Hikaru Nakamura makes master at 10 years, 2 months

The Marshall Chess Club was once again host to another record-breaking event. At the club's weekly Thursday Night Action Tournament of February 26th, Hikaru Nakamura, who already set the record for becoming the youngest player to defeat an International Master in a tournament game when he defeated IM Jay Bonin at the Club's "Last Blunder of 1997" action tournament on December 31st (see previous posting), made chess history once again. Hikaru, who is only ten years and two months old but has already become a veteran Marshall Chess Club tournament competitor, achieved an official USCF rating of 2203 at the end of the February 26th tournament, making him the youngest player ever to earn a Master rating.
Asuka Nakamura

Hikaru Nakamura and his similarly strong (and not much older) brother Asuka have one tremendous advantage.

It so happens that their step-father, Sunil Weeramantry, has, for more than 20 years, been America's leading scholastic chess teacher and trainer.

They will never have to spend money for grandmaster training. It all comes in-house.

By the way, they are Japanese citizens. I keep wondering how this might impact the chess Olympic team of non-chess playing Japan. They are both easily strong enough to make the Japanese team right now.

The photo above is not of Hikaru Nakamura but of his older brother Asuka Nakamura.

Sam Sloan

UPDATE: The Chicago Open, with $100,000 guaranteed prizes, was held May 22-25 with 807 entries, 45 more than last year. A new high of 20 Grandmasters participated. Seven players scored 5.5 out of 7 to win $3000 each: GM Alex Shabalov, GM Boris Gulko, GM and US Champion Joel Benjamin, GM Igor Novikov, GM John Fedorowicz, GM Dmitry Gurevich, and IM Joshua Waitzkin. This was the fourth consecutive "Big 3" CCA tournament in which Shabalov has placed first, as he tied for first in the 1997 Chicago Open and took clear first in the 1997 World Open and Continental Open. Benjamin's result was unusual as he turned the 2-day schedule into a "1-day schedule," committing to byes in the last two rounds before the tournament so he could sightsee on Monday before giving two simuls. Joel's result was hardly cheap, though- he beat GMs in his last three games and compiled a performance rating of 2839!

10-year old Hikaru Nakamura, the youngest Master in American history, continued to show dramatic improvement in the Chicago Open, with these round by round results: beat Emory Tate (2438), lost to GM Larry Christiansen (2658), drew with Albert Chow (2328), drew with Alex Betaneli (2278), drew with Jim McLaughlin (2315), drew with Andrew Karklins (2400), and beat 16-year old Justin Sarkar (2388) for a performance rating over 2450. We feel Hikaru is a serious threat to break Fischer's record as the youngest American GM ever!

Here is a link: Hikaru Nakamura leads New York Open under-2200 section .

You can now look up the official ratings of Hikaru and Asuka Nakamura at the US Chess Federation web site.

Here is more about Hikaru Nakamura and his older brother, Asuka Nakamura: Chess Scholar in the News.

I always like to show photos of beautiful young girls, and here is the best yet: Laura Ross, America's Number One Rated Chess Player (for her age) .

Here is a link: Sam Sloan's Chess Page

UPDATE: The New York Post just got around to publishing this story, and they got it wrong: 10-YEAR-OLD CHESS WHIZ SHOWS HE'S A PAWN GENIUS.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Hikaru Nakamura makes The New York Times.

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