Magnus Carlsen and Tan Zhongyi are World Rapid 2022 Champions

by Sagar Shah
12/29/2022 – The World Rapid Championships 2022 came to an end with some thrilling action. The Gold medal in the open section went to Magnus Carlsen for the 4th time in his career, but it was not without drama. The silver medal went to the young talent Vincent Keymer who played an exquisite event and the bronze medal went to Fabiano Caruana. In the women's section Tan Zhongyi continued her good run by winning the gold. She beat Dinara Saduakassova in the tiebreaks. The local girl had to settle for silver and the bronze went to India's 15-year-old Savitha Shri.

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How Magnus Carlsen became the World Rapid Champion 2022

Day three began with Magnus Carlsen having a half a point lead over the field. He made the lead even bigger by playing a beautiful positional grind against Vincent Keymer.

Vincent Keymer was positionally worse right out of the opening and Magnus gave him absolutely no chances!

 

With just three rounds to go and one full point lead over the field, it felt like the tournament was over. Not only was Magnus leading, he was also playing really well. His 12th round opponent was Vladislav Artemiev. Playing with the black pieces, Magnus did just what the doctor ordered. He played the Bogo Indian, got an extremely solid and comfortable position. And then something truly unbelievable happened. The World Champion blundered a piece!

 

In a completely even position, Carlsen played the shocking blunder 25...Ne4. Can you find the winning move for White?

Artemiev was stunned to see Magnus make this move! Because it simply loses a piece after 26.f4! The Queen has to go to f5 and then with g4, it's all over. After 26...Qf5 27.g4, Magnus took on c3 with the rook but 28.gxf5 Rxb3 29.axb3 meant that White was an exchange up with an easy position to convert.

When you know that you have blundered big time!

After realizing that the game is beyond salvation, Magnus smiled, maybe thinking about something funny in his mind!

The complete Artemiev vs Magnus Carlsen game. Don't miss the expressions of both the players and the subtle movement that gives away a lot of things!

After this loss Magnus was on 9.5/12 and was joined at the top by Artemiev. The next round was an extremely important one. Carlsen was up against Fabiano Caruana. Magnus played a safe line, never really got something tangible and at some point had to pull the brakes when Caruana was seriously threatening stuff. Artemiev also drew his game to stay at the top. Meanwhile Vincent Keymer joined the leaders.

An extremely important encounter between two fantastic players - Carlsen and Caruana ended in a draw

 

An amazing performance at the World Rapid Championships 2022 was shown by young German talent Vincent Keymer

On his way to the top Vincent beat Fabiano Caruana, Yu Yangyi, Arjun Erigaisi, Ian Nepomniachtchi and Vidit Gujrathi. His quality of chess was also extremely high. For example he cleanly outplayed Vidit in the penultimate round of the event.

 

Going into the final round Magnus Carlsen was happy with his pairing. That's because he was pitted against Parham Maghsoodloo. While the Iranian GM can be a dangerous opponent, one thing is always sure that he goes for complex positions and never really plays for draws. That made Carlsen feel at ease and he opened the game with 1.e4 without having to worry about any Berlins. Parham kept up his reputation and played the Classical Sicilian. But after the first few moves out of the opening, it was clear that White's attack was way quicker. Magnus finished off the game with a flourish.

 

In this position Magnus sacrificed his bishop on h7 and after Kxh7 in came 26.g6+ fxg6 27.Qf7 and the Black king had been boxed. Magnus went on to win the game.

Final moments of Magnus Carlsen crashing through against Parham Maghsoodloo

 

Once Magnus finished his game, his entire attention was fixed on the remaining two games between...

Caruana versus Artemiev and...

MVL vs Keymer

While Caruana quite cleanly outplayed Artemiev and took the bronze medal, there was a lot of pressure for MVL.

 

Keymer here with the black pieces went 51...f3+ which was the correct move and after 52.Kd2, all he had to do was make a waiting move with the knight so that his king could get the e4 square and then transfer itself over to g3 via f4. If he had done this, he would have won the game and enforced the playoffs with Magnus. But it was not to be. Vincent pushed 51...f3+ 52.Kd2 f2 and after 53.Bf1, the game was drawn. Vincent had to settle for the silver medal.

 

The face of a man who has become the World Rapid Champion for the fourth time in his life!

An 11-minute video that we prepared to show you the behind the scenes action of Magnus Carlsen winning the World Rapid Championships 2022

Press conference with Magnus Carlsen:

The press conference by Magnus Carlsen after he won the event

Daniil Dubov's brilliancy!

Daniil Dubov is known for his fiery and aggressive brand of play. But there are very few times, he himself talks about his attacking games. This one was an exception. He played an absolute gem to beat Anish Giri in the 10th round of the World Rapid 2022. Dubov finished 4th in the tournament.

Dubov's post on Facebook!

 

Anish Giri vs Daniil Dubov, a game that must not be missed at all costs!

Arjun Erigaisi plays an amazing tournament

Arjun Erigaisi played a phenomenal tournament to score 9.0/13 and finish 5th

Arjun Erigaisi finished fifth at the World Rapid Championships 2022, but had a performance rating of 2831, which was second only to Magnus Carlsen. Arjun face seven opponents who played the Candidates (and two of them the World Championship Match) and scored a massive 6.0/7 against them. This included draws against Carlsen and Nepo and wins against Anish Giri, MVL, Rapport, Mamedyarov and Grischuk. He gained 36 Elo points. Although Arjun's current rating is 2628, after his performances at Tata Steel Chess India Rapid and World Rapid Championships he is now 2685! Arjun scored some amazing wins with the white pieces, but struggled with black. When asked if this was just a co-incidence, or his openings suffered from the black side, the youngster confirmed that it was just a co-incidence. He got quite a few nice opening positions with black as well.

