American chess grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura emerged triumphant at the elite Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz leg of the Grand Chess Tour, which has become one of the world’s foremost chess events. Nakamura took home US$37,000 for his week’s involvement in the activity.
Numbering ten players, the field was a lofty one. World champion Magnus Carlsen did not play, but his challenger for the world championship title shot in November, Fabiano Caruana, did make an appearance.
Cuba had a wildcard entry in Leinier Dominguez, a 2700 entrant, and his nation’s strongest player. With his recent victory, Nakamura stands at the top of the Grand Chess Tour with 33 points.
Usually, the winner of the Grand Chess Tour gains a ticket to the utterly perplexing and significantly competitive Candidates Tournament. The winner of the Candidates goes on to play for the world championship title. Caruana was successful at the last Candidates and qualified to play Carlsen in November.
This week’s column also brings some selected photos from the Guyana Chess Federation’s (GCF) dinner. The response to the event was polite and fair. James Bond’s chess set accompanied him. It was set up on the head table, perhaps as a reminder that it was a chess event. Regrettably, there was a mix-up with a photograph and a name last week. The column has since apologized to the person whose name was accidentally mentioned.