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Zurich Chess Challenge Tournament

Hikaru Nakamura3.5/5(+2 -0 =3)[games]
Viswanathan Anand3.5/5(+2 -0 =3)[games]
Vladimir Kramnik3/5(+1 -0 =4)[games]
Levon Aronian2/5(+1 -2 =2)[games]
Alexey Shirov1.5/5(+0 -2 =3)[games]
Anish Giri1.5/5(+0 -2 =3)[games] Chess Event Description
Zurich Chess Challenge (2016)

This was the fifth Zurich Chess Challenge. It took the form of a preliminary Zurich Chess Challenge (Opening Blitz) (2016), that determined the three players to have White in three of the five rapid games (this page). There ensued the round robin Zurich Chess Challenge (Blitz) (2016). The results from the two latter were combined to determine the overall standings.

When: 13-15 February.

Where: Hotel Savoy Baur en Ville, Festsaal in Zurich, Switzerland.

Format: Round robin, six players, five rounds. Nakamura, Shirov and Anand had won the right to have White in three of the five rounds.

Time control: 40 minutes per game with additional 10 seconds for each move

Scoring: 2 points for the win, 1 point for the draw, none for the loss.

Tiebreaks: No tie break in this section as such, however the tiebreak for the combined results from this and the second (blitz) section were as follows:

1. Total points resulting from adding the final rapid and blitz scores
2. Sonneborn-Berger
3. Number of wins
4. Number of wins with black
5. Result of the direct encounters
6. Ranking in Blitz


On the first day, Anand shot to an early lead with two wins in the first two rounds. Despite draws in the next two rounds, Anand maintained his outright lead at the end of round four by half a point ahead of Kramnik and Nakamura. However Nakamura caught up with him in the fifth round and the action moved to the second part of the tournament, the Zurich Chess Challenge (Blitz) (2016). There Nakamura and Anand again drew but Nakamura won on S-B tiebreak.

Official site: http://www.zurich-chess-challenge.c...

Previous: Zurich Chess Challenge (2015). Next: Korchnoi Zurich Chess Challenge (2017)

 page 1 of 1; 15 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Shirov vs Nakamura 0-1382016Zurich Chess ChallengeC02 French, Advance
2. Shirov vs Kramnik ½-½382016Zurich Chess ChallengeC67 Ruy Lopez
3. Nakamura vs A Giri ½-½472016Zurich Chess ChallengeB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
4. Anand vs Aronian 1-0192016Zurich Chess ChallengeC48 Four Knights
5. Kramnik vs Aronian ½-½492016Zurich Chess ChallengeA06 Reti Opening
6. A Giri vs Anand 0-1452016Zurich Chess ChallengeC50 Giuoco Piano
7. Shirov vs Aronian 0-1382016Zurich Chess ChallengeC67 Ruy Lopez
8. Kramnik vs A Giri 1-0462016Zurich Chess ChallengeA07 King's Indian Attack
9. Aronian vs A Giri  ½-½372016Zurich Chess ChallengeD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
10. Anand vs Shirov ½-½522016Zurich Chess ChallengeC77 Ruy Lopez
11. Nakamura vs Kramnik ½-½722016Zurich Chess ChallengeC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
12. Nakamura vs Anand ½-½302016Zurich Chess ChallengeA08 King's Indian Attack
13. A Giri vs Shirov  ½-½312016Zurich Chess ChallengeA07 King's Indian Attack
14. Anand vs Kramnik ½-½322016Zurich Chess ChallengeC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
15. Aronian vs Nakamura 0-1392016Zurich Chess ChallengeD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 6 OF 6 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-15-16  jphamlore: Nakamura now is both the Establishment and a chess statesman. :-)
Feb-16-16  kellmano: Carlsen yesterday tweeted: 'I almost forgot, congratulations to Giri on a nice win today'. Was he being sarcastic?
Feb-16-16  Pulo y Gata: <kellmano> I think his tweet is to twit Giri, with whom he's been trading such pleasantries (all in good fun, I think) since a year or two ago.
Feb-16-16  SometimesGood: <ndg2: If I were Anand I would not participate in Zurich. Too much spectacle, not enough substance.> That's why you're someone with a strange nick and he is ANAND!
Feb-16-16  SometimesGood: <Bobwhoosta: Nakamura just jumped up in my respect scale with his immediate agreement to a playoff when he had already won the tournament according to the rules. I don't know if I would have done such a thing, and his lighthearted acceptance showed me a side of Naka that I had previously never seen. Now I'm seriously rooting for a Naka-Carlsen WC match. It would not only be interesting, but I might just be a fan of both players now!> Yeah, he's a man! I agree with you. I just can think the reaction of that guy Tony somewhat Rich and I forgot the other name, the guy who claimed something in St Louis. Naka showed that he is a man and gained my respect.
Feb-16-16  SometimesGood: Coming back to all this story. Wesley can be the one who can challenge Magnus. People in the USA - should understand it and cherish it and not to do what happened last year. Sometimes I think people are really dumb, but yet, so I am most of times:)
Feb-16-16  Absentee: What happened last year?
Feb-16-16  SometimesGood: Wesley, Fab and Anish - there are three names and that's it! Naka - I like him, but he will never overpass the curse. Anand? Vlad? Levon? You never know... respect. Topalov? This is the real puzzle. Anyway, I think we will see the real gladiator's fight where Naka will be in the center...
Feb-16-16  SometimesGood: <Absentee: What happened last year?> I'm sorry man to wake you up. Last year it was a story with Wesley So about him writing something encouraging:)
Feb-16-16  Chess Is More: <Absentee: What happened last year?>

