First day of the World Rapid Chess Championship in Astana

by ChessBase
7/7/2012 – This event has sixteen players, ten of whom were seeded to the final, three won places in a qualifier, and two are wild cards from the host nation. After the first day the "twin prodigies" Sergey Karjakin and Magnus Carlsen are in the lead with 4.5/5 points and 3000+ performances. Rounds 6-15 will be played this weekend, followed by a Blitz Championship on Monday and Tuesday. Illustrated report.

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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.

Participants of the Rapid Chess Championship

Ti. Name Nat. rating Born
GM Carlsen, Magnus NOR 2837 1990
GM Radjabov, Teimour AZE 2788 1987
GM Karjakin, Sergey RUS 2779 1990
GM Morozevich, Alexander RUS 2770 1977
GM Ivanchuk, Vassily UKR 2769 1969
GM Grischuk, Alexander RUS 2763 1983
GM Topalov, Veselin BUL 2752 1975
GM Svidler, Peter RUS 2749 1976
GM Bologan, Viktor MDA 2732 1971
GM Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar AZE 2726 1985
GM Gelfand, Boris ISR 2724 1968
GM Dreev, Aleksey RUS 2677 1969
GM Tkachiev, Vladislav FRA 2644 1973
GM Kurnosov, Igor RUS 2605 1985
GM Kazhgaleyev, Murtas KAZ 2537 1973
GM Ismagambetov, Anuar KAZ 2491 1986

There are five games per day, starting at 15:00h local time. The first day brought the following results:

In the joint lead: Sergey Karjakin, 2779, with 4.5/5 points

Second seed GM Teimour Radjabov from Azerbaijan, 2788, 3.5/5

Bulgarian GM Veselin Topalov, 2752, with 3.5/5

GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan, 2726, at 50%

World Championship challenger Boris Gelfand

Gelfand signing autographs for chess fans

Chief arbiter Andrzej Filipowicz, top seed Magnus Carlsen

International Arbiter Anastasia Sorokina from Australia

GM Viktor Bologan, Moldova, with arbiter Faik Gasanov of Azerbaijan

Arbiters Rimma Antonova, Ukraine, and Ashot Vardapetyan, Armenia

Astana with its landmark observation tower Bayterek

Modern buildings lit up in the night sky

Sunset and a crescent moon in Astana

Remaining program

July 6, Fri. 15:00 Rapid Chess Championship 1 – 5 rounds
July 7, Sat. 15:00 Rapid Chess Championship 6 – 10 rounds
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.

Video of the opening ceremony and drawing of colours

The report starts with a chess ballet to the strains of Mozart's Eine kleine Nachtmusik


The games of the Finals will be broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server 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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