World Rapid, Blitz To Be Held October In Berlin

World Rapid, Blitz To Be Held October In Berlin

| 11 | Chess Event Coverage

This year's World Rapid and Blitz Championship will be held October 9-14 in Berlin, Germany. This was announced earlier this week by FIDE's commercial partner Agon.

The venue will be the Bolle Meierei. | Photo Wikipedia.

Last Tuesday, 45 days before the start, the World Rapid and Blitz Championship was officially announced. The tournament will take place October 9-14  in Berlin.

The prize fund will be a total $400,000 combined for the rapid and the blitz tournaments. Both events will be played according to the Swiss pairing system. The winner of each tournament earns $40,000.

The location of the tournament is the Bolle Meierei, an industrial building that couldn't be more centrally located, between Alexanderplatz and Kurfürstendamm.

The rapid tournament will be 15 rounds played over three days (October 10-12). The time control will be 15 minutes + 10 seconds increment. The blitz will be 21 rounds played over two days (October 13-14) with 3 minutes and 2 seconds increment.

All players rated 2500 or higher in any of the FIDE rating lists (standard, blitz or rapid) from January 2015 to August 2015 are eligible to participate. The tournaments are also open to all national champions, regardless of their title or rating. 

Last year both events were won by Magnus Carlsen, who thus clinched the world title in all three disciplines of chess. The Norwegian player is planning to defend his rapid and blitz titles in Berlin. Ex-world champion Viswanathan Anand intends to play as well.

Carlsen and Anand last year in Dubai.

Unfortunately the tournament will not see speed chess specialist Hikaru Nakamura. Incidentally, USA's other top grandmasters Fabiano Caruana and Wesley So won't be there either. The reason? All three accepted the invitation of Millionaire Chess (October 8-12, Las Vegas).

The clash is unfortunate, but when it became clear that the World Rapid and Blitz weren't going to be held June 1-10 (the dates that were in the FIDE calendar for many months), a clash with a major event was impossible to avoid.

Besides Millionaire Chess, other big tournaments after the Sinquefield Cup are the World Cup (September 10-October-4), the European Club Cup (October 17-25), the Grand Slam Masters Final (last week of October), the European Team Championship (November 12-22) the London Chess Classic (December 4-13) and the Qatar Masters (December 19-30).

According to the regulations (in PDF here) the World Rapid and Blitz are supposed to be organized, under the aegis of FIDE, “by a federation entrusted with the task by the General Assembly or the Presidential Board at least one year in advance,” while all the rights for the organization belong to FIDE.

For this edition the world chess federation has entrusted its commercial partner Agon to organize the two tournaments. This hasn't happened before; the contract between FIDE and Agon mentions events in the (classical) world championship cycle but not the World Rapid and Blitz.

Herbert Bastian, the President of the German Chess Federation, told that he is in contact with Agon.“In the next week we will talk about details of cooperation.”

The official page at the moment is at Agon's website. There, players can register and journalists and visitors can request accreditation from August 30 onwards.

Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

Between 2007 and 2013 Peter was running ChessVibes, a major source for chess news and videos acquired by in October 2013.

As our Director News & Events, Peter writes many of our news reports. In the summer of 2022, The Guardian’s Leonard Barden described him as “widely regarded as the world’s best chess journalist.”

In October, Peter's first book The Chess Revolution will be published!

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