World Rapid Championship, Day 1: Favorites Stumble

by Johannes Fischer
12/26/2016 – The World Rapid and Blitz Championships in Doha, Qatar, are a prestigious event and attracted players such as Magnus Carlsen, Sergey Karjakin, Hikaru Nakamura, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Vishy Anand and many more. However, on day one Carlsen, Karjakin & Co. had trouble to find their rhythm and after the first of three days and the first five of 15 rounds it is Anton Korobov who leads with 5.0/5.

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Photos: Maria Emelianova

The Rapid World Championship is a 15 rounds Swiss event with a time-control 15 minutes+ 10 seconds additional time per move, starting from move 1. The event will be played on three days with five rounds each day. The total prize fund is 200,000 USD of which the winner will receive 40,000 USD.

The spacious playing hall

The Rapid and Blitz World Championships take place from 25th to 30th December in Doha, Qatar, and the Rapid World Championship is the first tournament Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin play after their World Championship match in New York in November.

After defending his title with difficulty, Carlsen, who had won the Rapid World Championship 2015 in Berlin, will probably try to show why he is the number one in the world - and according to the current rapid ratings he is indeed favorite to win the tournament.

Starting rank according to rapid ratings

No.     Name FideID FED RtgI
1
 
GM Carlsen Magnus 1503014 NOR 2906
2
 
GM Nakamura Hikaru 2016192 USA 2839
3
 
GM Nepomniachtchi Ian 4168119 RUS 2812
4
 
GM Karjakin Sergey 14109603 RUS 2806
5
 
GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 13401319 AZE 2805
6
 
GM Dominguez Perez Leinier 3503240 CUB 2803
7
 
GM Anand Viswanathan 5000017 IND 2802
8
 
GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 623539 FRA 2795
9
 
GM Radjabov Teimour 13400924 AZE 2788
10
 
GM Ivanchuk Vassily 14100010 UKR 2771
11
 
GM Aronian Levon 13300474 ARM 2770
12
 
GM Grischuk Alexander 4126025 RUS 2767
13
 
GM Yu Yangyi 8603820 CHN 2743
14
 
GM Melkumyan Hrant 13302485 ARM 2736
15
 
GM Zhigalko Sergei 13502956 BLR 2728
16
 
GM Artemiev Vladislav 24101605 RUS 2723
17
 
GM Malakhov Vladimir 4120787 RUS 2721
18
 
GM Wojtaszek Radoslaw 1118358 POL 2721
19
 
GM Onischuk Vladimir 14114038 UKR 2720
20
 
GM Dubov Daniil 24126055 RUS 2716
21
 
GM Korobov Anton 14105730 UKR 2714
22
 
GM Jobava Baadur 13601520 GEO 2710
23
 
GM Tomashevsky Evgeny 4147235 RUS 2710
24
 
GM Inarkiev Ernesto 4162722 RUS 2707
25
 
GM Dreev Aleksey 4100107 RUS 2705
26
 
GM Cheparinov Ivan 2905540 BUL 2699
27
 
GM Jakovenko Dmitry 4122356 RUS 2699
28
 
GM Akopian Vladimir 13300032 ARM 2698
29
 
GM Salem A.R. Saleh 9301348 UAE 2694
30
 
GM Amonatov Farrukh 14700077 TJK 2693
31
 
GM Leko Peter 703303 HUN 2692
32
 
GM Amin Bassem 10601457 EGY 2691
33
 
GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son 12401110 VIE 2685
34
 
GM Vallejo Pons Francisco 2205530 ESP 2685
35
 
GM Bortnyk Olexandr 14120828 UKR 2678
36
 
GM Fressinet Laurent 608742 FRA 2676
37
 
GM Naiditsch Arkadij 4650891 AZE 2672
38
 
GM Howell David W L 410608 ENG 2671
39
 
GM Riazantsev Alexander 4125029 RUS 2671
40
 
GM Mamedov Rauf 13401653 AZE 2670
41
 
GM Najer Evgeniy 4118987 RUS 2667
42
 
GM Bu Xiangzhi 8601445 CHN 2663
43
 
GM Matlakov Maxim 4168003 RUS 2662
44
 
GM Halkias Stelios 4201809 GRE 2652
45
 
GM Moiseenko Alexander 14102560 UKR 2651
46
 
GM Volokitin Andrei 14107090 UKR 2650
47
 
GM Li Chao B 8604436 CHN 2648
48
 
GM Vitiugov Nikita 4152956 RUS 2648
49
 
GM Banikas Hristos 4202031 GRE 2647
50
 
GM Adhiban B. 5018471 IND 2645

... 106 players

Source: chess-results.com

However, Carlsen had a difficult start into the tournament: in the first round he drew against Surya Shekhar Ganguly and in round two he was convincingly outplayed by Levon Pantsulaia and lost.

