Carlsen and Aronian lead in World Blitz Championship

11/17/2010 – It has become a tradition that this super-strong blitz championship starts immediately after the Tal Memorial tournament – with players from that event and other fresh blood flown in. Twenty participants, double round robin, on three days. After the first third Magnus Carlsen and Levon Aronian lead with 10.0/14. We bring you results and some dramatic video footage from the first day of play.

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The World Blitz Championship is being held from 16 to 18 November at the GUM Department Store on Red Square in Moscow. It is a double round robin with twenty players, eight of whom are participants of the Tal Memorial, with others who qualified from the 2010 Aeroflot tournament and seeded players. Starting time is 15:00h local (= 13:00h CET; 07:00 a.m. NY), the rate of play three minutes for all the moves plus a two second increment per move. There is live game coverage and video on the official site.

First day: Carlsen and Aronian lead

Last year's dominant winner started off again in fantastic style: Magnus Carlsen crushed a dangerous rival, Hikaru Nakamura, with the black pieces in the very first round, which you can watch in the following YouTube video.

Magnus went on to win his next three games – against Ponomariov, Kramnik and Movsesian, before stumbling against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Boris Gelfand. In the following rounds he beat the other young upstarts Caruana and Karjakin to finish with ten points from fourteen games, nine of which were gained from victories.

Levon Aronian's start was not as dramatic, starting with a draw and a loss. After eight games he had three wins and a total of five points. Then came a truly spectacular phase with five victories in a row, until in the final game of the day he dropped the full point to Hikaru Nakamura. Levon's score: 10.0/14, equal to the leader Magnus Carlsen.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov won his first three games – against Gelfand, Aronian and Mamdeov – drew two and won two more, before losing his first to Hikaru Nakamura. Shakh then beat Kramnik and Vachier-Lagrave, lost to Caruana and Karjakin, and finished with a win against Sivdler and a draw against compatriot Radjabov. He is currently half a point behind the top two players.

Hikaru Nakamura, whom many considered a dark horse favourite, started with three losses (against Carlsen, Kramnik and Vachier-Lagrave) a win against Caruana and a loss to Karjakin. At least he was able to score against Radjabov and Mamedyarov, before losing to Eljanov and Grischuk. At that point the American had 3.5/10 and looked like heading for a disaster. But Hikaru then won four games in a row – against no less than Ponomariov, Movsesian, Gelfand and Aronian – to stay in places 7-10 on the scoreboard.

Standings after the first third (14 games)

#
Name
Fed.
rtng
pts.
wins
S.B.
1 Carlsen, Magnus NOR 2802
10.0
9
66.50
2 Aronian, Levon ARM 2801
10.0
8
59.75
3 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar AZE 2763
9.5
8
63.75
4 Kramnik, Vladimir RUS 2791
8.5
7
59.75
5 Svidler, Peter RUS 2722
8.5
6
49.25
6 Gelfand, Boris ISR 2741
8.0
7
49.75
7 Eljanov, Pavel UKR 2742
7.5
6
43.50
8 Karjakin, Sergey RUS 2760
7.5
6
56.50
9 Grischuk, Alexander RUS 2771
7.5
5
47.00
10 Nakamura, Hikaru USA 2741
7.5
7
56.75
11 Radjabov, Teimour AZE 2744
7.0
4
45.75
12 Nepomniachtchi, Ian RUS 2720
6.5
5
40.00
13 Caruana, Fabiano ITA 2709
6.5
6
45.75
14 Ponomariov, Ruslan UKR 2744
6.5
5
38.25
15 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime FRA 2703
6.0
4
45.75
16 Grachev, Boris RUS 2654
5.5
2
39.00
17 Movsesian, Sergei SVK 2721
5.0
4
25.00
18 Andreikin, Dmitry RUS 2683
5.0
3
37.00
19 Savchenko, Boris RUS 2632
4.5
4
31.00
20 Mamedov, Rauf AZE 2660
3.0
3
15.00

All videos by bumblebee1607


Links

The games were broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse PGN games. New and enhanced: CB Light 2009!


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