Chess

Viswanathan Anand and Ju Wenjun are World Rapid Champions!

Viswanathan Anand and Ju Wenjun for winning the FIDE World Rapid 2017 titles! Ju Wenjun was clear first in the women section with 11,5/15, while Anand battled with Fedoseev in the tiebreaks for the title.

Entering the last round of the Open Rapid Championship, Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen were tied on the first place with 10 points each.

Anand took a quick draw with black against Bu Xiangzhi, and Magnus Carlsen sensed the opportunity to play for a win. But Alexander Grischuk had his own plans and attacked ferociously to eventually defeat Carlsen and drag him down to 4th shared place in the overall standings.

Replay the games in men section / Replay the games in the women section

Vladimir Fedoseev won the Russian derby against Vladislav Artemiev and Ian Nepomniachtchi scored against Wang Hao, to both catch Anand on the shared first place.

According to the Tournament Regulations, “if there is a tie for the 1st place, the top 2 players according to the first eligible tie break criterion will play a play-off.” Nepomniachtchi had the worst tie-break and therefore won the bronze medal.

Anand and Fedoseev proceeded to play two 3′+2” games to decide the Champion. Anand 1,5-0,5 and took the golden trophy.

Anand
Viswanathan Anand

Ju Wenjun of China continued the good run on the final day of the Women’s Rapid Championship and after scoring two wins and three draws emerged clear winner with 11,5/15 points. Ju modestly repeated her statement from the first day of the Championship, stating that “she was lucky”.

Her compatriot Lei Tingjie was in position to direct a tiebreak match, but she could not win with black against Nana Dzagnidze, therefore being awarded the silver medal. Elisabeth Paehtz claimed the bronze with 10,5 points.

Official website / Photo gallery / Results, Standings, Pairings

Tomorrow starts the King Salman World Blitz Championship.

Ju Wenjun
Ju Wenjun

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Princess Reema bint Bandar al Saud, the commissioner for development and planning of the General Sports Authority, opening the third day rounds of the King Salman World Chess Championship

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Rauf Mamedov-Vladimir Fedoseev

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Arbiter Margit Brokko keeping a watchfull eye

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Olga Girya contemplating the next move

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Vladimir Fedoseev and Magnus Carlsen

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Harika Dronavalli and Ju Wenjun

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Arbiter Carlos Diaz is in charge of top four boards

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Esipenko and Vachier-Lagrave playing the opening at the lightning speed


Day 2

Day 2 idThe King Salman World Rapid Championship continued today at the iconic Apex Convention Centre in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Five more rounds were played in both Open and Women’s sections.

The overnight leader in the Women’s section, Ju Wenjun of China, continued the campaign with four straight draws, but then when it mattered the most she closed the day with a win against IM Pham Le Thao Nguyen, once again singling out on the top of the standings with 8,0/10 points.

Half a point behind the leader are WGM Aleksandra Goryachkina (Russia), GM Elina Danielian (Armenia) and GM Nana Dzagnidze (Georgia) on 7,5 points each.

In the Open section Vladimir Fedoseev from Russia started with a win against the overnight co-leader Baadur Jobava and next he defeated Yuriy Kuzubov. There followed three draws in a row, but this was sufficient to retain a clear first place with 8,0/10 points.

On the shared second place with 7,5 points are Peter Svidler from Russia, Wang Hao from China and Viswanathan Anand of India, who has notably beaten the World classical champion Magnus Carlsen.

Of memorable games, the 15-years old Russian star Andrey Esipenko crushed the reigning World blitz chess champion and World championship challenger in classical chess Sergey Karjakin with a beautiful queen sacrifice.

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Vladimir Fedoseev won against Baadur Jobava

The King Salman World Rapid Championship has five more rounds to be played and will end tomorrow.

Players from 55 countries, among them 10 men out of the World Top-15 as well as 11 out the World Top-15 women, are competing in this prestigious event.

