Nakamura, Aronian to go Five Rounds in Showdown in Saint Louis

Super GMs Hikaru Nakamura and Levon Aronian return to the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis for four classical games of chess and 16 Blitz.

SAINT LOUIS (November 4, 2014) – From the same venue that hosts such high-quality events as the U.S. Championships and the global super-tournament Sinquefield Cup, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis now presents a high-stakes slugfest between two of the world’s heavyweights. 

The United States’ super Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura will square off with GM Levon Aronian, the pride of Armenia, in the Showdown in Saint Louis from Nov. 21-25. The special head-to-head exhibition will go five rounds, including four classical games of chess and a final round featuring 16 games of Blitz. The two kings will fight for the lion’s share of a $100,000 purse.

Nakamura, the top American player ranked No. 9 in the world, is in the hunt for his first Candidates Tournament appearance and currently sits in second place halfway through the 2014-2015 FIDE Grand Prix cycle. Aronian, a veteran to the world ranks currently at No. 4, has long-been regarded as the main rival to World Champion Magnus Carlsen and reached his career-peak rating of 2830 earlier this year. The Showdown in Saint Louis will settle the score from the players’ last meeting, drawing twice at the 2014 Sinquefield Cup in the U.S. Capital of Chess last September.

As a special feature to the Showdown in Saint Louis, 20 high-tiered chess players will look to prove – and earn – their stripes at the CCSCSL. Surrounding the heavyweight fight will be two 10-player, round robin tournaments designed for players to earn International Master and Grandmaster title norms. The GM norm event features Grandmasters Ben Finegold, Denes Boros and Samy Shoker setting the standard against such players as IM Sam Sevian and IM Priyadharshan Kannappan, both dangerously close to earning their new titles.

The Showdown in Saint Louis and surrounding GM/IM norm tournaments will be streamed live on and once again feature live play-by-play and analysis from the renowned commentary team of GM Yasser Seirawan, GM Maurice Ashley and WGM Jennifer Shahade. Live spectators may take in all the action as it unfolds in the upstairs tournament hall of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, with admission free-of-charge for annual, monthly and day members.

For more information as it unfolds, visit