Magnus Carlsen’s longstanding rivalry in on-line velocity occasions with Hikaru Nakamura, the five-time US champion and well-liked streamer, had one other chapter on Sunday, with the American rising on prime by a single level after a fluctuating and controversial match.

Their battlefield was the $100,000 Pace Championship, a knockout of prime grandmasters that solely Carlsen and Nakamura have ever received. Carlsen took the primary two occasions in 2016 and 2017, and Nakamura has received yearly since, though largely with out the Norwegian’s participation.

The format was 90 minutes of video games at 5/1 blitz (5 minutes per participant per recreation, plus a one second per transfer increment), 60 minutes of three/1 blitz, and half-hour of 1/1 bullet.

En path to Sunday’s remaining, Carlsen scored a surprising 22-4 victory over reigning US champion Fabiano Caruana with out lack of a recreation and together with a run of 11 consecutive wins.

Nakamura made a runaway begin, successful the 5/1 part 6.5-2.5 as Carlsen did not win a recreation. The No1 had spent what would usually have been his preparation interval watching the World Cup remaining, and his lack of vitality confirmed.

Sport 8, Nakamura’s first win as Black, was spectacular as a consequence of the American’s resilient and psychologically astute play under pressure. Black’s seemingly passive however crafty Qa8 and Qc8 made it appear to be the queen was grovelling on the again row, whereas in actuality it arrange a hidden checkmating counter.

Hugh Alexander, my predecessor on this column, was additionally England No1 of his time in addition to a Bletchley Park and GCHQ codebreaker. Alexander used to say that the toughest transfer to visualise was a backward diagonal queen seize. Current-day GMs often fail to notice backward knight strikes, and in recreation 14 Carlsen moved his white bishop from f4 to c7 to threaten Black’s d8 rook, utterly lacking Na6xBc7, whereupon he instantly resigned.

Carlsen caught up within the 1/1 part, successful three in a row, till Nakamura edged forward proper on the finish for a 14.5-13.5 margin. The ultimate recreation was controversial. Carlsen was two factors down, however successful recreation 28. He reached a place two queens up, with mate imminent, however the seconds remaining on Nakamura’s clock had been two seconds greater than when the match clock ran out, so there was no time to begin recreation 29.

Working down the clock is a well-known idea in lots of sports activities, however now there are requires a rule change in order that the arbiter has the facility so as to add further time for stalling. The complete match can be viewed at

Bodhana Sivanandan, aged simply seven, who earlier this month broke historic age information, is now being backed by biotech company e-Therapeutics. The brand new sponsorship will embrace common teaching by Jonathan Speelman, the previous world semi-finalist.

Puzzle 2499A

Loek van Wely vs Magnus Carlsen, Tata Metal Chess Match, Wijk aan Zee, 2015. Black to maneuver and win. The world champion appeared to have over-reached in opposition to the Dutchman, as White’s rook concurrently assaults Black’s bishop and knight; however Carlsen had all of it labored out.

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