Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hikaru Nakamura Interview After Winning 2009 US Chess Championship

Info below courtesy of Wikipedia

Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura

Over-the-board chess

A resident of White Plains, New York, Nakamura often played in the weekly New York Masters chess tournament at the Marshall Chess Club, which he won several times.

In April 2004 Nakamura achieved a fourth-place finish in the "B" group at the Corus tournament at Wijk aan Zee.

Nakamura qualified for the 2004 world chess championship, contested in Tripoli, Libya, and reached the fourth round, defeating grandmasters Sergey Volkov, Aleksei Aleksandrov, and Alexander Lastin before falling to England's Michael Adams, the tournament's third-seeded participant and eventual runner-up.

He won the 2005 U.S. Chess Championship (held in November and December 2004), scoring seven points over nine rounds to tie grandmaster Alex Stripunsky for first place, with whom he had drawn in the tournament's third round. Nakamura defeated Stripunsky in two straight rapid chess playoff games to claim the title and become the youngest national champion since Fischer. Nakamura finished the tournament without a loss and, in the seventh round, defeated grandmaster Gregory Kaidanov, then the nation's top-ranked player.

Following that victory, Nakamura played a challenge match dubbed the "Duelo de Jóvenes Prodigios" in Mexico against Ukrainian grandmaster Sergey Karjakin and defeated his fellow prodigy, 4.5-1.5.

In November and December 2005 Nakamura entered the FIDE World Chess Cup seeded 28th (of 128 players) but failed to advance beyond the first round, losing each of his two games to Indian grandmaster Surya Ganguly and becoming the second-highest-ranked player to leave Khanty, Russia, without having won a game.

In 2006 Nakamura helped the US team win the bronze medal in the International Chess Olympiad at Turin, playing third board behind Gata Kamsky and Alexander Onischuk (2006 US Champion).

In January 2007 Nakamura shared second place in the GibTelecom Masters in Gibraltar.[6] He placed joint first in the tournament the following year, finishing with five straight wins to tie with Chinese GM Bu, whom he then proceeded to beat in the rapidplay play off.[7]

In October 2007 Nakamura won the Magistral D'Escacs in Barcelona[8] and the Corsican circuit rapid chess tournament.[9]

In November 2008 Nakamura won the Cap d'Agde Rapid Tournament in Cap d'Agde, defeating Anatoly Karpov in the semi-finals and Vassily Ivanchuk in the finals.[10]

In February 2009 he came joint third at the 7th Gibtelecom Masters in Gibraltar, again finishing strongly with 4½/5 to end the event on 7½/10.

Nakamura won the 2009 U.S. Chess Championship (St Louis, MO, May 2009), scoring 7/9 to take clear first ahead of 17-year-old GM-elect Robert Hess, who shared second with 6½/9 [11].

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