June 20, 2014 17:51

Carlsen Triple World Champion, Nepomniachtchi & Nakamura Shared Second in World Blitz

On Friday Magnus Carlsen also won the FIDE World Blitz Championship in Dubai and so the Norwegian now holds the crown in three different time controls. He finished on 17.0/21, a full point more than Ian Nepomniachtchi & Hikaru Nakamura, who finished two points ahead of the rest of the pack.

All photos © Chess.com

He wasn't top seeded in either event, and with so many rounds and so many top players present, Magnus Carlsen wasn't considered more than a slight favorite among the favorites in Dubai. To win both the rapid and the blitz tournament is simply outstanding, even for him!

Even though the Rapid & Blitz World Championships have only been organized in this format a few times, this achievement can definitely be called historic. Vishy Anand was the king of rapid chess for a long time, partly during his reign as the classical champion, but Carlsen can now call himself the official world champion in classical, rapid and blitz chess.

So how did that final day at the Dubai Chess & Culture Club unfold? As a reminder, Carlsen's 9.0/11 meant a half-point lead over Hikaru Nakamura and Georg Meier. That was the starting point, with Carlsen having already played against four quickplay specialists: Ian Nepomniachtchi, Hikaru Nakamura, Le Quang Liem and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.

Carlsen immediately started with a win against one of the surprises of day 1, Georg Meier. It wasn't a convincing victory, though. If the German GM had found the c4-c5+ idea earlier (on move 34!), the result could have been very different.

PGN string

Meier did much worse on the second day; he scored only 3.5 points - just like the other surprising name, Lu Shanglei. The Chinese player lost Friday's first round to Nepomniachtchi, who stayed half a point behind the leader. Nakamura dropped back a bit while escaping with a draw against Sargissian.

Speaking of players who disappointed: after winning the Norway Chess tournament, Sergey Karjakin played a good rapid tournament (shared sixth), but then apparently the energy was gone. He came 61st in the blitz.

The second day would see another relatively unknown player beating a bunch of famous grandmasters: Sergei Yudin, who holds a modest classical rating of 2546.

Sergei Yudin, one of the surprises in the blitz

Yudin's rise in fact started on Thursday evening as he defeated Radjabov in round 10. On Friday a black win versus Svidler followed, after surviving a very difficult (in fact lost if White goes 25.Be5 and 26.Qd4) position.

PGN string

Yudin then also set aside Lu, drew with Le, and then beat both Wojtaszek and Nakamura! Especially the game with the American was a heroic fight, where Nakamura kept on playing for a win while being material down.

PGN string

Round 13 saw the second encounter in Dubai between the players of the next world title match: Carlsen, again with the white pieces, against Anand. This game was perhaps of higher quality than the one in the rapid, with Anand playing solidly and defending a slightly worse position almost without effort.

PGN string

And so Anand won the “minimatch” in Dubai 0.5-1.5, while playing Black both times. Not bad!

Nepomniachtchi decreased the gap with Carlsen to half a point after beating Sargissian, and Nakamura recovered well with a win against Riazantsev. Meanwhile Caruana, who isn't an especially great blitz player and couldn't play for the top prizes, won a nice game against Movsesian.

PGN string

Just play through his next game with Paco Vallejo and you will realize how easy it is to make a blunder after a long game.

PGN string

Of almost the same category was Anand's round 15 game against Nepomniachtchi. The Indian was in control from the start, got a promising rook ending but then… one king move in the wrong direction and the position changed from won to lost. These rook endings!

PGN string

Some unfortunate moments for Anand

After two good wins over Polgar and Mamedyarov, something even worse happened to Anand. He won a pawn against Nakamura as Black, couldn't find the most accurate moves after which it was a dead draw, then he grabbed his king on move 41, put it on f6, changed his mind and moved it to g6 instead, missing a knight fork. Horrible!

