June 20, 2014 0:54

Half-Point Lead for Carlsen After First Day World Blitz

After winning the World Rapid title Magnus Carlsen is also doing well at the FIDE World Blitz Championship in Dubai. Going into the second and last day of the tournament, the Norwegian has a half-point lead after scoring scored 9.0/11 on Thursday. Blitz (or rather, bullet) specialist Hikaru Nakamura is trailing by half a point and so is Georg Meier. On Friday ten more rounds will be played.

All photos © Chess.com | Update: A video of the Carlsen-Nakamura has been added to the report!

With almost the same playing field as in the rapid tournament, the FIDE World Blitz Championship started on Thursday in the Dubai Chess & Culture Club. No less than 11 rounds were played (10 will follow on Friday) at a time control of 3 minutes plus 2 seconds increment. And immediately in the first round this fast time control resulted in big mistakes.

For exampe, none other than Vishy Anand, who hadn't lost a single game in the first three days, got into trouble against Yuriy Kryvoruchko; the ex-World Champion had to defend the infamous RB-R ending, did that flawlessly for about 40 moves (each time using only a few seconds)... and then he blundered his rook.

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Favorites such as Nakamura and Carlsen won their first game relatively smoothly, and they continued to win in round 2. Carlsen faced the renowned blitz player from Azerbijan Gadir Guseinov and managed to outplay his opponent from a drawn rook ending - Guseinov should have just given his b-pawn and draw the Philidor position:

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Gadir Guseinov
This game was in fact not broadcast live, and so the moves never reached the chess fans. However, it kind of helped that a Chess.com video camera was pointed at this game! This way the moves could be entered manually and you're able to play through them; for the others games, as always, TWIC comes in handy. 

Nakamura himself showed his resilience against Wang Hao, who put the American under serious pressure. After the move 34.a4 Nakamura was shaking his head, probably thinking he shouldn't have allowed that white knight to b5, from where it would trade his knight. He was about to end up in a bad bishop vs knight position, but there U.S. #1 took a deep think and then bashed out his next couple of moves quickly. Before you knew it the position was highly unclear. The Chinese GM got confused, missed that his opponent blundered (allowing 46.Rxe4+-) and then totally lost the thread.

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Hikaru Nakamura

Nakamura's next game was another very tough fight. After about 15 moves both players asked one another not to bang the clock so hard, and from that point it was war time! White's positional Exchange sac worked out well, but objectively it wasn't good (e.g. 37...Rd6! 38.Qxc7 Qf6 should win). Nakamura got a winning ending, got a bit frustrated about not winning it easily, then blew it, but decided to play for a win anyway, got two knights and a pawn for a queen, and then... Savchenko put his king on a square protected by one of the white knights. Nakamura stopped the clock and claimed the win because of the illegal move. Dramatic!

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On second board Fressinet and Carlsen faced each other - two good friends who sometimes work on chess together. Perhaps that was the reason why Carlsen did something out of the ordinary: 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Ng8?!?, and whereas Fressinet managed to draw his game with the Norwegian in the rapid tournament, this time he got slowly outplayed.

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Carlsen: 2...Ng8?!?

Nakamura drew with Wojtaszek in round 5, but Carlsen kept his 100% score thanks to a smooth win over Eduardo Iturrizaga. 

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Meanwhile, Judit Polgar was having a good start. She defeated Yu Yangyi in a way that reminded of her games from twenty years ago, crushing her opponent as White in a Sicilian:

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Anand started badly; after his first-round loss he beat Aleksej Aleksandrov but then lost again, to Vladimir Fedoseev. Wins against Salem, Bologan and his former second Kasimdzhanov, in Caplanca style, got him back to plus one:

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Vishy Anand

Anand then drew with Caruana which was followed by another loss, against Markus Ragger. Not good! However, the Indian would finish with three wins in a row, against Bassem, Vitiugov and Dreev. The Egyptian number one clearly miscalculated something in the opening.

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Carlsen was the only player left on 100% after five rounds. Nepomniachtchi, another good friend of his, was one of the players on 4.5 after catching Svidler in an opening trick:

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Ian Nepomniachtchi

Then Carlsen dropped his first half point against Nepomniachtchi and it was Le Quang Liem, the reigning World Blitz Champion, who caught him in first place by beating Nakamura.

