Hikaru Nakamura, age 12, scores sensational draw on Board One of New York Open Chess Championship

NEW YORK: May 5: Hikaru Nakamura who, two years ago, became the youngest USCF rated chess master in history, has scored a surprising upset by drawing on board one against Grandmaster Epishin of Russia.

Round one pairings feature the top half playing against the bottom half and, due to the luck of the pairing process, Hikaru Nakamura was paired as black on board one against Grandmaster Epishin, one of the strongest players in the world, who has a rating of 2667.
Hikaru Nakamura faces Grandmaster Epishin on Board One of New York Open
Hikaru Nakamura faces Grandmaster Epishin on Board One of New York Open

Hikaru Nakamura got a cramped game and fell well behind in development, as a result of which most of the spectators felt that he had no chance to survive.

However, Nakamura dug in and made it as difficult as possible for his grandmaster opponent to make progress.

The spectators, which included many grandmasters, were astounded when Epishin was simply unable to push his passed pawn through to make a queen and agreed to a draw after five hours of play.

Hikaru Nakamura is rated 2313 by the United States Chess Federation and is rated more than 200 points higher than any player of his age group. Hikaru Nakamura is also by far the strongest chess player in the world who is a citizen of Japan, even though he is only 12 years old.

The New York Open Chess Championship is being held May 5-12 at the Hotel New Yorker in New York City. With 38 grandmasters playing, it will probably be the strongest open chess tournament held in the world this year.

Here is the game:

[Event "New York Open"]
[Site "Manhattan"]
[Date "2000.05.05"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Epishin, Vladimir"]
[Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D97"]
[WhiteElo "2667"]
[BlackElo "2313"]
[PlyCount "82"]
[EventDate "2000.05.05"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Qb3 dxc4 6. Qxc4 O-O 7. e4 a6 8. e5
b5 9. Qb3 Nfd7 10. Be3 c5 11. e6 fxe6 12. dxc5 Ne5 13. Nxe5 Bxe5 14. a4 bxa4
15. Nxa4 Qd5 16. Qc4 Bc7 17. Rd1 Ba5+ 18. b4 Qxc4 19. Bxc4 Bxb4+ 20. Ke2 Ba5
21. Rb1 Kf7 22. Nb6 Ra7 23. Bd3 Bxb6 24. cxb6 Rd7 25. Rhc1 Bb7 26. Rc7 Rc8 27.
Bf4 Rcd8 28. Rbc1 Bxg2 29. Rxd7 Nxd7 30. Bc7 Rc8 31. Bxa6 Ra8 32. Bc4 Bb7 33.
Rc3 Nf6 34. Bb3 Ra1 35. Be5 Ba6+ 36. Bc4 Bxc4+ 37. Rxc4 Rb1 38. Rc6 Nd5 39. Bd4
Ke8 40. Rc8+ Kd7 41. Rh8 Nxb6 1/2-1/2
Sam Sloan

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