PGN string

Round 14 had another nice tag to the game on board one: the highest rated player ever against the strongest female player ever. “Will we discover Magnus's weak spot?” joked GM Ian Rogers in the playing hall. The answer was negative.

PGN string

On the board next to them, an absolute amazing game was played. From a Queen's Gambit Accepted Nakamura got three pawns versus on on the queenside, and instead of developing, he just kept on pushing pawns there! The position after move 12 is quite a sight.

Mamedyarov found an ingenious way to deal with those pawns: giving a rook, but winning a piece back elsewhere. Focusing on the Black king, the Azeri GM got a winning advantage but somehow the game ended in a draw!

PGN string

After 15 rounds Carlsen and Nepomniachtchi both had 12 points while Nakamura and Mamedyarov were a point behind. Two players were behind them: Yudin and Aronian.

Nepomniachtchi grabbed the lead in the next round by beating Mamedyarov, while Carlsen drew his game with Aronian.

PGN string

Carlsen escaped:

PGN string

In round 17 Nepomniachtchi didn't have much trouble with Yudin. Dreev was a lot tougher to beat, but Carlsen eventually managed to grind him down in an almost equal ending:

PGN string

Nakamura stayed close; his game with Aronian was decided in a pawn ending:

PGN string

In round 18 both Nepomniachtchi and Carlsen drew their games, against Mamedov and Morozevich respectively, and so with three rounds to go Nepomniachtchi was still in the lead, Carlsen half a point behind, and Nakamura a point behind Carlsen. It all came down to who would be the sharpest and fittest after five days of fast chess!

And in fact it was the very next game where Nepomniachtchi blew it. He got a queen against rook & bishop (and passed pawn) for Korobov, missed a win to two and had to settle for a draw.

PGN string

Carlsen was worse against Mamedov. He decided to set a trap, and his opponent fell for it:

PGN string

And so we had two leaders, with two rounds to go! Carlsen again did what he had to do, and beat Yudin - in just a few minutes it was over.

PGN string

Carlsen stood up from the board, wrote down the result and then walked to board 2 to check out the position there. When Nepomniachtchi noticed him, he turned around towards Carlsen's board, to see where the kings were placed. The two monarchs were on white squares, so the Russian knew Carlsen had won. He frowned, continued defending his slightly worse ending and eventually lost.

PGN string

Aronian defeated Nepomniachtchi in a crucial game

Suddenly the tournament seemed already decided, because Carlsen was a point clear with one round to go, and also had a better tiebreak. But, because that tiebreak (average rating of the opponents cut one) could still change in favor of Nepomniachtchi in the last round, Carlsen was certainly going for at least a draw. And he even got a win as Korobov blundered a pawn in an equal position.

PGN string

Korobov resigns, Carlsen wins his third world title

A convincing victory! Or, in Carlsen's own words, if you score 17.0/21 you deserve to win. When Anastasiya Karlovich asked him the obvious question “what's next”, Carlsen: “I can do it again!”, adding that he will be just as motivated next year.

When GM Ian Rogers asked him if he wanted to go for the world title in correspondence or bullet, Carlsen replied: “I don't have the patience for correspondence or the hands for bullet.”

Magnus Carlsen in between Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Ian Nepomniachtchi

Here's the full press conference:

Nigel Short


World Blitz Championship 2014 | Final Standings (Top 40)