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Le Quang Liem is defending his title

Carlsen immediately grabbed the sole lead again by beating the reignign champ in a bishop ending. Le in fact resigned 51 moves after the last pawn move had been played - in this blitz event it's virtually impossible to claim a draw based on the 50-move rule.

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By then the surprise of the tournament, 18-year-old Lu Shanglei, had fought himself all the way up in the standings. In round 7 the Chinese talent defeated Peter Svidler, who blundered and got his king stuck in a mating net:

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Lu Shanglei

The whole world got to know Lu when he scored a sensational win over Carlsen the next round! The tournament leader outplayed his young opponent in the opening but then spoilt it completely on move 22, missing a strong queen check. His king needed to flee to the center, but it wasn't safe there. 

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Carlsen resigns against Lu

Carlsen eventually emerged as the sole leader thanks to a 2.5/3 finish: wins against Ragger and Mamedyarov, and a draw with Nakamura. A game between these two players always has some extra flavour but this time it was quite an even game; a good draw for both players. Well, more for the American, who was playing Black.

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Another big surprise on the first day of the tournament was Georg Meier, who is sharing second place with Nakamura, only half a point behind Carlsen! He defeated Karjakin, Bacrot, Vitiugov, Fressinet and in the 10th round Nepomniachtchi (who was clearly tired by then).

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Dutch GM Loek van Wely, who also started well on the first day of the rapid, could be seen on the top boards. In round 6 he defeated the number five in the rapid:

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Drawing with Vachier-Lagrave, Mamedyarov and Dubaov, Van Wely reached 6.0/9 but then the fun was over; he lost two in a row.

Loek van Wely

Judit Polgar, already mentioned, had an excellent first day and finished on plus for - shared 8th place - despite losing in 11 moves to Mamedyarov in round 9!

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Sergey Karjakin, who was tweeting a lot in between games, couldn't hold his laughter:

But two rounds later Karjakin was punished by Caissa (or rather, by Polgar herself!)

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Even though his girlfriend Arianne Caoili had arrived, and cheered for him in the playing hall wearing a sports shirt with “Aronian” on her back, Levon Aronian had a disappointing first day. Five wins, three draws and three losses meant only plus two and so the Armenian needs to do a lot better on Friday to keep a chance for a good prize.

World Blitz Championship 2014 | Round 10 Standings (Top 40)

Rk. SNo Name FED Rtg Pts. TB1 TB2
1 4 Carlsen Magnus NOR 2837 9 2738 73,5
2 43 Meier Georg GER 2663 8,5 2757 72,5
3 1 Nakamura Hikaru USA 2879 8,5 2728 75,5
4 9 Nepomniachtchi Ian RUS 2816 8 2742 72
5 39 Lu Shanglei CHN 2668 8 2730 73,5
6 8 Le Quang Liem VIE 2817 8 2717 76
7 32 Sargissian Gabriel ARM 2689 8 2704 69
8 36 Polgar Judit HUN 2673 7,5 2744 63,5
9 49 Laznicka Viktor CZE 2650 7,5 2720 63,5
10 37 Harikrishna P. IND 2669 7,5 2704 67
11 40 Wang Hao CHN 2668 7,5 2679 61,5
12 7 Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE 2822 7,5 2678 69
13 27 Fressinet Laurent FRA 2705 7,5 2661 68
14 31 Caruana Fabiano ITA 2697 7,5 2648 61
15 6 Anand Viswanathan IND 2827 7,5 2645 62,5
16 86 Yudin Sergei RUS 2559 7 2717 60,5
17 29 Dreev Aleksey RUS 2701 7 2700 67,5
18 55 Cheparinov Ivan BUL 2636 7 2675 64
19 21 Wojtaszek Radoslaw POL 2726 7 2673 64
20 22 Tomashevsky Evgeny RUS 2725 7 2657 63,5
21 13 Korobov Anton UKR 2758 7 2637 58
22 18 Movsesian Sergei ARM 2730 7 2613 58,5
23 28 Riazantsev Alexander RUS 2703 7 2590 56,5
24 5 Vachier-Lagrave Maxime FRA 2835 6,5 2700 67
25 74 Moradiabadi Elshan IRI 2599 6,5 2691 62
26 16 Bacrot Etienne FRA 2744 6,5 2660 71
27 14 Svidler Peter RUS 2757 6,5 2658 62,5
28 23 Iturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo VEN 2722 6,5 2645 62
29 20 Dubov Daniil RUS 2729 6,5 2644 60,5
30 3 Aronian Levon ARM 2863 6,5 2643 59
31 47 Kasimdzhanov Rustam UZB 2657 6,5 2642 58
32 2 Karjakin Sergey RUS 2866 6,5 2641 62
33 10 Grischuk Alexander RUS 2801 6,5 2634 57,5
34 30 Malakhov Vladimir RUS 2700 6,5 2625 59
35 41 Amin Bassem EGY 2667 6,5 2607 54
36 76 Ragger Markus AUT 2587 6 2741 69,5
37 64 Vallejo Pons Francisco ESP 2628 6 2729 62,5
38 62 Jobava Baadur GEO 2628 6 2723 60,5
39 68 Gundavaa Bayarsaikhan MGL 2616 6 2718 64
40 61 Fedoseev Vladimir RUS 2628 6 2695 62