The clueless <Absent(minded)ee> does not pay enough attention. But he sure likes to lecture others.

Feb-16-16  Absentee: You need to have your sarcasm detector fixed.
Feb-16-16  Chess Is More: <Absentee> in that case, my apologies. I'm not good with sarcasm/irony. Sometimes I don't get it, even though I am highly intelligent. I guess, THAT is irony, hehehe.
Feb-17-16  Anastasius: Hopefully the audience in Zürich will see the one and only "Tal in a skirt" and the local hero “Viktor the Terrible ”, who described her once as a "coffee house player", in the same tournament hall next year again.
Feb-18-16  Pulo y Gata: <Absentee: What happened last year?>

WBS won the Sinquefield Cup (2015)

Feb-18-16  starry2013: I wonder how much money Giri pocketed just for turning up here..

I'd say Nakamura is the favourite for the Candidates tournament and is at least likely to be in contention unless his form drops off rapidly.

Feb-18-16  Jambow: <Bobwhoosta> Nakamura had a reputation that was far in excess of anything terrible that he ever did. He has been roasted without cause by many of his detractors so that anything he said or did was blown out of proportion.

I think he talked smack in online blitz as much for entertainment value as anything else. Being an American I get that it's cultural. Not saying I agree with it but people have taken to much offence. I used to play in 8 ball leagues and the insults flew constantly. It was part of the atmosphere.

No matter when I briefly spoke with him he was humble and polite. I have seen many interviews where he came across very much the same way. There was a group here who seemed to make it their life's work to smear him and belittle his fans without good cause. I'm glad that seems to have passed. I'm also glad you are giving Nakamura a fair shake too and might even consider yourself a fan. Nakamura put his doubters to shame inch by inch step by step. Who says he is nothing special or not an elite player anymore?

Feb-19-16  Pedro Fernandez: I regret Zurich Tournament be so short, it should be to double round. Nothing to do with the result.
Feb-22-16  Bobwhoosta: <Jambow>

I did not like Nakamura because of some of the behavior I saw from him, particularly early in his career and also a few years ago.

It was one or two things, and didn't do anything other than give me a slightly bad taste in my mouth about his personality. Nothing too terrible, but enough for me to not root for him.

The first was the first article I read about him on chessbase. In the article it stated that he wasn't getting a chess coach, preferring to progress on his own.

In my opinion that decision limited him, although the effects were perhaps not seen until later on. He is an amazing player, but with the right coach he might have become a generational talent.

He still might be that type of talent, but it has yet to be proven. I'm glad to see he's really coming into his own as a top player.

