Astana World Rapid: Carlsen dominates

7/7/2012 – After a slow start – two draws – top seed Magnus Carlsen went to work winning the remaining games on day two of the World Rapid Chess Championships. He remains undefeated in ten games, and has conceded just three draws. It is not just the result, but the way he "keeps sculpturing masterpieces," as the tournament bulletin put it. We have a few examples for you to study and enjoy.

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World blitz and rapid chess championship

The Official World Blitz and Rapid Chess Championships are being held from July 1-11, 2012, in Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan. It is worth noting that the Rapid Chess Championship is a first in the history of FIDE! The top ten players of the current FIDE rating list have the right to take part in the championships. The total prize fund is US $400,000.

The qualifiers held prior to the finals saw chess players from all over the world getting a chance to advance to the main event. Alexey Dreev, Igor Kurnosov and Vladislav Tkachiev won places, Murtas Kazhgaleyev and Anuar Ismagambetov were nominations by the host nation.

Second day

Of the 40 games played on day two, thirteen were drawn (=32.5%). White won 19 games, Black eight. It is interesting to note that White had an overall performance of 2812, while Black played at a 2619 level. This was quite unlike the first day, when there were 17 draws, 13 white and 10 black wins, with performances of 2750 for White and 2680 for Black.

The dominating player was world number one Magnus Carlsen, who started the day with two draws (against Dreev and Gelfand), but then won the remaining three games. Magnus has not lost a single game and drawn a total of just three of the ten games he has played so far. "The Norwgian keeps sculpturing masterpieces," says the official Google translation of the tournament bulletin. His secret seems to be (and we have seen this so often in the past) to keep piling on the pressure in and endgame position where other GMs would concede a draw. He simply waits for the opponent to crack, and crack they do. Hypnotism?! Here are some examples:

[Event "World Rapid Final"] [Site "Astana KAZ"] [Date "2012.07.07"] [Round "8"] [White "Carlsen, M."] [Black "Mamedyarov, S."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C76"] [WhiteElo "2837"] [BlackElo "2726"] [PlyCount "121"] [EventDate "2012.07.01"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 d6 5. c3 Bd7 6. d4 g6 7. O-O Bg7 8. d5 Nce7 9. Bxd7+ Qxd7 10. Be3 h6 11. Nfd2 f5 12. f3 Nf6 13. c4 O-O 14. Nc3 g5 15. c5 Ng6 16. exf5 Qxf5 17. Nde4 Nxe4 18. fxe4 Qxf1+ 19. Qxf1 Rxf1+ 20. Rxf1 dxc5 21. Bxc5 Bf8 22. Be3 Bd6 23. Ne2 Rf8 24. Rc1 Ne7 25. Ng3 b6 26. Nf1 Kf7 27. Nd2 Ke8 28. Rf1 Rxf1+ 29. Kxf1 Kf7 30. Ke2 b5 31. Nb3 c6 32. Bc5 Bxc5 33. Nxc5 cxd5 34. Nxa6 dxe4 35. Nc7 Nf5 36. Kd2 Nh4 37. Nxb5 Nxg2 38. a4 Ke7 39. a5 Kd7 40. Nc3 e3+ 41. Ke2 g4 42. b4 h5 43. a6 Kc6 44. b5+ Kb6 45. Nd5+ Ka7 46. Nf6 Kb6 47. Nd7+ Ka7 48. Nxe5 Nf4+ 49. Kxe3 Ne6 50. Nc6+ Kb6 51. Nd4 Nc7 52. Kf4 Kc5 53. Kg5 Kxd4 54. Kxh5 Nxb5 55. Kxg4 {The game is now a draw. Black must play 55...Kc5 or 55...Kd5.} Nc7 $2 56. a7 Kc5 57. h4 Kd6 58. Kf5 Ke7 59. Kg6 Kf8 60. Kf6 Ke8 61. Kg7 1-0