(Full standings here)

The World Blitz Championship is held Thursday, June 19th and Friday, June 20th, 2014. Play starts at 3pm local time (GMT +4) which is 1pm CET, 7am New York and 4am Los Angeles. The championship will be broadcast live on the tournament’s official website with online games and commentary.


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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers


hank's picture

Lu who?

leo's picture

dont let the chinese players win the blitz event or any other event. It'll be an embarrasment to the chess world if chinese got hold of these. other than chinese win is far better. yes, this is racist comment.

Leo's picture

Wow, first time being impersonated here! Guess I'm finally someone :)

RG13's picture

Thanks for this report. I was really hoping to see video of Carlsen - Nakamura though!

ITsOverPeople's picture

It was a draw. Carlsen was toothless and the video is available online.

chessman's picture

Magnus is simply the greatest player to ever play this game..

simple as that

bhabatosh's picture

Kasparov is the greatest player ever .... But right now chess is becoming boring ... Carlsen wins everything !!! I am sure Carlsen will win this event as well ....

Remco G's picture

Is the Norwegian tournament that ended last week or so forgotten already?

SlapTheHand's picture

Look at what Bologan did to the after he lost his game in round 6 :)

SlapTheHand's picture

to the arbiter. It is at the very end of the video

SlapTheFace's picture

What? You have a single eye or depth perception problems?

Vodkarov's picture

Carlsen can not win blitz. Nakamura, Le, Lu, MVL are better players.

RG13's picture

Better player doesn't always win. If Carlsen had no chance then he wouldn't be leading after the first day. He has a good chance to get a triple-crown but of course no guarantee.

RS's picture

We are about to see history in the making. For the first time ever we will have a World Champion who rules Classical, Rapid and Blitz.

Go Magnus go.

Despite this possible great achievement i still believe Kasparov the greatest and strongest ever.

DB's picture

Kasparov needs to come back and arrange a long match with Carlsen.

Let's settle this!

kcmclvr's picture

You're right. Finally, he did the impossible !!!

Futebol brasileiro's picture

Carlsen got crushed by a Chinese schoolboy. This is quite embarassing. As if that weren't bad enough, he violated the rules of fairplay in his game with Naka. He should move from chess to poker, where cheap tricks and bluffing are celebrated and cheating is commonplace. Chess is a game for classy players, such as Kramnik and Aronian, not immature brats.

Anonymous's picture

Still looking for a new nickname? What happened to the old one?

ITsOverPeople's picture

When he knocked over the piece and punched his clock before fixing it? Yep. Another thing. Norway blitz was supposed to be unrated and the players knew this but after magnus won it mysteriously retroactively became a rated blitz event and magnus gained 40 points to his blitz rating. The problems with this are manifold. First of all, the other players opening choices may have been influenced by the fact that it wasn't supposed to be rated and their subsequent risk taking, or not, could have been influenced as well. This is unfair to the entire field. Secondly, it is not unreasonable to ask if the event would have been rated had magnus not won. The unethical choices made to push magnus to the forefront of the blitz rating list before his time are clear to see. He doesn't need the push at all but the organizers saw fit to jack up his rating and try to give him the opportunity not only to be triple champion but to lead all the rating lists as well. Fabiano saw fit to stop this from happening with his stellar rapid performance. Hopefully Nakamura has the nerves to do his part and prevent not only the triple crown but also grab retain number one on the official blitz list which he should be for the July list anyway had it not been for shenanigans from the Norway organizers. Shame on them. Magnus does not need help. He does not need push. This is not the WWE.

caissa's picture

"When he knocked over the piece and punched his clock before fixing it?"

