Reports | January 05, 2012 0:00

Morozevich beats Nakamura in 8th round Reggio Emilia

Morozevich beats Nakamura in 8th round Reggio Emilia

With two rounds to go, nothing has been decided yet in Reggio Emilia as tournament leader Hikaru Nakamura lost to Alexander Morozevich on Wednesday. Anish Giri maintained his third place thanks to a win against Nikita Vitiugov. Vassily Ivanchuk lost his 4th consecutive game, to Fabiano Caruana.

Nakamura loses to Morozevich in round 8 | Photo © 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 54th Capodanno tournament could have been decided already (well, almost), if Hikaru Nakamura had won against Alexander Morozevich in round 8. It didn't happen, no, in fact Nakamura didn't seem to be himself, perhaps because of the pressure, and played a bad game. Afterwards Morozevich said in an interview by the organizers:

It seems that he was in the mood for pushing. He confused the move order in the opening. For me it was a very easy game but probably I was just lucky.

Indeed, White's early f4-f5 and f5xe6 looked like the most aggressive approach at first sight, but in fact Black had less problems than he normally does in this line, and soon he was two pawns up for nothing.

PGN string

Nakamura tweeted:

Just one of those days where everything went wrong and my opponent played well. Fortunately, I still have the lead and can sleep it off.

The round was coloured by another game: Ivanchuk-Caruana. After his three black losses, the brilliant but unpredictable Ukrainian went down yet again. OK, this can happen, but then something occurred that can be seen quite often in youth tournaments, but never in a super tournament. Before resigning the game, Ivanchuk first gave away almost all of his pieces.

PGN string

After this, it's a relief to see that Chuky seemed to be in relatively good spirits in this post-game interview. After dealing quite well with questions like 'Why do you have never been number one on rating' and 'How many languages do you speak', he was asked about having to play three games in a row with the black pieces.

I don't think that this is such a problem for me. OK, I lost three games but not because I was Black. I already played already three times in a row with black at the Capablanca memorial, but I don't consider this a serious problem.

Anish Giri started with two draws and two losses, but since then he's been playing really well and after four more rounds he's added 10 points to his score! In round 8 he used 1.e4 to beat Nikita Vitiugov in a nice attacking game, that started with a typical exchange sacrifice.

PGN string

Giri beats Vitiugov with 1.e4

The 9th round (with Nakamura-Giri and Ivanchuk-Morozevich) promises to be another exciting one. The tie-breaks in Reggio Emilia are as follows:

  1. Match point (3 – 1 – 0)
  2. Sonneborn-Berger
  3. The result of the players in the same point group
  4. The greater number of victories

Reggio Emilia 2011 | Round 8 Standings

No. Name Rtg Score/game Tiebreak Perf
1 Nakamura,H 2758 15.0/8   2878
2 Morozevich,A 2762 14.0/8   2826
3 Giri,A 2714 12.0/8   2796
4 Caruana,F 2727 11.0/8   2754
5 Ivanchuk,V 2775 8.0/8   2644
6 Vitiugov,N 2729 5.0/8   2557

Reggio Emilia 2011 | Round 8 Standings (classical)


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


arkan's picture

weird game by chucky

test's picture

Wow, rage quit by Ivanchuk.

BL's picture

Best comment yet.

Rob's picture

I think Ivanchuk went for stalemate.

christos's picture

Vassily the Unstable.

Ashish's picture

If Caruana had taken the Bc6, I wonder whether Chucky would have continued with Rxa6. Giveaway!

steve's picture
Septimus's picture

Not a nice thing to say.

redivivo's picture

It's the games where Chucky plays like this that will decide the next Candidates :-)

S3's picture

Another downside of a tournament qualifier

leigh's picture

I guess chucky found some people use computer or get help from others. but he has no real evidence, he used this way to show his unsatisfactory.

jussu's picture

I just saw a man on the street scratching his back. Clearly, he was protesting against the Roswell cover-up.

Anthony's picture

This tournament was losing it's intrigue, but you can always count on Moro relight the fire!

Young Anish is just being his wonderful self.

It's amazing how these young kids cope with the pressure and shrug off nasty defeats. Carlsen is another case in point but I see it with all the promising young guns.
In the old days, after a few defeats you'd start thinking 'ah better luck next tournament', but nowadays it seems defeats are better processed.

jussu's picture

I once found myself in the position after black's seventh move in Nakamura-Morozevich. I played 8. Qd2 with no hesitation, thinking that this pawn sac should be correct somehow, but then actually struggled to find decent compensation. A look into shows that actually black is doing well in all lines, so this sacrifice seems to be at least a little dubious.

Bart's picture

Go Giri!

Thomas's picture

Is this the first time after a loss when Nakamura acknowledges that "my opponent played well" and refrains from excessive self-criticism ("I played like an idiot ...")? If so, has he changed, does he respect Morozevbich more than some other 2700's, or is he in a rather good mood because he is still leading the event?

The final standings will partly depend on if/how/against whom Ivanchuk can recover from his now four consecutive losses. Bazna didn't go well for Chucky, but he beat Nakamura in the last round ... .

Ashish's picture

I had exactly the same thought!

The Devil's picture

Enlightening interview with Morozevich. Love that guy

Knallo's picture

Tomorrow will be interesting!

S3's picture

Giri - Vitiugov is really a great attacking game. Nice to see how Giri alternates between this and technical games

kholmov's picture

Every time I read the twitter nakamura feel like throwing up, beyond the nonsense that it wont post, now complained of fatigue, he's only 24 years, Morozevich a say in who comes from a sequence of seven tournaments? virtually all of which won, and 35 years, I still want to have the pleasure of seeing the nakamura excluded from the most prestigious tournaments, his playing strength is misleading and elite players are realizing this, it must soon disappear from the list of top 20 world, and I dislike it because I've never seen an elite player so silly to say, unlike kasparov a creature that is unbearable, but recognize that Kasparov played really would be stupid, is not the case with nakamura that can be just unbearable

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