Rk. SNo Name FED Rtg Pts. TB1 TB2
1 4 Carlsen Magnus NOR 2837 17 2738 257,5
2 9 Nepomniachtchi Ian RUS 2816 16 2740 256
3 1 Nakamura Hikaru USA 2879 16 2734 256,5
4 8 Le Quang Liem VIE 2817 14 2718 254,5
5 7 Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE 2822 13,5 2722 252,5
6 3 Aronian Levon ARM 2863 13,5 2707 250
7 6 Anand Viswanathan IND 2827 13,5 2694 251,5
8 12 Mamedov Rauf AZE 2766 13,5 2666 233,5
9 32 Sargissian Gabriel ARM 2689 13 2716 245
10 17 Morozevich Alexander RUS 2741 13 2673 233
11 14 Svidler Peter RUS 2757 13 2651 228,5
12 86 Yudin Sergei RUS 2559 12,5 2747 249
13 29 Dreev Aleksey RUS 2701 12,5 2725 250,5
14 37 Harikrishna P. IND 2669 12,5 2718 248,5
15 21 Wojtaszek Radoslaw POL 2726 12,5 2691 231,5
16 13 Korobov Anton UKR 2758 12,5 2686 234,5
17 10 Grischuk Alexander RUS 2801 12,5 2675 236
18 23 Iturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo VEN 2722 12,5 2673 231,5
19 16 Bacrot Etienne FRA 2744 12,5 2670 231
20 35 Vitiugov Nikita RUS 2674 12,5 2666 222
21 26 Radjabov Teimour AZE 2706 12,5 2659 231,5
22 22 Tomashevsky Evgeny RUS 2725 12,5 2659 231
23 30 Malakhov Vladimir RUS 2700 12,5 2645 219
24 15 Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son VIE 2746 12,5 2642 217,5
25 34 Eljanov Pavel UKR 2674 12,5 2622 213,5
26 36 Polgar Judit HUN 2673 12 2751 251,5
27 43 Meier Georg GER 2663 12 2739 255
28 61 Fedoseev Vladimir RUS 2628 12 2703 237
29 57 Andriasian Zaven ARM 2633 12 2702 231
30 67 Matlakov Maxim RUS 2618 12 2700 233
31 55 Cheparinov Ivan BUL 2636 12 2690 240,5
32 5 Vachier-Lagrave Maxime FRA 2835 12 2680 235
33 89 Salem A.R. Saleh UAE 2539 12 2658 210,5
34 20 Dubov Daniil RUS 2729 12 2651 222,5
35 39 Lu Shanglei CHN 2668 11,5 2713 251,5
36 31 Caruana Fabiano ITA 2697 11,5 2678 230
37 44 Safarli Eltaj AZE 2661 11,5 2667 232,5
38 27 Fressinet Laurent FRA 2705 11,5 2666 227,5
39 50 Van Wely Loek NED 2647 11,5 2653 219
40 28 Riazantsev Alexander RUS 2703 11,5 2646 228

(Full standings here)


Share |
Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers


raze's picture

Who is the girlfriend of Carlsen? I don't know the name of the girl who is stalking him. :) nyahahah. who is that?

Congratz Carlsen. You are the best.

I hate Carlsen, I am pathetic's picture

Hi guys,

I must say that I hate Carlsen. Or at least, I was hating him. Now I realize that it is just impossible, it just don't worth it. He will never lose. He seems to be the son of Caissa.

But I still hate him! I just envy him too much cause his life it's just wonderful, he is the best of the best of his field, and I am just pathetic in my life. Yeah, maybe that's the problem.

May be I need to start recognizing that nobody is better than him and that my life is pathetic and trying to solve MY problems.

Thanks Carlsen to be THE BEST OF THE BEST!

Sorry Carlsen fans, to be such a mediocre character. Cheers

Anonymous's picture

Nice post, s3. You should seek help from a psychiatrist.

Anonymous's picture

Very entertaining!

abductedbyaliens's picture

Carlsen is from another world.
Kirsan is the expert and should know

Zeveraar's picture

And another MASSIVE blow to all those who believe they are in the position to try and marginalize the current Trifold World Champion.

How futile are all those words, when Magnus just silenced all his criticizers by scoring THREE world championships!

Anonymous's picture

instead of acting like bullfight fans just enjoy that your are living in a time of a complete champion! especially when everybody complains about chess as being dead, you have this guy bringing the excitement to the game!
so, again, please, do not act like bullfight fans, this is chess, and if you want to keep on trolling, go follow bullfights ;-)

Angel's picture

Lucky? Time and time again?
Those sentences do not sound right together.

