Dominguez Perez wins World Blitz

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Dominguez wins World Blitz 2008Update: some photos added. Earlier this week we learnt that the Corus organizers had invited him to their A group for the first time, and today Leinier Dominguez Perez confirmed once more how strong he really is. Cuba's best chess player won the World Blitz Championship in Almaty, Kazachstan by finishing undefeated, ahead of Ivanchuk, Svidler and Grischuk.

Yesterday the 4th World Blitz Chess Championship was officially opened and today it was actually played: a 16-player round-robin with the "purest" form of blitz: 5 minutes per game. The following players participated: Amin Bassem (Egypt), Shakhriyar Mamediarov (Azerbaijan), Krishnan Sasikiran (India), Gata Kamsky (USA), Alexander Morozevich (Russia), Leinier Domiguez Perez (Cuba), Rafael Vaganian (Armenia), Sergey Rublevsky (Russia), Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan), Vladislav Tkachiev (France), Peter Svidler (Russia), Alexander Grischuk (Russia), Boris Gelfand (Israel), Judit Polgar (Hungary), Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine) and Murtas Kazhgaleyev (Kazakhstan).

The tournament took place in Almaty (formerly known as Alma-Ata), the largest city in Kazakhstan, with a population of more than 1,2 million. It was the capital of Kazakhstan (and its predecessor, the Kazakh SSR) from 1929 to 1998. Despite losing its status as the capital, Almaty remains the major commercial center of Kazakhstan. Dutch readers interested in Kazachstan are warmly recommended to check out


Downtown Almaty as seen from Kok Tobe, a mountain on the south-eastern outskirts


Modern Almaty | Photo: Artiom Kniazev

World Blitz 2008First place went to Cuban GM Leinier Dominguez Perez who finished half a point clear of title holder Vassily Ivanchuk. Amazingly, the Cuban grandmaster was the only player to stay undefeated in the tournament! Ivanchuk started with a loss against Mamedyarov and then was beaten once more, by Kamsky.

The total prize fund, provided by the Kazakhstan Chess Federation and Alliance Bank, was 350,000 Swiss Francs (ca. 234,000 Euro; ca. US $298,000) and by winning the first prize, Dominguez Perez earned 80,000 Swiss Francs (53,500 Euro or US $68,000) - not bad for less than 2,5 hours of chess! ;-)


A bit more on Dom?ɬ?nguez P?ɬ©rez: he was born September 23, 1983 in Havana, Cuba. He won the Cuban Chess Championship in 2002, 2003 and 2006. During the 2004 FIDE World Chess Championship he reached the quarter finals, losing to Teimour Radjabov in the tie-break. His best tournament result was Barcelona 2006, where he scored 8/9 and finished first, ahead of Vassily Ivanchuk, with a performance rating of 2932.

Here are all of Dominguez's games - unfortunately, like in the PGN below, a few of them incomplete. But still, highly recommended is Dominguez-Grischuk as it confirmed the famous Moll & Van Delft rule: theoretically the 7...Qc7 line in the Winawer is good for White, but practically it's winning for Black! (Dominguez did win the game after Grischuk avoided the draw.)

Update: We thank the organizers for providing us some photos - all ?Ǭ© Vadim Solovyev:

 Sergei Rublevsky and Judit Polgar

Sergei Rublevsky and a luckless Judit Polgar

Leinier Dominguez Perez

Leinier Dominguez Perez in great form

Vassily Ivanchuk

Vassily Ivanchuk's Real Madrid outfit couldn't influence Ca?ɬØssa this time

The winner with FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

The winner with FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov


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