Hikaru #1 in Gibraltar!
By Jennifer Shahade   
January 31, 2008

 
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Hikaru Nakamura at the closing ceremony. Photo Cathy Rogers
Hikaru Nakamura made an amazing comeback in the Gibtelecom Masters (Jan. 22-31, Gibraltar) to capture first place and a prize of nearly $24,000. After a lackluster 3/5 start, Hikaru strung 5 wins together, then defeated Bu Xiangzhi from China 2-0 in a rapid playoff. Bu  had been running away with the event a few rounds earlier, and even had chances to equalize in the playoff. In the first rapid game (10 minutes plus 10 seconds), Hikaru executed a kingside majority attack on the White side of the Slav. In the second game, Bu won a queen for a rook and a knight, and had chances to equalize the score. However, Bu was unable to break through the "Nakamura Fortress" and even ended up losing to mate on the board. Here are the playoff games:





 In Hikaru's blog on his new website , he gives insight into his Gibraltar training regimen as well as his games. "One of the many reasons why I come to Gibraltar is for the fun atmosphere which abounds in the evenings." The $100,000 prize fund couldn't have hurt either. Congratulations to Hikaru. Watch uschess.org for more details on this amazing result. For now, enjoy the additional games below and browse the official Gibtelecom website for more details.
 






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Hikaru Nakamura and Bu Xiangzhi playoff for first place. Photo Cathy Rogers