Reports | December 28, 2011 4:11

Morozevich and Nakamura start with wins in Reggio Emilia

Morozevich and Nakamura start with wins in Reggio Emilia

In the first round of the 54th Torneo di Capodanno Hikaru Nakamura won against Nikita Vitiugov with Black while Alexander Morozevich defeated Fabiano Caruana, also with the black pieces. Anish Giri held Vassily Ivanchuk to a draw in Reggio Emilia.

Event 54th Torneo di Capodannno |  PGN via TWIC
Dates December 27th-January 6th, 2011
Location Reggio Emilia, Italy
System 6-player double round robin
Players Ivanchuk, Nakamura, Morozevich, Vitiugov, Caruana, Giri
Rate of play 100 minutes for the first moves followed by 50 minutes to finish the game with 30 seconds increment from move 1


The participants list of the 54th Torneo di Capodanno sees a mixture of young guns and experienced fighters, and promises an exctiting tournament. The first round immediately lived up to the expectations with three good games.

Anish Giri can be satisfied with his start, as he held the great Ukrainian Vassily Ivanchuk to a draw, with Black. The 17-year-old Dutchman 'couldn't resist' (in his own words) going for a complicated line in a Queen's Gambit Declined, against his 25 years older opponent. It involved a short-term exchange sacrifice but a white knight would remain trapped on a8 for a long time. At some point Ivanchuk missed one or two chances for an advantage, and then a forced liquidation led to a drawn endgame.

PGN string

Hikaru Nakamura started in the best way possible: a good win with Black. His opponent was Nikita Vitiugov - perhaps least known of all six participants. However, the 24-year-old grandmaster from St Petersburg already boasts a 2700+ rating since March 2010!

Although it started as a 5.Bf4 QGD, soon the middlegame became complicated, especially when Black could create a passed pawn with c5-c4. Vitiugov underestimated a knight move from his opponent and got into trouble. He found a tricky pawn sacrifice to mess up things a little, but Nakamura reacted well and reached a winning endgame.

PGN string

Video interview with Nakamura by the organizers

The third game of the round was a dramatic affair for Fabiano Caruana of Italy. The 19-year-old local hero more or less outplayed Alexander Morozevich in the absolute main line of the Zaitsev Ruy Lopez, but just when he could decide the game he blundered material. The Italian was in timetrouble and the winning moves were not easy to spot.

PGN string

Reggio Emilia 2011 | Round 1 Standings


Reggio Emilia 2011 | Schedule & results

Round 1 27.12.11 15:00 CET   Round 6 02.01.12 15:00 CET
Ivanchuk ½-½ Giri   Giri - Ivanchuk
Vitiugov 0-1 Nakamura   Nakamura - Vitiugov
Caruana 0-1 Morozevich   Morozevich - Caruana
Round 2 28.12.11 15:00 CET   Round 7 03.01.12 15:00 CET
Giri - Morozevich   Morozevich - Giri
Nakamura - Caruana   Caruana - Nakamura
Ivanchuk - Vitiugov   Vitiugov - Ivanchuk
Round 3 29.12.11 15:00 CET   Round 8 04.01.12 15:00 CET
Vitiugov - Giri   Giri - Vitiugov
Caruana - Ivanchuk   Ivanchuk - Caruana
Morozevich - Nakamura   Nakamura - Morozevich
Round 4 30.12.11 15:00 CET   Round 9 05.01.12 15:00 CET
Caruana - Giri   Nakamura - Giri
Morozevich - Vitiugov   Morozevich - Ivanchuk
Nakamura - Ivanchuk   Caruana - Vitiugov
Round 5 31.12.11 15:00 CET   Round 10 06.01.12 13:00 CET
Giri - Nakamura   Giri - Caruana
Ivanchuk - Morozevich   Vitiugov - Morozevich
Vitiugov - Caruana   Ivanchuk - Nakamura


Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


Anthony's picture

Really nice tournament!
The ambitious will see this as a chance to state their claims.

Long time since Anish was battling it out with guys of this class. I'm very curious to see how much he's progressed!

Hortensius's picture

Ouch! Caruana blundered badly at move 47...

Creemer's picture

Yes, Caruana had been quite simply winning for some time. It doesn't seem like a time trouble situation. Just a black-out? Anybody know?

misja's picture

It was time trouble. 50 moves for 100 minutes plus a 30-second increment per move.

Lee's picture

I think Nakamura might finish on top of this one.

christos's picture

Quite a blunder by Caruana. Especially since black's winning reply is a simple capture. And when one is calculating, one is supposed to analyse forcing moves (captures, checks) with priority.

S3's picture

Giri sac'd / lost ? material on the 15th move only to win it back on the 27th!

Sarunas's picture

Chess line given as explanation behind 47.Nc7 Caruana's move makes no sense to me. After given 47.Qe2 R:N 48. d7 I can only see White having lost a piece and no further evidence attached. Instead 47.Qb1 looks much more human R:N 48.Q:B N:d6 49.Qb1+ and White is slightly better or 47.Rc7 B:N 48.Q:B N:d6 49.Qc2+ dominating

Harish Srinivasan's picture

Anish Giri is a great talent and also a great commentator. My respect for him did reduce a bit though after that post by him on his game against Kramnik in Dortmund where he was trying to prove a point that he was not worse in his position but only after turning on his engines. Why not simply accept the fact that he was not able to refute Kramnik otb and also not in the post mortem (granted Kramnik spoke inaccurate moves, but Giri could not refute it). ... and he had to get back to his analysis .. in his words "fortunately people invented chess engines".... to refute it. It is similar what kids do at the club level after losing a game, turning on the computer after losing and then say ....blah blah your move was bad. I am hoping he has already or will grow up from that.

guest's picture

offtopic. Just wanted to know what David Navaara thinks about his chances in the Tata Steel. Does he have any interview where he has expressed his opinion?

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