Carlsen and Caruana to face off in Speed Chess Championship QF

by ChessBase
12/8/2022 – The 2022 edition of the Speed Chess Championship is in its final stages. Magnus Carlsen returned to participate after losing at the 2020 semifinals, and will be looking to stop Hikaru Nakamura’s reign, who has won every single edition since 2018. In the quarterfinals, Carlsen will face none other than 2018 World Championship challenger Fabiano Caruana.

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Ding, Nihal, MVL in the mix is organizing the sixth edition of the Speed Chess Championship. World number one Magnus Carlsen returned to a star-studded 16-player field that also includes 4-time Speed Chess Champion Hikaru Nakamura.

As the Speed Chess Championship enters its sixth year, we see the strongest and most exciting lineup yet. The participants are looking to break Nakamura’s ongoing run of dominance. Since Carlsen won the inaugural 2017 edition, Nakamura has claimed the last four from 2018-21. The field is playing for a total prize fund of over $100,000.

In 2020, Carlsen’s only attempted defence after winning the 2017 edition, he was upset by Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the semifinals. Nakamura went on to win. Then, in 2021, Nakamura faced possibly his toughest run yet, after his semifinal match with Ding went all the way to Armageddon. It won’t get any easier for Nakamura with the return of Carlsen headlining this year’s stacked field of opposition.

Most of the round-of-16 matches have already been played, with Carlsen overpowering Gukesh Dommaraju, and Nihal Sarin getting the better of Anish Giri in a close match that went to tiebreaks. Another close confrontation saw Levon Aronian knocking out Dmitry Andreikin.

In the most anticipated matchup of the quarterfinals, Carlsen will face Fabiano Caruana, who eliminated Indian rising star Arjun Erigigaisi in the round-of-16.

Speed Chess Championship 2022

The format

At the Speed Chess Championships, the contenders play as many games as they can fit into an established time frame. A sequence of 5-minute games, 3-minute games and 1-minute games are played.

The time controls are:

  • 90 minutes of 5+1 blitz
  • 60 minutes of 3+1 blitz
  • 30 minutes of 1+1 bullet

The webcasts

The adrenaline-fuelled matches are broadcast live with expert commentary.

While the 5-minute games often provide high-level chess struggles (given the players’ astonishing strength, even in blitz) matches are sometimes decided in the bullet section. Following an hour and a half of intense battles, the players get one minute per side to fight for the right to remain in the competition.

Check out the recap of the very exciting 2021 semifinal confrontation between Nakamura and Ding Liren, with commentary by IM David Pruess and GM Daniel Naroditsky.

You can also relive the full match!

Matches from the round-of-16

Carlsen vs. Gukesh


Nihal vs. Giri



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