Americans in Saint Petersburg: Nakamura Tied for 2nd, Tang Climbs

Andrew Tang vs. Magnus Carlsen, Photo Lennart Ootes

The 2018 King Salman FIDE World Rapid Blitz Championship in St. Petersburg, Russia (Dec 26-28) started out in dramatic fashion as World Champion Magnus Carlsen lost his first two games. Despite this disastrous opening, Magnus almost won the event with 10.5/15, with a draw against our own Hikaru Nakamura in the final round. The World Champion and the Grand Chess Tour Champion found themselves just outside victory, as Magnus's World Championship training camp, Grandmaster Daniil Dubov of Russia to capture the rapid crown with 11/15. https://twitter.com/TarjeiJS/status/1078716098156081155 Magnus's own comeback trail to contention began with a victory over Andrew Tang, an American bullet legend who goes by PenguinGM1 on twitch and twitter. Tang put up a valiant effort, but fell to the king.

[pgn] [Event "FIDE World Rapid Championship"] [Date "2018.12.26"] [White "Tang, Andrew"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D03"] [WhiteElo "2281"] [BlackElo "2903"] [PlyCount "82"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] [EventType "rapid"] [WhiteTeam "United States"] [BlackTeam "Norway"] [WhiteTeamCountry "USA"] [BlackTeamCountry "NOR"] 1. d4 d5 2. Bf4 Nf6 3. e3 e6 4. Nf3 Bd6 5. Nbd2 b6 6. Bd3 O-O 7. Ne5 c5 8. Qf3 Qc7 9. c3 Ba6 10. Bxa6 Nxa6 11. O-O Qb7 12. Ng4 Be7 13. Nxf6+ Bxf6 14. Nc4 Be7 15. Ne5 f6 16. Nc4 Qd7 17. Nd2 e5 18. Bg3 cxd4 19. exd4 e4 20. Qe2 Nc7 21. f3 f5 22. Be5 Bd6 23. Bxd6 Qxd6 24. fxe4 dxe4 25. Nc4 Qe6 26. Ne5 Nd5 27. a4 a5 28. Rae1 Kh8 29. Qf2 Rf6 30. Qg3 Raf8 31. Qh4 Qe8 32. Ra1 f4 33. Ng4 Rf5 34. Rae1 Rh5 35. Qf2 Rg5 36. Ne5 Rxe5 37. dxe5 Qxe5 38. Rd1 f3 39. Qg3 Nf4 40. Rde1 Qc5+ 41. Qf2 fxg2 0-1 [/pgn]
Despite this loss, Tang dazzled in the event, defeating many strong Grandmasters in ultra-complicated games. Tang has a much lower rapid rating than he should and gained well over one hundred rating points at the event.
[pgn] [Event "FIDE World Rapid Championship"] [Date "2018.12.27"] [White "Tang, Andrew"] [Black "Kovalev, Vladislav"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A65"] [WhiteElo "2281"] [BlackElo "2624"] [PlyCount "157"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] [EventType "rapid"] [WhiteTeam "United States"] [BlackTeam "Belarus"] [WhiteTeamCountry "USA"] [BlackTeamCountry "BLR"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. f3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nc3 O-O 6. Nge2 c5 7. d5 e6 8. Ng3 exd5 9. cxd5 a6 10. a4 h5 11. Bg5 Nbd7 12. Be2 Qb6 13. Qd2 Nh7 14. a5 Qc7 15. Bh6 h4 16. Bxg7 Kxg7 17. Nf1 Qd8 18. Ne3 f5 19. exf5 gxf5 20. Nc4 Qf6 21. Qf4 Ne5 22. Nxe5 dxe5 23. Qc4 Bd7 24. Qxc5 Rfc8 25. Qb4 Rab8 26. O-O Nf8 27. f4 e4 28. Rad1 b6 29. d6 bxa5 30. Qa3 a4 31. Nxa4 Rc2 32. Rfe1 Ne6 33. g3 Nd4 34. Nc3 Rbxb2 35. Nd5 Rxe2 36. Rxe2 Nf3+ 37. Kf1 Bb5 38. Nxf6 Rxe2 39. Rd5 Nxh2+ 40. Kg1 Nf3+ 41. Kf1 hxg3 42. Nh5+ Kg6 43. Nxg3 Ra2+ 44. Rxb5 Rxa3 45. Rd5 Nh2+ 46. Ke2 Ra2+ 47. Kd1 Ng4 48. d7 Ne3+ 49. Kc1 Nxd5 50. d8=Q Nf6 51. Qc8 Ra5 52. Qe6 Rc5+ 53. Kd2 a5 54. Ne2 a4 55. Nc3 a3 56. Qb3 Ra5 57. Ke2 Ra8 58. Qb7 Rh8 59. Qa6 Rh2+ 60. Kf1 Rd2 61. Qxa3 Rd3 62. Ke1 Re3+ 63. Kd2 Rd3+ 64. Kc2 Ng4 65. Qe7 Ne3+ 66. Kb2 Nc4+ 67. Kb3 Ne3 68. Qg5+ Kf7 69. Qh5+ Kf6 70. Qh8+ Kf7 71. Kb4 Ke6 72. Kc5 Kf7 73. Qh7+ Kf6 74. Qh8+ Kg6 75. Kc6 Kf7 76. Nb5 Nc4 77. Qh5+ Kf6 78. Qg5+ Ke6 79. Qg8+ 1-0[/pgn]