 

But after this slow start the World Champion recovered and won in round three to five to finish day one with 3.5/5.

Magnus Carlsen vs Surya Ganguly

Sergey Karjakin fared worse: after pushing too hard against Nils Grandelius in round one he began the tournament with a loss. After wins in rounds two and three he lost again in round four and in round five once again had to show his amazing defensive skills to draw the game and to finish day one with 2.5/5.

Nils Grandelius

Sergey Karjakin resigns

No hard feelings - Sergey Karjakin and Nils Grandelius

It was Anton Korobov from Ukraine who had the best start into the tournament. Korobov, the number 21 seed, won all his games on day one and now leads the tournament with 5.0/5. Half a point behind follows Levon Aronian who just conceded a draw.

In round four Korobov played with Black against Alexander Grischuk and showed aggressive play and a keen tactical eye.

 

In round five Korobov won against Yu Yangyi with a violent attack which drove Black's king from the kingside to the queenside.

 

Standings after round 5

Rk. SNo     Name FED RtgI Pts.  TB1 
1 21
 
GM Korobov Anton UKR 2714 5,0 2676
2 11
 
GM Aronian Levon ARM 2770 4,5 2714
3 56
 
GM Pantsulaia Levan GEO 2622 4,0 2788
4 67
 
GM Bok Benjamin NED 2589 4,0 2740
5 47
 
GM Li Chao B CHN 2648 4,0 2738
6 51
 
GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi IND 2643 4,0 2726
7 12
 
GM Grischuk Alexander RUS 2767 4,0 2686
8 5
 
GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE 2805 4,0 2668
9 14
 
GM Melkumyan Hrant ARM 2736 4,0 2629
10 93
 
GM Sanal Vahap TUR 2411 3,5 2729
11 13
 
GM Yu Yangyi CHN 2743 3,5 2703
12 10
 
GM Ivanchuk Vassily UKR 2771 3,5 2696
13 84
 
IM Atabayev Yusup TKM 2493 3,5 2696
14 74
 
GM Khusnutdinov Rustam KAZ 2549 3,5 2691
15 7
 
GM Anand Viswanathan IND 2802 3,5 2674
16 6
 
GM Dominguez Perez Leinier CUB 2803 3,5 2663
17 3
 
GM Nepomniachtchi Ian RUS 2812 3,5 2659
18 2
 
GM Nakamura Hikaru USA 2839 3,5 2651
19 23
 
GM Tomashevsky Evgeny RUS 2710 3,5 2646
20 1
 
GM Carlsen Magnus NOR 2906 3,5 2643
21 15
 
GM Zhigalko Sergei BLR 2728 3,5 2643
22 8
 
GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime FRA 2795 3,5 2640
23 25
 
GM Dreev Aleksey RUS 2705 3,5 2589
24 61
 
GM Wei Yi CHN 2609 3,0 2786
25 54
 
GM Ganguly Surya Shekhar IND 2631 3,0 2745
26 39
 
GM Riazantsev Alexander RUS 2671 3,0 2728
27 70
 
GM Tregubov Pavel V. RUS 2576 3,0 2718
28 42
 
GM Bu Xiangzhi CHN 2663 3,0 2714
29 82
 
GM Pichot Alan ARG 2519 3,0 2689
30 76
 
GM Borisek Jure SLO 2547 3,0 2681
31 33
 
GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son VIE 2685 3,0 2673
32 38
 
GM Howell David W L ENG 2671 3,0 2646
33 16
 
GM Artemiev Vladislav RUS 2723 3,0 2633
34 102
 
IM Xu Yi CHN 2250 3,0 2629
35 22
 
GM Jobava Baadur GEO 2710 3,0 2627
36 9
 
GM Radjabov Teimour AZE 2788 3,0 2614
37 30
 
GM Amonatov Farrukh TJK 2693 3,0 2595
38 18
 
GM Wojtaszek Radoslaw POL 2721 3,0 2591
39 48
 
GM Vitiugov Nikita RUS 2648 3,0 2590
40 28
 
GM Akopian Vladimir ARM 2698 3,0 2587

...106 players

Source: chess-results.com

Games

 

The Women's Tournament

In the women's tournament only twelve rounds are played and only 34 players start. Top seed is Kateryna Lagno, followed by Anna Muzychuk and Alexandra Kosteniuk.

