San Sebastian: Nakamura leads with 5.0/6

by ChessBase
7/14/2009 – This Category 18 event – averaging rating 2682 – is being dominated by American GM Hikaru Nakamura, who after six rounds of play has put a full point between himself and his nearest rivals, Peter Svidler and Maxime Vachier Lagrave. There are three rounds to go. Here are the games, results and a pictorial report by WGM Anastasiya Karlovich which includes the free day activities.

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Donostia Chess Festival in San Sebastian

Report by WGM Anastasiya Karlovich

After six rounds US grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura leads in the main tournament, with 5.0 out of 6 points. Winning two games in a row Peter Svidler is on the second place, together with Maxime Vachier Lagrave. Loek Wan Wely is a leader in “Gran Premio Kutxa” tournament. The leader of the Gran Premio Euskal Xake Eskola tournament English GM Glenn Flear. The German player Christian Michna shares the 3-5 places. In the woman tournament the leaders are Sophie Millet from France and Yana Melnikova from Russia with 4 points out 5.

The event is a Category 18 with an average Elo of 2682. The draw quotient is exactly 50% (15 out of 30 games played so far). White has won 11 games (= 37%) and Black four games (= 13%). Good fighting chess.

Picture Gallery

The leader of the tournament, GM Hikaru Nakamura

Hikaru has scored 5.0/6 points, and is a point ahead of his nearest rivals. His performance is a stunning 2958. In the July FIDE list he was the second highest ranked GM in the United States, seven points behind Gata Kamsky. No prizes if you can guess who will top the next US list.

GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France

Women's section, start of the game Yana Melnikova, Russia, and Regina Pokorna, Slovakia

Adina Hamduchi from Romania

Marta Michna from Germany

Changing the oil?? Fixing the breaks? No, just attaching the cables of the sensor board

On the way to the playing hall you pass beaches full of sun-bathing people

During the free day chess players had a chance to climb up Mount Urgull, where
after 30 minutes of walking you can enjoy a magnificent view over the city.

A figure of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the top of Mount Urgull

The cannons which were used against enemy troops nowadays simply a tourist attraction

The History House, located on the summit of the Mount Urgull, in the La Mota Castle, draws a pictures of life of people in San Sebastian throughout more than 800 years of this lively city.

The Hotel de Londres has become home for chess players during the tournament

Sunset in San Sebastian

Before the free days the participants of the tournament were invited to the party organized
by Felix Izeta. Here we see Ruslan Ponomariov and his girlfriend Inesa on the terrace.

Chess tournament? What chess tournament? This is where the real action is

Grandmasters of foosball: Francisco Vallejo and Inesa

Former FIDE world champion Ruslan Ponomariov watches with Heineken

Armenian/Slovak GM Sergey Movsesian prefers red wine

Chess player Inigo Martin is a.magician and shows his skills with cards

About the author: WGM Anastasiya (Nastja) Karlovich was Ukrainian champion and vice-champion among girls under 16, 18 and 20. She was European Champion with the Ukrainian team in the Youth Team Championships. She is also a candidate officer in the National Law Academy “Yaroslav the Wise”; a member of the chess club “Law Academy”; a member of the German club Grosslehna; the organiser of the WGM and GM closed tournaments “Cup of Rector”; a Woman Grandmaster since 2003.


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 the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse the PGN games.

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