History Repeats Itself at American Cup

The pressure is increasing at the American Cup as the rounds progress, and the players are handling this very impressively. In the champion’s bracket final, GMs Hikaru Nakamura and Wesley So engaged in a tense match that went all the way to blitz tiebreaks.


Image Caption
As the time control shortens, so does anybody's chances of keeping up with Nakamura (courtesy SLCC)


After two relatively balanced draws, the rapid matches provided much more excitement. In the first game, Nakamura came from behind to take a one point lead and put So in a must-win situation with the black pieces.


So delivered in clinical fashion, repeating his strong showing at the Chess.com Global Championships Semifinals, sending the match to a blitz tiebreak.



However, Nakamura proved too strong in his domain and was able to take both blitz games, repeating his strong showings in recent editions of the Speed Chess Championship.


Nakamura So
Image Caption
courtesy SLCC


So will be looking for a rematch if he is able to overcome GM Levon Aronian in the elimination bracket final. Expect this to be a hotly contested match, and I’m sure Nakamura will be enjoying the commentary.

In the women’s’ champion’s bracket final, it was a rematch from last year. GM Irina Krush was pitted against FM Alice Lee for the second straight year. And for the second straight year, Krush booked her ticket in the finals, sending Lee to play against IM Nazi Paikidze for a spot.


The classical games ended peacefully, but Lee was not without chances in the second.


Krush went into the next gear in the rapid games, winning both and clinching the match.



Lee will face Paikidze in a tense battle for the chance to meet Krush in the finals and repeat her performance from last year, while Krush will be looking for a successful title defense. Stay tuned for more coverage!