Paris: Nakamura and Carlsen dominate

by Johannes Fischer
6/11/2016 – After the first day of the blitz tournament Hikaru Nakamura and Magnus Carlsen continue to dominate the field. After 9 of 18 rounds Carlsen leads with 7.0/9, Nakamura follows with 6.5/9. But in the table with the combined results of rapid and blitz Nakamura is half a point ahead of Carlsen. He even could have had a dominating lead had he not lost a better position against Carlsen in the last round of the day.

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Rapid and blitz, these are the two time-limits at the Grand Chess Tour in Paris. But in the end the two disciplines are combined to establish an overall winner. However, the rapid games count more: winning a rapid game brings two points and a draw is rewarded with one point. The blitz games count half as much: one point for a win, half-a-point for a draw. But because the blitz tournament goes over 18 rounds while the rapid had only nine rounds the same number of points are awarded in both disciplines.

Hikaru Nakamura, the winner of the rapid tournament

Nakamura  began the blitz tournament with one win and three draws but then turned up the heat, and after eight rounds he was leading the field with 6.5/8.

Magnus Carlsen was the only one who could keep pace. After eight rounds he
had 6.0/8 and was half-a-point behind Nakamura.

The other players gradually fell behind.

Wesley So finished the first half of the blitz tournament with 3.0/9

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave scored 4.5/9...

... as did Vladimir Kramnik, who here takes up some easier opponents...

... and Anish Giri.

Things were really hard for Laurent Fressinet: the French player finished the day with 2.0/9

Veselin Topalov scored 2.5/9, Fabiano Caruana 5.5/9

In the ninth round Carlsen and Nakamura finally met and a dramatic fight ensued:


Magnus Carlsen

Hikaru Nakamura

A brutal loss for Nakamura. If he had managed to convert his advantage into a win he would have scored 7.5/9 in the first half of the blitz tournament, 1.5 more than Carlsen would have had, and then Nakamura would have been clear favorite to win the rapid, the blitz and the overall tournament. But now Carlsen won the first half of the blitz and Nakamura is only half a point ahead of Carlsen in the table combining blitz and rapid.

Standings after day three of the Grand Chess Tour Paris

Blitz games rounds 1 to 9


Games of the rapid tournament


Ratings refer to ratings in classcial chess

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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