FIDE World Rapid Championship Takes Off Today

FIDE World Rapid Championship Takes Off Today

| 37 | Chess Event Coverage

Today the FIDE World Rapid Championship starts in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Right after the World Blitz will be held, and together they're clearly the strongest quickplay chess event ever. Eight players from the current live ratings top 10 will participate, including the world's top three - Magnus Carlsen (Norway), Levon Aronian (Armenia) and Alexander Grischuk (Russia), and ex-World Champion Vishy AnandHikaru Nakamura tops both the official rapid and blitz rating lists.

The FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Championship will be held 15-21 June at the Dubai Culture & Chess Club in Dubai, United Arab Emirates with three days of rapid chess on 16-18 June and then three days of blitz on 19-21 June. And, yes, will be present to provide on-the-spot coverage! This article is written from a hotel room right across the street of the Dubai Chess Club.

The opening ceremony was held on Sunday, where main organizer Khaled Zayed expressed his sincere appreciation to Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and sponsor of the event. He also expressed his gratitude to Dubai Sports Council and Dubai Municipality for playing a vital role in organizing these tournaments, and welcomed all players.

Top seed Hikaru Nakamura was invited on stage to perform the drawing of lots. From the first box he picked a black king, and so he will start the first round of the World Rapid Championship on Monday with the black pieces and it means that all participants with odd numbers will have Black for the first round as well.

In his second attempt, Mr Nakamura selected a white king and it means he will play with the white pieces in the first game of the World Blitz Championship. Read here how the American GM sees his chances.

Two years ago, a fairly strong field competed in Astana (Kazakhstan), but last year, in Khanty-Manskiysk, not many top players participated. But this year it's going to be a real treat! Check out the top 30 of the participants list (and don't miss the full list here). Only Vladimir Kramnik and Veselin Topalov are missing from the (classical) top 10:

World Rapid & Blitz 2014 | Participants (Top 30)

# Full Name Country Rating RRating BRating
1 Carlsen, Magnus NOR 2882 2827 2837
2 Levon, Aronian ARM 2815 2785 2863
3 Grischuk, Alexander RUS 2792 2828 2801
4 Anand, Viswanathan IND 2785 2770 2827
5 Caruana, Fabiano ITA 2783 2840 2697
6 Nakamura, Hikaru USA 2772 2841 2879
7 Karjakin, Sergey RUS 2770 2781 2866
8 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar AZE 2760 2799 2822
9 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime FRA 2758 2749 2835
10 Svidler, Peter RUS 2753 2787 2757
11 Boris, Gelfand ISR 2753 2725 2719
12 Vitiugov, Nikita RUS 2747 2703 2674
13 Giri, Anish NED 2746 2674 2755
14 Nepomniachtchi, Ian RUS 2735 2768 2816
15 Wang Hao CHN 2734 2716 2668
16 Eljanov, Pavel UKR 2732 2716 2674
17 Harikrishna Pentala IND 2726 2726 2669
18 Bacrot, Etienne FRA 2721 2692 2744
19 Morozevich, Alexander RUS 2719 2732 2741
20 Wojtaszek, Radoslaw POL 2716 2710 2726
21 Radjabov, Teimour AZE 2713 2750 2706
22 Fressinet, Laurent FRA 2711 2681 2705
23 Le Quang Liem VIE 2710 2724 2817
24 Moiseenko, Alexander UKR 2707 2699 2614
25 Naiditsch, Arkadij GER 2706 2687 2643
26 Jobava, Baadur GEO 2706 2688 2628
27 Kryvoruchko, Yuriy UKR 2704 2694 2628
28 Malakhov, Vladimir RUS 2701 2776 2700
29 Vallejo Pons, Francisco ESP 2700 2709 2628
30 Korobov, Anton UKR 2698 2770 2758

(Full list here)

The total prize fund of U.S. $400,000 is no doubt an important reason that almost all top players are going to Dubai. A clear first place in both events comes down to earning $80,000 in one week:

Prize fund for each event

# Prize (U.S. $)
1st Place 40,000
2nd Place 32,000
3rd Place 26,000
4th Place 21,000
5th Place 17,000
6th Place 13,000
7th Place 11,000
8th Place 9,000
9th Place 7,000
10th Place 4,000
11th-16th place 2,000 each
17th-24th place 1,000 each

Time controls
In the Rapid Championship, each player will have 15 minutes plus 10 seconds additional time per move, starting from move 1. In the Blitz Championship, each player will have 3 minutes plus 2 seconds additional time per move, starting from move 1.

The World Rapid starts today at 3pm local time which is 1pm CET, 7am New York and 4am Los Angeles. The championship will be broadcast live on the tournament’s official website with online games and commentary.

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