Official website / Photo gallery / Results, Standings, Pairings

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The stage with top four games

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Her Excellency Princess Ilama Al-Sudairi, Ambassador of Mind Games in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nehyan, Continental President for Asia, inaugurating the 8th round

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GM Ahmed Adly interviewing Her Excellency Princess Ilama Al-Sudairi, Ambassador of Mind Games in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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Irene Sukandar missed the connecting flight, but still managed to arrive on time to participate in the championship

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Jorden Van Foreest vs Pentala Harikrishna

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Yuriy Kuzubov defeated the higher rated Alexander Grischuk

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FIDE Vice President Martha Fierro in action

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On the way to the playing venue

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Checking into theĀ KAPSARC

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Relaxed walking to the playing hall

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Peter Svidler and Alexander Grischuk

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Players enjoying dinner after a tough day in the arena

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International Arbiter Effie Andrikopoulou

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Grandmaster Laurent Fressinet

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Peter Svidler and Magnus Carlsen about to start the game

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FIDE CEO Geoffrey Borg with the distinguished guests

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Viktor Laznicka showing the moves to local chess fan

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Young chess fans posing for photos

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Players socializing with locals in between the games

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Traditional setting combined with modern technology

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Day 1, 26th December

Day 1 idThe King Salman World Rapid Championship started today at the iconic Apex Convention Centre in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Players from 55 countries, among them 10 men out of the World Top-15 as well as 11 out the World Top-15 women, are competing in this prestigious event.

The honorary first move in the round 1 game Carlsen-Bu was made by Mr Kosay A.Alfawaz, Advisor to H.E. The Chairman of General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia.

In the very same game Bu Xiangzhi stunned the world’s top rated player Magnus Carlsen by inflicting him yet another loss. Only few months ago Bu eliminated Carlsen from the FIDE World Cup in Tbilisi.

Also on the main stage, the second-seeded Maxime Vachier-Lagrave lost to Levan Pantsulaia. Likewise, in the women’s championship the top seed Kateryna Lagno started with a loss against Jolanta Zawadzka. The reigning World Blitz champion Sergey Karjakin also slipped in the first round, losing to Pavel Eljanov.

As if these introductory games set the tone for the rest of the rounds, we witnessed some exciting battles and many surprises throughout the day.

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Zawadzka defeated Lagno in round 1

At the end of the first day of the competition, world championship challenger in classical chess Ju Wenjun is leading in the women’s section with the perfect 5/5 score.

In the Open section Baadur Jobava and Vladimir Fedoseev are on the top with 4,5/5 points each.

Vachier-Lagrave is down on 2,0 points, while third-seed Levon Aronian is on 2,5. Among the women, the top seed and former World Rpid champion Kateryna Lagno is on 50% score.

The King Salman World Rapid Championship has ten more rounds to be played and continues until 28th December.

Official website / Photo gallery / Results, Standings, Pairings

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Vladimir Fedoseev, co-leader in Open section

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The key game of the day in the women’s championship: Ju Wenjun vs Bela Khotenashvili

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Pantsulaia won against Vachier-Lagrave

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The ceremonial first move

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Mr Kosay A.Alfawaz, Advisor to H.E. The Chairman of General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia

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The overview of the women’s section: The players dressed according to the FIDE Regulations

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FIDE Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos and President of the Saudi Arabia Chess Federation Al Sulaiman Mottaz Abdulrahman with young chess players

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Jorge Vega, President of Confederation of Chess for Americas, and Liana Hakim, mother of Russian prodigy Bibisara Assaubayeva, who is clearly enjoying the outfit

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Grandmaster Luke McShane and Member of the Appeals Committee Malcolm Pein during the break between the rounds

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Magnus Carlsen started out with a loss but later improved his position with two wins to close the day

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Ian Nepomniachtchi and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

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Elina Danielian

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FIDE CEO Geoffrey Borg talking to the organizers

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Natalia Buksa and Salome Melia

Full report by FIDE.com official website

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