6 Rxa6 12. O-O Qc8 13. Qc2 Qb7 14. Rab1 axb4 15. axb4 Ra3 16. Rfc1 Rfa8 17. Ne1 b5 18. Qb2 Ne4 $1 {An excellent move by Nakamura getting his knight to the e4 square, the moment the White queen left that square.} 19. Nxe4 dxe4 20. Ra1 R3a4 21. Nc2 Nf6 22. Rxa4 Rxa4 23. Ra1 Qa6 24. Rxa4 Qxa4 {Black has a small edge but it is not at all easy to breakthrough.} 25. Kf1 {This is not yet the critical mistake but in the game this move turns out to be the reason why Wesley lost.} Nd5 26. Be5 $6 (26. Ke2 {was better.}) 26... f6 27. Bg3 Nxb4 $1 {Great alertness shown by Nakamura.} 28. Qxb4 (28. Nxb4 Qd1#) 28... Qxc2 29. Ke1 Bd8 30. Qa3 Qa4 31. Qxa4 bxa4 32. Kd1 Ba5 33. f3 exf3 34. gxf3 Bb4 35. Kc2 Kf7 36. Kd3 e5 37. dxe5 Bxc5 38. e4 a3 39. exf6 {Diagram [#] And now comes the cute finish!} Bd4 $3 (39... Bd4 40. Kxd4 a2 {and the bishop cannot stop the pawn from queening.}) 0-1

Hikaru showed his determination to win the event as he would usually be
the first person to come to the board before the games began

Wesley So - Garry Kasparov, Round 16

In the above position Wesley agreed to a draw with Rg6+ followed by Rh6.
But there is a way he can win. Can you spot it? Hint: It is not so easy!

[Event "Ultimate Blitz Challenge"] [Site "Saint Louis USA"] [Date "2016.04.29"] [Round "16.2"] [White "So, Wesley"] [Black "Kasparov, Garry"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A41"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "1r1r2k1/2R5/3P3R/8/6P1/1p6/5PK1/8 w - - 0 43"] [PlyCount "7"] [EventDate "2016.04.28"] [EventType "blitz"] 43. Rg6+ {This is what Wesley played.} ({Instead} 43. Rhh7 $1 {was completely winning. It is not so obvious at first sight though} b2 44. Rcg7+ $1 Kf8 45. Rb7 $1 Kg8 46. Rhd7 $3 {This move is really not so easy to see.} Rdc8 (46... b1=Q 47. Rxb1 $18) (46... Re8 47. Rg7+ Kh8 48. Rh7+ Kg8 49. Rbg7+ Kf8 50. Re7 $1 Kg8 (50... Rxe7 51. dxe7+ $18) 51. Rxe8+ Rxe8 52. Rb7 $18) 47. Rg7+ (47. Rdc7 Rd8 48. Rg7+ Kh8 49. Rgd7 Rdc8 50. Rh7+ Kg8 51. Rbg7+ Kf8 52. Rc7 Kg8 53. Rxc8+ Rxc8 54. Rb7 $18) 47... Kf8 48. Rh7 Kg8 49. Rbg7+ Kf8 50. Rc7 Kg8 (50... Rxc7 51. dxc7 b1=Q 52. cxb8=Q+ Qxb8 53. Rh8+ $18) 51. Rxc8+ Rxc8 52. Rb7 $18) 43... Kf8 44. Rh6 Kg8 45. Rg6+ Kf8 46. Rh6 1/2-1/2

While Nakamura was running away with the tournament with a two-point lead after 16 rounds, Garry Kasparov handed the American his first and the only defeat of the day.

Garry's expression says it all: Nakamura had blundered!

