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Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis

Showdown in Saint Louis Begins Friday for Nakamura, Aronian

SAINT LOUIS (November 20, 2014) – The bell rings tomorrow for a battle between two of the world’s heavyweights.

The United States’ super Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura will square off against GM Levon Aronian, the World No. 4, in the Showdown in Saint Louis, a five-round contest for the lion’s share of a $100,000 purse. The special head-to-head exhibition will include four classical games of chess and a final round featuring 16 games of Blitz. The event will run from Friday, Nov. 21 to Tuesday, Nov. 25, with each round’s first move made at 2:00 p.m. daily. Each game will be broadcast live on

Nakamura, the top American player ranked No. 9 in the world according to FIDE’s November 2014 rating list, is in the hunt for his first Candidates Tournament appearance and today holds second place, halfway through the 2014-2015 FIDE Grand Prix cycle. Aronian, a veteran to the world ranks, has long-been regarded as the main rival to World Champion Magnus Carlsen and reached his career-peak rating of 2830 earlier this year. Along with providing both players with elite head-to-head match experience, the Showdown in Saint Louis will also settle the score from the players’ last meeting: drawing twice at the 2014 Sinquefield Cup in the U.S. Capital of Chess last September.


Friday, November 21, 2:00 p.m.

Classical Round 1

Saturday, November 22, 2:00 p.m.

Classical Round 2

Sunday, November 23, 2:00 p.m.

Classical Round 3

Monday, November 24, 2:00 p.m.

Classical Round 4

Tuesday, November 25, 2:00 p.m.

Blitz Round (16 games, one every 15 minutes)

Alongside the Showdown are two specialized invitational tournaments designed for up-and-coming players attempting to earn chess’ elite master titles: International Master and, the superior, Grandmaster. The 2014 GM/IM Invitational events are two 10-player, round-robin tournaments designed to award title “norms,” or superior performances required by FIDE for player titles.

Of special focus in the GM norm event is Samuel Sevian and Ashwin Jayaram, two players who have already collected three Grandmaster norms and need just a handful of rating points to pass the necessary FIDE watermark of 2500. If Sevian clears the mark, the 13-year-old will become the youngest American Grandmaster in the history of chess.

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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