Hikaru Nakamura at ACC Video

Below is a video of Hikaru Nakamura playing blitz chess against Evgeny Bareev at Annex Chess Club. This was part of Hikaru’s 3-day visit to Toronto (Oct 15-17), in which he visited Pub Chess (at The Madisson), Chess in the Park (at High Park) and Annex Chess Club (at 918 Bathurst Centre for Creative Arts).

Hikaru is currently rated World #5 in classical chess and is a former World #2. He is also rated World #1 in blitz chess. Evgeny is currently the top-rated classical chess player in Canada and a former World #4.

Here the gentlemen play two blitz games using a 3-minute + 2-second increment. Much of the audience is watching the game display on a large screen behind and to the side of the players. The results were a draw in Game #1 and a win for Hikaru in Game #2. These were the 21st and 22nd blitz games played at ACC by Hikaru, out of a total of 37 games.

Game #1:

Below is the Lichess game analysis for Game #1. It shows that the two players played to approximately the same level of accuracy and average centipawn loss, and both made a similar number of inaccuracies, mistakes, etc. This is common in blitz chess where time pressure is a factor.

Game #2:

The engine considers White’s move 26. Rc4 to be a blunder as 26. Rxe5 was best. The game would have then continued on from this alternative position, which you may wish to analyze further on your own.

Below is the Lichess game analysis for Game #2. It shows that Hikaru played to a higher level of accuracy and a lower level of centipawn loss, and he made fewer mistakes than Evgeny. Evgeny was slightly better with White in the opening, and in the middlegame Hikaru took the initiative with Black and achieved the win.

We are grateful for this OTB chess at ACC as well as hearing the players’ comments about their previous encounters at the Corsica Masters in 2007 and the Millionaire Chess Blitz in Las Vegas in 2015.

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