Hikaru Nakamura is the 2016 Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Masters winner for the second consecutive year. This was his third win of the Gibraltar Masters equaling the record set by English GM Nigel Short a few years ago.
Nakamura, World No. 6 and US No.1, first won the Gibraltar Masters at the age of 20 in 2008. He has played in Gibraltar six times, in 2005, then in 2007, 2008, 2009 and last year when he also took the title.
After six hours of intense chess it was down to a play-off yesterday between him and the No.1 Frenchman, ranked 7th in the World, GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. He finished runner-up in the tournament and has also played in Gibraltar a total of six times.
In the Play-off which began at 5.30pm at the Caleta Hotel there were great expectations for both top rated players as they went head to head. It was an intense match but it was Nakamura who succeeded in the end. The Play-off lasted one hour and 15 minutes with a draw in their first four games. The final decider was an Armageddon – in which one player starts with more time but has to win the game.
Nakamura is a four times US Chess Champion and has also won the 2011 Tata Steel tournament. He has represented the United States at five Chess Olympiads, winning two team bronze medals. At the age of 10 he became the youngest player to be awarded the title of chess master by the United States Chess Federation.