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Carlsen Beats World Rapid Chess Champion, Leads With Fedoseev, Van Foreest, Erigaisi
Carlsen starts strong at the 2022 Rapid Chess Championship. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Carlsen Beats World Rapid Chess Champion, Leads With Fedoseev, Van Foreest, Erigaisi

JackRodgers
| 23 | Chess Event Coverage

GMs Magnus Carlsen, Vladimir Fedoseev, Jorden van Foreest, and Arjun Erigaisi share the lead after an action-packed first day of the 2022 FIDE World Rapid Chess Championship.

After five rounds the leaders dropped only half a point each having fended off several challengers, including GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov, who couldn't repeat his famous 2021 upset over Carlsen when they faced in round four.

GM Valentina Gunina was the standout in the women's section with a perfect 4/4 and is being tailed by a chasing pack of five players which includes Chinese GM Tan Zhongyi and former Women's Rapid Chess Champion GM Humpy Koneru.

The 2022 FIDE World Rapid Chess Championship will continue with rounds six through nine on Tuesday, December 27, starting at 1 a.m. PT / 10:00 CET.

How to watch?
You can watch the 2022 FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Championship on Chess.com/TV. You can also enjoy the show on our Twitch channel and catch all our live broadcasts on YouTube.com/ChesscomLive. Games from the event can be viewed on our events page: World Rapid | Women's World Rapid.

The live broadcast was hosted by GM David Howell and IM Lawrence Trent.


The World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships are among the most popular events in the FIDE calendar and the fast-paced tournament has become a great source of entertainment for chess enthusiasts to bridge the gap between Christmas and New Year.

In the heart of Almaty, Kazakhstan lies the Baluan Sholak Sports Palace, the venue which will play host to this year's championships. The city will be hoping to give a home-ground advantage to IM Bibisara Assaubayeva, who will vie to defend her women's world blitz chess champion title.

The playing hall is both spacious and spectator-friendly. Photo: Lennart Ootes/FIDE.

The open event is filled with an illustrious group of the world's top players and some of the key contenders heading into the first day were reigning champion Abdusattorov, Carlsen, GM Hikaru Nakamura, World Blitz Chess Champion Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, and world championship challenger GM Ian Nepomniachtchi.

Nakamura has been in fantastic form in 2022. Will he take home a world title? Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Despite the consistency of these players, the world's rapid and blitz championships are notorious for producing unexpected winners, largely due to the volatility of results in short-time controls, as well as the impact of momentum. Sharp tactics are often enough to win games as demonstrated by GM Surya Ganguly as early as round one.

Seven of the top 10 seeds managed to win their first-round encounters though it was not smooth sailing for Nakamura, Vachier-Lagrave, or GM Alexander Grischuk, who each drew against their lower-rated first-round opponents.

Nepomniachtchi found two brilliant moves to beat GM Levan Pantsulaia in round one. Photo: Anna Shtourman/FIDE.

Carlsen got off to a flying 3/3 start, dispatching Chessbrah's GM Eric Hansen en route to his perfect score. The Norwegian superstar was left staring down the barrel of a potential defeat after finding himself in a worse position against GM Evgeny Tomashevsky in round three although he rallied to enter a drawn, albeit imbalanced endgame. In classic Carlsen style, he was able to squeeze blood from the stone and capture the full point with an array of flashy endgame tactics.

The reigning classical world champion has long shown his intent to capture the world rapid and blitz titles after disappointing results in last year's events. Speaking to Chess.com in last week's "State of Chess 2022" Carlsen indicated that he does not have "a lot of ambitions about what to accomplish," however clarified this, stating: "I love the game, I love playing, so that's all the ambition I need, and that's why I'm going to continue competing in the events I enjoy."

Last year's winner Abdusattorov, whose home country of Uzbekistan shares its largest border with Kazakhstan, clearly felt comfortable in his bid to go back-to-back, also scoring 3/3 to kick off the day. The fourth round saw the world rapid champion paired with Carlsen in a rematch of their round-10 game from 2021 (which the world number-one spectacularly lost). However, this year Carlsen was able to complete his redemption ark, bowling over Abdusattorov in a barnstorming game.

This crucial matchup was the deserved winner of our Game of the Day and has been analyzed by GM Rafael Leitao below.

Several other key matchups took place in the fourth round, with GM Anish Giri's showdown with GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda arguably the most notable. A near-faultless draw left the pair on 3.5/4, so far mirroring the Polish GM's performance from the 2021 edition.

Duda won the tough Superbet Rapid and Blitz Poland back in May and is one to watch in Almaty. Photo: Lennart Ootes/FIDE.

In a clear sign that the future of Indian chess has arrived, rapid virtuosos Nihal Sarin and Erigaisi also found themselves on a healthy 3/3. Erigaisi went one step further to defeat GM Richard Rapport with the white pieces in the following game and propelled himself into equal first alongside Carlsen and Van Foreest.

With a dream round-five opponent, none other than the world champion, Erigaisi did well not to reflect on his drubbing at the hands of the legend at the Julius Baer Generation Cup in September where he humbly proclaimed: "It's just evident that Magnus is the better [player]."

Fortunately for the Indian prodigy, his play against Carlsen was more like a game between two equals and the drawn game was a fitting result. Erigaisi did have a few small chances throughout the game but eventually decided that an unbeaten day having already played the world's best player would leave him in good stead.

Erigaisi's meteoric rise to the top of world chess continues. Photo: Anna Shtourman/FIDE.

Fedoseev was the only player on 3.5/4 who managed to win his game and join the leading trio after the first day. The Russian blitzer will take on Erigaisi in round six while Carlsen will try his luck against the Dutch number-two player, van Foreest. 

2022 World Rapid Championship | Round 5 Standings (Top 20)

# Title Fed Name Rtg Pts
1 GM Carlsen Magnus 2834 4.5
2 GM Fedoseev Vladimir 2741 4.5
3 GM Erigaisi Arjun 2628 4.5
4 GM Van Foreest Jorden 2693 4.5
5 GM Giri Anish 2708 4
6 GM Duda Jan-Krzysztof 2791 4
7 GM Nihal Sarin 2628 4
8 GM Abdusattorov Nodirbek 2676 4
9 GM Yu Yangyi 2743 4
10 GM Quparadze Giga 2538 4
11 GM Nepomniachtchi Ian 2766 4
12 GM Sarana Alexey 2629 4
13 GM Murzin Volodar 2534 4
14 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2746 4
15 GM Artemiev Vladislav 2727 3.5
16 GM Yakubboev Nodirbek 2573 3.5
17 GM Caruana Fabiano 2747 3.5
18 GM Dubov Daniil 2712 3.5
19 GM Martirosyan Haik M. 2575 3.5
20 GM Ter-Sahakyan Samvel 2531 3.5

(Full standings here.)

All World Rapid Chess Championship Games