Thursday, July 16, 2009


After securing a 1 point lead midway through the tournament the American Nakamura looked set to be an easy winner. However Ponomariov was able to steadily catch up as Nakamura drew game after game with many being short draws, perhaps taking a leaf out of Kramnik's play book. After 9 rounds Ponomariov and Nakamura where tied so it came down to a blitz play-off which of course suited the blitz expert Nakamura.

The following position is from game one
Nakamura - Ponomariov white to move

White has just played g5 which black replied hxg5 the sharp eye of Nakamura had a surprise coming

33. Qxe5!

The game concluded


33...fxe5 34.Bh5+ leads to mate

34. Qg3 g4 35. Bxg4 Qc5 36.Bxe6+!


Nakamura was able to win the second blitz play-off game and claim outright first. Congratulations Hikaru. The 12th world champion Karpov had I would imagine the worst tournament of his life finishing on 1.5 out of 9. It is clear that even for a former World champion how much work is needed to stay at the top of the chess ladder. Karpov may even fall out of the top 100 after this result, But I am sure all of this will be forgotten if he beats Kasparov in their exhibition match in September.

Official website where full results to the other tournaments running along side this are available.

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