Blitz Chess Championship
The World Chess Blitz Championship took place from November 7th to 8th in Almaty,
Republic of Kazakhstan. Sixteen players participated in a round robin tournament
with classical plain vanilla time controls: five minutes for the whole game
for each opponent, no increment. The total prize fund was 350,000 Swiss Francs
(= 235,000 Euros = US $297,000), with the winner taking 80,000 SFr (€54,000
or $68,000). The prize money was donated by the Chess Federation of the Republic
of Kazakhstan with the support of the "Alliance Bank".
The tournament was won by the 25-year-old Cuban grandmaster Leinier Domínguez
Pérez, who dominated a bevy of top Russian speaking players: Vassily
Ivanchuk, rated 2787 and currently the number three player in the world; Peter
Svidler, 2727 and number 17 (but normally in the top ten); Alexander Grischuk,
2719 and 23rd, a great blitz specialist; and the two Azeris Teimour Radjabov
(2737 and 8th) and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (2731 and 14th). The world's number
two, Alexander Morozevich, rated 2787, is not a great blitz specialist and finished
on place eight, followed by Gata Kamsky, Boris Gelfand and Sergey Rublevsky.
The only female player, Judit Polgar, started the tournament with four losses
and never really got into it. She finished in last place with 2.5/15.
The winner: Leinier Dominguez Pérez of Cuba
The Cuban was challenged in the second half by Vassily Ivanchuk, who had started
the event with a loss with white to Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and who, after seven
rounds, was in eighth place. But then the Ukrainian "woke up", winning
seven of the final eight rounds. In his final game he disposed of the luckless
Judit Polgar in 18 moves, while Dominguez struggled against Bassem Amin, rated
2560. He defended well and turned the tide, causing the young Egyptian grandmaster
to overstep the time. That made Dominguez the winner by half a point.
Click for a full table with tiebreak points
Leinier Domínguez Pérez was born in 1983 in Havana, Cuba.
He won the Cuban Chess Championship in 2002, 2003 and 2006. In 2004 he played
in the FIDE
knockout world championship in Tripoli and made it to the quarter-finals.
There he won his first game against Teimour Radjabov, lost the second, drew
all four blitz games and then lost in the Armageddon tiebreak. Leinier's best
overall tournament result was Barcelona 2006, where he scored 8/9 and finished
first, ahead of Vassily Ivanchuk, with a performance rating of 2932.
The Cuban News Agency ACN proudly
reported on Dominguez' success