Caruana and Nakamura in the Italian Team Championship
Last weekend Hikaru Nakamura and Fabiano Caruana played in the Italian Team Championship. The world's #6 and #7 were in fact sitting side by side, playing for the same team "Obiettivo Risarcimento" from Padova. While Nakamura played only three games, Caruana is still active for his team.
Caruana and Nakamura, board 2 and 1 for "Obiettivo Risarcimento"
The Italian Team Championship is under way in Arvier (Aosta Valley). A total of 14 teams are playing 7 rounds according to the Swiss pairings system. About 20 GMs are playing and many IMs, including almost all of Italy's best players. Matches are played over 4 boards.
"Obiettivo Risarcimento" from Padova is the big favorite, with no less than two top 10 players in their line-up and an average rating of 2639. The next two teams on the starting list, Scavolini-Datagest from Pesaro (the reigning champions, with GMs Emil Sutovsky, Sabino Brunello and Mihail Marin) and Chieti (with GMs Gawain Jones, Marie Sebag and Carlos Garcia Palermo) both have an average rating of 2517.
Here's the list of teams and their main players:
- Scavolini-Datagest – Pesaro (winner 2011, Sutovsky, S.Brunello, Marin).
- Obiettivo Risarcimento - Padova (2nd in 2011, Caruana, Nakamura, Kiril Georgiev, Godena)
- Libertas – Nereto (3rd in 2011, Antoniewsky),
- Chieti (Gawain Jones, Marie Sebag)
- Milanese – Milan (Alberto David, Marina Brunello),
- Trieste, (Lenic, Skoberne)
- Arrocco - Roma (Csaba Horvath),
- Torveca Caffè – Vigevano (Salvador)
- Banca Nuova - Palermo (Palac)
- Pizzato Elettrica - Marostica
- Accademia - Bologna
- Centro Studi – Palermo
- Eporediese - Ivrea
The competition started on Friday, April 27th. The second and third rounds were both played on Saturday and the fourth round on Sunday. On Monday there are two rounds again and on Tuesday morning the last round will be played.
World's number 6 player Hikaru Nakamura only played three games for his team. He joined the "Obiettivo Risarcimento" squad on early Saturday morning (the starting time of 08:45 won't have made the players very happy!) and defeated Alberto David of Luxembourg in a game where the evaluation changed many times.
The match SS Milanese vs Obiettivo Risarcimento Padova with David-Nakamura on board 1
Later that day the American drew with White against Emil Sutovsky in just 10 moves, and on Sunday morning a draw with Black against Gawain Jones lasted 17 moves. Taking into account the following tweet by Nakamura, it looks like he won't play in the remaining rounds:
A few games, a few rating points, and a good warmup for the US Championship! Now off to France and Mont Blanc for some fun!
Local hero Fabiano Caruana, who played on board 2 when Nakamura was also playing, still seems to have a good appetite for chess despite his busy schedule. He warmed up with a draw in the first round, with White against Mladen Palac of Croatia. He then defeated both Sabino Brunello and Carlos Garcia Palermo. Especially that encounter against Brunello was a good example of Caruana's will to win in every game.
At the moment of writing Caruana is only 0.6 rating points behind Nakamura on the live rating list, but the Italian league games probably won't be included in the May 1st FIDE rating list.
Fabiano Caruana and Hikaru Nakamura, playing side by side in Aosta Valley
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