News Isle Of Man: Nakamura, Wojtaszek Join Lead


Fiona Steil-Antoni conducting an interview at the Isle of Man. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/ Steil-Antoni conducting an interview at the Isle of Man. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Written by Mike Klein | Read the full report at

In the last three rounds of the 2018 Isle of Man International, the number of leaders has gone from two to four to six. You might want to go ahead and check those playoff regulations now. There might have been an unlikely seventh, but the "Minister of Defense," Sergey Karjakin, saved a completely lost game.

Today's increase came since another draw on the top board gave others in the chase group a chance to catch up, and Hikaru Nakamura and Radoslaw Wojtaszek did just that. It also helped that one of the four pre-round leaders, Arkadij Naiditsch, took the day off with a bye.

Was Naiditsch just ensuring he would avoid an elite player? Perhaps not—it was also his birthday, and as Lennart Ootes pointed out, he'd lost the last three games he played on October 25!

Nakamura can sympathize, to a degree. He said he played "one of the worst games of my life" the last time he played on his birthday (against Wesley So), but he added that it had probably been at least 15 years since he took a bye for any reason.

Read the full report at

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Latest News

Round 9 Report
Published: 29 Oct 2018

Round 9 Report

John Saunders reports: the 2018 Isle of Man International was won by Radoslaw Wojtaszek of Poland after a play-off match with Arkadij Naiditsch of Azerbaijan. The two players led going into the last round and drew their ninth round game to finish on 7/9 while none of the four players on 6/8 managed to win in order to tie with them. They each take home a cheque for £37,500 with Wojtaszek also receiving a further £500 for winning the blitz play-off. The initial two-game blitz was tied on 1-1 but Wojtaszek chose White in the Armageddon game and duly won. Seven players finished on 6½: Vladimir Kramnik, Alexander Grischuk (both Russia), Hikaru Nakamura, Jeffery Xiong (both USA), Wang Hao (China), Gawain Jones (England) and Baskaran Adhiban (India).

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Round 8 Report
Published: 28 Oct 2018

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John Saunders reports: another pulsating day’s chess saw four 2700+ rated players bite the dust, all bar one beaten by players less highly rated than themselves, and in one case more than 200 points adrift. Two leaders emerge from the smoke of battle, Arkadij Naiditsch (Azerbaijan) and Radoslaw Wojtaszek (Poland), who now both have 6½/8, while four more players are half a point behind them and are still in with a chance of a share in the top prize – Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France), Wang Hao (China), Gawain Jones (England) and Jeffery Xiong (USA).

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Round 7 Report
Published: 27 Oct 2018

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John Saunders reports: another remarkable round at the Villa Marina saw the number of leaders increase by one – the same names as per the round six leader board, plus England’s perennial numero uno, Mickey Adams. There was some fantastic chess played, which it gives me great pleasure to report upon. Before we move on, let’s just record the seven leaders’ names for the record: Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France), Hikaru Nakamura (USA), Radoslaw Wojtaszek (Poland), Wang Hao (China), Arkadij Naiditsch (Azerbaijan), Mickey Adams (England) and Jeffery Xiong (USA) all have 5½ out of 7.

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