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


Greco's picture

MC go win them all!!! Make S3 cry in his basement...until his mother calls him for dinner!!

Thomas Richter's picture

On the report as a whole: I know (from my own experience) that it is difficult to write a report on such an event: so many games played, so many players that could be mentioned.

That being said, Peter's choices are partly puzzling to me:

A lot on Carlsen and Nakamura - perfectly fine (they were among the favorites before the event, and are the favorites after day 1)

Quite a lot on Anand - this may reflect his long-term standing, not his current position in the standings ("neither right nor wrong"!?)

"Something" on Lu Shanglei - perfectly fine

Nothing at all on Georg Meier (after the first paragraph) - Huh?

Peter Doggers's picture

The internet is horrible both in the hotel and in the press room. Something must have gone wrong, and apparently it wasn't the final version of the article that was posted. Damn. I have added something about Meier.

Thomas Richter's picture

Ah OK technical problems with entire paragraphs suddenly disappearing. Sounds (sadly) familiar to me, while I am almost always writing from home.

chesshire cat's picture

I play chess to relax. The game seems to make a lot of people very angry though.

Greco's picture

Well mostly S3 is angry...he just uses a lot of names these days..oh yes and "Anonymous" too

jimknopf's picture

Couldn't agree more.

There are some really poor lost souls around here, who obviously take aggressive chess comments as substitute for not having a real life, or for other vain reasons.

Anonymous's picture

True Jim. Mainly intolerant guys like observer and greco. Best is to ignore them and hope for it/them to get better.

jimknopf's picture

Answering my comment by again accusing others, and doing that of course anonymously, looks just as poor to me as what I was talking of. ;-)

 Anon's picture

Mh, sorry but "obviously take aggressive chess comments as substitute for not having a real life, or for other vain reasons" sounds like you too are not as immume to that as you might think.

jimknopf's picture

Can't agree with you, Anon:

- I use a constant handle instead of hiding in the mass of "anyonymous" ones
- and I have not pointed at single players, but at a certain behavior from some who know well what I mean.

But you are right that I can't imagine any reasons besides poor and vain ones to behave like that.

 Anon's picture

It's my opinion so you don't have to agree. But, again in my opinion,

- there's no real qualitative difference between a handle like "jimknopf" and "anonymous"; except for the people giving their real names like Frits and Thomas everybody here is anonymous.

- thus, your second point seems to be rather semantics to me. Personal attacks against a group of unknown persons are not better than against one unknown person.

If someone tries to troll, then one can always just ignore it. On the other hand, attacking someone personally just because he/she uses "anonymous" is bad manner. And I really dislike more and more the approach to "freedom of speech and opinion" shown by many here. One doesn't have to like other opinions, but personal attack is disgusting.

Frits Fritschy's picture

I can't be sure whether jimknopf, AngeloPardi, CalviAmari or Bronkenstein are real names. There are more people here who at least use a handle that looks like a real name. Unless I hear otherwise, I take it that they are real names.
Strictly semantically, I have some problems with a personal attack against a group of unknown persons. Isn't that mutually exclusive? I would say even an unpersonal attack against a group of unknown persons is rather difficult.
By the way, I don't mind people attacking me or my opinions. I trust I can handle that, or I'll admit I'm wrong. I appreciate it if you use your own name when doing it. I don't like it when you use your handle to say things you normally wouldn't. I will ignore you when you do it as an unrecognizable anonymous.
Nothing wrong with asking a question or saying you liked a game as an anonymous. Use only one handle for venturing strong opinions. Use your real name for personal attacks. It would be nice if everybody here would stick to that. (After the sermon, please don't forget the offertory box.)

 Anon's picture

I mentioned you and Thomas as example, not as a comprehensive list. Just to take the examples given by you, Jim Knopf and Angelo Pardi are well known charakters from literature and Bronkenstein is a band. Of course, one never knows, it still could be their real names. I have my doubts.

I really don't want to discuss semantics. For me, a personal attack is to make malicious claims about the person posting, like "diagnosing" Asperger, speculating about their real-life deficits, anything which is obviously used to diminish and ridicule the person without regard to the content of the post. This has nothing to do with being anonymous or not and obviously also applies to groups, doesn't it?

Amen, and here are my two cents for your box :-)

Frits Fritschy's picture

Hail to you, my son, and thanks for your contribution.
I had googled Jim once and was not certain and Angelo Pardi is beyond my limited literary scope. But Bronkenstein? Nothing wrong with the music (it's nothing-wrong-with-our-music music), but you have to be a member of that group to use it as a nick name on a chess forum. Maybe the said persons can inform us.
Apart from semantics, the original post by Jim ('jim'?) said: "There are some really poor lost souls around here, who obviously take aggressive chess comments as substitute for not having a real life, or for other vain reasons." No mention of anonymouses here. "accusing others, and doing that of course anonymously": someone agrees with him, but not in a way he likes - I do like that.
For the rest I agree with you: nothing wrong with getting personal, but leave out the psychology.

 Anon's picture

That guy GM Komarov is a fantastic entertaining commentator. Forget about football - if you want real action then tune in WRB2014 live coverage!

Way to go for chess promotion, reminds me of the good old days with GMs Ashley/King, but with a cool russian accent :-).

Cantankerous's picture

No, he isn't. Rather on the contrary; his accent is extremely annoying and too heavy to be bearable for even a few micro seconds. Awful commentator, horrible, horrible commentator.

 Anon's picture

De gustibus non est disputandum...

Anonymous's picture

Komarov is a great commentator, what a difference from Polgar et al.

Thomas Richter's picture

It will always remain a matter of taste, but this is what Lawrence Trent (commentator at many other occasions) tweeted:

"Love watching the World Blitz Championships...wish I was there in the booth commentating! Must say I am warming to Komarov though :)"

Indeed one has to get used to Komarov's commentating style and accent, and it certainly is a challenge to do nonstop _solo_ commentary (at least for the blitz he got regular short breaks). Don't blame anyone (me or anyone else) for his accent in a foreign language - it certainly wasn't that bad for his English to become incomprehensible.

Anonymous's picture

Some great expressions from Komarov, like "this is Big Brain Move!" and "maybe we should recruit him for Ukrainian military, he has beaten three Russians in a row!" about one of the Chinese players.

 Anon's picture

"...cannot be recommended, but why not?" :-)

I wish there was a compilation of all the great and funny wisdoms and comments of Komarov!

raze's picture

Triple crown to the CHESS KING MAGNUS CARLSEN. haters hate. :) hihi.

You can't destroy the no. 1 Champion of 3 division. Kaboom! Boom! boom!

 Anon's picture

Oops, he did it again... :-)

It just seems as if no one can keep up with him.

observer's picture

Well, here we go again.
This time s3 posts as "ItsOverPeople", "Vokarov", "Futebol brasileiro", "Anon", "Magnuss", "Hagen", "me", and an "Anonymous".
This evil little twit obviously doesn't have a life so tries to make himself important by attacking the world's top player.
Why the blogmeister enables this and allows this one troll to wreck the forum is as big a mystery as why Thomas hates Carlsen so much.
Anyway Carlsen won, so now this lowlife will have to take out his frustrations kicking the walls of his mummy's basement.
Congratulations Magnus, triple Champion.

Septimus's picture

This is not chess. Anand would have never made such a noob blunder. Maybe a bit of fun, but certainly not to be taken seriously.


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