GM Hikaru Nakamura picked up first place and $1,000 in the April edition of Bullet Brawl on Saturday after leapfrogging March’s winner, GM Jose Martinez, with 10 seconds remaining on the arena clock. With 69 wins to his name in the two-hour arena, Martinez broke his record from the previous edition but suffered more losses than the eventual winner. GM Daniel Naroditsky finished third and won $350 in an equally thrilling race with IM Terry Renato.
For the second month straight, IM Karina Ambartsumova won the top women’s prize and will receive $100 for her performance.
The next Bullet Brawl event will take place on May 27th, 2023, at 10.00 a.m. PT/20:00 CET.
How to review games?
The games from April’s Bullet Brawl can be found here.
Nakamura’s victory in April’s Bullet Brawl was his third in three attempts and this time things came right down to the wire. The five-time U.S. champion was almost unstoppable on Saturday, and he and Martinez finished the event more than 50 arena points ahead of third-place Naroditsky.
As is so often the case, winning quickly allowed the leaders to run away with the event and Nakamura was especially tricky early in the event, even finishing one game in 11 moves with a crafty queen sacrifice.
White to move and win.
With Martinez steamrolling ahead on the scoreboard, Nakamura’s had to keep winning at the back end of the tournament to keep his tournament hopes alive. Paired with one of the world’s most dangerous bullet players, GM Oleksandr Bortnyk, Nakamura very nearly ruined his chances after blundering an exchange. However, in his classic resilient style, he was able to complicate matters and trick Bortnyk as the arena clock dwindled.
Martinez’s greatest feat was almost certainly his 21-game unbeaten streak to start the event. With wins against the likes of GMs Tuan Minh Le and Arseniy Nesterov, and only two draws against Bortnyk and Nakamura in this period, the Peruvian GM worked hard for his $750 second-place prize.
Although Naroditsky was unable to match the consistency of Nakamura and Martinez, there are signs of a three-way rivalry beginning to develop after four editions of Bullet Brawl. On stream, Nakamura highlighted the capability of both players but made his opinion known about the difference between the two. “Jospem [Martinez] doesn’t wow you the way Danya (Naroditsky) does. When you play Danya online, you feel that legit like 2700 hardcore strength, but with Jospem I never really feel it in blitz.”
Regardless of players’ opinions, Bullet Brawl will be back in May and the rivalry will continue. Only time will tell which brawler will come out on top. Be sure to tune in for the next one!
|8||GM||Tuan Minh Le||wonderfultime||3120||163|
|15||GM||Jon Ludvig Hammer||gmjlh||2860||114|
Bullet Brawl is an exciting new titled arena that features Chess.com’s top bullet specialists on the last Saturday of every month. The format is a two-hour arena with a 1+0 time control with a $2,500 prize fund.
Much like Titled Tuesday and Arena Kings, Bullet Brawl is expected to feature top GMs, including Hikaru Nakamura, Daniel Naroditsky, Andrew Tang, Tuan Minh Le, and many more!