It was an amazing finish with tremendous tension and a final result that was only decided with the very last game of the tournament. Again, it's Hikaru Nakamura who is on top of the Zurich Chess Challenge! The three leaders of the Rapid: Anand, Nakamura and Kramnik, all scored 3.5 out of 5 in the Blitz tournament, but Nakamura had the better tiebreak that gave him the small advantage to edge out runner-up Viswanathan Anand again.

Before the final round, all three leaders still had chances to win the competition: Anand was leading with 10,0 points, followed by Nakamura with 9,5 and Kramnik still have a point behind. The pairings of the last round were Kramnik - Anand and  Nakamura - Aronian, so even Kramnik had chances to win if he beat Anand and Nakamura didn't win against Aronian. By choosing a slow King's Indian setup with white, Kramnik tried to keep the game going and hoping to lure Anand into making a blunder, but the Indian player didn't do him this favour and instead took over the initiative, but it wasn't enough to seriously shake Kramnik's position and so a draw was agreed. Meanwhile, Giri mated Shirov - a seemingly unimportant result, as they both were at the bottom of the table. However, as Nakamura had won against Giri and drawn with Shirov, while Anand had scored opposite, a win against Giri was now worth 2 points more than a win against Shirov! Therefore, if Nakamura scored a full point versus Aronian, he would be the winner of the competition!

Showing excellent nerves and demonstrating brilliant endgame technique even under enormous pressure, this is exactly what the American did. In a double rook endgame, he converted his extra pawn with the precision of a machine. Being two rooks down and with his two connected passed pawns being caught, Aronian stopped the clock and congratulated the American to his second successive win in Zurich.

Pictures and a more detailed report on the Blitz will soon follow.

Final result of the Zurich Chess Challange 2016

Combined after Round 5

1.Hikaru Nakamura (USA)278710.522.75
2.Viswanathan Anand (IND)278410.521.75
3.Vladimir Kramnik (RUS)28019.520.25
4.Anish Giri (NED)27985.511.75
5.Levon Aronian (ARM)27925.59.25
6.Alexei Shirov (LAT)26843.59.75

Final rankings of the Rapid

Rapid after Round 5

1.Viswanathan Anand (IND)27847.015.00
 Hikaru Nakamura (USA)27877.015.00
3.Vladimir Kramnik (RUS)28016.013.50
4.Levon Aronian (ARM)27924.07.50
5.Alexei Shirov (LAT)26843.08.00
6.Anish Giri (NED)27983.07.00

Final rankings of the Blitz

Blitz after Round 5

1.Hikaru Nakamura (USA)27873.57.75
2.Viswanathan Anand (IND)27843.56.75
 Vladimir Kramnik (RUS)28013.56.75
4.Anish Giri (NED)27982.54.75
5.Levon Aronian (ARM)27921.51.75
6.Alexei Shirov (LAT)26840.51.75

Blitz games

Download all games from round 5 (PGN)