St. Petersburg: World Rapid Championship 2018 opens

by Klaus Besenthal
12/26/2018 – The rapid world title fight starts today in St. Petersburg's Manege exhibition hall with the first of three days of rapid chess (WATCH LIVE). The Blitz Championship will follow on Saturday and Sunday. In the Open sections, the reigning champions Viswanathan Anand (Rapid) and Magnus Carlsen (Blitz) are back in action. In the women's rapid tournament, Anna Muzychuk is the top seed followed by World Champion Ju Wenjun. | Photos: Lennart Ootes

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"King Salman World Chess Championships" 

The Rapid and Blitz World Cup has been named after the Saudi Arabian ruler since last year. The oil and gas producers regularly sponsor major sporting events, and a year ago the World Championships took place in Riyadh, the capital of the country. That was initially planned to remain the case in 2018, but the event was relocated to St. Petersburg on short notice. The reasons for this are probably diverse, but the fact that players from Israel were not allowed to travel to Saudi Arabia a year ago, even though they would have been eligible to participate in the championships, has been the focus of public debate. Grandmaster Emil Sutovsky, President of the Association of Chess Professionals — and now FIDE Director General — has been a powerful advocate for the Israelis. Of course, the new FIDE President is Russian, while at the same time Saudi Arabia has been politically on the defensive of late. As a result, there is now apparently an unusual cooperation between Russia and Saudi Arabia in the hosting of the World Championships, which would be quite unthinkable in other sports. Anyway, during the next five days, "King Salman" and "St. Petersburg" will be referred to in the same breath.


Opening Ceremony of the championships | FIDE YouTube channel


There were, naturally, no visa problems for the large Israeli delegation led by Boris Gelfand [although the location diminished turnout among the top Ukrainian men due to Russia's involvement in the ongoing military conflict in Eastern Ukraine -Ed.]. The dress code was also an issue last year and is more relaxed for women in the regulations for the tournament, however, T-shirts, sneakers, baseball caps, jeans or shorts (not that you'd want them in the St. Petersburg winter!) are not allowed. Instead, shirts with collars and blazers are required for men and shirt/blouse with a collar, jacket/blazer, trousers/skirt or dress for women.

Ju Wenjun and Magnus Carlsen were centre stage at the opening press conference

A mass of cameras in Russia's second city

Prize funds

The guaranteed prize fund is distributed as follows: USD $350,000 to the Rapid World Championship (Open), $150,000 to the Rapid World Championship (Women).

Player starting rank — Open Rapid Championship (top 30)

No. Name RtgI
1 Carlsen Magnus 2903
2 Nakamura Hikaru 2844
3 Artemiev Vladislav 2812
4 Fedoseev Vladimir 2810
5 Aronian Levon 2802
6 Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2786
7 Wang Hao 2782
8 Karjakin Sergey 2774
9 Nepomniachtchi Ian 2771
10 Harikrishna Pentala 2758
11 Yu Yangyi 2758
12 Kamsky Gata 2757
13 Svidler Peter 2753
14 Le Quang Liem 2752
15 Korobov Anton 2740
16 Giri Anish 2739
17 Mamedov Rauf 2739
18 Tomashevsky Evgeny 2737
19 Grischuk Alexander 2732
20 Guseinov Gadir 2732
21 Jakovenko Dmitry 2731
22 Andreikin Dmitry 2725
23 Zhigalko Sergei 2724
24 Anand Viswanathan 2723
25 Dubov Daniil 2723
26 Sjugirov Sanan 2722
27 Jobava Baadur 2718
28 Gelfand Boris 2715
29 Anton Guijarro David 2708
30 Akopian Vladimir 2707

... 204 players

Player starting rank — Women's Rapid Championship (top 30)

No. Name RtgI
1 Muzychuk Anna 2595
2 Ju Wenjun 2584
3 Lei Tingjie 2545
4 Kosteniuk Alexandra 2540
5 Lagno Kateryna 2539
6 Dzagnidze Nana 2515
7 Paehtz Elisabeth 2506
8 Muzychuk Mariya 2493
9 Harika Dronavalli 2484
10 Koneru Humpy 2479
11 Goryachkina Aleksandra 2477
12 Ushenina Anna 2471
13 Danielian Elina 2470
14 Stefanova Antoaneta 2466
15 Abdumalik Zhansaya 2444
16 Tan Zhongyi 2442
17 Bodnaruk Anastasia 2442
18 Arabidze Meri 2431
19 Atalik Ekaterina 2429
20 Khotenashvili Bela 2428
21 Zhao Xue 2425
22 Girya Olga 2425
23 Cramling Pia 2420
24 Shuvalova Polina 2411
25 Khademalsharieh Sarasadat 2402
26 Gunina Valentina 2396
27 Javakhishvili Lela 2388
28 Batsiashvili Nino 2382
29 Mammadova Gulnar 2382
30 Saduakassova Dinara 2381

... 123 Players

Schedule 

All times are local time in Moscow (UTC+3).

Date

Event 

Rounds

Time

26 Dec 2018

Rapid - day 1

1-5

15:00

27 Dec 2018

Rapid - day 2

6-10

15:00

28 Dec 2018

Rapid - day 3

11-15

15:00

29 Dec 2018

Blitz - day 1

1-12

15:00

30 Dec 2018

Blitz - day 2

13-21

14:00

30 Dec 2018

Closing Ceremony

 

18:00

31 Dec 2018

Departure

 

      

Translation from German: Macauley Peterson

Links




Klaus Besenthal is computer scientist, has followed and still follows the chess scene avidly since 1972 and since then has also regularly played in tournaments.
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ulyssesganesh ulyssesganesh 12/27/2018 02:07
i wonder, why the defending champion vishy anand is not on the dias?????
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