Najer, Nakamura win World Open!

Mikalevski ponders Kamsky's next move while Nakamura-Najer reaches the climatic stage.

Viktor Mikalevski ponders Gata Kamsky’s next move while Nakamura-Najer reaches the climatic stage. Photo by Daaim Shabazz.


In an unusual ending to America’s premier tournament, Evgeny Najer and Hikaru Nakamura topped the World Open field with a final 7-2 tally. What made this result so unusual was that Nakamura had requested two half-point byes for the last two rounds. The U.S. Champion had to make a Sunday flight to Spain to compete in San Sebastian tournament which was beginning on Tuesday. As it were, Nakamura was tied with Najer in the end, but Nakamura had to forfeit the overall crown since he was not present to play the blitz tiebreak. Najer pocketed $15,200.00 (with an additional $200.00 for the overall crown).

Najer had lost to Nakamura in round #7 in a thrilling encounter, but won key games over Alex Shabalov and Jaan Ehlvest to move into the winner’s circle. Victor Mikhalevski collapsed when it appeared as if he would be in competition for the crown. Losing to fellow Israeli Ilya Smirin and Czech Jiri Stocek squashed his chances. There was five-way tie for joint 2nd led by Gata Kamsky and followed by Smirin, Stocek, Leonid Yudasin and Varuzhan Akobian. A seven-way tie for joint 3rd netted $257.15.

Final Standings
Games (PGN format)

4 Comments

  1. I was glad to read that Nakamura won (Again!), because he is one of my favorite American GMs! I wish that Naka or somebody else would publish a book and or DVD of his games!? But I guess I’ll have to settle with dipping into Chessbase until an annotated collection of Naka’s games is available. I hope Naka does well at San Sebastian… must feel nice to start a tournament after having just won the World Open!

  2. Hikaru Nakamura deserves his success. I will be putting the interview up tonight.

    Hikaru is misunderstood, but he is definitely good for chess. I have had a chance to chat with him a lot on Facebook and he is focused on becoming World Champion. He really looks good… fit and trim. Sunil Weeramantry tells me he works out quite a bit and Hikaru himself tells me.

    One player told me that Hikaru is the best hope for a World Champion since Fischer. I believe Kamsky may have given it his best shot. It was amazing that Kamsky came back to play at an elite level.

    Hikaru beat Karpov yesterday and got French star Vachier today. Despite all the European hoopla about Hikaru not being an elite player on the level of young European talent, the result was the same… a win for Nakamura. He is now on 2/2.

  3. !?French cant find it anywhere in chessbase. Does anyone know Najer where is he from? Maybe naka can make it to the top but the Norwegians have Magnus and they seem a bit more serious than the U.S. at this point, Brother Shabazz i didnt really look at the analysis but wasnt topy lost against Kamsky? Just curious {too much Judge Mathis i think!}

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