[Event "Ultimate Blitz Challenge"] [Site "Saint Louis USA"] [Date "2016.04.29"] [Round "17.2"] [White "Kasparov, Garry"] [Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C45"] [PlyCount "125"] [EventDate "2016.04.28"] [EventType "blitz"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Bc5 5. Be3 Qf6 6. c3 Nge7 7. Bc4 Ne5 8. Bb3 Qg6 9. O-O d5 10. Bf4 Bg4 11. Qc2 Bxd4 12. cxd4 N5c6 13. Qd2 Qxe4 $2 { A very odd decision by Nakamura giving up a piece.} (13... Bf3 $5 14. Bg3 Bxe4 15. Nc3 $44) 14. f3 Bxf3 15. gxf3 Qxd4+ 16. Qxd4 Nxd4 17. Bxc7 {Black has only two pawns for a piece and that is not enough compensation. Garry manged to win the game although not as smoothly as he would have liked.} Kd7 18. Bg3 Nxb3 19. axb3 Nf5 20. Nc3 d4 21. Rfd1 Rhd8 22. Rd3 Kc6 23. Ne2 Rd5 24. Rad1 Rad8 25. Bf2 Kc5 26. Rc1+ Kb5 27. Rc4 b6 28. Ng3 Nh4 29. Kf1 Ka6 30. Rc7 Rf8 31. b4 g6 32. Ne2 Nf5 33. Nxd4 Nxd4 34. Rxd4 Rf5 35. Rd3 Rf4 36. Rb3 Kb5 37. Rxa7 Re8 38. Rb7 Re6 39. Re3 Ref6 40. Kg2 Rxb4 41. b3 Kc6 42. Ra7 h5 43. Rc3+ Kb5 44. Re7 Rf5 45. h4 g5 46. hxg5 Rxg5+ 47. Kh3 Rf5 48. Rb7 Ka6 49. Re7 Rbf4 50. Ree3 Kb5 51. Bg3 Rd4 52. Re5+ Rd5 53. Rxd5+ Rxd5 54. Rc4 Rd3 55. Rf4 Rxb3 56. Rxf7 Kc4 57. f4 b5 58. f5 Kd5 59. Rd7+ Ke4 60. f6 Rf3 61. f7 b4 62. Kg2 b3 63. Re7+ 1-0

This game opened up the tournament. Wesley was now trailing Hikaru only by one point. The two were paired against each other. But in the middlegame neither sides wanted to take a risk and hence agreed to a draw, thereby securing the first and second spot. The real excitement was going on in the game between Caruana and Kasparov.

The excitement of the final round in the hall

[Event "Ultimate Blitz Challenge"] [Site "Saint Louis USA"] [Date "2016.04.29"] [Round "18.1"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "Kasparov, Garry"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A05"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "74"] [EventDate "2016.04.28"] [EventType "blitz"] {Learn from Garry how to launch an attack and how to finish off the opponent.} 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. O-O O-O 5. c4 d6 6. b3 e5 7. Bb2 c5 8. e3 Nc6 9. Nc3 Bf5 10. d4 e4 $1 {Of course Kasparov gains space. In the post game conference Garry said that this game reminded him of his battle against Webb from 1980. He was quite proud of this move Bf5 as it prepared the e5-e4.} 11. Ne1 (11. Ng5 Re8 12. dxc5 dxc5 13. Nb5 Re7 14. Qxd8+ Rxd8 15. Rad1 Rxd1 16. Rxd1 h6 17. Nh3 g5 18. Nd6 Bg4 19. Rd2 Ne8 20. Bxg7 Kxg7 21. Kf1 Nxd6 22. Rxd6 Nb4 23. a3 Nd3 24. Ng1 Nc1 25. h3 Bc8 26. Ne2 Nxb3 27. Nc3 Be6 28. Bxe4 Na5 29. Bd5 Nxc4 30. Bxc4 Bxc4+ 31. Ke1 Be6 32. e4 Bxh3 33. f4 gxf4 34. gxf4 Rd7 35. e5 Rxd6 36. exd6 f6 37. Nd5 Kf7 38. Nc7 Bd7 {0-1 (38) Webb,S (2425)-Kasparov,G (2595) Skara 1980}) 11... Re8 12. Nc2 h5 $1 {The h-pawn moves forward to loosen up the opponent's kingside.} 13. Qd2 h4 14. Ba3 b6 15. Rfd1 Bg4 16. Rdc1 Qd7 $17 17. b4 Qf5 {The queen enters the attacking zone.} 18. Bb2 Rad8 19. Nb5 Bf3 20. d5 Ne5 (20... Nxb4 21. Nxb4 Bxg2 22. Kxg2 h3+ 23. Kf1 Ng4 $19) 21. Bxe5 Rxe5 22. Ne1 hxg3 23. fxg3 Bh6 {All the pieces are brought into the attack.} 24. Rab1 Kg7 {Yes all of them. The rook will join in on h8!} 25. Rb3 Qh5 26. h3 Nh7 27. g4 Bxg4 $1 {Of course you need to give up something to get back something bigger!} 28. hxg4 Qxg4 29. Qd1 Qg3 30. Qe2 Ng5 31. Kh1 Rh8 {The final assault!} 32. Nxd6 Kg8 $1 {Making way for the bishop to move.} 33. bxc5 Bf8+ 34. Kg1 Nh3+ 35. Kf1 Bxd6 36. cxd6 Rf5+ 37. Nf3 Rxf3+ {An emphatic victory for Garry.} 0-1

These two wins really made Garry happy!

