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.
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
The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on 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 the PGN games.