Added on 2/15/2022

Hikaru Nakamura and Levon Aronian at the board - Photo from World Chess An exciting first game in the final of the 1st leg of the FIDE 2022 Grand Prix! Hikaru opened 1.e4, and Levon replied with 1.e5. The two went for a Closed Ruy Lopez, with 7...0-0. Levon is one of the leading experts of this opening, but Hikaru was well prepared, and the two landed on a highly complex middlegame. The feeling was that at around move 30, the players may have called it a day and agreed on a draw. Instead, play continued, and the endgame proved to be extremely intense.  

Nakamura in a moment of intense concentration - Photo from World Chess Hikaru finished with two queens on the board, but Levon knew all the way he had a perpetual check to draw the game. And that was it, after 54 moves and four and a half hours of battling. It was very nice to see the players amicably analyzing the game after it finished.  

 FINAL Game 1 Game 2 TB Levon Aronian 1/2     Hikaru Nakamura 1/2