June 17, 2014 9:54

World Rapid: Caruana, Karjakin, Nepomniachtchi Tied For First | UPDATE: Video

Fabiano Caruana, Sergey Karjakin and Ian Nepomniachtchi are tied for first place after the first day of the FIDE World Rapid Championship in Dubai. The three GMs scored 4.5/5 and are followed by Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Magnus Carsen, Laurent Fressinet, Le Quang Liem and Sergei Movsesian who have 4 points. Rounds 6-10 will be played on Tuesday, and the final rounds 11-15 on Wednesday.

Update: here's a video with impressions from Dubai and interviews with Fabiano Caruana, Peter Svidler, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Loek van Wely, and Alexander Morozevich:

Some players, such as Magnus Carlsen, Alexander Grischuk and Ernesto Inarkiev (and the author of these lines), have decided to stay at the hotel closest to the Dubai Chess Club. However, arriving in the playing hall without sweaty armpits after this 9-minute walk (according to Google Maps) is a challenge with a temperature of about 40 degrees Celsius! Consequently, the air-conditioned playing hall feels a tiny bit chilly for some of the players who are wearing very thin shirts.

These are the conditions of the 2014 World Rapid & Blitz Championships which took off on Monday in Dubai. The city, an emirate at the same time, is larger than UAE's capital Abu Dhabi in terms of population (over 2 million) but smaller by territorial size. It hosted the 1986 Olympiad, and these days a strong open tournament is held annually.

Unfortunately the first day of the World Rapid Championship wasn't a showcase of decades of experience in organizing chess events. During the first few hours the wireless internet in the tiny press room was too slow to check its speed (on a site like speedtest.net), the official website was blocked, the transmission of the games on the official site broke down several times, the live commentator was often unintentionally funny and media were sent out of the playing hall after the first three minutes of each round - luckily this rule was dropped after two rounds.

And still, it cannot be denied that we're dealing with a splendid tournament, with a huge and terribly strong field of players (including the world's top 7!), held in a beautiful building - the Dubai Chess Club.

The Dubai Chess & Culture Club

The playing hall is on the ground floor, where a spacious cafetaria is an excellent location for the players to spend their breaks. The top games are shown on TV screens, and even the World Cup football matches can be watched. Usually Magnus Carlsen and his friend & coach Peter Heine Nielsen can be found all the way at the back behind a laptop. On the first day they were both wearing football shirts.

On the first three days there's the World Rapid Championship, which is a 15-round Swiss. This means that the top GMs are facing relatively weak opponents in the first few rounds. Relatively, because they play the top players from the second half of the starting rank, and so we're talking 2600 players. (By the way, there are no less than 23 participants below 2500 Elo even though according to the regulations players must have 2500 or more.)

And some of these 2600 took down a 2700 opponent in the very first round. For example, Hikaru Nakamura, who is top seed in both the rapid and the blitz tournament based on the rapid and blitz ratings, lost to Venezuela's Eduardo Iturrizaga:

PGN string

On board three Alexander Grischuk was held to a draw by Maxim Matlakov but another Norway Chess participant, Levon Aronian, also lost his first, to one of Vishy Anand's seconds (and a strong GM himself):

PGN string

Levon Aronian, one of several top GMs to start with a loss

Anand himself was held to a draw by Ivan Salgado Lopez, who has recent practice with rapid chess thanks to his participation in the León tournament. Another Spaniard, the rising star David Anton Guijarro, did even better:

PGN string

Bassem Amin, Egypt's number one player, beat Teimour Radjabov, who won a pawn but blundered:

PGN string

After his early loss, Nakamura recovered well with wins against Lu Shanglei of China and Andrei Volokitin of Ukraine but that was followed by draws against Laurent Fressinet of France and Vladimir Potkin of Russia.

Magnus Carlsen beat Kiril Georgiev but already dropped half a point in round two against Gadir Guseinov, who had proved himself to be a tough opponent for anyone in quickplay during the long night in the hotel lobby in Shamkir after the closing ceremony of the Gashimov Memorial! 

Round 1, Carlsen vs Georgiev

Carlsen left the playing hall with a smile after he defeated Potkin in a nice attacking game:

PGN string

In rounds 4 and 5 the Norwegian drew a worse ending against Evgeny Tomashevsky of Russia, and then beat Ernesto Inarkiev (also Russia).

