Speed Chess Championship 2021, Chess.com: The two GMs Hikaru Nakamura and Anish Giri collided in the quarterfinals of this event and it was an entertaining one. Nakamura came out on top with an 18.5-10.5 score.
The first round began with 90 minutes of 5+1 blitz. The US-based GM started with White pieces and it was a quick draw on move 19. The second game like the first was again a draw. It was an Italian position and despite a chance for Hikaru, Giri made it out unharmed.
Having gone through this messy fight, Nakamura switched to his favorite blitz weapon, the 1.Nf3/2.b3 setup. He went on to win an impressive third game, then drew the fourth game from a lost position in an amusing fashion.
The fifth game took the game till the last breath, where Hikaru was lost at the position but his amazing speed of removes was enough to flag Anish. However, from the score of 3.5-1.5, Giri emerged from the ashes to get equal at 4-4.
The speedster did not stay quiet and took a 6-4 advantage at the end of the slower blitz portion. Magnus Carlsen claims FIDE World Chess Championship for the fifth time in the 11th game.
Next up was the 3+1 time control and it should be played for an hour. The Dutch GM won the first game but the fightback from the American proved a nightmare building four games winning streak. Getting a 10.5-5.5 advantage.
This particular segment totally belonged to Nakamura ending with a score of 13-7 for the match. It is quite obvious as Nakamura plays a lot of blitz in his streams. He is like a robot when it comes to these shorter time formats.
The last was 30 minutes of bullet chess with 1-minute time control. The American was just unstoppable in this section too. Getting a result in the first two games, Nakamura’s favor, the next seven matches ended in a draw. The last match was memorable, as Nakamura found a way to save a lost position.
Anish Giri: “This Caro-Kann…the thing is that I am kind of fascinated by these positions, I find them very interesting, you know, when Black goes …g5, so I just wanted to keep playing them out of curiosity, because I just enjoying playing them, but I just kept losing games, so of course, it would have been more efficient to not go there. I had already lost to Hikaru in those positions before, in some other tournament.”
Hikaru Nakamura on SF: “First and foremost, I was a little surprised Ding beat Levon, but… he’s a very strong player, of course. We’ve both played each other a million times. Against Ding, I must have played 50 games online. If I can keep it close until bullet, I have good chances, but the main thing is to just avoid the tilt.”