[pgn] [Event "FIDE World Rapid Championship"] [White "Novikov, Stanislav"] [Black "Tang, Andrew"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C68"] [WhiteElo "2605"] [BlackElo "2281"] [PlyCount "72"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [EventType "rapid"] [WhiteTeam "Russia"] [BlackTeam "United States"] [WhiteTeamCountry "RUS"] [BlackTeamCountry "USA"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. O-O Bd6 6. d4 exd4 7. Qxd4 f6 8. Be3 Be6 9. Nbd2 Ne7 10. Rad1 Ng6 11. Qc3 Qe7 12. Nd4 Bb4 13. Qd3 O-O-O 14. Nxc6 bxc6 15. Qxa6+ Kd7 16. Nf3+ Bd6 17. Nd4 Ne5 18. b3 Ra8 19. Qe2 Ke8 20. f4 Bg4 21. Qf2 Bxd1 22. fxe5 Qxe5 23. Rxd1 Qxh2+ 24. Kf1 Qh1+ 25. Ke2 Qh5+ 26. Nf3 Rxa2 27. Kf1 Qh1+ 28. Ng1 Ke7 29. Bf4 Qh5 30. Bxd6+ cxd6 31. Nf3 Qh1+ 32. Ng1 Rd8 33. Qg3 Kf7 34. Qc3 Kg8 35. Re1 Qh5 36. Qxc6 Qc5 0-1[/pgn]
The event's most memorable moment was an incredible victory by Dmitry Andreikin, who found a stunning combination against Peter Svidler. Here's the video replay, where the eight-time Russian champion and beloved commentator showed his passion for the game in marveling instead of bemoaning his own fate, after the final touch of ...Rg6! https://twitter.com/olimpiuurcan/status/1078564893882605568
[pgn] [Event "FIDE World Rapid Championship"] [Date "2018.12.27"] [White "Svidler, Peter"] [Black "Andreikin, Dmitry"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A30"] [WhiteElo "2753"] [BlackElo "2725"] [PlyCount "58"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] [EventType "rapid"] [WhiteTeam "Russia"] [BlackTeam "Russia"] [WhiteTeamCountry "RUS"] [BlackTeamCountry "RUS"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 b6 3. g3 Bb7 4. Bg2 g6 5. O-O c5 6. e3 Bg7 7. d4 O-O 8. Nc3 Ne4 9. Ne2 Nc6 10. Nf4 e6 11. Re1 f5 12. d5 exd5 13. Nxd5 Ne7 14. Nf4 Qc7 15. a4 g5 16. Nh5 g4 17. Nh4 Ng6 18. Nxg7 Nxh4 19. gxh4 Kxg7 20. Qc2 Rf6 21. b3 Rh6 22. Bb2+ Kf7 23. Bxe4 Bxe4 24. Qc3 Rg8 25. a5 Qxh2+ 26. Kxh2 Rxh4+ 27. Kg3 Rh3+ 28. Kf4 Rf3+ 29. Ke5 Rg6 0-1 [/pgn]
The discussion of this gem continued to dominate Chess twitter, with the victim himself chiming in. https://twitter.com/polborta/status/1078370430992437248 https://twitter.com/bennedik/status/1078578845710725120 Both Gata Kamsky and Hikaru Nakamura were in the mix throughout, with Gata finishing on 9.5/15 and Nakamura tying for 2nd-5th with 10.5/15. Find full American results here.  Among the contenders waving the American flag is Timur Gareyev, who showed up in his trademark checkerboard suit,"> which he also wore for his chess-diving cover shoot.

Meanwhile the 2018 Grand Chess Tour champion surged on day three.

