The 2015 U.S. Chess Championship is Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura’s first return to the U.S. Championship since winning the title in 2012. Ranked in the world's top-10 players for nearly five years, Nakamura has been the longtime U.S. No. 1 Grandmaster and the leading hopeful to bring America its first World Champion since Bobby Fischer. The chance for that world title creeps ever closer this year, as Nakamura currently sits second place at the halfway point of FIDE's 2014-15 Grand Prix and may earn his first seat in a Candidate's Tournament.
A child prodigy in every sense of the word, Nakamura made a fast impact on U.S. chess by knocking down nearly every age record on his way to the top. He was at one time the youngest-ever American master in history (10 years, 79 days), the youngest American international master (13 years, 2 months) and eventually the youngest American Grandmaster (15 years, 79 days) – breaking Fischer’s record by three months.
Nakamura has collected numerous titles and championships since the age of 13, when he first arrived onto the national scene by becoming the 2001 U.S. Junior Champion. He quickly confirmed his place as one of chess’ great elites, shocking the world with a sweet sixteen appearance in the 2004 FIDE World Cup, and then grabbing his first of three U.S. Championships the following year.
He is a recipient of the prestigious Samford Chess Fellowship (2005), the 2007 National Open champion and a three-time North American Open champion. He was an individual bronze medalist in the 2006 and 2008 World Olympiad, as well as the gold medalist on the first board of the 2010 World Team Championship, where the United States placed second.
This chess player only gets better as he gets faster, gracing the top of the world in Blitz chess when FIDE began publishing its list earlier this year and demonstrating his skill. Nakamura finished with bronze at the FIDE World Blitz Championship in June 2014, and currently sits second on FIDE’s Blitz rating.