Mai 19, 2024

Hikaru Nakamura Knocked Out As Abdusattorov Launches Survival Stage Comeback

GM Hikaru Nakamura was sensationally knocked out of Chess.com’s $500,000 Champions Chess Tour Finals after falling in the second-chance Survival Stage to the Uzbek sensation GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov.

Nakamura, one of the pre-tournament favorites, had finished sixth overall in the event’s round-robin with a 2-0 win on demand over GM Denis Lazavik in Round 7. Given the level of expectation around the popular streamer, it was a huge shock.

That meant Lazavik bowed out along with GMs Alireza Firouzja who finished seventh, while places three to six went on to get a second chance to progress.

Review the action here

GMs Wesley So and Magnus Carlsen had already clinched their spots in the Semifinals on the previous day having finished first and second in the round-robin.

In the Losers Bracket, Nakamura beat GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in armageddon meaning the Frenchman was eliminated, while in the Winners Bracket Abdusattorov lost to world number-two GM Fabiano Caruana

Caruana went through but Nakamura had to face Abdusattorov in the Losers Final for a place in the semis, with both having battled hard to get to this stage. The first two games were drawn to send the match to armageddon, but then the 19-year-old was too strong.

It was a very close call for Nakamura, who nearly made a great comeback, but he exited the tournament in fifth place with $25,000 plus another $2,000 by match wins.

„It’s better than I expected from the start. Ultimately, it came down to one critical game… that’s just how it goes,“ said the U.S. player after the game. He added that he’s not unhappy about the result, considering he played well on the last day.

Abdusattorov moves onto the semis which start on Wednesday where he will face in-form GM Wesley So, who topped the round-robin.

For finishing first in the round-robin, So earned the right to choose his opponent in the Semifinals. At first, he jokingly picked Carlsen. But ultimately he went with Abdusattorov.

We’ll see if that pick will pay off, while Caruana receives the honor and pleasure of playing Carlsen for a second time in this tournament.

The semis start on Wednesday, December 13, starting at 12 p.m. ET / 18:00 CEST / 22:30 p.m. IST.

You can watch the Champions Chess Tour Finals 2023 on Chess.com/TV, our Twitch channel and catch all our live broadcasts on YouTube.com/Chess. The games can also be followed from our Events Page.

Adapted from NM Anthony Levin’s report for Chess.com. Read the full report with game analysis here.