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30 Awe-Inspiring Facts About Hikaru Nakamura You May Have Missed Before

Hikaru Nakamura
(Photo : Andreas Kontokanis from Piraeus, Greece)

Hikaru Nakamura, nicknamed “The H Bomb” for his explosive style of playing, is famous for his skill at rapid and blitz chess. He is also strong at bullet chess, a time control giving the players less than three minutes each. He has authored the book “Bullet Chess: One Minute to Mate.” He is a five-time United States champion, with a peak USCF rating of 2900. He reached his peak FIDE rating of 2816, which ranked him second in the world. Here are some really interesting facts about the American chess grandmaster that will blow your mind:

    London Chess Classic 2010 Nakamura 01
    Paweł Grochowalski, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  1.  At the age of 15 years and 79 days, he became the youngest American to earn the grandmaster title at the time, breaking the record of Bobby Fischer by three months.
  2.  In August 2021, Nakamura won in the Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz competition without a single loss in his first over-the-board tournament since before the COVID-19 pandemic.
  3.  While he started the 2020 year as the top-ranked blitz chess player, he failed to defend his U. S. Chess Champion title, finishing 7th.
  4.  Before the 2020 United States Presidential election, he challenged President Barack Obama to a game of chess to raise funds for the presidential nominee Joe Biden’s victory fund and ActBlue.
  5.  On June 1, 2021, Nakamura set the world record for the most bullet chess victories in the 1|0 format in an hour with 52, surpassing the previous record of 32.
  6.  Hikaru Nakamura was born in December 9, 1987, to Shuichi Nakamura and Carolyn Merrow Nakamura in Hirakata, Osaka Prefecture, Japan.
  7.  His father is Japanese, while his mother, a classically trained musician and former public school teacher is an American. He has an older brother - Asuka.
  8.  His family moved to the United States, when he was just two years old. His parents divorced a year later in the year 1990.
  9.  He started playing chess at the age of seven, under the guidance of his Sri Lankan stepfather, FIDE Master and chess author Sunil Weeramantry.
  10.  In the year 1992, Weeramantry began coaching Asuka Nakamura, after he won the National Kindergarten Championship. This led to Weeramantry developing a relationship with their mother.
  11. Hikaru Nakamura (29608320206) (cropped)
    Andreas Kontokanis from Piraeus, Greece, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

  12.  At age 10, he became the youngest American to beat an International Master when he defeated Jay Bonin at the Marshall Chess Club.
  13.  He also became the youngest player to achieve the title of chess master from the United States Chess Federation at the age of 10, breaking the record previously set by Vinay Bhat.
  14.  Nakamura won the Laura Aspis Prize, given annually to the top USCF-rated player under age 13, in the year 1999.
  15.  He won the 2005 U.S. Chess Championship scoring seven points over nine rounds to tie grandmaster Alex Stripunsky for first place, held in November and December 2004.
  16.  He defeated Stripunsky in two straight rapid play playoff games to claim the title and become the youngest national champion since Fischer.
  17.  On June 20, 2005, he was selected as the 19th Frank Samford Chess Fellow, receiving a grant of $32,000 to further his chess education and competition.
  18.  He competed in the FIDE World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, in December 2005, seeded as 28th of 128 players, but failed to advance beyond the first round, losing to Indian grandmaster Surya Ganguly.
  19.  Nakamura was offered a full scholarship to the University of Texas, Dallas. However, he attended Dickinson College, with a partial scholarship, in order to take a break from chess, in the year 2006.
  20.  He won the Magistral D'Escacs tournament in Barcelona and the Corsican circuit rapid chess tournament in October 2007.
  21.  He won the Cap d'Agde Rapid Tournament in Cap d'Agde, defeating Anatoly Karpov in the semifinals and Vassily Ivanchuk in the finals in November 2008.
  22. Hikaru Nakamura Civitanova Marche Italy 2015
    Giordano Macellari, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

  23.  Nakamura won the 2009 U.S. Chess Championship scoring 7/9 to take clear first ahead of 17-year-old GM-elect Robert Hess, who shared second with 6½.
  24.  In August 2009, Nakamura became the 960 World Chess Champion, beating GM Levon Aronian 3½–½ in Mainz, Germany.
  25.  He competed in the Tata Steel Grandmaster A tournament in Wijk aan Zee from January 14 through30, in which he became the first American to win the tournament since 1980.
  26.  Following this victory, he was given the key to the city of Memphis, Tennessee on February 15, 2011.
  27.  At the start of 2014, Nakamura had achieved a No. 3 position in the FIDE ratings, below Magnus Carlsen and Levon Aronian.
  28.  He signed with the esports organization Team SoloMid (TSM) for a six-figure sum, making him one of the first chess players to join an esports team, on August 27, 2020.
  29.  In February 2017, Nakamura won the Gibraltar Chess Festival with a score of 8/10 points and beating David Antón Guijarro in the tie-break final by 1½-½.
  30.  He won the Bullet Chess Championship hosted by Chess.com, defeating Grandmasters Alireza Firouzja, Levon Aronian, and Olexandr Bortnyk in April 2019.
  31.  In September 2020, Nakamura tied for 1st with Carlsen in Champions Showdown: Chess 9LX and finished 3rd in St. Louis Rapid & Blitz.
  32.  In October 2020, he held a 77 board charity simultaneous exhibition online, raising around $9,500 for Doctors Without Borders.
  33.  Hikaru Nakamura Net Worth: $50 Million

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