The other was when he dissolved his arrangement with Kasparov. In his statement he seemed to me to imply that he had little to learn from Kasparov. I felt that to be an arrogant view of things.

So nothing too terrible, although it was enough to tip the scales for me. And this incident was enough to tip them back.

I also feel like he's gotten a little more humble in the past few years. Just a general impression from very little observation.

Feb-27-16  Jambow: <The other was when he dissolved his arrangement with Kasparov. In his statement he seemed to me to imply that he had little to learn from Kasparov. I felt that to be an arrogant view of things.>

Well on the former I think maybe a bad decision maybe not on the latter a bit of sour grapes. Yet Carlsen and Nakamura both seemed to have a hard time working with Kasparov. Nakamura's comments in London implying that Kasparov's only advantage was having a team to give him an opening advantage was an outright dig at the former world champion. Do I agree no, and I thought it was in poor taste. Yet Garry had been throwing barbs around too. No matter we agree it wasn't his finest moment, but some acted like he had committed murder? I thought he was saying I'm my own man. I think they have long since buried the hatchet anyway.

I actually rooted against Nakamura in the U.S. open once when he disparagingly belittled another lower rated competitor by saying only he and Kamsky were realistic prospects. Think it was against Shulman but I'm going on faint memory here. He then lost and I was actually glad. Yet on the whole there is much exaggeration of what a disrespectful and rude person he was. There was exceedingly more grievous examples by some of his detractors right here imho.

No matter I like him and see him maturing. I appreciate his unique style, and creative talent. Personality wise I like Caruana although I never met him.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Kasparov called Naka a choker and Naka said he was a con man.

Sorry, that was Trump and Rubio...

Feb-28-16  Bobwhoosta: <Jambow>

I agree with a lot of what you said, particularly about the detractors and the sometimes hypocrisy of forcefully rude derision of somewhat rude public figures.

It does stand that they are in the limelight, however, and that this public persona must be more spotless than the persona of, say, a random poster on chessgames. Sometimes the limelight doesn't taste so rosy, to horribly butcher an entire cow's worth of mixed metaphors.

I also tempered my opinion of his statements regarding Kasparov with my opinion of Kasparov himself, which is quite different than a lot of people who see him as out to ride the coattails of these young talents to keep himself in the spotlight.

If he wanted to stay in the spotlight of chess, he would have stayed there. To me, he is one of those few men who could do pretty much anything he set himself to do, so there is no reason for him to try and get someone else's light; he is simply too busy making his own.

Also, his work in Russia, hoping against hope for change in a country whose level of corruption approaches that of the city dump( and not to dump on its people at all, but rather its system of government and leaders), leads me to conclude that he is a passionate man, and willing to work behind the scenes for what he believes is right, even if he doesn't see the possibility for right to become reality in the near future.

He is a man I admire greatly, and not just for his chess.

He is also, and not only because of his passion, but some character flaws as well, extremely difficult to work with, especially in an endeavor such as chess, where he has both a high level of skill and achievement, and a concrete and inflexible viewpoint in how to develop both of the former.

But I did not read detailed writings on what Kasparov expressed vis a vis their collaboration. From what I did read, I got the impression that Kasparov was extremely respectful during the dissolution. I may be mistaken in this impression.

But yes, I think now it is time to revise and update my former opinion of Nakamura, which has festered long enough, and to begin to enjoy him not just as the player, but the person into which he is developing.

Feb-28-16  Chess Is More: Nakamura is strong. Everyone should like Nakamura.
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Its not so bad to choke. One must have a tremendous amount of ability to get into a position to choke. The key to is to not choke the next time
Feb-29-16  Absentee: <Bobwhoosta: Also, his work in Russia>

Come on.

Apr-18-16  Jambow: <Bobwhoosta> I'm not a Kasparov detractor either and he has many commendable attributes. Humility probably isn't on that list, but his standing up for the Russian people at his own peril can't be discounted.

Of course Bobby Fischer had many great attributes as well, humility also wasn't one of them either.

<Sometimes the limelight doesn't taste so rosy, to horribly butcher an entire cow's worth of mixed metaphors.> ;0]

Yes and some insightful comments too.

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