World Blitz Championship 2008

World Blitz Championship 2008

| 25 | Chess Event Coverage

The 2008 World Blitz Chess Championship is about to start in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

The event takes place from 7-8 November and has a prize fund of 350,000 Swiss Francs (approx 300,000 USD), with the winner pocketing 80,000 SF.

Although there have been a number of strong blitz tournaments held before, having an officially sanctioned World Championship event for blitz chess has been a rarity until recently.  The first was held in Saint John, Cananda in 1988 and was won by the great Mikhail Tal, despite his relatively advanced age and poor health.  The second official world blitz championship wasn't held until 2006, when Alexander Grischuk took first place, and last year he was succeded by Vassily Ivanchuk, the reigning champion.

The field this time is 16-strong and consists of:

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)
Judith Polgar (Hungary)
Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine)
Murtas Kazhgaleev (Kazakhstan)
Krishnan Sasikiran (India)
Gata Kamsky (USA)
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan)
Amin Bassem (Egypt)

The format is a single round-robin event, and the time control is the genuine, real McCoy blitz of 5 minutes with no increment.  It won't be pretty, but it will be exciting!

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