Lucky, if you win one time (be that a game, match, even a tournament); but when you win time and time again... well it most likely be more than luck.

Even if a style is just tricking the opponent to make mistakes, it's still a valid style and he's very talented at it, whether people like it or not.

Congrats to Carlsen.

Anonymous's picture

When Fischer was 23 he came behind Spassky at Santa Monica. as Observer mentioned the Herceg Novi Blitz in 1970 had a much lower strength bottom half of mainly Yugoslav players than these 2 tournaments just won by Carlson.

His average performance seems to be at world championship level. The rapid tournament gives Anand a flicker of hope in the forthcoming match, though looking at the game between them Carlson blundered a whole piece yet still Anand only just won albeit by great technique.

Anonymous's picture

Bobby never had any coaching help and very rarely used seconds....and the Russians actively cheated against him by colluding to draw.

Nonono's picture

I love that there are Carlsen haters. We get to see the butthurt again and again because he wins so much. Very entertaining.

Anonymous's picture

Magnus Carlsen the undisputed and clearly deserved threefold chess world champion. What an unbelievable achievement and moment in time to enjoy for everybody who likes chess and follows the elite events. Told you before Magnus was going to collect those titles if he feels like it. And so he did :-))

Mondo's picture

Carlsen has to be considered one of the greatest defenders of worse positions of all time. His ability to play on and turn a worse position into an even position and then winning position has give him a psychological advantage over his opponents.

Even when they achieve an edge against him, it isn't the same as when playing someone else.

Big Alex's picture

Well now I ask what does Magnus needs to prove to be considered that best player ever. He wins everything I don´t remember the last tournament he took 2nd or 3rd...

AngeloPardi's picture

Well, either you don't have a very good memory, or you are not really into chess, because he took second last month in Norway.
He also took second last year in the Tal Memorial and again in Norway.
However, I think the last time he was third was in 2011.

Bronkenstein's picture

Threefold champ, that´s really something. We might easily have to wait for few decades until someone (maybe even including Magnus himself?) repeats this achievement.

Speaking of my favorites, only Vishy - again! - played surprisingly well, or maybe better to say consistent, finishing shared fifth. He might not be too satisfied, but I consider such blitz ranking in his age an excellent result and a sign of very good form. He will need it soon =)

The whole event was highly entertaining - even thrilling at some points, especially now that we have live ratings to spice it up. MCs victory here is certainly very good for the popularity of blitz/rapid, let´s hope that we won´t have to wait another year for something this big in these formats.

observer's picture

I would just say that although Vishy's placing may be satisfactory, his score is not really.
There is a big gap between the top three and the rest.
Vishy is a full 3.5 points below Carlsen, and that's quite a bit.

Quality posts appreciated's picture

Thank you, Bronkenstein, for an interesting read. While certain other haters are sinking deeper and deeper into their own misery, you have taken on a sober and balanced view on the chess scene.

patzer's picture

Vishy's performance is more than satisfactory if we look at his games against Carlsen. He won one and drew the other.

observer's picture

He was talking about the blitz [and the game was a draw there].
Obviously, Vishy's performance in the rapid was much more satisfactory.

bhabatosh's picture

Vishy's game on 20th round .... can someone explain why he has to resign , can he not fight with Bishop pair for a draw ? He even had more time on the clock ? Or was he still upset about blunder against Nakamura ??

Thomas Richter's picture

Which game do you mean? Anand didn't have the bishop pair in round 20 against Le Quang Liem, but - if the game score is correct - was about to be a full rook down and resigned before. Ouch, another BIG blunder: final moves 26.-Rxc4 27.Qd3 (attacking the rook) 27.-Rc2?? [28.Qxc2 not played]. Probably a fingerfehler and he wanted to play 27.-Rc3 - while 27.-Rxa4 (extra pawn, slight advantage) was perfectly playable.