He knocked over the piece, corrected it (Naka made a gesture), then punched his clock.

As for the Norway Chess thing: Why on Earth are you blaming Carlsen for this? You also make it sound as if Carlsen doesn't deserve a good position on the blitz rating list, when Carlsen has demonstrated for many years that he's one of the strongest blitz players on the planet. And even if the Norway Chess results had not been rated, you can bet that Carlsen would climb to the top or close to the top of the list sooner or later (rather sooner than later). It seems to me like your comment is just sour grapes from a Naka fanboy...

Magnuss's picture

I bet nothing. I don't gamble. I deal in facts and reality. You should try it. They bent the rules and politicked to changed the classification of the event and this is not really up for debate. The same issue was raised in an article on chessbase.

Thomas Richter's picture

"As for the Norway Chess thing: Why on Earth are you blaming Carlsen for this?" - I don't think he did, but the general point is: If organizers tell players and public before the event that the games won't be rated (by itself a surprising and maybe controversial choice), they should be unrated, period. The way things went suggests, or at least doesn't rule out that the results of the event did play a role, and that's IMO wrong no matter who benefits (and who is hurt).

IIRC Tarjei on Twitter stated that the organizers didn't change their mind, didn't submit a rating report, and FIDE processed the results anyway. If true, this would also be weird, if only for one reason: While many focus on ratings of world-top players, there are thousand of FIDE-rated players. Whether an event is or isn't rated should only depend on whether FIDE gets a rating report, not on whether they 'happen' to know the results from other sources.

"You also make it sound as if Carlsen doesn't deserve a good position on the blitz rating list" - not to my ears, and this is completely irrelevant. He has a good position on the still-official FIDE blitz rating list (#4 as Norway Chess and this event will count towards the July list), whether he has to be #1 is a matter of opinion. With big rating swings possible in every single event (K factor 20, often many games played, often big plus scores), IMO the blitz rating lists will never be all-reliable. Nonetheless, similarities with classical ratings aren't coincidental, nor are differences for certain players - e.g. Le Quang Liem (current blitz #8) seems far stronger in blitz, while Caruana (#42) is a relatively weak blitz player.

Hagen's picture

"He knocked over the piece, corrected it (Naka made a gesture), then punched his clock."
That is not true. He corrected in Nakas time. Magnus had only seconds left and if he had tried to correct in his own time he would have lost. It looked like deliberately cheating. The video is still online.

And the Norway chess blitz biz, if true, is awful, but of course the organizers fault..

Anonymous's picture

No, he wouldn't have lost if he had corrected on his own time, and no it didn't look like deliberate cheating. They were both stacking moves quickly on semi-automatic mode in a drawish rook ending that ended peacefully in a repetition a few moves later----neither players being visibly upset when they shook hands. What it certainly looks like is yet another S3 style attempt to slander Carlsen with increasingly ridiculous accusations.

Hagen's picture

" No, he wouldn't have lost if he had corrected on his own time"

So you agree that "caissa" is wrong about who's clock was running. In my opinion it was a likely loss on time if Carlsen had sticked to the rules. If you think differently you might ask yourself why Carlsen didn't play by the rules in the first place.
As for S3, he is right on one thing: Carlsen does break the rules a lot. Not surprisingly he isn't the only one to see it. Intentional or not, that is debatable.

Anonymous's picture

"So you agree that "caissa" is wrong about who's clock was running."

Yes, Nakamura's clock was running when Carlsen adjusted his piece. Now, why do you think Nakamura didn't file a complaint about it exactly? Because knocking pieces happen all the time in blitz, and players do adjust them as fast as they can, which can indeed be sometime on the opponent's time, even if they shouldn't.

Anonymous's picture

Not sure if is official penalty, maybe someone can tell ? I'm watching livestream and knocking pieces happens regulary but apart from Carlsen I see noone correct in opponent time.

Anonymous's picture

I just saw Dreev adjust his pieces. I'm pretty sure it was during Carlsen's time.