Carlsen, on 4.0/5 after day 1

Don't miss the following game, another absolute gem by Baadur Jobava in the “New Veresov”:

PGN string

After five rounds, three players scored 4.5 points - two of them despite just having played a tough event in Norway: Fabiano Caruana of Italy, Sergey Karjakin of Russia and Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia. Caruana played both Dutch participants, beat Ivan Sokolov and drew with Loek van Wely. He also defeated Viktor Bologan of Moldavia, Alexander Moiseenko of Ukraine and Baadur Jobava of Georgia.

Karjakin beat Ahmed Adly of Egypt, Vadim Milov of Switzerland, Yu Yangyi of China and Judit Polgar of Hungary, and drew with Jobava. Nepomniachtchi beat Boris Savchenko of Russia, Luka Lenic of Slovenia, Arkadij Naiditsch of Germany and Viktor Laznicka of Czech Republic (after which he was the only player on 4.0/4) and drew with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.

Ian Nepomniachtchi, the only player who won his first four
Sergey Karjakin, co-leader after five rounds

Vishy Anand, on 3.5 points

Judit Polgar started with 3.5/4 but then lost to Karjakin
Loek van Wely, undefeated, 3.5/5 - last week KingLoek won a blitz tournament in Morocco!

The World Rapid starts today at 3pm local time 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
Chess.com

Comments

observer's picture

"including the world's top 7!"
Ohh, that's naughty of you, Peter. You "should" be using official ratings, not live ones. A complaint about Kramnik-bashing from Thomas is sure to arrive soon.

Remco G's picture

Kramnik is #11 on the official rapid list ( http://ratings.fide.com/top.phtml?list=men_rapid ).

observer's picture

More Kramnik-bashing. Shame on you. Thomas will be on the case very soon.

MMB's picture

Bash Kramnik as much as you like if it makes you feel better - no harm done.

Anonymous's picture

Dear Lord! If he isn't calling for s3 he is summoning Thomas. I wouldn't be surprised if observer was actually one and the same person. Please ban him.

observer's picture

For sure, s3, MMB, and Anonymous are the same person. Dear Lord!, he even did his two postings only one minute apart. Please ban him.

Greco's picture

Naka lost.....wow!

Witkacy's picture

My last comment...The level of comments is so stupid here that it is actually a shame to post one.
Adios!

observer's picture

Adios to one of your 100 incarnations, s3. Pity about the other 99.

Grandma's picture

Maybe Magnus (surprisingly) has a tiny little chance after all. He seems to lead after day 2 and his rapid live rating isn't too bad either.:)

http://top40chess.com/

_Could_ it possible be due to chess related reasons?

Anonymous's picture

He is only leading because Big Vlad is absent

Thomas Richter's picture

If the tournament was over now, gold and even more so silver would be due to successful "Swiss gambits". Carlsen and Aronian had just two opponents of the top 20 seeds, Caruana, Karjakin and Nepomniachtchi (leading after day one) already had four to six. Of course such a strategy only works if you win key games (Carlsen against Caruana, Aronian against Karjakin and Nakamura), and of course there are five rounds remaining.

Anonymous's picture

Agree with Thomas that Carlsen and Aronian are leading only because of factors not related to the quality of their play.

Anonymous's picture

Thomas, if pigs fly then Paris is in France.

observer's picture

For gods sake Thomas, do you really hate Carlsen that much? Any excuse, any pseudo-reason at all to have a go at Carlsen. Unbelieveable. What a truly pathetic post.
And you go on about Kramnik-bashing...!

Thomas Richter's picture

Rather than suggesting that I hate Carlsen (and Aronian), what about discussing the point I made? I find it pretty bizarre that even several players on 50% faced a higher rating average than Carlsen and Aronian, and have a better Buchholz than Aronian.

And while I don't like Carlsen's personality and am not particularly fond of his usual playing style, I do like "everything Aronian".

observer's picture

It's not the "point" you made Thomas, if indeed it is one; it's the reason you made it. Would you have made it if it was Kramnik in Carlsen's situation? Of course not.
You call yourself a "journalist", and you don't understand this? You have a very long way to go to becoming a real journalist.

