Reports | March 23, 2010 23:09

Nakamura wins Dos Hermanas internet blitz tournament

ICC GridDos Hermanas has always been considered the biggest, best and strongest online blitz tournament in the world - and fittingly, the latest edition, the 11th Dos Hermanas online tournament, hosted exclusively on, was won in convincing style by arguably the strongest and best online blitz player in the world today: GM Hikaru Nakamura of USA.

By John Henderson

Seattle-based Nakamura fought his way to the 32-player KO Finals (held 19th-20th March) after top-scoring in winning one of last week's 12 qualifiers (spanning 144 rounds). He was the top-seed and fan favorite for the finals, which had a prize-fund on offer of over $10,000.

Dos Hermanas though has a long history of being the graveyard of top seeds; but it wasn't to be this year. Nakamura (Smallville) beat GM Simonian Hrair (EREBUNI), IM Federico Perez Ponsa (Federicov), GM Rodrigo Vasquez Schroeder (Kastor), and then GM Yaroslav Zinchenko (MEGAYARICK) in the final to take the title and $2,700 first prize.

ICC Grid

It's been quite a year so far for Nakamura since he won his second US Championship title last May in St. Louis: his book Bullet Chess: One Minute to Mate (co-authored with Bruce Harper) was published; he beat Magnus Carlsen to win the BN Bank Blitz in Norway; two superb performances at elite tournaments of London Chess Classic and Corus A Group; individual gold for his outstanding top-board performance at the World Team Championship that inspired Team USA to silver in Turkey; and now winning Dos Hermanas, the world's biggest, strongest and best online tournament hosted on

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Editors's picture
Author: Editors


noyb's picture

It's high-time that Nakamura now becomes a regular at top level tournaments, Linares, Wijk-An-Zee, etc.!

Douglas's picture

God, wish there were a database of his(nakamura) online games, I'd die to play his b3 openings :-)

PP (nl)'s picture

@noyb: why? Not based on winning this little tournament I hope. ;-)

I think he already is a regular in big tournaments anyway.

ebutaljib's picture

So in his 11th attempt he finaly wins it.

Thomas's picture

@PP (nl): Agreed, who were Nakamura's opponents in this tournament? The names do not sound even remotely familiar, would any of them have a chance for a Corus invitation? Of course I mean the B group ... :) .
noyb may have a point based on "general considerations", but even here I would disagree about "high time" if it means "long overdue".

@"Editors" (who wrote this report?): Would you really call Nakamura's -1 score at the London event a superb performance? Not by the standards of Nakamura and his fans, who consider him a future WCh candidate ... . Altogether Nakamura had a mixed year 2009 with a net ELO gain of 9 points (2699 -> 2708): good results at the US Championship and San Sebastian, not-so-good ones at Rising Stars vs. Experience [else he wouldn't have played this online blitz event due to commitments in Nice ...] and London, a very good result in the French league, a bad one in the Austrian league. This was followed by an excellent month January 2010, what's next?
I would say no need for excessive Nakamura hype here, this role is sufficiently taken care of by some other chess sites!?

Laurie's picture

Well,Nakamura has proved that he can hack it at the top level for many years now.
8 years beating top quality Grandmasters from the Ex

Peter Doggers's picture

@Thomas The report was done by ICC's John Henderson, as stated after the first paragraph. Perhaps that answers your question.

Laurie's picture

Nakamura has proved himself at the top level for 6 to 7 years now. He is an unknown quantity at Super Grandmaster Level classical chess. He is fortunate enough to have had the necessary chess upbringing. How many top Grandmasters hailing from the Soviet Union defected to America in the early 1990's: Gulko, Gurevich, Alburt, Kamsky,Polgar and Onischuk. They have wealth of experience.The USA have one of the strongest Olympiad teams in the world. If he seriously wants to make waves at the higher echelons he must neglect playing so much speed chess-this is his forte,but could prove to be his downfall if he is not careful. Clearly, his over the board sight makes him formidable.Calculating variations quickly allows him to save valuable time on the clock. Look at Fischer -a tactical - strategist as- Nakamura a real dangerous player with the black pieces.Many people forget how strong a player Kasparov actually was when it came to blitz and rapidplay events. In stark contrast -Kasparov was a strategical- tactician at heart- not a attacking chess player-but a positional player -profoundly well prepared from the outset-from beginning to the end. As a opening theoretician - he is unparellelled (A Human Computer). With the exception of Ivanchuk,Shirov (who can play almost any random opening at will - and hold their own) Kramnik and Anand (defending lost positions and grinding out near impossible wins).Chess has changed a great deal. There are far more draws than ever before.Endgames play a vital role. More games are won with the black pieces.I think chess players now-lack guile and flair-like the true die hards of the game. Anderssen and Steinitz..I blame those damn computers ! It's pathetic you know. Players should be encouraged to think more.I think Kramnik, Kasparov,Shirov, Morezevich and Ivanchuk are perfect testiment to the school of developing concrete analysis.

Guillaume's picture

John Andersson doesn't say who was Nakamura's first opponent. Too bad, dropping a bishop on move 12 looks interesting. Are these guys even supposed to be blitz experts?

Thomas's picture

@Peter Doggers: Yep I missed that - only looked at the very top of the page ... . This answers one of my questions, some of the others might answer themselves - "what's next (for Nakamura)", the future will tell ... .

Generally (@John Henderson) I consider it a bit pointless to mention only successes by any given player and neglect other results. If we only counted Ivanchuk's superb results, his rating would be 2850 or 2900!!??

An Afghan's picture

naka`s win not worthed to be raport in great site like Chessvibes with his 2735nowhere near super elite and hundredsof player like naka came and gone.blitz is not chess it is abuse of god gifted game.once great Aljagin said to undrestan chess one life is not enoughand how you play it in 5 or 10min.

Guillaume's picture

If we disregard the rating of his first opponent, whose identity is not given in the article, Nakamura's average opposition in this tournament was a staggering 2475 elo. That's 260 elo point below his own rating. I enjoy watching him play, but really, sometimes the hype around him is just confining to ridicule.

jussu's picture


Nevermind the rest of your comment, but "There are far more draws than ever before" is just wrong, unless "ever before" ends somewhere around 1900.

Thomas's picture

The A group of the "Hypercube blitz tournament" in Utrecht may well have been as strong or stronger than Nakamura's opposition. This event was "missed" or not considered worthwhile mentioning by Chessvibes, but Chessbase has a big pictorial report:

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