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Nakamura Even at the Grand Prix [VIDEO] Print E-mail
By Macauley Peterson   
September 26, 2012
Approaching the half way point of the first FIDE Grand Prix tournament in London, Hikaru Nakamura is smack in the middle of the field. He entered the first of two rest days with a win, a loss, and three draws. Boris Gelfand leads with 3.5 from five rounds.

The Grand Prix is a qualifying series for the planned 2014 Candidates Tournament, to determine who will challenge the winner of the next World Championship in 2013. Nakamura is scheduled to compete in a total of four Grand Prix events, with his final place awarded by adding the results of his best three performances. In addition, the twelve players in London are competing for $220,000 in prizes.

After dropping his first game to Gelfand, Nakamura rebounded promptly by beating Rustam Kasimdzhanov, who fell into a mating net in time pressure. In round three, Nakamura missed a win in a difficult rook and pawn endgame, allowing Peter Leko to escape with a draw.

60Rh1.jpg

Endgame tablebases reveal that several moves are winning for white, but Nakamura's 61.Rb7 is not one of them.

After a relatively uneventful draw with Veselin Topalov in round four, Nakamura benefited from an oversight by Lenier Dominguez, who missed a crushing variation, during Tuesday's fifth round. His third draw in a row.

rb8.jpg

Here the Cuban missed the forced win 69.Bxg6+! Kxg6 70.f5+ Kf7 71.g6+ Kf8 72.f6

Instead after 69.Re2, Dominguez missed a second chance for the same tactic a few moves later, giving Nakamura a new lease on life, and he was eventually able to hang on.

On Wednesday morning, Hikaru agreed to an interview, in the lobby of his hotel, the Strand Palace.



Macauley Peterson is in London producing six high-definition live video streams for the official web site, as well as daily video comments from the players.
 
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