Anonymous's picture

So now he really HIS the BEST! Number one ranked, world classic chess champion, rapid world champion AND blitz chess champion. Any doubters from now on can fuck off

Anonymous's picture

Carlsen is the best, the fact says is all. Nakamura PLEASE

Anonymous Prime's picture

Well, in this tournament, Carlsen was a little better than Nepo and Naka. And if they would play a long blitz match and i was forced to make a bet, I'd put my money on Carlsen, simply because he is the stronger chess player.
As for bullet chess, I am quite convinced that Naka would stand a good chance of beating Carlsen, since he's a known bullet specialist.
As for Carlsen not playing bullet, let him play what he likes. Personally I love bullet chess, but I do recognize that a very large portion of bullet games are decided by means of non chess reasons. Usually reflexes and the quickness with which you can bang out moves, win games, the quality of those moves matter a little less than the speed. I can understand anyone who does not like to play bullet for that reason alone.

Edit: Forgot to add my name.

Anonymous's picture

Is bullet chess ten seconds for the complete game? MC would wipe Naka out...not even close....

PircAlert's picture

Triple H

Career Highlights: WWE Champion; World Heavyweight Champion; Intercontinental Champion; Unified WWE Tag Team Champion; World Tag Team Champion; European Champion; 1997 King of the Ring; 2002 Royal Rumble Match winner; WWE Chief Operating Officer

Bring on knockout/match at the top level to determine the true champion!

Ivanzug's picture


Ivanzug's picture


Roberto's picture

It is funny. Now I will start to especulate who will be second in a tournament, cause Carlsen will always be the first.

Vodkarov's picture

Carlsen = KBC = King of boring chess = Winning making opponent blunder in boring positions = using cheap endgame tricks

Hernán Ruiz's picture

Perhaps you play more exciting chess than Magnus, but, please, refresh my memory: when was the last time you defeat a top GM? I don't remember...

Anonymous's picture

Vodkarov, it's good that you insist with the KBS stuff, otherwise it would have zero chance to catch. Keep it up, champion.

Vodkarov's picture

Carlsen fanboys are drunk here

Anonymous's picture

The closing ceremony was epic when the poor announcer got a nightmare trying to say Nepo's name!
It happens at around 12:20 in the closing ceremony video on the official site

Thomas Richter Fanboy's picture

"Carlsen is the strongest player", according to Garry Kasparov.

But Kasparovs evaluation is irrelevant because he lacks the insight and deeper understanding of todays chess world which Thomas Richter possesses.

Kasparov's picture

Combined Rankings =Rapid + Blitz:


Bottomline Best players dont change in any time control: Carlsen & Anand

raze's picture

Carlsen and Ana is really on now? That's good couple if it's true?

Richie's picture

+1. if that is true that is smoking awesome. two undoubtly beautiful geeks who seem to have that buddha chemistry everyone wish they could find. got some inside from Dubai?

Anonymous Prime's picture

I am honestly disappointed by the biased reporting, even in the final article. Nakamura is mentioned to have finished shared second, which is just false.

Using the argument that Naka finished on equal points with Nepomniatchtchi and is therefor second is just faulty, especially since the correct standings were given in the article for the rapid section for the players finishing on equal points, but ranking 2,3,4 and 5.

Nakamura played a great tournament, he finished on equal points with Nepo, could even have ended closer to Carlsen had he not blundered a game away, but he came in third, not shared second. Granted, the tiebreakers are pretty trivial especially for blitz, but why not stick to the truth?

Just look at the final standings at the official site, or at the closing ceremony. Naka bronze, Nepomnitchi silver, Carlsen gold.

Anonymous's picture

Something obsessive and delusional perhaps ?