Anonymous's picture

You don't have a point to discuss, Thomas. Your premise is simply false, the tournament is not over now. If pigs fly...

observer's picture

It would appear that Thomas has "overlooked" the Rating Performance column.

RS's picture

@TR

Naka had the easiest draw among all thanks to him being #1. What did he make of it? Carlsen made the most of what was given to him.

Aronian even lost to one 'lowly' rated SS Ganguly. Do you still feel rating is the only criterion that should be considered for crediting players for their tmt performance?

You don't like Carlsen's personality but don't discredit him for ratings of his opponents as he cannot choose his opponents nor can fix their ratings.

Thomas Richter's picture

"Aronian even lost to one 'lowly' rated SS Ganguly. Do you still feel rating is the only criterion that should be considered for crediting players for their tmt performance?"

Check my initial comment: my remark was about BOTH Carlsen and Aronian. And as a matter of fact (whether observer believes it or not) I like Aronian as much as Kramnik - there's just no need to defend him against ubiquitous negativity on this forum. I mentioned Buchholz along with average rating of opponents. As to rating performance: Carlsen would have had to play (nominally) _much_ weaker opponents than the rest of the field to have a worse TPR than others a full point or more behind. The winner of Wijk aan Zee B may have a higher TPR than many from the A group, it's even conceivable that he has a higher TPR than the winner of group A - which says little on how he would do at the highest level, or how he actually will do the next year.

observer's picture

Thomas, I gave you one reason why there is this ubiquitous negativity against Kramnik on the 'Sergey Karjakin Repeats as Norway Chess Winner' thread. It didn't just come from nowhere. But as usual, you disappear from the discussion without acknowledgement that you have been refuted when you've run out of viable 'argument'.

Yes, Carlsen is a point ahead - that's sort of the point isn't it? Yet you try to belittle this achievement, too.
Tell me, would you have posted same if Kramnik had been in this position? Why is it only if Carlsen is? Come on, be honest now.

Thomas Richter's picture

One could criticize Kramnik for press conferences, the ones he did attend and the ones he didn't attend - my gut feeling is that it wouldn't have been nearly as harsh about any other player. One can also bring up old stories about his WCh matches against kasparov and Leko for the 227th time. But all this "Kramnik is finished" stuff - he scored -1 in a strong supertournament, Nakamura had several results far worse in somewhat weaker events.

"would you have posted same if Kramnik had been in this position?" - first of all, that's a hypothetical question, because Kramnik doesn't even play. Second, my post was partly a reaction to the upcoming "hooray Carlsen, he's simply the best" atmosphere. How many times do I have to mention that I have nothing whatsoever against Aronian, but still give factual observations about his tournament?

observer's picture

Well, you had to have some "analysis" as a way of getting at Carlsen, and the only way to do it this time was to have Aronian as "collateral damage".

It's also a hypothetical question if Kramnik was playing and wasn't first isn't it? What's the difference? - it's still hypothetical. Again a non-argument by you to avoid answering the question.

Actually, you would get little of this "hooray Carlsen, he's simply the best" stuff if you and s3 didn't provoke it. You would just get a calm occasional acknowledgement of what is an evident truth.

"One can also bring up old stories about his [Kramnik] WCh match against Kasparov...for the 227th time". Maybe, but you keep pretending to be "mystified" as to why there is this negativity towards Kramnik. So I was just letting you know that one of the main reasons was that he avoided and torpedoed the possibility of another Kasparov-Kramnik WCh match. Many people were very angry about that.

I don't understand how you can defend Kramnik over what he did with his Dortmund Candidates Qualifier or his getting a free match against Anand in 2008, I really don't.
Why are you not able to see through this guy for what he is? He might be a smooth and sweet talker and friendly on the surface, but actions speak louder than words.

RS's picture

@TR

Naka had the easiest draw among all thanks to him being #1. What did he make of it? Carlsen made the most of what was given to him.

Aronian even lost to one 'lowly' rated SS Ganguly. Do you still feel rating is the only criterion that should be considered for crediting players for their tmt performance?

You don't like Carlsen's personality but don't discredit him for ratings of his opponents as he cannot choose his opponents nor can fix their ratings.

Anonymous's picture

"For gods sake Thomas, do you really hate Carlsen that much?"

That he certainly does.

Anonymous's picture

Some people are delusional and some are obsessive, but it is rare to find someone who is obsessive about his delusions.

Troll Sniffer's picture

Agree with Thomas Richter that Carlsen is leading, not because of his play, but because his hotel room features a better mattress.

Casey Abell's picture

It's not the mattress. It's special brain drugs in the orange juice. Just ask Thomas.

Pest and Troll Control's picture

Oh dear, we already have one troll here with s3.
It appears we now have another with Thomas Richter.

Anonymous's picture

If you kids would take the time to think you would realize that his post makes sense and doesn't belittle Carlsens-or Aronians- achievement at all. But unfortunately the most vocal
Carlsen fans are strangely similar to the adherents of the world's 2nd biggest religion. And Thomas is the little satan to them. Everything he says is bad and responded to with personal attacks. Very sad.

Just compare Karjakins opponents of today with Carlsens: Carlsen, Caruana, Nepomniachi, Aronian, Anand. Vs. Karjakin, Fressinet, Kryvoruchko, Movsesian and Caruana.

Chances are that Anand, Nepomniachi and Aronian finish higher than Fressinet, Kryvoruchko and Movsesian. Caruana, Karjakin and Nepo just had 5 top class opponents in a row. No wonder they got tired near the end.

observer's picture

So sayeth s3, who is such a gutless coward he can't even post this under his own handle.

Casey Abell's picture

The way that Swiss tournaments operate is that winners play winners. The higher you rise in the tournament, the more you play opponents who are also performing well in the tournament.

Previous ratings and subjective opinions of who are "top class" opponents don't matter at all. What matters is how players are performing in the actual event.

Carlsen's opponents today, who you dismissed as apparently "non-top-class," have a combined score of +17 in the event so far, excluding the three losses to Carlsen among the group.

In other words, Carlsen faced a group of players performing exceptionally well in the tournament. I'm sorry that he compiled 4/5 against them and ruined your day.

Anonymous's picture

Casey, maybe you' ve never heard of the "swiss gambit" with the same idea. Carlsens opponents were very strong, but like Thomas said, there is also buchholz to put things in perspective. Fortunately the tourney is far from over and tomorrow he will face some top players. Let's enjoy the show, no matter who wins!

observer's picture

Suggest you check the 'Rating Performance' column, s3. Might give you some real perspective.

"Let's enjoy the show!" A trademark s3 saying. Why are you so pathetic that you cannot post under your own handle, s3?

Anonymous's picture

Why are you so full of hate observer? You call people "pathetic", you call people "cowards" and you make false accusations about identities. You are breaking the house rules here. Why can't you enjoy this site and talk a bit more polite? What is it that made you so angry about my post?

observer's picture

Oh please. Spare us the "moral high ground" line, s3.

Anonymous's picture

It would be common courtesy to observe the house rules of this site, regardless of what you think others do. You are just a guest here and not the only visitor.
Act like a man and remember that.

observer's picture

So sayeth the gutless coward and by far the biggest abuser of this site.

Anonymous's picture

You are the one insulting every post. But even if others were worse it wouldn't make it ok for you to break the rules.

observer's picture

s3, the "insult" was only quoting back to you what you agreed in the previous thread was the case. Now you have a problem with that as well?
You lecturing others about breaking the rules?? What's a stronger word than hypocrisy?

Getting back to the subject, have you bothered to check the 'Rating Performance' column yet?

Anonymous's picture

Yes, some time ago, s3 used to occasionally finish his posts with "Enjoy the show!"
As far as I remember, no one else ever did.

Anonymous's picture

" As far as I remember, no one else ever did"
Lol. I hope you are being sarcastic and not actually strengthening his delusions.

Anonymous's picture

"Enjoy the show!" was a distinctive turn of phrase I remember only s3 using.
Also, your posts are very similar in tone to those of s3.
As the saying goes - if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it almost certainly is a duck.
In the very likely event you are s3, would you mind telling us why you use this false cover part of the time instead of your normal handle?

Chess observer's picture

I'm sorry, but your lame excuses are meaningless. Carlsen had a very easy task today. Obviously Norwegian fanboys fail to grasp this.

observer's picture

Troll alert. s3 again.

 Anon's picture

Mh, seems to be a good time to rephrase Gary Lineker (probably known from some dubious fringe sport?!)

"Chess is a game where two players chase 32 pieces over the board and at the end, Carlsen always wins" :-)

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