Match in Doubt: Blitz it Out

A second draw in Monday's fourth Classical game kept the Showdown in Saint Louis tied entering the final day of the match. Tuesday's fifth round will settle the score with 16 games of Blitz chess, with the winner claiming a king's share of the $100,000 prize purse. 

Grandmasters Hikaru Nakamura and Levon Aronian have each landed an uppercut, and both world heavyweights have dodged another. Now it’s time for the flurry.

Monday’s fourth round of the Showdown in Saint Louis, the last game of the match in Classical time control, quickly fizzled into an opposite-colored bishop endgame and drew after just 30 moves. The quick result keeps the head-to-head match between two of the world’s top-ten tied up, with just Tuesday’s round remaining to settle the score.

This afternoon, 16 games of Blitz chess -- featuring a time control of 3 minutes, with 2-second increment per-move -- will decide the winner of the Showdown in Saint Louis. The round’s first jab will be thrown at 2:00 p.m. St. Louis time, and a new game will begin every 15 minutes. The winner will be awarded a 60-percent share of the Showdown’s $100,000 purse, and the exciting match conclusion can be watched live at

Monday’s game featured the same line of the English that Aronian had used with the white pieces in Round 2 -- though this time, without the Nakamura misstep in the endgame. Round 4 featured a sharp, tightrope-walking middlegame, with Nakamura’s queen looking dangerously cramped in the middle of the board with 11... Qc5, though the American super Grandmaster would eventually find his way through to the half-point.

Nakamura vs. Aronian Round 4 Analysis by GM Yasser Seirawan