Hikaru Nakamura has played a fundamental role in top level American chess for many years. He is a four-time U.S. Champion, winning in 2005, 2009, 2012, and 2015. His first championship victory reset Bobby Fischer’s record as the youngest player ever to become U.S. Champion. Nakamura also reset Fischer’s record as the youngest American to earn the grandmaster title at age 15 (the current record holder is Samuel Sevian at age 13).
One of Nakamura’s greatest tournament performances was his victory at Tata Steel 2011, which was one of the few times in history that an American has won a super-tournament over a World Champion. The average rating of the tournament was 2740, and World Champion Magnus Carlsen as well as two former World Champions, Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik, were all among the field.
Nakamura has been ranked within the top 10 players in the world for nearly every month since 2011 and has been as high as World #2 in October 2015. He is also one of only 12 players to have ever passed the 2800 FIDE threshold, reaching a peak rating of 2816 in 2015 and tying with Veselin Topalov for the 9th highest rating in history.
Here is one of Nakamura’s key victories from his stunning Tata Steel 2011 performance: