Hikaru Blitzes; Gata Wins 19 and Draws 2
By Jennifer Shahade   
June 6, 2008
The National Open kicked off with a simul by World Championship Candidate Gata Kamsky. Photo Betsy Dynako

On the first day of the Las Vegas International Chess Festival, Hikaru Nakamura won the G/10 and G/5 Champs ahead of several GMs including Tigran Petrosian and Laurent Fressinet from France. Clearly, the defending National Open Champion has came to Vegas with a lot gutso: before the main event even begun, he has secured nearly 3,000$ in prize money.

Hikaru Nakamura in the final round of the blitz championship. Photo Betsy Dynako

While Hikaru was blitzing the blitz and G/10, 21 lucky players got the opportunity of a lifetime, to play World Championship Candidate Gata Kamsky. Gata won 19 and drew two. The two players who managed  a draw were Gill Lapid Shafriri and Lauro Ancheta.
Kamsky with Ancheta, one of two to draw him in the simul.
 Photo Macauley Peterson

In a future report, CLO will try to publish the game scores of the draws, but here is the shortest win Gata scored in the exhibition:


Gata's simul was followed by a second exhibition by GM Alexander Yermolinsky, who took on all comers. (results forthcoming)

Susan Polgar led a chess camp for all ages. The instructors included GMs Varuzhan Akobian and Dmitry Gurevich and IM Ben Finegold.

Susan Polgar teaching in Las Vegas. Photo Betsy Dynako

The National Open kicks off today at 11 AM Pacific Time. Tune in to Monroi.com for live games and look for more updates from CLO tonight and tomorrow.