Thomas Richter's picture

Some comments on the actual final report, why not? About halfway, there seem to be some technical glitches: Caruana-Movsesian is given twice, Anand-Nepo is discussed but not shown. And Peter Doggers seems to mix up Car(uana) and Kar(jakin)? The author was probably also tired, perfectly understandable.

Choosing games for the report and deciding where to include (short) comments is always hard, but the notes on Mamedov-Carlsen and Yudin-Carlsen - decisive phase of the tournament! - are IMO incomplete. Mamedov could have gone for (27.-g5?!) 28.Bh3 Nf3+ 29.Rxf3 Qxf3 30.hxg5 Rxf4 31.gxf4 Qxf4+ 32.Qxf4 Rxf4 33.Kg3 and would later be two pawns up - a long line, difficult to calculate in a few seconds, even if pretty forced. Yudin missed (11.-b5?!) 12.Ncxe5 Nxe5 13.Nxe5 dxe5 14.Bxc5 with a very healthy extra pawn. Carlsen got his pawn pushes (objectively) wrong against nominally weaker opponents, the origin of his temporary troubles against Meier was 24.-g5?!.

"in the last round, Carlsen was certainly going for at least a draw." - who would ever "go for a loss"? Only if you want to throw the game to a friend!? 'A draw is enough' might have affected Carlsen's opening choice, not going for sharp and double-edged Botvinnik or anti-Moscow lines, or maybe not.

Thomas Richter Fanboy's picture

Thomas Richter strikes gold again: Mamedov could have beaten Magnus Carlsen in their Blitz game, if given the time control of a Classical game. Eureka!

PortaNigra's picture

Well, here we go: "http://www.chess-international.de/Archive/26221"

"Carlsen Fans like to quote Gary Lineker [...and in the end, Germany wins etc.]. I wonder if they are aware, that Lineker wanted to convey respect, but probably no admiration for the German Team. In that time the german football team played defensive, 1-0 was considered a nice result and it was OK if the goal was scored in the 88th minute. That is approximately how Carlsen plays chess."

Near the end: "Everyone needs luck in an event like this, but Carlsen got lucky twice in the Crunch Time of the tournament. That decided the Nr. 1 spot and IMHO that needs to be said in a report."

Again not a single word of praise for Magnus, not even a simple congratulations, instead same old, same old: Carlsen plays boring chess and gets lucky. And of course more complaints about western media, who allegedly mostly ignore Nepomniachtchi, and chessvibes, for forgetting same Nepomniachtchi in one tweet. "Would that have happened if Nakamura was in second place??!" Yawn.

Der Propagandaminister's picture

Thomas Richter is becoming the Comical Ali of the chess scene, and the unaware readers of www.chess-international.de have become his victims.

andi from austria's picture

he's been comical ali here for quite a while. well, after having read thomas' article on Dubai 2014 (my masochistic tendency....) - boring, (German-) dry and not adding any value beside his own opinion which nobody is interested in. As expected from a wannabe journalist and chess patzer. But who cares, maybe it is cheaper for him than professional psychological help.

Thomas Richter's picture

For what it's worth, readership of chess-international.de seems to have considerably increased since I joined the team about a year ago. Of course I don't know who these (additional) readers are: if they share my opinions, if they appreciate different views while disagreeing, or if there are (a few hundred to several thousand) 'masochists'. (Or it might be related to other new features of the site)

Der Propagandaminister Fanboy's picture

Excellent Thomas, Excellent. Today Chessvibes, tomorrow chess-international and then we take the world! When we are done, Magnus Carlsen will be known as the luckiest player ever!!


Anonymous's picture

Very obsessive
Very delusional

 Anon's picture

I wrote that Lineker thing here in this threat. Funny because I'm neither a Carlsen fan nor a Carlsen hater. And I don't think that anyone claimed that the players have "anfangs 64 Klötze" (= 64 pieces in the beginning)... would be a little bit crowded on the board :-)


Latest articles