[Event "World Rapid Final"] [Site "Astana KAZ"] [Date "2012.07.07"] [Round "9"] [White "Tkachiev, V."] [Black "Carlsen, M."] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D12"] [WhiteElo "2644"] [BlackElo "2837"] [PlyCount "106"] [EventDate "2012.07.01"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 c6 4. e3 Bf5 5. cxd5 cxd5 6. Qb3 Qc7 7. Bd2 e6 8. Bb5+ Nbd7 9. O-O a6 10. Rc1 Qb6 11. Be2 Qxb3 12. axb3 Bd6 13. Nc3 Ke7 14. Nh4 Bg6 15. Na4 Bh5 16. Nf3 Ne4 17. Be1 b5 18. Nc3 b4 19. Nb1 a5 20. Bb5 Rhc8 21. Nbd2 Rxc1 22. Rxc1 Nxd2 23. Nxd2 Rb8 24. Bf1 Bg6 25. f3 e5 26. Bg3 exd4 27. exd4 Nf8 28. Kf2 Ne6 29. Ke3 f5 30. Bxd6+ Kxd6 31. f4 Bh5 32. Bd3 g6 33. Nf1 g5 34. fxg5 f4+ 35. Kf2 Nxg5 36. Nd2 Ne6 37. Bxh7 Nxd4 38. Bd3 Rh8 39. Ra1 Nc6 40. Bb5 Ne5 41. h3 Rc8 42. Be2 Rc2 {The pressure on White has been unbearable, and now Tkachiev crumbles...} 43. Bxh5 $2 Rxd2+ 44. Kf1 Rxb2 45. Bd1 Rd2 46. h4 Ke6 47. h5 Kf6 48. Be2 d4 49. Ke1 Rb2 50. Rxa5 d3 51. Bd1 Rxg2 52. Rd5 f3 53. Kf1 Rd2 0-1

[Event "World Rapid Final"] [Site "Astana KAZ"] [Date "2012.07.07"] [Round "10"] [White "Carlsen, M."] [Black "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C65"] [WhiteElo "2837"] [BlackElo "2779"] [PlyCount "115"] [EventDate "2012.07.01"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d4 exd4 5. O-O a6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. Nxd4 Bc5 8. c3 O-O 9. f3 Nd7 10. Be3 Ne5 11. Qe2 Qe7 12. Nd2 f6 13. Kh1 Bd6 14. Rae1 c5 15. Nf5 Bxf5 16. exf5 Qd7 17. f4 Nf7 18. g4 Rfe8 19. Qf3 Bf8 20. Ne4 Qd3 21. Nf2 Qb5 22. g5 Qxb2 23. gxf6 Qxc3 24. fxg7 Bxg7 25. Rg1 Kh8 26. Qxb7 Nd6 27. Qd5 Nxf5 28. Bxc5 Rad8 29. Rxe8+ Rxe8 30. Nd3 Qf6 31. Rg5 Rd8 32. Qxf5 Qxf5 33. Rxf5 Rxd3 34. Rf7 Rd1+ 35. Kg2 Rd2+ 36. Kf3 Rxa2 37. Rxc7 Kg8 38. h4 Rc2 39. Rc8+ Kf7 40. Ke4 Rc4+ 41. Kf5 Bd4 42. Rf8+ Kg7 43. Bd6 Rc6 44. Rd8 Bc5 45. Be5+ Kf7 46. Rd7+ Be7 47. h5 Ke8 48. Ra7 Rh6 49. Bg7 Rc6 (49... Rxh5+ 50. Ke6 { Threatening} -- 51. Ra8+ Bd8 52. Bf6 {wins for White.}) 50. h6 Kf7 51. Ke4 Ke8 52. Ra8+ Kf7 53. Rh8 Rc4+ $2 54. Kf5 Rc5+ 55. Be5 Bf8 56. Rxh7+ Kg8 57. Rh8+ Kf7 58. Rxf8+ $1 1-0

And here is one from day one:

[Event "World Rapid Final"] [Site "Astana KAZ"] [Date "2012.07.06"] [Round "5"] [White "Kurnosov, I."] [Black "Carlsen, M."] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C67"] [WhiteElo "2663"] [BlackElo "2837"] [PlyCount "128"] [EventDate "2012.07.01"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. Re1 Nd6 6. Nxe5 Be7 7. Bf1 Nf5 8. Nf3 O-O 9. d4 d5 10. g3 Re8 11. Nc3 Be6 12. Ne2 Bf8 13. Nf4 Bd7 14. Rxe8 Bxe8 15. Bh3 Nce7 16. Qd3 g6 17. Bd2 c6 18. Re1 Bd7 19. Ne5 Bc8 20. Bb4 Nd6 21. Qf3 Bxh3 22. Nxh3 Nef5 23. c3 a5 24. Bxd6 Nxd6 25. Qf4 Bg7 26. Ng5 Qf6 27. Qxf6 Bxf6 28. h4 a4 29. Nd7 Bd8 30. a3 Kg7 31. Re2 h6 32. Nf3 h5 33. Kg2 f6 34. Nc5 Kf7 35. Ne6 Ba5 36. Nf4 Bc7 37. Nd2 Ra5 38. Nd3 Rb5 39. Nb4 Bd8 40. Kf1 Be7 41. Ke1 Bf8 42. Kd1 Bh6 43. Kc2 Ra5 44. Nd3 Ra8 45. Nc5 b6 46. Nd3 Rc8 47. Nb4 Bxd2 48. Kxd2 g5 49. hxg5 fxg5 50. Ke1 Nc4 51. Kf1 b5 52. Kg2 g4 53. f3 Re8 54. Rf2 gxf3+ 55. Rxf3+ Kg7 56. Nxc6 Re2+ 57. Rf2 Rxb2 58. Rxb2 Nxb2 59. Na7 Kf6 60. Nxb5 Ke6 61. Kf3 Nc4 62. Ke2 $4 {Do you see how Black now wins? Simply by picking up the knight, which is trapped.} (62. Nc7+ Kd6 63. Na6 {would have held the draw.}) 62... Kd7 63. Kd3 Kc6 64. Na7+ Kb7 0-1

After ten rounds of play we have the following scores:

Remaining program

July 8, Sun. 15:00 Rapid Chess Championship 11 – 15 rounds
July 9, Mon. 15:00 World Blitz Chess Championship rounds 1 – 15
July 10, Tues. 15:00 World Blitz rounds 16–30; closing ceremony
July 11, Wed.   Departure of participants

World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championship

The World Rapid Chess Championship will be played in three days as a round-robin event with five rounds per day. Time controls are 15 minutes for all moves plus 10 seconds increment per move. The World Blitz is a sixteen-player double round robin with 15 rounds per day. The time control is three minutes + two seconds increment per move. These are the participants

Rapid Chess Championship   Blitz Chess Championship
Magnus Carlsen 2837   Magnus Carlsen 2835
Teimour Radjabov 2788   Teimour Radjabov 2784
Sergey Karjakin 2779   Sergey Karjakin 2779
Alexander Morozevich 2770   Alexander Morozevich 2769
Vassily Ivanchuk 2769   Vassily Ivanchuk 2764
Alexander Grischuk 2763   Alexander Grischuk 2761
Veselin Topalov 2752   Veselin Topalov 2752
Peter Svidler 2749   Peter Svidler 2741
Boris Gelfand 2738   Boris Gelfand 2727
Viktor Bologan 2732   Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2726
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2726   Dmitry Andreikin 2700
Alexey Dreev 2677   Le Quang Liem 2693
Igor Kurnosov 2663   Nikolai Chadaev 2605
Vladislav Tkachiev 2644   Darmen Sadvakasov 2629
Murtas Kazhgaleyev 2589   Rinat Jumabayev 2556
Anuar Ismagambetov 2471   Pavel Kotsur 2548

Tiebreak rules for first place: (a) results between the players involved; (b) number of wins; (c) Sonneborn-Berger score; (d) Sudden death game: 5 min vs 4 min.

Videos of the first day in Astana (Russian, with English subtitles)


Links

The games of the Finals will be broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 11 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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