Arjun's performance at the World Rapids 2022

One of the things that amazed everyone was Arjun's resilience. After every loss he came back stronger in the tournament. For eg. in round 6 he lost to Fedoseev, he beat Anish Giri in round 7. In round 8 he lost to Vincent Keymer, he beat MVL in round 9. In round 10 he lost to Artemiev, he beat Grischuk in round 11. It's just amazing how this Warangal lad never backed down from a fight. And Rapid is not is strongest suit. Arjun loves to play the blitz and very likely that he will give a powerful performance at the World Blitz as well. We will wait and watch!

The Arjun Erigaisi interview after World Rapids 2022

This was one of Arjun's favourite games from the event:

 

Final standings after round 13

 
 
Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Carlsen Magnus 10 100
2 Keymer Vincent 9,5 102,5
3 Caruana Fabiano 9,5 96,5
4 Dubov Daniil 9 103
5 Erigaisi Arjun 9 102,5
6 Fedoseev Vladimir 9 100
7 Artemiev Vladislav 9 99,5
8 Rapport Richard 9 85,5
9 Nihal Sarin 8,5 96,5
10 Abdusattorov Nodirbek 8,5 96,5
11 Mamedov Rauf 8,5 96,5
12 Giri Anish 8,5 96
13 Duda Jan-Krzysztof 8,5 95
14 Nepomniachtchi Ian 8,5 95
15 Vidit Santosh Gujrathi 8,5 93,5
16 Sarana Alexey 8,5 93,5
17 Maghsoodloo Parham 8,5 90,5
18 Grischuk Alexander 8,5 88
19 Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 8,5 87,5
20 Ganguly Surya Shekhar 8,5 87

Tan Zhongyi is the World Champion, Dinara Saduakassova wins the silver

Tan Zhongyi scoring a very crucial final round win against Nino Batsiashvili

Dinara Saduakassova had beaten Aleksandra Goryachkina in the penultimate round of the event. Hence, she played it safe and took a very quick draw against Savitha Shri on the top board in the final round.

Here's Dinara's fine win over Goryachkina:

 

Koneru Humpy was very close to beating Zhansaya Abdumalik, but the game ended in a draw. This meant that only Tan Zhongyi and Dinara Saduakassova tied for the same points at the top. There was going to be a playoff between the two. Two games of 3 minutes + 2 seconds increment.

The playoffs between Dinara Saduakassova (left) and Tan Zhongyi (right) to determine who would win the World Rapid Championships 2022

The first game between the two ended in a draw:

 

The second game was going well for Dinara, but all of a sudden she went wrong in the rook endgame and was lost:

 

The former Women's World Champion 2018 adds another feather to her cap becoming the World Rapid Champion 2022

Interview with the champion Tan Zhongyi

Savitha Shri wins bronze medal

Savitha Shri, the youngest player ever to win a World Rapid Championship bronze

Savitha is just 15 years old. She won the bronze medal at the World Rapid Championships 2022. This is a massive achievement by the youngster. Think about it - she had finished on the last spot at the Tata Steel Chess India Rapid by scoring just 1.0/9. From there to finishing third at the World Rapid Championships 2022. That's an amazing performance by Savitha. She is the youngest Indian to have won a medal at the World Rapid and Blitz Championships and might very well be the youngest in the entire world to have achieved this feat.

What makes Savitha special is her ability to learn from her mistakes and keep improving. "There were two things I didn't do well at Tata Steel Chess India. I took too much pressure, my heart rate was above 170 and I gave too much respect to my opponents, not believing in myself! Both of these are psychological issues which I tried to work on." She has done remarkably well in these departments. At the World Rapid 2022 she managed to beat world class players like Stefanova, Khademalsharieh and Khotenashvili.

Savitha Shri on her bronze medal winning performance

Final standings after round 11

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Tan Zhongyi 8,5 73,5
2 Saduakassova Dinara 8,5 65,5
3 Savitha Shri B 8 69
4 Goryachkina Aleksandra 8 68,5
5 Abdumalik Zhansaya 8 67,5
6 Koneru Humpy 8 66
7 Bivol Alina 7,5 71,5
8 Khotenashvili Bela 7,5 69
9 Kosteniuk Alexandra 7,5 64
10 Charochkina Daria 7,5 57
11 Batsiashvili Nino 7 71,5
12 Danielian Elina 7 71
13 Gong Qianyun 7 68,5
14 Gunina Valentina 7 68
15 Garifullina Leya 7 67,5
16 Munkhzul Turmunkh 7 67
17 Mammadova Gulnar 7 65,5
18 Maltsevskaya Aleksandra 7 62,5
19 Stefanova Antoaneta 7 61,5
20 Dzagnidze Nana 7 60,5

 


Sagar is an International Master from India with two GM norms. He is also a chartered accountant. He loves to cover chess tournaments, as that helps him understand and improve at the game he loves so much. He is the co-founder and CEO of ChessBase India website, the biggest chess news outlet in the country.
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