Coming soon: the World Rapid and Blitz Championships

by Eteri Kublashvili
12/19/2018 – The year 2018 will end with two World Chess Championships: from December 25 to December 31 the world's best players will meet in St. Petersburg to play the World Rapid and Blitz Championships. Magnus Carlsen has already declared his ambition to win both titles: "No usurpers are going to be left alive!". In a press release the Russian Chess Federation announces details of the event. | Photo: Magnus Carlsen | Photo: Eteri Kublashvili

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The World Strongest Chess Players come to St. Petersburg

The King Salman World Rapid and Blitz Championships 2018 will be held in Saint Petersburg on December 25-31.

Real chess stars are going to take part in the events. Starting lists of the open tournaments are headed by the reigning World Champion Magnus Carlsen (Norway), world strongest grandmasters Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan), Anish Giri (Netherlands), Viswanathan Anand (India), Alexander Grischuk, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Sergey Karjakin (all from Russia), Levon Aronian (Armenia), Hikaru Nakamura (USA), and other top players.

In the women’s events, the reigning Women’s World Champion Ju Wenjun (China), Anna and Mariya Muzychuk (both from Ukraine), Kateryna Lagno, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Aleksandra Goryachkina, Valentina Gunina (all from Russia), Humpy Koneru (India), Nana Dzagnidze (Georgia), and other well-known players will fight for the titles.

World Champion Ju Wenjun | Photo: Eteri Kublashvili

In 2017, Viswanathan Anand won the King Salman World Rapid Championship, while Magnus Carlsen became the strongest in blitz. The women’s titles were gained by Ju Wenjun and Nana Dzagnidze respectively.

The World Champion Magnus Carlsen has already expressed his intention to win back the rapid champion’s title. “I’m going to take back the triple throne – "No usurpers are going to be left alive!", said the Norwegian grandmaster.

Master Class Vol.8: Magnus Carlsen

Scarcely any world champion has managed to captivate chess lovers to the extent Carlsen has. The enormously talented Norwegian hasn't been systematically trained within the structures of a major chess-playing nation such as Russia, the Ukraine or China.

FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich: "I would like to thank our partners for supporting us in a tense moment and helping us organize the World Rapid and Blitz Championships with a decent prize fund within a very short time in one of the most beautiful cities of the world. Welcome to Saint Petersburg! I wish a bright play and good luck to all the participants!" 

RCF President Andrey Filatov: "It is a great honour for us that FIDE has entrusted holding such popular and prestigious competitions as the World Rapid and Blitz Championships among men and women to us. In spite of being limited in time for the preparation, we will do our best to organize this event in our country on the highest level possible as always. We will be happy to see everyone, and let the strongest win!"

The venue is Manege, the largest exhibition space in central Saint Petersburg. Address: 1, St. Isaac’s Square.

An extensive additional programme, which will include tournaments for children and adults, solving contests, acquaintance with the RCF Chess Museum's exhibits and many other activities, will be organized during the Championships. The entrance is free for visitors.


December 25 – Pre-start press conference, Opening Ceremony, Technical meeting
December 26-28 –  World Rapid Championships
December 29-30 – World Blitz Championships and Closing Ceremony.

Pre-start press conference will take place in Manege and will begin at 6 p.m. (hereinafter – Moscow time). The Opening Ceremony will be held in Manege as well and will start at 7:30 p.m.

The entrance is for participants, officials, arbiters, and accredited journalists only.

The rounds begin at 3 p.m.; the games on the final day start at 2 p.m.

The total prize fund is USD 1,150,000.

General partner – General Sports Authority.

The Championship is supported by Gazprom.

Official partners: Russian Railways, Sberbank

General Partner of RCF – PhosAgro.

Official website

Eteri Kublashvili is a chessplayer and reports and photographs from all official tournaments for the Russian Chess Federation.


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