Carlsen wins World Blitz Championship

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Blitz World Ch 09 - day 3Magnus Carlsen has won the World Blitz Championship in Moscow. The Norwegian scored 10/14 on the third day and eventually finished three points ahead of Viswanathan Anand, who scored 'only' 8/14, just like yesterday, but still finished 2nd in the standings, 3 points ahead of Sergei Karjakin. Vugar Gashimov apparently had enough of his bad play and decided to 'win' on the last day: 10.5/14.

The World Blitz Championship, the second stage of this year's Tal Memorial, took place 16, 17 and 18 November in the Main Department Store GUM on Red Square, Moscow. The time control was 3 minutes + 2 seconds increment per move. The 22-player, double round-robin had 42 rounds which were devided over three days.

The participants were: Viswanathan Anand, Levon Aronian, Magnus Carlsen, Vladimir Kramnik, Peter Leko, Boris Gelfand, Vassily Ivanchuk, Alexander Morozevich, Peter Svidler and Ruslan Ponomariov (the players of the Tal Memorial round-robin); invited players Anatoli Karpov, Alexandra Kosteniuk, reigning Blitz World Champion Leinier Dominguez, former Blitz World Champion Alexander Grischuk, Dmitry Jakovenko and Judit Polgar and five of the six winners of the qualifying blitz “Aeroflot Open”: Sergey Karjakin, Vugar Gashimov, Shakhryiar Mamedyarov, Evgeny Bareev and Vladislav Tkachiev. The sixth winner, Zhou Jianchao, was replaced by Arkadij Naiditsch.

Day 3

The third and decisive day began with a small shock: Carlsen lost to Ponomariov, and because Anand beat Svidler, he had already caught up with the Norwegian. However, already one round later the tables turned in the top seed's favour again, because Ponomariov duly beat Anand as well. After the Indian dropped another half point against Grischuk in round 31, Carlsen increased his lead to 1.5 points.

In rounds 30 till 40 Carlsen was a steamroller, drawing three times and beating Karpov, Grischuk, Mamedyarov, Tkachiev, Naiditsch, Aronian and both of his closest rivals Karjakin and Anand. In round 40 Anand lost to Polgar and this meant that two rounds before the end Carlsen had already won the event, having collected 30.5 points against Anand's 27. Only then, with the first prize already secured and perhaps losing the flow a little, Carlsen lost again, versus Jakovenko.

Vugar Gashimov today showed that when he really tries, he can be one over the very best as well. In fact over the last 14 rounds he was the best, finishing on a superb 10.5/14. Scoring 9/14, Leko also had a good third day. (When describing these subtournaments over 14 rounds, it's important to realize that the players don't have exactly the same opponents over those rounds, but we won't take up the hazardous task to start comparing opponents on the separate days.)

With a score of 31/42 and a 2894 performance rating Carlsen eventually finished three full points ahead of Anand, who got 28/42 and a 2835 performance. Sergei Karjakin managed to stay ahead of Vladimir Kramnik by half a point. Former World Champ Alexander Grischuk ended shared 5th with Peter Svidler and Ruslan Ponomariov.

Vassily Ivanchuk, who won in Moscow last year, disappointed this time with only 19.5/42, half a point more than Anatoli Karpov, who eventually scored a 2690 performance. After her great form of yesterday, Alexandra Kosteniuk completely collapsed today and collected only 1.5 points out of her last 14 rounds. The reigning Women World Champion finished last in this World Blitz.

After almost two weeks of fantastic chess in Moscow, we finally have to say goodbye to the Tal Memorial, where except for Veselin Topalov, the whole top 10 gathered. We will miss the daily dosis of elite chess, but we won't have to wait too long. Already next Saturday the first round of the FIDE World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk is played! Many of the players currently in Moscow will take a plane to Sibera - see the first-round pairings.

World Blitz 2009 | Round 42 (Final) Standings
World Blitz 2009

World Blitz 2009 | Round 42 (Final) Standings (Crosstable)
World Blitz 2009
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Selection of games day 3

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