Vachier-Lagrave wins World Blitz Championship Preliminaries

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Biel 2009Maxime Vachier-Lagrave Thursday won the World Blitz Championship Preliminaries, held in Moscow after the Aeroflot Open. Together with Bu Xiangzhi, Nepomniachtchi, Mamedov, Savchenko and Grachev he qualified for the 2010 World Blitz Championship, to be held after the Tal Memorial later this year.

The World Blitz Championship Preliminaries took place February 18 at the same venue where the Aeroflot Open was held: in hotel “Gamma – Delta” of the tourist complex “Izmailovo”, in Moscow, Russia.

The tournament consisted of a 9-round Swiss in which the players played two games against each other, one with White and one with Black. The rate of play was 3 minutes plus 2 seconds increment per move. In the final standings, the first tiebreak rule was Median Buchholtz score (i.e. Buchholz score without the best and the worst results).

2010 World Blitz Championship Preliminaries | Final Standings (top 30)

(Full final standings here)



World Junior Champion Maxime Vachier-Lagrave from France collected 13.5 points out of 18 games to finish clear first. Seven players ended shared 2nd, with 13 points each, but only five qualified for the World Blitz Championship: Bu Xiangzhi (China), Rauf Mamedov (Azerbaijan), Boris Grachev (Russia), Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia) and Boris Savchenko (Russia).

Alexei Dreev (Russia) and Loek van Wely (Netherlands) also scored 13/18 but just missed qualification. Top GMs like Dmitry Jakovenko, Sergei Karjakin and Ruslan Ponomariov, as well as rising star Le Quang Liem, also failed to qualify.

Just like last year the 2010 World Blitz Chess Championship will be held just after the Tal Memorial, in November in Moscow.
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