Carlsen Leads On World Rapid Chess Championship Day 2
Carlsen was interviewed by Norwegian broadcaster NRK. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Carlsen Leads On World Rapid Chess Championship Day 2

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
|
40 | Chess Event Coverage

He started with two draws, but by finishing with three wins, Magnus Carlsen passed the competition to grab the lead with one day to go at the world rapid championship in Moscow.

There's a four-way tie for first in the women's section with four rounds to go.

You can follow the games here (women's games here) as part of our live portal. You can watch daily commentary with GMs Yasser Seirawan and Robert Hess at Chess.com/tv. You can find all the information on this event here.

"If Magnus starts winning it's bad for the competition. He might just not stop," said one of the on-site commentators, the semi-retired grandmaster Peter Leko. And indeed, it looks like the world champion in standard and blitz chess is finally warming up and gave himself good chances to win back the highest title in rapid chess, which he last won in 2015.

There's still one more tough day ahead for him, and probably the toughest of all. First he will face Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in round 11, and other possible opponents in this Swiss event are heavyweights such as Shakhriyar MamedyarovJan-Krzysztof Duda, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Hikaru Nakamura, Levon AronianSergey Karjakin and Peter Svidler, who are all within striking distance of the leader.

Vachier-Lagrave World Rapid Chess Championship 2019
Vachier-Lagrave is Carlsen's first opponent tomorrow. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Carlsen's start of the day wasn't great. He drew worse rook endgames against both Wang Hao of China and the Russian GM Aleksandr Rakhmanov, and admitted being disappointed about his play to Norwegian TV channel NRK, which is broadcasting the event live.

Magnus Carlsen NRK World Rapid Chess Championship 2019
Carlsen speaking to the Norwegian broadcaster NRK. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

It seemed that the flow was back for Carlsen in his game with Viktor Laznicka in round eight, and specifically starting from move 23. IM Danny Rensch analyzed Carlsen's victory over Laznicka here:

His interesting pawn push worked out wonderfully when his opponent tried to keep the position closed; White's knight was suddenly a beautiful blockader that supported the queenside majority.

Magnus Carlsen Viktor Laznicka NRK World Rapid Chess Championship 2019
Carlsen starting his game with Laznicka. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

After beating the Ukrainian GM Alexander Zubov, to whom he had lost last year in the same tournament in St. Petersburg, Carlsen finished his day with an absolutely crushing win against Le Quang Liem. The Vietnamese grandmaster is a bit of a speed chess specialist, but was without a chance here after a slip of the finger in the opening:

Carlsen Le Quang Liem World Rapid 2019
Le Quang Liem resigns his game with Carlsen. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

As many rivals of Carlsen dropped half-points here and there, the finish of 3/3 was just good enough to grab clear first in round 10. He was obviously happy with the current situation.

Whereas the world champ has played 10 fighting games, the same cannot be said for other players. Some chose to play some quick draws today, a strategy Carlsen described as "cynical."

Examples are Motylev-Dominguez (1/2 after 10 moves), Guseinov-Nepomniachtchi (1/2 after 12 moves), Wang Hao-Nepomniachtchi (1/2 after 12 moves), Svidler-Aronian (1/2 after nine moves) and Wang-MVL (1/2 after 12 moves).

Wang Hao MVL World Rapid 2019
Wang Hao vs. MVL was one of the quick draws. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

A trio of players trails Carlsen by half a point: Wang, Duda and Vachier-Lagrave. The French GM is the only player so far who managed to beat Mamedyarov, and he did so with great play in the opening and early middlegame:

Before going into quick-draw mode, Mamedyarov had beaten Duda. The young Polish GM was careless for one moment, and suddenly lost an exchange:

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov World Rapid Chess Championship 2019
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov playing Duda. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Duda cannot complain though, because he ended his day scoring two wins with the white pieces after getting into lost positions in both games. Especially tragic was the loss for Alexey Shirov, who left the board quickly, probably knowing the damage he had done.

Jan-Krzysztof Duda World Rapid Chess Championship 2019
Jan-Krzysztof Duda. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Like Mamedyarov, Wang scored one victory today before starting to draw several games quickly. The Isle of Man winner was too strong for the veteran GM Ilya Smirin, who was one of the surprise leaders after the first day. The Israeli was quite close to holding as Black, in his favorite King's Indian:

Positive surprises so far are Gadir Guseinov and David Anton being on 7/10, only a point behind Carlsen, and Jakov Geller (Russia) and Anuar Ismagambetov (Kazakhstan) who are on 6.5 points—like the reigning rapid world champion Daniil DubovYu Yangyi's 6/10 is less than expected.

Playing hall World Rapid Chess Championship 2019
A view of the top boards. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
Nakamura World Rapid 2019
Hikaru Nakamura is in shared fifth place with 7/10. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
Kirill Alekseenko World Rapid Chess Championship 2019
Candidates wildcard Kirill Alekseenko scored 5.5/10. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
Vladimir Kramnik World Blitz Chess Championship 2019
Vladimir Kramnik visited the playing hall today. Retired from classical chess for almost a year now, the 14th world champion will be playing in the world blitz. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
Trophies World Rapid & Blitz Chess Championship 2019
The trophies were revealed today. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.


