Nakamura eliminated Caruana in thrilling playoff to move into the Final!



Nakamura wins high-class semi to storm into final of world’s richest online chess tournament

Blitz king Hikaru Nakamura won a dramatic high-class clash against fellow American Fabiano Caruana today to storm into The Magnus Carlsen Invitational grand final.

The speed chess specialist’s tight match with world number 2 Caruana was left hanging on a knife-edge after the first four games finished all-square on 2-2.

But going into the two-game tiebreak with “Armageddon” rules applying and the time reduced, Caruana blundered in a strong position to hand Nakamura the advantage.

The second, with up to $40,000 hanging on the result, was nerve-jangling for both players but Nakamura coolly steered it home.

The match started with two draws before Caruana found himself in big trouble in game three. Nakamura showed no mercy to strike the first blow and go 2-1 up.

In game four, a must-win for Caruana, the newly-installed underdog roared back to show exactly why he is Magnus Carlsen’s closest challenger for the world title.

Nakamura looked anguished when the final blow came to win the game and send the match to the final tiebreak, which he needed all his composure to win.

Nakamura said afterward: "I thought I played three good games but then my nerves failed me in game four and the tiebreak, but I found a way to win."

Coverage of tomorrow’s second semi-final between Carlsen and tournament leader Ding Liren begins with pre-match analysis at 15.00 CEST. 

You can watch it live at

Video highlights from every round are here: 

Leon Watson