Frits Fritschy's picture

It's there to find for anyone with basic internet skills.
FIDE Handbook, article 7.3:
"If a player displaces one or more pieces, he shall re-establish the correct position on his own time. If necessary, either the player or his opponent shall stop the clocks and ask for the arbiter’s assistance. The arbiter may penalise the player who displaced the pieces."
So if you can't do it in your own time, you may be penalized.
Article 13.4:
"The arbiter can apply one or more of the following penalties:
- warning
- increasing the remaining time of the opponent
- reducing the remaining time of the offending player
- declaring the game to be lost
- reducing the points scored in the game by the offending party
- increasing the points scored in the game by the opponent to the maximum available for that game
expulsion from the event."

If He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named writing here is the arbiter and Carlsen the offender, Carlsen will probably be expulsed from the event. In any other situation, the remaining time of the opponent may be increased, stressing 'may'.
Top professionals can have a few moments of agitation when things like this happen, but after adrenalin is back to normal, they usually resolve the situation among themselves. Radjabov-Smeets from Wijk aan Zee a few years ago immediately comes to mind.

Anonymous's picture

Thank you, Frits.

Magnuss's picture

This is the true, Thank you for this revelation. Yes the video is only and Nakamura definitely called magnus out on it. He had only a couple of seconds left and did this evil. Magnus must cheat form time to time to maintain his appearance of dominance.

Greco's picture


caissa's picture

"Carlsen got crushed by a Chinese schoolboy. This is quite embarassing. "

Not really, blunders happen in blitz, and even Carlsen blunders. It's just that he doesn't blunder as often as the others. Carlsen was not the only player who lost against lower rated classical players, and we know that a lower rated classical player can play much stronger (relatively speaking) in blitz. That's why you often see FMs and IMs beating much stronger GMs in blitz.

And Carlsen had a good position when he made a single blunder that put him in trouble for the rest of the game. It wasn't as if he was slowly outplayed: He basically handed the game to Lu.

Anonymous's picture

Vlady would have won this if he just had played, hadn't been feeling under the weather, hadn't given Carlsen a handicap by having a family, and really bothered about winning as much as Carlsen does, and only chess related reasons counted, oh, and unless Carlsen was lucky.

Webbimio's picture


Magnuss's picture

Carlsen's game with Le Quang is a joke. There was no win in the position but he played on the clock and violated the 50 move rule just like giri did in the Norway blitz event. Magnus will get his comeuppance soon.

Anonymous's picture


caissa's picture

Yes, there was a win: a4 and white would win a pawn and the game (why do you think Carlsen played Ba6 in the first place?). Le lost on time in a lost position. If you still don't believe me: Enter the position in a chess engine, and play out the variations.

And if the 50 move rule was violated you should know better than to blame Carlsen for this: You should blame the organizers. It's the judge (or whatever it's called in chess) who's responsible for enforcing this. If one of the players do not claim a draw by the 50 move rule (which is difficult in blitz anyway), you can't put the blame on the other player.

And playing on the clock? You do realize that time is a very important factor in blitz, and trying to take advantage of the clock is quite commonplace in this format. You don't like it? Don't play blitz! It's your accusation that's a joke, not the game...

Magnuss's picture

Carlsen's defendor has appeared again to make excuses for his cheating. He is a known cheat. He tried to cheat several times in blitz and there is video evidence of this online. SHAMEFUL.

hank's picture

Normal S3 hatring, why change your nick all the time ...

me's picture

you're so funny! what should he have done, counting the moves an tell it his opponent? Keep making us lough, please!

Leo's picture

"... violated the 50 move rule". What? Is that even possible? No one stopped Liem from claiming it, but obviously neither the players or the arbiters, nor you or anyone else, had any chance of keeping count until the game was reviewed afterwards. But hey, you got to write the words "Carlsen" and "violated" in the same sentence. Well done.

Greco's picture

Cry haters!!!

Anonymous's picture

Premature celebrations by fanboys? I think so

Greco's picture

S3? I think so...

Anonymous's picture

Thomas, do you think you have angered a mischievous god that systematically makes the same undeserving player win against all odds, or do you think there is a simpler, more rational, explanation?

Greco's picture

Yes there is but why bother S3? Haters gonna hate...

Evgeny's picture

Why is Grischuk not playing?

Anonymous's picture

33. Grischuk Alexander, with 6.5 points.

TikTakTokTek's picture

Grischuk is playng, just not good. He is 33th after the first day.


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