GM Hikaru Nakamura at the World Rapid Championship in Saint Petersburg, Photo Lennart Ootes

[pgn] [Event "FIDE World Rapid Championship"] [Date "2018.12.28"] [White "Riazantsev, Alexander"] [Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A81"] [WhiteElo "2677"] [BlackElo "2844"] [PlyCount "82"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] [EventType "rapid"] [WhiteTeam "Russia"] [BlackTeam "United States"] [WhiteTeamCountry "RUS"] [BlackTeamCountry "USA"] 1. d4 f5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 g6 4. c3 Bg7 5. Nd2 Nc6 6. f4 d6 7. e4 e5 8. fxe5 dxe5 9. d5 Ne7 10. c4 c6 11. Ne2 fxe4 12. Nxe4 Nxe4 13. Bxe4 cxd5 14. cxd5 O-O 15. Bg5 Qd6 16. Qb3 Rf7 17. Nc3 a6 18. Bg2 e4 19. Nxe4 Qe5 20. Bf4 Qxb2 21. Qxb2 Bxb2 22. Rb1 Bd4 23. Rd1 Nf5 24. d6 Bd7 25. Ng5 Rf6 26. Bd5+ Kg7 27. Ne4 Re8 28. Kd2 Rff8 29. Rc1 Bb6 30. Bxb7 Ba5+ 31. Kc2 Nd4+ 32. Kd3 Ne6 33. Be5+ Kh6 34. Nf6 Bb5+ 35. Kc2 Nc5 36. Nxe8 Rxe8 37. Rhe1 Bxe1 38. Rxe1 Nxb7 39. Bf4+ Kg7 40. Rxe8 Bxe8 41. Kc3 Kf7 0-1[/pgn]
[pgn] [Event "FIDE World Rapid Championship"] [Date "2018.12.28"] [White "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Black "Sargissian, Gabriel"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A06"] [WhiteElo "2844"] [BlackElo "2674"] [PlyCount "63"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] [EventType "rapid"] [WhiteTeam "United States"] [BlackTeam "Armenia"] [WhiteTeamCountry "USA"] [BlackTeamCountry "ARM"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. b3 Nf6 3. Bb2 Bg4 4. e3 e6 5. d3 Be7 6. h3 Bxf3 7. Qxf3 O-O 8. g3 a5 9. a4 Bb4+ 10. c3 Bd6 11. Bg2 Nbd7 12. O-O Qe7 13. Qe2 c6 14. Nd2 Rfe8 15. e4 dxe4 16. dxe4 Ne5 17. f4 Bc5+ 18. Kh2 Ned7 19. e5 Nd5 20. Rf3 Qf8 21. Ne4 Be7 22. c4 Nb4 23. f5 exf5 24. Rxf5 g6 25. e6 gxf5 26. exd7 Red8 27. Qh5 f6 28. Qxf5 Qf7 29. Bxf6 Bxf6 30. Nxf6+ Kg7 31. Rf1 Qe7 32. Qxh7+ 1-0[/pgn]
He also won vs. Yangyi Yu of China in the penultimate round, giving him a chance for gold.
[pgn][Event "FIDE World Rapid Championship"] [Date "2018.12.28"] [White "Yu, Yangyi"] [Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B01"] [WhiteElo "2758"] [BlackElo "2844"] [PlyCount "240"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] [EventType "rapid"] [WhiteTeam "China"] [BlackTeam "United States"] [WhiteTeamCountry "CHN"] [BlackTeamCountry "USA"] 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qd8 4. d4 Nf6 5. Nf3 g6 6. Be2 Bg7 7. O-O O-O 8. h3 Nc6 9. a3 e6 10. Bf4 b6 11. Nb5 a6 12. Nc3 Bb7 13. Qd2 Ne7 14. Rad1 Nf5 15. Be5 Qe7 16. Qf4 Rac8 17. Nh4 Nxh4 18. Qxh4 Nd5 19. Qxe7 Nxe7 20. Bxg7 Kxg7 21. Bd3 Rfd8 22. Be4 Bxe4 23. Nxe4 Rd7 24. c3 Rcd8 25. Rde1 Nc6 26. f4 Na5 27. g4 Nc4 28. Re2 Rd5 29. b3 Nd6 30. Nxd6 R8xd6 31. Re5 c5 32. dxc5 Rxc5 33. Rxc5 bxc5 34. Kg2 Kf6 35. b4 c4 36. a4 Ke7 37. Re1 Rd3 38. Re5 Rxc3 39. Rc5 Ra3 40. Rxc4 Rxa4 41. Rc7+ Kf8 42. Rb7 Ra2+ 43. Kg3 Ra3+ 44. Kg2 h5 45. gxh5 gxh5 46. h4 Rb3 47. Rb6 Kg7 48. Rxa6 Rxb4 49. Kf3 Rb3+ 50. Kg2 Rb5 51. Ra8 