Hikaru Nakamura has had a banner year and will close out with the last leg of the Grand Chess Tour. If there is a “Chess Oscar” awarded this year, no one seems to be more deserving. However as a warmup, he will face off in a $100,000 exhibition match against team mate and recent repatriate Fabiano Caruana. The winner will take $60,000. Nakamura is coming off of a thrilling win in Las Vegas winning the $100,000 first prize at the Millionaire Chess Open.
Hikaru Nakamura enroute to his victory at Millionaire Chess #2.
Photo by Daaim Shabazz.
Since change his federation back to the U.S. last year, Caruana has been adjusting to the chess scene and has had a lot of support from the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis (CCSCSL), the site of the match. The match will feature four different formats including Basque Chess (two games at once), Fischer Random 20+10, rapid 15+10 and blitz 3+2. There will be one format per day.
Nakamura-Caruana must be top all-USA clash. Back to Fischer, Reshevsky, Fine? Golden Age of US chess in St. Louis! https://t.co/4fV6COnc4X
— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) August 25, 2015
The above comment by Garry Kasparov spoke of pending matchup at the Sinquefield Cup, but he could not have forseen this match! This match was announced not long after the Sinquefield and builds off of the momentum of the Grand Chess Tour, a series of elite tournaments in three countries. Both Nakamura and Caruana have qualified for the World Candidates in March 2016 and will vie for the chance that an American will challenge for the world crown for the first time since Bobby Fischer won in 1972.
Fabiano Caruana and his new second, GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov at the Sinquefield Cup. Photo by Daaim Shabazz.
Both players broke all of Fischer’s records during their ascent and hope to repeat this feat in what would be an epic battle if either were to challenge Magnus Carlsen. In the meantime, this match will only serve bragging rights in America. The ultimate goal is the championship and of course the Olympiad gold medal.
This match will be highly anticipated and covered live by several chess servers. There being held concurrently is a battle between Asian player Hou Yifan of China and Parimarjan Negi of India. The St. Louis Chess Club will be center stage again this weekend. Live commentary will be brought by the crack team of GM Yasser Seirawan, WGM Jennifer Shahade and GM Maurice Ashley.
Official Site: http://www.uschesschamps.com
November 12th-15th (St. Louis, USA)