In his biggest win of his career, Hikaru Nakamura won the 2011 Tata Steel Chess Tournament held in Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands. This tournament featured the top four highest-rated players in the world including World Champion Viswanathan Anand and the world’s highest rated player in Magnus Carlsen.
Seeded in the tenth position, few believed that Nakamura had a chance to win the tournament, but there has been a buzzing about his improved performance in the past couple of years. In this tournament, he lost only to Carlsen and ended on 9/13. Anand was undefeated and finished second at 8.5/13. Carlsen and also-undefeated Levon Aronian ended on 8/13. Nakamura stands to gain a handsome amount of rating points and will ascend up the ranks toward the top five.
This is the first win for an American player since 1980 when the “Hoogovens Wijk aan Zee” was won by Americans Walter Browne and Yasser Seirwan. Nakamura’s next tournament will be the Amber Tournament March 11th-25th 2011 in Monaco, France where he will compete against many strong players in rapid and blindfold chess.