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Carlsen Captures Sole Lead In Penultimate Day Of Rapid Chess
Carlsen moved to 7.5/9 with six wins and three draws with a 2909 performance rating. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Carlsen Captures Sole Lead In Penultimate Day Of Rapid Chess

JackRodgers
| 33 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Magnus Carlsen assumed the pole position heading into the third and final day of the 2022 FIDE World Rapid Chess Championship having scored key wins over GMs Jorden van Foreest and Giga Quparadze on Tuesday.

The classical world champion's 7.5/9 score leaves him half a point ahead of two chasers, including the defending champion GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov.

The women's event saw the emergence of a trio of leaders: GMs Tan Zhongyi, Aleksandra Goryachkina, and WIM Savitha Shri, who all finished on 6.5/8.

Six players trail by half a point and the local fans in Kazakhstan will be cheering on GM Zhansaya Abdumalik, IM Dinara Saduakassova, and WIM Amina Kairbekova, who are all among this group.

The 2022 FIDE World Rapid Chess Championship will conclude with rounds 10-13 on Wednesday, December 28, 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.


After a taxing first day in Almaty, the leading players entered the playing hall with renewed energy and plenty to smile about. The four leaders were split in half during round six thanks to clinical play from Carlsen and GM Vladimir Fedoseev against van Foreest and GM Arjun Erigaisi respectively.

Van Foreest highlighted the dangers that a second can pose and garnered a comfortable position with Black after 15 moves. Carlsen once again demonstrated his mastery of clarifying middlegames in his favor and within five moves the world champion found himself poised to liquidate into a completely winning endgame.

Fedoseev, who scored wins against GMs Nodirbek Yakubboev, Jules Moussard, and giant-killer IM Arystanbek Urazayev (who defeated GMs Dmitry Andreikin and Sam Shankland in consecutive rounds), faced Carlsen in round seven and couldn't crack through the Norweigian's Bogo-Indian Defense. A draw was agreed in 47 moves as the pair moved to 6/7.

Day two was tough for Urazayev although taking the scalps of Andreikin and Shankland on day one will leave him pleased. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Joining the leaders off the back of a trio of wins was the young Abdusattorov, who saw off GMs Vahap Sanal, Jan-Krzysztof Duda, and Ian Nepomniachtchi. The defending champion, who had just won the 2022 Gashimov Memorial with five rounds to spare, has so far proven that his astonishing run in 2021 was no fluke and after six rounds he looked primed to make a play at back-to-back titles. It is worth noting that the title of world rapid champion has only been successfully defended once, by his main rival Carlsen, in 2014 and 2015.

Round seven also saw GM Nihal Sarin's title ambitions take a tumble after the Indian maestro was crushed by the ever-creative GM Daniil Dubov in just 18 moves. A one-move blunder on move 17 opened Nihal's king up to a stunning queen sacrifice leading to a forced checkmate in four moves.

Chessbrah's GM Eric Hansen failed to show up to his round-six game against Australian GM Bobby Cheng and it was later announced by the Canadian GM via Twitter that he had developed "flu-like symptoms overnight." Given that Hansen had direct contact with many of the tournament's leaders on day one only time will tell whether this news will have wider repercussions on the remainder of the tournament and the forthcoming blitz championship.

As it reached 6:15 p.m. local time in Almaty, all eyes turned to the crucial board one and two round-eight matchups which would go a long way to determining a frontrunner heading into the final day of play. Carlsen found himself facing yet another second in Dubov, who floated up as the highest-rated player on 5.5/7, while Abdusattorov was paired as White against co-leader Fedoseev.

Draws on the top boards amongst the leaders allowed German GM Vincent Keymer to catch them on 6.5/8 after he converted a tough rook and pawn endgame against Erigaisi which coincidentally resembled a very similar ending he had won in his previous round against GM Yu Yangyi.

The world number-one wanted more than half a point against Dubov. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Keymer showed exemplary endgame technique on day two to join the leaders. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

GM Hikaru Nakamura has had a quiet rapid championship by his lofty standards and four straight draws on Wednesday did little to change his fortunes. The Fischer Random world champion shared unique insights into the mind of an elite chess player, publishing his customary Youtube recap hours after the first day of play reached its conclusion on Tuesday.

The final round of the second day saw Carlsen take the sole lead for the first time in the tournament after conquering the quick-moving Georgian Quparadze with the black pieces. Clearly in Kazakhstan to cement his status as the greatest player in the world, Carlsen dominated his opponent with the French Defense and won in 57 moves.

Draws between co-leaders Fedoseev and Keymer as well as Dubov and Abdusattorov left them half a point shy of the highest-rated player of all time, who will go into the final day having already played most of his closest chasers.

Two of the main threats to Carlsen; Fedoseev and Abdusattorov. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Erigaisi found himself back in the limelight after paralyzing GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in one of the most exciting games of the event so far. The Indian superstar was so convincing that he made tripled pawns look beneficial! GM Rafael Leitao has unpacked our fascinating game of the day below.

2022 World Rapid Championship | Round 9 Standings (Top 20)

# Fed Title Name Rating Score
1 GM Magnus Carlsen 2859 7.5
2 GM Vladimir Fedoseev 2688 7
3 GM Vincent Keymer 2696 7
4 GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov 2713 6.5
5 GM Daniil Dubov 2708 6.5
6 GM Arjun Erigaisi 2722 6.5
7 GM Anish Giri 2764 6.5
8 GM Vladislav Artemiev 2701 6.5
9 GM Yu Yangyi 2728 6.5
10 GM Fabiano Caruana 2766 6.5
11 GM Christopher Yoo 2575 6.5
12 GM Nihal Sarin 2670 6
13 GM Giga Quparadze 2470 6
14 GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda 2729 6
15 GM Haik Martirosyan 2682 6
16 GM Ian Nepomniachtchi 2793 6
17 GM Alexander Grischuk 2745 6
18 GM Alexey Sarana 2668 6
19 GM Evgeny Tomashevsky 2694 6
20 GM Surya Ganguly 2582 6

(Full standings here.)

All World Rapid Chess Championship Games