Starting rank according to rapid ratings

No. Name Rtg
1 Lagno Kateryna 2594
2 Muzychuk Anna 2570
3 Kosteniuk Alexandra 2553
4 Stefanova Antoaneta 2552
5 Dzagnidze Nana 2549
6 Ju Wenjun 2542
7 Tan Zhongyi 2501
8 Ushenina Anna 2498
9 Gunina Valentina 2491
10 Koneru Humpy 2486
11 Paehtz Elisabeth 2483
12 Zhao Xue 2479
13 Goryachkina Aleksandra 2466
14 Harika Dronavalli 2464
15 Javakhishvili Lela 2461
16 Zhu Chen 2446
17 Batsiashvili Nino 2417
18 Gaponenko Inna 2406
19 Zhukova Natalia 2402
20 Arabidze Meri 2395

...34 players

Source: chess-results.com

After four rounds Anna Muzychuk is the only player with a 100 percent score. She won all her games and leads the tournament with 4.0/4. Half a point behind follows Inna Gaponenko with 3.5/4.

Standings after round 4

Rk. SNo     Name FED Rtg Pts.  TB1 
1 2
 
GM Muzychuk Anna UKR 2570 4,0 2493
2 18
 
IM Gaponenko Inna UKR 2406 3,5 2487
3 3
 
GM Kosteniuk Alexandra RUS 2553 3,0 2484
4 13
 
WGM Goryachkina Aleksandra RUS 2466 3,0 2482
5 1
 
GM Lagno Kateryna RUS 2594 3,0 2430
6 17
 
IM Batsiashvili Nino GEO 2417 2,5 2548
7 23
 
IM Pham Le Thao Nguyen VIE 2365 2,5 2524
8 29
 
WGM Geldiyeva Mahri TKM 2220 2,5 2489
9 15
 
IM Javakhishvili Lela GEO 2461 2,5 2481
10 33
 
WFM Hallaeva Bahar TKM 2112 2,5 2477
11 6
 
GM Ju Wenjun CHN 2542 2,5 2429
12 8
 
GM Ushenina Anna UKR 2498 2,5 2390
13 9
 
GM Gunina Valentina RUS 2491 2,5 2344
14 10
 
GM Koneru Humpy IND 2486 2,5 2315
15 21
 
IM Khademalsharieh Sarasadat IRI 2386 2,0 2532
16 27
 
WGM Abdumalik Zhansaya KAZ 2323 2,0 2484
17 25
 
IM Kashlinskaya Alina RUS 2357 2,0 2480
18 22
 
IM Charochkina Daria RUS 2385 2,0 2447
19 5
 
GM Dzagnidze Nana GEO 2549 2,0 2423
20 14
 
GM Harika Dronavalli IND 2464 2,0 2411

Games

 

Rounds six to ten will be played on December 27. Round six will begin at 3 pm local time.

Tournament page...



Johannes Fischer was born in 1963 in Hamburg and studied English and German literature in Frankfurt. He now lives as a writer and translator in Nürnberg. He is a FIDE-Master and regularly writes for KARL, a German chess magazine focusing on the links between culture and chess. On his own blog he regularly publishes notes on "Film, Literature and Chess".
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libyantiger libyantiger 12/28/2016 11:10
lol carlsen was butchered
lajosarpad lajosarpad 12/27/2016 12:27
@Sulayi_Lang I would be very surprised if both of them were Christians :)
fons fons 12/27/2016 11:41
The interviews by flying Dutchman, I mean flying reporter Peter Doggers were a nice touch, other than that the livestream coverage was pretty chaotic.

Commentators struggling to find games... No clue of the current standings or even game results... Move relay lagging behind horribly...

How is this even possible? Don't say: "when the players move quickly the electronics can't keep up". Please. Electrical signals travel "on the order of 50%–99% of the speed of light". That's why we can play real time computer games with people on the other side of the world.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_of_electricity

And this was rapid. Blitz is still to come. This is supposed to be the future and saviour of chess?
psamant psamant 12/27/2016 10:54
It would be good to have some analysis of important games. Lots of games seem very interesting.
hserusk hserusk 12/27/2016 10:15
What a circus!
SULAYI_LANG SULAYI_LANG 12/27/2016 08:44
They may have had enough and opt to spare the rest of Christmas with their families.
Rama Rama 12/27/2016 12:51
@Denix
I miss them too. Besides being exciting players, they both have some of the greatest smiles in chess!
Denix Denix 12/26/2016 11:43
I miss Wesley So and Hou Yifan. Why didn't they compete?
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