Nakamura Wins BNbank Blitz
Saturday, November 28, 2009 at 12:21PM
Dennis Monokroussos in Carlsen, Nakamura, blitz

It was an organizer's dream - except for the finish. The BNbank blitz tournament in Oslo, Norway, was set up for a final match between national hero Magnus Carlsen, the world's top-rated player and newly crowned world blitz champion, and Hikaru Nakamura, who has long been the world's best blitz player on the internet.

The first part of the event consisted of multiple round-robins, and both Carlsen and Nakamura won their sections. Carlsen gave up one draw, to Cmilyte, while Nakamura scored a clean 6-0. Then it was on to the quarterfinals, best-of-four matches that mirrored the round-robins: both won; Carlsen giving up one draw in defeating Jon Ludwig Hammer 2.5-.0.5 and Nakamura blanking Kjetil Lie 3-0. In the semis, they were equally unmerciful: Carlsen 3-0'd Emanuel Berg and Nakamura did the same to Peter Heine Nielsen.

On to the final. In the first game, Nakamura's 12-0 run came to an end, as Carlsen beat him with the black pieces. In game 2, Carlsen was winning, and it looked like Nakamura was in for a thumping. It didn't happen. Nakamura not only managed to hold on, but when Carlsen lost a seemingly unloseable position (a pawn up in a knight ending!) the match was tied. (The culprit was 62.Kf6??, losing when 62.f4 would have won.) After this, Carlsen might have lost a little confidence, and Nakamura won games 3 and 4 as well, winning the match 3-1 and scoring a hefty 15-1 overall. Carlsen finished second, of course, and Nielsen defeated Berg 2.5-1.5 in their final match to take third.

To see all of Nakamura's and Carlsen's games from the event (preliminaries and head-to-head), as long as the Nielsen-Berg games, go here (and close the pop-up). Next step, select BNb blitz 2009, and then expand each of the alphanumeric round links in turn (from the bottom up, if you want to go in chronological order) and then on the games within the links.

Article originally appeared on The Chess Mind (
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