2019 World Rapid Championship | Round 10 Standings (Top 20)

Rk. SNo Fed Title Name Rtg Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3
1 1 GM Carlsen Magnus 2886 8,0 55,5 59,5 2676
2 17 GM Wang Hao 2748 7,5 58,0 62,5 2715
3 13 GM Duda Jan-Krzysztof 2751 7,5 53,0 56,5 2647
4 2 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2873 7,5 52,0 55,0 2663
5 12 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2752 7,0 59,0 63,0 2705
6 20 GM Nepomniachtchi Ian 2745 7,0 57,0 62,0 2651
7 21 GM Le Quang Liem 2740 7,0 56,5 61,5 2656
8 9 GM Dominguez Perez Leinier 2755 7,0 55,5 59,5 2673
9 38 GM Guseinov Gadir 2691 7,0 55,5 59,5 2660
10 3 GM Nakamura Hikaru 2819 7,0 54,0 58,0 2658
11 6 GM Aronian Levon 2784 7,0 53,0 56,5 2655
12 22 GM Svidler Peter 2738 7,0 52,0 56,5 2608
13 14 GM Karjakin Sergey 2749 7,0 51,5 56,0 2617
14 15 GM Andreikin Dmitry 2748 7,0 50,5 53,5 2603
15 30 GM Anton Guijarro David 2709 7,0 47,5 51,0 2556
16 95 GM Smirin Ilia 2584 6,5 58,0 62,5 2737
17 74 GM Grachev Boris 2606 6,5 56,0 61,0 2697
18 32 GM Motylev Alexander 2703 6,5 55,5 60,5 2653
19 60 GM Vallejo Pons Francisco 2636 6,5 55,5 58,5 2712
20 18 GM Giri Anish 2747 6,5 54,5 59,0 2638

(Full standings here.)

In the women's section, again just four rounds were played instead of five. Of the three leaders after the first day, only the Romanian IM Irina Bulmaga managed to keep her lead. She is now joined by the two former world champions—Tan Zhongyi (China) and Mariya Muzychuk (Ukraine)—and also Lei Tingjie (China).

Bulmaga will be playing Muzychuk tomorrow after she drew with both Tan and Lei today. That was after beating one of the pre-tournament favorites, Humpy Koneru:

Bulmaga Arabidze Women's World Rapid Chess Championship 2019
Bulmaga (right) in her game with Meri Arabidze. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Two big names of Russian chess played a nice game...well, at least for Kateryna Lagno, who beat Valentina Gunina after the latter had taken a very dangerous pawn on g2.

2019 World Rapid Championship | Round 8 Standings (Top 20)

Rk. SNo Fed Title Name Rtg Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3
1 24 IM Bulmaga Irina 2383 6,5 39,0 42,0 2392
2 6 GM Tan Zhongyi 2496 6,5 38,0 42,0 2346
3 5 GM Lei Tingjie 2498 6,5 37,0 38,5 2369
4 4 GM Muzychuk Mariya 2518 6,5 34,0 37,5 2335
5 13 GM Koneru Humpy 2438 6,0 38,5 40,5 2388
6 30 WGM Girya Olga 2365 6,0 37,5 40,5 2441
7 3 GM Lagno Kateryna 2533 6,0 34,0 37,0 2350
8 16 GM Harika Dronavalli 2425 6,0 33,0 35,5 2353
9 31 IM Atalik Ekaterina 2360 6,0 32,5 34,5 2339
10 1 GM Muzychuk Anna 2592 6,0 32,0 35,0 2350
11 19 IM Arabidze Meri 2416 5,5 38,5 41,5 2367
12 52 IM Charochkina Daria 2296 5,5 37,5 40,5 2467
13 33 GM Danielian Elina 2356 5,5 35,0 38,5 2317
14 7 WGM Pogonina Natalija 2494 5,5 34,0 37,0 2356
15 9 GM Dzagnidze Nana 2478 5,5 33,5 36,5 2324
16 23 GM Batsiashvili Nino 2401 5,5 33,5 36,0 2290
17 14 GM Gunina Valentina 2434 5,5 33,0 37,0 2314
18 29 IM Munguntuul Batkhuyag 2368 5,5 33,0 35,5 2305
19 93 WIM Novikova Anna 2147 5,5 32,5 34,5 2351
20 37 WGM Voit Daria 2344 5,5 31,0 33,5 2229

The world rapid championship takes place in the Grand Sports Arena of the Luzhniki Olympic Complex in Moscow. It is played with 15 minutes and a 10-second increment and will see one more day of play on December 27 with rounds 11-15. Right after, the world blitz (three minutes plus two-second increment) will be played December 29-30.

Both the world rapid and the world blitz championships have a total prize fund of $350,000 each, with a first prize of $60,000 for each tournament. Both the women's world rapid and the women's world blitz championships have a total prize fund of $150,000 each, with a first prize of $40,000 for each tournament.

Find more information on the world rapid & blitz here.


Chess.com's day two coverage with Yasser Seirawan and Robert Hess.


Previous report:

More from PeterDoggers
Caruana Finishes Tata Steel Chess In Style

Caruana Finishes Tata Steel Chess In Style

Caruana Wins Tata Steel Chess With Round To Spare

Caruana Wins Tata Steel Chess With Round To Spare