Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura has won the 2nd Millionaire Chess Open in Las Vegas by beating Le Quang Liem 1.5-0.5 in the final of Millionaire Monday.
The 27-year-old American had a fair bit more work to do than the other Grandmasters to make it to Millionaire Monday, as he didn't automatically qualify. Only the top four places in each section automatically qualify and Hikaru's quick draw with Luke McShane in the last round of the Open left him in joint 4th with several other Grandmasters. He scored 5.5 points out of the first 7 rounds and so he was one of nine players who had to fight for the final spot in Millionaire Monday. Hikaru had to face GM Wesley So in the final of the playoffs and since he came out victorious, he gained a spot in the prestigious Millionaire Monday.
Hikaru was up first against GM Yu Yanghi and scored 2.5 points in their four game match. Since GM Le Quang Liem was victorious against GM Lenderman, the battle for $100,000 was between Le Quang and Nakamura.
Since Nakamura won very convincingly against Le Quang with the white pieces in the first game of their two game match, he was in a very comfortable position going into the last round. After 30 moves, the position was clearly better for Nakamura and so he agreed to a draw and celebrated his victory early. This makes Nakamura the successor of GM Wesley So, who was the winner of the 1st Millionaire Chess Open.