Hikaru Nakamura managed to pull off a fantastic come-from-behind victory at the Millionaire Chess tournament in Las Vegas. First, one of his games was almost disqualified based on tournament rules that prohibited a draw before move 30. However, he and opponent Luke McShane were able to convince organizer Maurice Ashley to let the nine-move draw stand based on three-time repetition (a standard draw condition under FIDE rules). This tied Nakamura up at 5.5/7 with nine other players, all of whom were placed in a rapid playoff. After a win there he went on to join the final-four with three players who had advanced on scores of 6/7. Despite playing with a cold, he triumphed there as well and claimed the $100,000 top prize.
Maximilian Lu, age 9, of Connecticut became the youngest player in the history of the U.S. Chess Federation to earn the title of Master.
Thirteen-year-old Sota Fujii has become the youngest ever 3-dan Shogi player and may become the youngest ever professional player if he can achieve 4-dan in the next year and five months.
Meanwhile, engineers in Japan announced that their robotic Shogi player (it calculates the optimum play and moves the pieces) achieved a 63 percent winning record against professional players in 2014.
The EuropeMasters board game championships saw team Brettspielteam Hamburg of Germany take home the top trophy in a tournament made up of Deus, ZhanGuo, Orleans, and Five Tribes.
Magnus Carlsen won the 2015 FIDE World Rapid Chess Championship but let out an uncharacteristic expletive upon losing his fourth game in the World Blitz Championship. That contest was won for the third time by Alexander Grischuk.
The World Championship for Rapid, Blitz, and Turkish Draughts in Didim, Turkey was followed just a few days later by the World Cup and Bacoli Open in Italy. In the men’s section of the World Championship, Alexander Schwarzman placed first in Blitz and second in Rapid. Olga Balthazy led the women’s Blitz tournament undefeated, as did Faik Yildiz in the Turkish event. Guntis Valneris stole the show at the World Cup tournament, taking an early lead and leaving other players battling for second.
Tim Wong solved a Rubik’s Cube in just 19 moves for a world record.
Along his way to claiming the China Rubik’s Cube Championship, Feliks Zemdegs cleared four world records: a single solve of the 4×4 cube in 21.54 seconds, a single solver of the 5×5 cube in 47.25 seconds, and the 5×5 cube solved in an average of 50.23 seconds. At the same event, Kaijun Lin broke the world record for solving a 3×3 blindfolded, doing it in 21.05 seconds.