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Carlsen Wins 4th Rapid World Championship, Tan Takes Women's Title
GM Magnus Carlsen was crowned the FIDE world rapid champion alongside the new women's champion, GM Tan Zhongyi. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Carlsen Wins 4th Rapid World Championship, Tan Takes Women's Title

JackRodgers
| 66 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Magnus Carlsen claimed his fourth world rapid chess crown on Wednesday and finished with a commanding score of 10/13 in the 2022 FIDE World Rapid Chess Championship

A round-11 hiccup against GM Vladislav Artemiev pulled Carlsen's tournament into question briefly. However, a brilliant round-13 demolition of GM Parham Maghsoodloo put all the pressure on co-leaders GMs Vincent Keymer and Artemiev, who both failed to win their final games.

A playoff was required to confirm the women's rapid world champion due to GM Tan Zhongyi and IM Dinara Saduakassova both finishing on 8.5/11. In a scintillating two-game blitz tiebreaker Tan managed to take down the local hero and add another world title to her glowing resume.

The 2022 FIDE World Blitz Chess Championship will begin on Thursday, December 29, 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 final day of the championship saw Carlsen pick up right where he left off, first sweeping aside Keymer who, in the form of his life, was slowly ground down by the world champion in a queenless middlegame. 

On boards two and three results fell in favor of Carlsen, with GM Vladimir Fedoseev (7/9) succumbing to a rocketing GM Fabiano Caruana, while GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov (also on 7/9) conceded a draw against GM Yu Yangyi with the white pieces.

Caruana's win was his fourth in a row and fans began to salivate at the idea of a Carlsen-Caruana matchup as the American GM joined the chasing group one point behind the leader. The distinguished chasers after 10 rounds also included Artemiev and GM Daniil Dubov, who all but ended the chance of a podium finish for their opponents, GMs Arjun Erigaisi and Anish Giri.

Camaraderie between top-flight players (Caruana and Giri are pictured) is common. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com. 

GM Ian Nepomniachtchi's temporary queen sacrifice against GM Evgeny Tomashevksy made his game the most exciting of round 10 although the win left him a point and a half off the pace in what has overall been a disappointing tournament for the world championship challenger.

Round 11 saw Carlsen pair with Artemiev, who commentators Howell and Trent suggested was a difficult matchup for the world number-one. Stabilization out of the Bogo-Indian Defense suggested that the game was heading for a draw, but a stunning blunder from Carlsen in a blatantly equal position gifted his opponent the full point! 

This unexpected upset tore open the field and allowed Artemiev to join the defeated leader at the top on 8.5/11. Five other players ascended to within half a point of the lead during round 11: Dubov, Keymer, Fedoseev, Caruana, and GM Vidit Gujrathi. Vidit, whose start left him on a mediocre 3.5/6, managed to score 4.5 points in the next five rounds after the shaky start, highlighting the importance of momentum and resilience during an event such as this.

The penultimate round brought forth a pairing that many had been waiting for: the duel between the once-dubbed "Mozart of chess" and the popular U.S. Champion Caruana. 

While offbeat openings had benefited Carlsen in earlier games of the tournament, Caruana showed that he is not to be trifled with and equalized comfortably against White's 7.Qc1!? in the Catalan Opening. There came a moment on move 22 that Carlsen began shaking his head profusely, feeling that he had overpressed, though a flurry of accurate moves came to the rescue and secured him a draw.

The only decisive results on the top eight boards were by Keymer, who joined the leaders on 9/12, and Maghsoodoloo, who booked himself a showdown on board one in the final round.

With everything to play for amongst the three players on 9/12 (Carlsen, Keymer, and Artemiev) the world number-one was still the heavy favorite given that his adversaries were paired against some of the most difficult opponents in the field, Caruana and Vachier-Lagrave respectively.

As the only player on 9/12 with the white pieces, Carlsen opted to play one of the most aggressive lines possible against Maghsoodloo's Sicilian Defense, and after just 18 moves it become very crystal clear that he had built a near-decisive attack. With his highlight reel over 13 rounds primarily featuring endgame squeezes, it was fitting that his most rambunctious game was his last.

Maghsoodloo had an excellent tournament but couldn't quite match Carlsen's level in round 13. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Our Game of the Day, which secured the championship, is analyzed by GM Rafael Leitao below.

By the time the board-one game had finished, Caruana had all but dashed Artemiev's chances of a maiden title after blowing him off the board. Keymer, on the other hand, pressed hard as Black against Vachier-Lagrave and even found himself in a winning endgame, but the young German GM caved under pressure against his experienced opponent and had to settle for a draw.

The prospect of a playoff became more real by the second for Carlsen. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

The conclusion of Keymer's game came with the confirmation that Carlsen had won his fourth world rapid title and that he will still hold a world championship title when his classical title is passed on in 2023. 

For his victory, Carlsen earned a healthy $60,000 while the silver and bronze medalists, Keymer and Caruana, will receive $50,000 and $40,000 respectively.

2022 World Rapid Chess Championship | Final Standings (Top 20)

# Fed Title Name Rating Points
1 GM Magnus Carlsen  2834 10
2 GM Vincent Keymer  2590 9.5
3 GM  Fabiano Caruana 2747 9.5
4 GM Daniil Dubov  2712 9
5 GM Arjun Erigaisi  2628 9
6 GM Vladimir Fedoseev  2741 9
7 GM Vladislav Artemiev  2727 9
8 GM Richard Rapport 2802 9
9 GM Nihal Sarin 2628 8.5
10 GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov   2676 8.5
11 GM Rauf Mamedov   2578 8.5
12 GM Anish Giri   2708 8.5
13 GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda   2791 8.5
14 GM Ian Nepomniachtchi  2766 8.5
15 GM Vidit Gujrathi 2659 8.5
16 GM Alexey Sarana 2629 8.5
17 GM Parham Maghsoodloo   2656 8.5
18 GM Alexander Grischuk   2759 8.5
19 GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave  2777 8.5
20 GM Surya Ganguly  2646 8.5

(Full standings here.)

All World Rapid Chess Championship Games