World Rapid And Blitz Championships 2017: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly
Hello, fellow readers!
With the conclusion of the World Rapid and Blitz Championships just yesterday, we learned a lot from the event. Who first brought up all of this Vishy retiring nonsense? And is Carlsen once again getting back into shape?
All that to say, I had mixed feelings about this event, which I am here to share with you. I hope you enjoy!
WORLD CHAMPIONS DOMINATE
Last year, the World Rapid and Blitz Championships were won by Vassily Ivanchuk and Sergey Karjakin respectively. While they were fully deserving due to their performances, many fans and spectators will agree that the winners of such events tend to be somewhat random, probably due to the structure of this event compared to the World Championship.
Anyways, I was glad to see two former World Championship rivals win yet another deserving title, especially considering Anand will be among the 2018 Candidates snubs.
2 MILLION DOLLARS AT STAKE
Despite all of the controversy of the location (which is to be mentioned later), the organizers did a fantastic job offering extensive amounts of prizes, thus drawing more players than last year. The World Cup offered just north of one million dollars, which makes this prize pool impressive.
LOCATION AT SAUDI ARABIA
And I thought chess was banned in Saudi Arabia? The decision by FIDE to hold the events in Saudi Arabia inflicted a lot of controversy and conflict, and well deserving so. This motivated eminent players to openly boycott the event, including Hikaru Nakamura and Anna Muzychuck.
Most of all, we missed Israeli players who were unable to play, as Saudi Arabia did not issue visas to Israelis. What is a World Championship when some countries are specifically restricted from representing?
FEDOSEEV FAILS TO WIN RAPID CHAMPIONSHIP
While Anand received all of the praise he deserved, I thought it was sad to see young Vladimir Fedoseev unable to deliver despite holding the lead for most of the tournament. The Russian talent took down Vladimir Kramnik in Dortmund and subsequently made a deep World Cup run including a knockout against Hikaru Nakamura. Vladimir is a young talent who I don't think anyone saw coming before 2017. Keep your eyes on him!
NO CHESS TV COVERAGE
Maybe this was another ridiculous deal with Agon... I don't know. I just thought it was unfortunate that Chess.com did not provide coverage on the event. Then and again, it did give me room to be on TV!
IVANCHUCK AND KARJAKIN FAIL TO REPEAT
Once again, there were no title repeats, though Ivanchuk and Karjakin lost their titles in completely different fashions. Ivanchuk scored a miserable 6.5/15 in the rapid portion, while Karjakin was in the lead for most of the blitz tournament until Carlsen caught up and beat him! (sound familiar? ).
I hope you enjoyed reading my perspective on the World Rapid and Blitz Championships! Please feel free to leave a comment as always... or better yet, a follow!
Have a Happy New Year!
These are exciting times in the Chess.com community! Join the Blogosphere, virtually the only active blogging community in the #1 chess website! Also, please feel free to join my new group, Chess Hierarchy, if you want to improve at chess, and discuss chess with other ambitious players!