Ponomariov won a long first game, but Nakamura equalized in another King's Indian in Game 3. A final game win tipped the match in Nakamura's favour, a frustrating result for Ponomariov who had many good positions and should probably have scored higher.
|Classical chess match (Saint Louis, USA)|
|Ponomariov, Ruslan||-||Nakamura, Hikaru||1-0||93||E98||King's Indian Classical|
|Nakamura, Hikaru||-||Ponomariov, Ruslan||½-½||37||C67||Spanish Berlin|
|Ponomariov, Ruslan||-||Nakamura, Hikaru||0-1||43||E94||King's Indian Classical|
|Nakamura, Hikaru||-||Ponomariov, Ruslan||½-½||51||D31||Semi-Slav Defence|
|Ponomariov, Ruslan||-||Nakamura, Hikaru||½-½||41||E94||King's Indian Classical|
|Nakamura, Hikaru||-||Ponomariov, Ruslan||1-0||44||D31||Semi-Slav Defence|
So 3½-2½ was the final score.
A gain of three rating points may not seem to be a great deal but it could be enough to enable the American to rise two places in the World rankings!
Following on from their classical match the players then switched to rapid play.
It was no surprise to many that the US No.1 Hikaru Nakamura was able to beat Ruslan Ponomariov in their rapid match.
I was present when the American beat Ponomariov in a play-off match in San Sebastian (it was impressive!). The Ukrainian is no less than No.11 in the world but at Rapid and Blitz chess few can compete with 'Naka'.
The first win came in the rare 1.b3 opening that is often named after Bent Larsen and Aaron Nimzowich.
|Rapid Match details, game-by-game|
|Ponomariov, Ruslan||-||Nakamura, Hikaru||½-½||93||A88||Leningrad Dutch|
|Nakamura, Hikaru||-||Ponomariov, Ruslan||1-0||56||A01||Larsen/ Nimzovich|
|Ponomariov, Ruslan||-||Nakamura, Hikaru||0-1||27||D11||Slav Defence|
|Nakamura, Hikaru||-||Ponomariov, Ruslan||½-½||39||E60||King's Indian|
There was a second match going on at the same time where the youthful Ray Robson took on the experienced Ben Finegold.
A fine +2=4-0 from Ray Robson with a 2600+ performance.
In the rapids, Finegold started strongly but was caught at the end.
|Rapid Match Saint Louis (USA), 24th-25th of May 2011|
The best source for further details is the official site