Nakamura Knocks Out Aronian in Blitz Offensive

GM Hikaru Nakamura upheld his reputation as one of the world's finest blitz players on Tuesday afternoon, scoring 9.5 times in 16 games with Levon Aronian on Tuesday afternoon. With the round victory, Nakamura wins the Showdown in Saint Louis.

American super Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura stood victorious in his nation’s centerpoint, using a furious blitz offensive in the final round of the Showdown in Saint Louis to earn its $60,000 winner’s purse.

Nakamura fell back on his instincts Tuesday afternoon, peppering Armenian heavyweight GM Levon Aronian with 9.5 points across 16 games of Blitz chess in the fifth round. The speed attack tipped the Showdown’s scorecard just before its last bell, after the match had entered Tuesday’s final round tied after four Classical games of chess. Nakamura and Aronian traded wins in the first two rounds, then fought to a pair of draws.

In his post-game interview, Aronian admitted the 3-minute, 2-second-increment time control had often served as kryptonite in his blitzing history, perhaps revealed by his clock falling tragically behind in nearly every game played at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. The American, however, looked comfortable in his zone on Tuesday, upholding his reputation as one of the chess world’s fastest thinkers. The earth’s second highest-rated Blitz player perhaps showcased his talents best in the round’s opening game -- first hanging his queen, then stunning Aronian with a rook-and-two-knights checkmate. Nakamura eventually won the round with six wins, besting Aronian’s three. They drew seven times.

Aronian, ranked as the World No. 4 Blitz player, earned $40,000 for his efforts in the Showdown.

Watch the Showdown in Saint Louis' Tuesday Blitz, and each of the match's first four classical games with Grandmaster commentary, on the event's video replay page