Moscow Blitz bonanza

by Albert Silver
9/16/2015 – The Moscow Blitz Championship was held last week after a long series of qualifying events, to culminate in an incredibly strong twenty-player final who fought for the gold in a giant round-robin. Names such as Nepomniachtchi, world no.4 in blitz, Morozevich and many more took part. The women’s event fared no worse and was won by Valentina Gunina, also among the world’s best.

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The stage is set

It wouldn't be a proper blitz tournament without top hats and tap dancers

The names on the list of winners of this competition are among the most prestigious in the annals of chess. Legendary names such as Mikhail Tal, Vassily Smyslov, Yuri Averbakh, Garry Kasparov, are counted among the past winners, and in recent years Alexander Grischuk, Alexander Morozevich, and Sergey Karjakin have lifted the trophy. With such a history, it should come as no surprise that the festivities surrounding it and prestige, were impressive as befitted it.

The opening ceremony included a drawing of lots, which with 40 players in both events, meant
a lot of lots to be drawn

The top seed was Ian Nepomniachtchi who is the world no.4 on the FIDE Blitz rating list

There were other parallel events besides the main round-robins... everyone got a chance to play.

Position 1
(Evgeniy Najer - Boris Savchenko

It was a mad rush to the end, when White missed this blow.
Black to play and win. (solution at end)

Daniil Dubov is a well-known blitz aficionado and scored 9.5/19

Aside from the Men's A tournament, there was a Men's B tournament, a Senior event, a Boy's event...

... a Girl's tournament,...

...and the Women's championship.

Position 2
(Vadim Zvjaginsev - Daniil Dubov)

Vadim Zviaginsev, famous for his 1.e4 c5 2.Na3!? line in the Sicilian,
uncorked a nice finish here. White to play and win. (Solution at end)

However, all eyes were on the main stage where a number of the world's best duked it out

This year the main tournament was won by Ian Nepomniachtchi,…

... while the women’s event, also a 20-player round-robin was won by Valentina Gunina

Final standings of main event


Position 1: 26... Rd1!! and if 27.Qxd1 Nxf2+ 28.Kg1 Nxd1 0-1
Position 2: 19. Nxg6 {The problem is not just that the knight is untouchable, but that it threatens Nxe7+ winning the queen. The e7 pawn will fall, and the game is lost.} Kh7 (19... fxg6 20. Bc4 and the queen is lost.) 20. Nxf8+ Rxf8 21. Rxe7

The complete high-definition coverage of the blitz. The action starts at 16:00. An example of
the quality action can be seen at 2:56:00 when Morozevich played Nepomniachtchi. Don't miss it!


The games are being 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 13 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications, and the content creator of the YouTube channel, Chess & Tech.


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