Karjakin Leads World Blitz Halfway; Carlsen 2 Points Behind
Sergey Karjakin is the sole leader
The first day of
Here Inarkiev went 27...Ne3+?!!, which was quite a brilliant (though illegal) try, since Carlsen also forgot that the black king is in check, and played 28.Kd3. Thereupon Inarkiev stopped the clock and claimed a win based on Carlsen playing an illegal move. The arbiter honored the claim.
Here's what happened in the game between @MagnusCarlsen and Ernesto Inarkiev in the first round of the World Blitz. #RiyadhChess #controvesy #rules— ChesscomNews ( @ChesscomNews) December 29, 2017
Video courtesy @FIDE_chess / @Chesscast64 pic.twitter.com/A8PcfJBMut
Carlsen was shocked about what
Nikolopoulos overruled the board arbiter's
Nikolopoulos with a copy of FIDE's 2017 Arbiter's Manual. (More photos of the incident at the end of the article.) | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
While Inarkiev was studying the regulations (the chief arbiter had given him a copy), a smiling Vassily Ivanchuk took Carlsen's seat and started calculating. A while later, Inarkiev refused to continue the game, which was then declared a win for Carlsen. After the next
The relevant paragraph of the FIDE Laws of Chess says:
A.4.2 If the arbiter observes an illegal move has been completed, he shall declare the game lost by the player, provided the opponent has not made his next move. If the arbiter does not intervene, the opponent is entitled to claim a win, provided the opponent has not made his next move. However, the game is drawn if the position is such that the opponent cannot checkmate the player’s king by any possible series of legal moves. If the opponent does not claim and the arbiter does not intervene, the illegal move shall stand and the game shall continue. Once the opponent has made his next move, an illegal move cannot be corrected unless this is agreed by the players without
This paragraph doesn't take into account what happened today: playing a move that keeps the opponent's king in check. Inarkiev argued that Carlsen's move is illegal because of that, but the chief arbiter disagreed. A new version of the Laws of Chess should make this more clear.
Update 30 December 2017: the incident was
Whether affected by all the consternation or not, Carlsen was convincingly beaten by Sanan Sjugirov in the next round as Carlsen blundered a piece on move 29.
Sjugirov talking to FIDE's Nastja Karlovich.
As if he needed redemption as quickly as possible, Carlsen blew his next opponent off the board. For the moment he was still faithful to his London System, and it was serving him well.
Carlsen bouncing back with a crushing win vs Kryvoruchko. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
The classical world champion then also beat David Anton and Var Akobian, but his play was less convincing. In his next four
@TarjeiJS) December 29, 2017
The game with Anand had a tense finish, where Anand made one of his final moves leaving just one second on his clock, and he almost fell for a fork, but eventually saved himself. Both players exchanged smiles for this quite exciting finish.
In the rapid
Karjakin is on par with last year's golden event. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
Among his victims today was Nigel Short, who was once involved in a car crash with Karjakin in the front seat—an anecdote Short sometimes shares when giving commentary at tournaments. In this game, Short did not clamber out unscathed.
Karjakin talking to FIDE's Nastja Karlovich.
Karjakin also beat Farrukh Amonatov, the blitz specialist from Tajikistan who surprisingly won the Eurasian Blitz Cup in June 2016, ahead of the likes of Grischuk, Gelfand, Nepomniachtchi, Jobava
@TarjeiJS) December 29, 2017
Another player who is doing much better than in the rapid is Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. As the only player on 8.5 points, the Frenchman has excellent chances to win a top prize and finish 2017 on a high note, after just missing out on the Candidates' Tournament and failing to win the Grand Chess Tour.
HIs win against Kravtsiv was quite interesting. It seemed that his opponent prepared in-between rounds, as the game followed one of MVL's games from Palma de Mallorca for 19 moves.
MVL, likely playing for the medals this time around. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
The 15-year-old Andrey Esipenko took the spotlight earlier this week for his brilliant ...
Esipenko showed his huge talent today. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
There's one more non-GM, and (like Carlsen, a Norwegian) on seven points: IM Johan-Sebastian Christiansen. The 19-year-old found a nice trick against Peter Leko:
And then there was this game. What a joy to have a player like Baadur Jobava continuously providing us with romantic chess!
Baadur Jobava, who doesn't love this guy? | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
2017 World Blitz Championship | Round 11 Standings (Top 20)
|7||11||Le Quang Liem||2771||8||0||2649||61,5||6||2807||8,8|
|12||15||Salem A.R. Saleh||2757||7,5||0||2638||56,5||6||2754||-0,2|
(Full standings here.)
The leader of the women's tournament is a surprising one: Pia Cramling. The 54-year-old (born 10 days after Garry Kasparov!) has been a top player for decades, but dropped to world #28 in the classical rating list and is seeded 53rd in Riyadh, as she's not really a blitz player.
"It's like magic. I don't know what has happened," she said in an interview.
Pia Cramling leads by a point after day one. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
Today she beat the two strong Russian players Kateryna Lagno and Alexandra Kosteniuk. The latter blundered a full rook:
Cramling talking to FIDE's Goran Urosevic.
2017 Women's World Blitz Championship | Round 11 Standings (Top 20)
(Full standings here.)
Games via TWIC.
Initially, Carlsen accepted his fate and signed for the 0-1 result... | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
...but then started talking to the chief arbiter, Takis Nikolopoulos... | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
...and to his board arbiter Carlos Oliveira Dias. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
Inarkiev going through the Laws of Chess. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
Carlsen discussing the issue with Surya Ganguly and Laurent Fressinet... | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
...and with Ian Nepomniachtchi. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
Nikolopoulos giving an interview to Norwegian media. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
Left-right: Malcolm Pein, Jorge Vega (members of the Appeals Committee), FIDE's Georgios Makropoulos and Nikolopoulos. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
Ivanchuk taking Carlsen's seat and seeing the humor of it all. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
The World Blitz Championship takes place December 29-30. It is a 21-round Swiss with a prize fund of $750,000 for the open section and $250,000 for the women's section. You can follow the games in Live Chess.