Hikaru Nakamura won his first Grand Chess Tour with a clutch victory in the last round over Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. The newly crowned champion earned an additional $120,000 for his efforts, bringing his winnings to a total of $225,000. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave finished second for the second year in the row, picking up a total of $160,000.
After another peaceful day in London, the rapid and blitz portion will determine who will be crowned as the new Grand Chess Tour winner. Hikaru Nakamura and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave will battle it out tomorrow for all the marbles, and as neither player has won the series before, we’ll have a new champion crowned on Monday.
The second half of the Grand Chess Tour Finals kicked off today at the Olympia Exhibition Center in London. The two finalists, Hikaru Nakamura and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, drew in an endgame after 50 moves. In the battle for third place, the game between Fabiano Caruana and Levon Aronian ended in a perpetual in less than 30 moves. Tomorrow, the final classical game of the 2018 Grand Chess Tour will be played before the players move on to rapid and blitz.
After a full day of rapid and blitz chess, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France and American Hikaru Nakamura qualified to the finals by defeating Levon Aronian and Fabiano Caruana respectively. The two finalists will slug it out for the title of “Grand Chess Tour Champion” as well as $120,000, while the loser of the final will receive $80,000 for his efforts.
The four players will enter day three in a tie, as both classical time control games ended in a draw again today. The all American game finished in under an hour while Maxime Vachier-Lagrave had to earn his half a point with some effort after an opening surprise.
The Grand Chess Tour finals have kicked off in London drawing a large audience and a number of high profile guests, including Garry Kasparov and Demis Hassabis, the co-founder of DeepMind. The first classical game in the semi-finals didn’t yield any decisive results but both games were very exciting and of high quality.