When Garry was asked whether he would consider playing more such blitz events in future, he said, "Remembering my emotions last night, this morning, I don't know whether I will play in future or not. I proved that I can play against them. If I do take the challenge again I would do more serious preparation. There are so many things floating in your head at my age – I have family, lectures and writings. I do a lot of stuff on Twitter and Facebook, there are political appearances and then you have to think about the Scotch!"

The final standings

The rankings crosstable (click to enlarge)

A huge congratulations to Hikaru Nakamura for proving once again
that when it comes to blitz chess you cannot find someone better than him!

Hikaru's tweet after victory

Garry's excellent gesture of supporting the US chess Olympiad team

Without Jennifer Shahade, Maurice Ashley and Yasser Seirawan this Ulimate Blitz event
would not have reached the same level of excitement as it did!

Watch the broadcast of day two


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. He loves to cover chess tournaments, as that helps him understand and improve at the game he loves so much. He and is the co-founder and CEO of ChessBase India website, the biggest news outlet in the country related to chess.
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chessdrummer chessdrummer 5/3/2016 01:01
If one does not like Ashley's commentary, so be it. Say it once and move on to the next topic. People who spend several comments talking about a particular comment Ashley made during an 18-round event adds nothing to the conversation. It's a waste of space... and an overuse of the word "inane".
TheBishop TheBishop 5/2/2016 04:32
A very nice and well organized chess event! All was on superlative! Players, comentators, video etc. Y Seirawan is the best, he know a lot of chess and his remarks are always on the target. And definitely, the central figure of interest was Garry Kasparov. This man is amaizing! To retired for more then 10 years and still at highest level! He fight shoulder by shoulder with 3 from first 10 players of the world, with ages 1/2 from his age. Amaizing! In my personal opinion, Kasparov is the best chess player of all time.

OK, now a sugestion on how can be improve this kind of event in the future: could be a 6 players format who play at least 4 time each other, on 5min+3sec increment. And, this 6 players could be: first and no doubt Kasparov, then Nakamura, So and first 3 players from the WCC Blitz.

Caruana, even I'm his fan, is out of the question because is not a blitz player.
Pawnroller Pawnroller 5/1/2016 11:20
Garry needs to come back and win the world blitz championship to show that he is the greatest ever.
Derek880 Derek880 5/1/2016 07:54
It was phenomenal watching Kasparov play. After years of retirement, he can still stay in there with the youngsters. If he spent 6-9 months working, I have no doubt that he could come back and be in the top 5. Fischer couldn't have even pulled this off. Kasparov is clearly the best chess player to ever play the game.
EricBx EricBx 5/1/2016 06:04
to amateur A7fecd1676b88:

Garry, when interviewed, compared himself to an amateur against So - in that game (Murphy --> So; amateur -->Garry). What more can you ask for? Garry was very humble. Not just with words but in action too - donating his winnings!!!

per amateur A7fecd1676b88: "My point is empty air is preferable to Ashley's inane hyperbole..." Stop picking on Maurice.

I agree with you on one point, per amateur A7fecd1676b88, your "point is empty air."
A7fecd1676b88 A7fecd1676b88 5/1/2016 05:34
EricBx =
It is one thing for Ashley to make inane comments. He is after all getting paid to do so I suppose, though his commentary, since it is inane, detracts rather than adds.

You on the other hand are doing it for I assume you actually believe it was one of the finest games since Morphy. That is rather sad.... I sincerely doubt Ashley himself believes his comment. It was simply something he said in the moment to fill the empty air. My point is empty air is preferable to Ashley's inane hyperbole, since it appears some listeners are tempted to take his statements as actual valid chess comments, and these listeners are then misinformed about the game.
geraldsky geraldsky 5/1/2016 05:09
One of the best blitz games by Wesley So were being praised by the commentators and former world champion Garry Kasparov. Hopefully Gm Ramirez is no longer against Wesley So.
geraldsky geraldsky 5/1/2016 05:09
One of the best blitz games by Wesley So were being praised by the commentators and former world champion Garry Kasparov. Hopefully Gm Ramirez is no longer against Wesley So.
EricBx EricBx 5/1/2016 05:08
@ vladivaclav:

That was a Short comment, and I agree with you.
EricBx EricBx 5/1/2016 05:05
To amateur A7fecd1676b88:

Maurice Ashley: "The day started with a thunderbolt: Wesley So playing one of the finest attacking game since Morphy!"