Kf6 52. Rh8 Kg7 53. Ra8 Rd5 54. Kf3 Rd3+ 55. Kg2 Kf6 56. Ra5 Rd5 57. Ra7 Kg6 58. Re7 Rd3 59. Ra7 f6 60. Ra5 Rd5 61. Ra3 Kf5 62. Kf3 Rb5 63. Kg3 Rc5 64. Rb3 Rd5 65. Kf3 Ra5 66. Kg3 Rc5 67. Ra3 Rd5 68. Kf3 Rd4 69. Ra5+ e5 70. fxe5 fxe5 71. Ra8 Rxh4 72. Rf8+ Ke6 73. Re8+ Kf6 74. Rf8+ Ke7 75. Rh8 Rf4+ 76. Ke3 h4 77. Rh6 Kf7 78. Ra6 Kg7 79. Ra7+ Kg6 80. Ra8 Rf7 81. Rg8+ Rg7 82. Re8 h3 83. Re6+ Kf5 84. Rh6 Rg3+ 85. Kf2 Ra3 86. Rh4 Kg5 87. Rh8 Kg4 88. Rg8+ Kf4 89. Rf8+ Ke4 90. Rg8 Kf5 91. Rf8+ Kg6 92. Rg8+ Kf6 93. Rf8+ Ke7 94. Rh8 Kd6 95. Rd8+ Kc5 96. Rc8+ Kd4 97. Rd8+ Ke4 98. Rh8 Rc3 99. Rh7 Kf4 100. Rh4+ Kg5 101. Rh8 e4 102. Rg8+ Kf5 103. Rf8+ Ke5 104. Re8+ Kd4 105. Rd8+ Kc4 106. Rc8+ Kd3 107. Rd8+ Kc2 108. Ke2 h2 109. Rh8 Kb1 110. Rb8+ Ka2 111. Ra8+ Kb3 112. Rb8+ Kc4 113. Rh8 Ra3 114. Rc8+ Kd4 115. Rd8+ Kc5 116. Rc8+ Kd6 117. Rd8+ Ke5 118. Rh8 Kf4 119. Rf8+ Kg3 120. Rg8+ Kh3 0-1[/pgn]
Nakamura faced World Champion Magnus Carlsen in the final round, but a draw ended his chances for the crown as Dubov finished a half a point ahead of a formidable quartet on 10.5/15. Reigning Women's World Champion Ju Wenjun of China captured the Rapid Women's World Championship with a convincing 10/12 and will hunt for the triple crown as the Blitz World Championships begin tomorrow.
[pgn] [Event "FIDE Women's World Rapid Championship"] [Date "2018.12.28"] [White "Ju, Wenjun"] [Black "Lagno, Kateryna"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B07"] [WhiteElo "2584"] [BlackElo "2539"] [PlyCount "79"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] [EventType "rapid"] [WhiteTeam "China"] [BlackTeam "Russia"] [WhiteTeamCountry "CHN"] [BlackTeamCountry "RUS"] 1. d4 d6 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. O-O O-O 6. Re1 Nbd7 7. e4 e5 8. Nc3 c6 9. a4 Re8 10. h3 Qc7 11. a5 exd4 12. Nxd4 Nc5 13. Bf4 Nh5 14. Ndb5 Qd7 15. Bxd6 Ne6 16. Na3 Bd4 17. Nc4 Rd8 18. Qe2 Ng5 19. g4 Qe6 20. Bh2 Ng7 21. Rad1 h5 22. h4 Nh7 23. g5 Qe7 24. e5 Bg4 25. Bf3 Bxf3 26. Qxf3 Nf5 27. Qf4 Bxc3 28. bxc3 Rxd1 29. Rxd1 Rd8 30. Nd6 Qe6 31. Rd3 Nxd6 32. exd6 Nf8 33. Re3 Qd5 34. Qf6 Qd1+ 35. Kg2 Qd5+ 36. Kf1 Qc4+ 37. Kg1 Qg4+ 38. Bg3 Rd7 39. Re8 Qd1+ 40. Kh2 1-0 [/pgn]
https://twitter.com/LennartOotes/status/1078755185109934082 Follow games, photos and find full information on the official website, and use the hashtag #WRBC2018 to join the conversation on twitter.

Comments

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Nakumara/ world Grand Prix champion /defeated Caruana and Aronian in finals before this $1,150,000 guaranteed 5 day long rapid /blitz series...NAKAMURA NOW RATED WORLD NUMBER #2 URS PRO COMBINED RATING RANKING...205 PLAYERS IN THIS FIRST RAPID EVENT. Jude Acers/ New Orleans

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

[…] Giri being emblematic of this attitude. No less than Magnus Carlsen expressed his admiration for the current World Rapid Champion’s enterprising […]

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