One of the strongest rapid events is coming to a close today in France and 20-year old Hikaru Nakamura will face Vassily Ivanchuk in the finals. This will be Nakamura’s biggest test of his career after having beat former World Champion Anatoly Karpov in the semi-final match.
For the last several years Nakamura has come into his own and has exceeded expectations of fans and pundits who felt he may be stagnating. He has since broken the coveted 2700 barrier and his performance ans the Cap D’Agde should be an indication that he has corrected some of his weaknesses in his play. His path to the finals has been impressive…
lost to GM Teimour Radjabov (2751)
beat IM Sébastien Feller (2526)
drew GM Magnus Carlsen (2786)
beat GM Humpy Koneru (2618)
beat WGM Hou Yifan (2578)
beat IM Almira Skripchenko (2455)
beat GM Anatoly Karpov (2651)
beat GM Maxime Vachier Lagrave (2716)
Several of Nakamura’s matchup are of note. His first round match with Radjabov and 3rd round match with Carlsen may be the beginning of many contested battles as the three vie for future championships. He also got a chance to play up-and-coming French star Vachier-Lagrave and China’s sensation Hou Yifan. It is without question that Nakamura has squashed all doubts about his intentions to be a contender in the upper echelon of chess.
Update: Nakamura beat Ivanchuk in the final!
Live Games: http://www.capechecs.com/direct.php
Official Site: http://www.capechecs.com/articles/actualite-des-tournois-lever-de-rideau-au-cap-d-agde-37.html
Video by Europe-Echecs.com.