Biased interpretation is never a misunderstanding. It's simply biased.


per amateur A7fecd1676b88: "Ashley's comment included ALL games played since Morphy."
ulyssesganesh ulyssesganesh 5/1/2016 05:03
how nice it would be if garry plays many more events, getting himself away from politics!
jamaba jamaba 5/1/2016 04:02
4 minutes ago · Edit · Delete nosajban
Curious that the name of Wesley So did not appear in the FIDE blitz rating list as of April 2016. The list supposedly contains the top 100 blitz players in the world. Could it be that he never played a rated blitz tournament?
GregEs GregEs 5/1/2016 03:45
@genem I think your suggestion will work with Rooks but not with Knights. Lets say 41.Ne4 (but there are two knights at Nc3 and Ng3) 41.N3e4 doesn't clarify anything in this case.
lifemasteraj lifemasteraj 5/1/2016 01:55
Congrats to Nkamura! And Garry played well, I thought for him to donate his winnings to the U.S Olympic Team was simply wonderful!!!!!
genem genem 4/30/2016 11:02
Instead of notating the analysis winning move that W.So could have played as "43.Rhh7!", better would be to avoid *redundant* info/coordinates in the notation, and say "43.R6h7!".
Some specifications suggest the Column coordinate should be used to disambiguate, in EVERY case where it successfully disambiguates. But that specification is unwise.
I realize this notation tidbit is a minor point in the scheme of things, but I stand by my assessment that - avoidable coordinate redundancy is unwise to use for disambiguation in notation.
vladivaclav vladivaclav 4/30/2016 10:53
Kaspy still very strong. Perhaps in rapid games he would be even stronger than in blitz. Wesley So is undoubtly also at 2800 Elo level in blitz. Only Caruana is below 2700 blitz level in this field. For comparison, Short would score less than 4 points in this event :D
A7fecd1676b88 A7fecd1676b88 4/30/2016 09:31
@Rinzou Wilkerson --

Ashley's comment included ALL games played since Morphy, not just Morphy's era, and so players were on a clock. The quality of an attacking game depends on the quality of the defense also. Kasparov got a lousy position in the opening, and it was all over. Wesley's play was intuitive, based on feel , not on deep calculation. A correct defense, if it hinges on only moves, is not easy to find in blitz. Hence Kasparov's defensive powerhouse ...h6!!!

You can compare with either of Fischer's brilliancies against the Byrne brothers for superior examples of attacking chess. Wesley does not even come close. And Tal would have laughed also at Ashley's statement given some of his incredible attacking games.

What is kind of true is Kasparov's statement-- it reminded him of Morphy's play against amateurs...That is because Wesley played for fast development and open lines, at the cost of material (like Morphy) and because Kasparov played weakly, like the amateurs of Morphy's day. But, unlike Morphy's, Fischer's and Tal's best games, there were no deep, hard to find combinations in the game.

nokia x nokia x 4/30/2016 07:50
our prediction vote right hikaru won this :))
raskolnnikov raskolnnikov 4/30/2016 07:25
Too much hyperbole comming from the commentators, specially from Maurice. I believe he has the moral responsability as a strong chess player to be objective about his commentary. They're trying hard to make chess accessible for the masses, but it should be done on the base of true merit. Not this snake-oil-selleresque way of lying to the audience.
chessfanatix chessfanatix 4/30/2016 07:18
Wesley is the best here, more wins than the other against Kasparov. included with that brutal sacrifices!
Bentzen Bentzen 4/30/2016 07:17
Fantastic event! Stunned by Kasparovs performance, solid 2800 despite blundering three knights! In my opinion he was the best player there, by far. So nice to see his dynamic openings again!
chessklok chessklok 4/30/2016 05:50
Kasparov for RED3 #RetiredExtremelyDangerous #BruceWillis
fixpont fixpont 4/30/2016 03:53
Kaspy's theatrical facial expressions are priceless. :)
scoobeedo scoobeedo 4/30/2016 03:46
A comment to Nakamura - Kasparov and the "cheating" accusation.

I think that Nakamura did the right thing. It would have brought a sour taste in this tournament if Nakamura would have claimed this violation of the rules.

All this amateur judges should consider that sometimes is it better to accept a break of the rules, in this case a very little one, because the time between letting the piece go and retouch it was micro seconds.

And it is a player which was rusty and did not play ever at this level. Chess developed, he not. And still he did very well. All this together ... I say Yes, it was ok and this touch blunder should be forgotten. It was anyway a unrated tournament.
scoobeedo scoobeedo 4/30/2016 03:23
I wrote in my column this report:

In St. Louis (USA) was this week a outstanding chess tournament, which will find its way in the history books. The number 2 in blitz chess (5 minute for the whole game + 3 seconds for every move) is Hikaru Nakamura. Wesley So was long time the highest ranked blitz player in the ICC (Internet Chess Club) and is one of the best blitz players in the world. He played on day two a game against Kasparov which is maybe the best blitz game in the history. He dismantled Kasparov in a way that reminded on Paul Morphy, 150 years ago. The third in this tournament was Kasparov, retired 11 years ago, and without question the highlight of this tournament. It was not clear how this retired champion, which many people consider as the best player ever, will do in this tournament. Will he be rusty and destroyed or will he play well in this incredible tournament?

Kasparov gave the answer: He is still good enough to play with the young super grandmasters!!!

Fabiano Caruana, the current US champion in standard chess was clearly not up to this task. He was not strong enough to keep up with this blitz chess monsters.

This tournament was fantastic but it created a question which should be answerred:
Please repeat this tournament 2017 and replace Caruana with Magnus Carlsen.
Then it would be the ULTIMATE BLITZ CHALLENGE.

Anyway, the sponsors of this unbelievable tournament should be mentioned:
ICC chessclub, R.G. ROSS, Explore St. Louis, chess24, Chi-Chi LLC.

- - -

The top 3 players had only 1 more winning game for Nakamura as Kasparov. If Nakamura would have made one more draw and Kasparov the same, all 3 players would have exact the same result. Then each player would have had 50%.

Conclusion: This 3 players played all at the same world class level.

Nakamura rolled over Caruana, who was clearly not strong enough for this tournament. Caruanas low performance gave Nakamura a win of the tournament, which does not tell the true story.

It would have been very interesting to have instead of Fabiano Caruana in this tournament the 2 times World Blitz Champion Magnus Carlsen.
Hawkman Hawkman 4/30/2016 03:03
Who would have thought Garry would win a game with Bishop's Opening: Vienna Hybrid (C28)?
paulegaevsky paulegaevsky 4/30/2016 02:54
Wow GM Wesley is really a great talent! In the survey he got only 2% vote to win this tournament. Yes Nakamura got 1st place but the game between GM Wesley & former world champion Garry Kasparov will be remember forever!
EricBx EricBx 4/30/2016 01:39
to amateur A7fecd1676b88:

Garry Kasparov: "It reminded me of games Morphy played against amateurs."
jhoravi jhoravi 4/30/2016 01:00
@ ismeto
Maybe Kasparov vs Carlsen is too much for the older man. But Kasparov vs Kramnik makes more sense!
ismeto ismeto 4/30/2016 11:02
curious that if Kasparov plays long -normal chess match -not blitz- What would happen ? and if I were commercial firm with my sponsorship I would arrange a match between Kasparov and World Champion
NiceChappie NiceChappie 4/30/2016 10:21
Wow. Well that was fantastic fun. And what a joy to see Garry hunched over a chessboard again.
How chess needs such a vibrant, charismatic personality – he's been sorely missed.
Denix Denix 4/30/2016 09:58
Wesley So's win against GM G Kasparov is a masterpiece, winning against the ever formidable former World Champion in his favorite KID opening. This was unanimously mentioned by the three GMs Y Seirawan, M Ashley and J Shahade during their live commentary and during the interview. GM G Kasparov himself during the interview said that he was reminded of games of Paul Morphy against the Amateurs and unfortunately "he is the Amateur in this game".

I'm not a GM myself so how could I disagree?
profylax profylax 4/30/2016 09:08
5 blitz games of Kasparov are more interesting than 50 of Carlsen!
horius horius 4/30/2016 08:43
This was not rated for FIDE blitz ratings??
jhoravi jhoravi 4/30/2016 08:10
The final result of Naka, Wesley and Kasparov are very close that I don't consider anyone better than the other. But definitely the three are better than Caruana! BTW Are their official blitz ratings effected?
SuperMoverBros SuperMoverBros 4/30/2016 05:37
I wish Garry would come back. Kasparov vs Carlsen for the world championship. A man can dream...
Masquer Masquer 4/30/2016 05:27
DeNiro is much older than Kasparov. Not gonna happen.
DJones DJones 4/30/2016 04:48
CONGRATS TO NAKAMURA FOR WINNING THE EVENT. It's not that hard to congratulate the winner.
Karbuncle Karbuncle 4/30/2016 04:41
@ the first person posting:

Garry said it also reminded him of Morphy: "It reminded me of games Morphy played against amateurs."
Maturner Maturner 4/30/2016 04:28
Maybe Gary could play in some rapid events. He's still a very strong player.