Wang Hao and Kosteniuk rapid winners at World Mind Games

0 | Chess Event Coverage

At the Sport Accord World Mind Games, which currently take place in Beijing, China Wang Hao won the rapid tournament in the men's section and Alexandra Kosteniuk in the women's section. The chess part of the World Mind Games continues after the weekend with blitz and blindfold tournaments.

Wang Hao receives the first prize with Vugar Gashimov (left) and Gata Kamsky (right) next to him | All photos © FIDE for the official website

EventWorld Mind Games chess website by FIDE, official website | Rapid Men PGN Women PGN
DatesDecember 8th-17th, 2011
LocationBeijing, China
System16-player, 7-round Swiss
PlayersTop players in the men's section are Sergey Karjakin, Vassily Ivanchuk, Ruslan Ponomariov, Vugar Gashimov, Shakhryar Mamedyarov and Gata Kamsky. The women's section has Hou Yifan, Anna Muzychuk, Nana Dzagnidze, Katerina Lahno, Viktorija Cmilyte, Antoanetta Stefanova, and Alexandra Kosteniuk.
Rate of play

Rapid: 20 minutes plus 10 seconds per move. Blitz: 3 minutes plus 2 seconds per move. Blindfold: 20 minutes plus 20 seconds per move.

Prize fundUndisclosed, but first prizes were. Men US $11,000 | women: US $8,000
VideosSports Hub YouTube channel


The World Mind Games were held for the first time in 2008. Originally, it consisted of five disciplines:  chess, bridge, draughts (checkers), go, and xiangqi (Chinese chess). In that year thirty-five gold medals were contested by 2,763 competitors from 143 countries.

This year the World Mind Games has moved to a new level, being organized SportAccord, the umbrella organization for both Olympic and non-Olympic sports as well as a major organizers of conferences and sporting events. This came with a higher prize fund as well (a US $11,000 first prize in the men's section) and thus attracted a larger number of top players.

The opening ceremony on Thursday night, December 8th

The top seeds in the men's event are Sergey Karjakin, Vassily Ivanchuk, Ruslan Ponomariov, Vugar Gashimov, Shakhryar Mamedyarov and Gata Kamsky although in fact all the participants are over 2700. The Women’s event has reigning World Champion Hou Yifan, who recently successfully defended her title in Tirana, Albania. Apart from her big names include Anna Muzychuk, Nana Dzagnidze, Kateryna Lahno, Viktorija Cmilyte, Antoaneta Stefanova and Alexandra Kosteniuk.

9th – 11th December, the players competed for medals in a rapid tournament and eventually Wang Hao and Alexandra Kosteniuk became the winners.

The playing hall in Beijing, China

The Chinese grandmaster was in fantastic shape: he started with 4/4 against Almasi, Ponomariov, Mamedyarov and Grischuk before losing his first game to Gashimov. With a black win against Karjakin and a last-round draw against Kamsky, Wang Hao finished half a point clear of the field.

PGN file


Alexandra Kosteniuk has dropped somewhat in the FIDE rating list recently, but last weekend she showed that, especially when in good shape and at faster time controls, she is still one of the best female chess players. An undefeated 6/7 yielded the former World Champion the gold medal.


The medal winners in the women's event: Kateryna Lahno (2nd), Alexandra Kosteniuk (1st) and Nana Dzagnidze (3rd)

On December 12-13 there will be a blitz tournament (again separately for men and women). Then, 13th-16th of December the players will compete in a blindfold event so all in all this event is comparable to the Amber tournaments that unfortunately ceased to exist.


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