INTERNATIONAL Master Richmond Phiri has been drawn against US Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura in the first round of the world chess tournament in Baku, Azerbaijan on September 10.
IM Phiri is hoping for the positive performance at the world championship which would bring him closer to his dream of becoming a Grandmaster by the end of the year. But the draw against Nakamura, a four-time US champion, will be a test of his life.
IM Phiri earned himself a place at the world championship after being crowned champion at the zonal 4.3 tournament hosted by Malawi last May. He won the tournament with 8.5 points from nine rounds that saw him win the International Master title, and thus becoming Zambia’s seventh IM after Kelvin Chumfwa, Stanley Chumfwa, Chitumbo Mwali, Cephas Sichilima, Gillian Bwalya and Daniel Jere.
As for Nakamura who won the 2011 edition of Tata Steel, Group A and represented the United States at five Chess Olympiads, winning two team bronze medals, he hopes to have a fair game against Phiri.
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– GM Susan Polgar