Carlsen wins SuperUnited Rapid & Blitz with three rounds to spare

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
7/10/2023 – After winning every single game on Saturday, Magnus Carlsen secured tournament victory at the SuperUnited Rapid & Blitz tournament by scoring 5 points in the first 6 rounds of the event’s final day of action. With overall victory in the bag, Carlsen went on to lose his blitz-chess undefeated streak against Alireza Firouzja. Ian Nepomniachtchi and Firouzja finished second and third, respectively. | Photo: Lennart Ootes

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


The rapid and blitz king

Magnus Carlsen gave up his classical-chess world champion title this year by withdrawing from the latest cycle. In December last year, he already knew he would lose the title he held for a decade, and made a point of showing his best at the Rapid & Blitz World Championships. Incredibly, he succeeded in winning both world titles.

This year, besides playing in the Champions Chess Tour (the Aimchess Rapid begins today), the Norwegian participated in the two stages of the Grand Chess Tour with a rapid and blitz format. And he also won the GCT event in Warsaw back in June.

At the SuperUnited Rapid & Blitz in Zagreb, Carlsen lost twice on the second day of action to finish two points behind then co-leaders Ian Nepomniachtchi and Fabiano Caruana. As per his style, he gained momentum as the tournament progressed. On Saturday, his perfect 9/9 at the start of the blitz was one for the history books. Such a formidable achievement left him 3 points ahead of his closest chasers going into the final day of action.

On Sunday, Carlsen kicked off with draws against Caruana and Jan-Krzysztof Duda. Then he revved up again, scoring four wins in a row to secure tournament victory with three rounds to spare. His win in round 15, the one that granted him the title, was achieved over none other than Nepomniachtchi.

With the title in the bag, Carlsen lost two games in a row in rounds 16 and 17, against Alireza Firouzja and Richard Rapport respectively. Firouzja’s win was particularly important, as thanks to that full point he managed to finish in sole third place — in addition, he kept his spot as the highest-rated player in blitz.

Nepo, on his part, got second place, as his three consecutive draws after losing to Carlsen allowed him to outscore Firouzja by a half point in the end.

Magnus Carlsen

Magnus Carlsen took home $40,000 for his triumph | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Analyses by GM Karsten Müller

Gukesh 0 - 1 Carlsen

Dommaraju Gukesh, Viswanathan Anand

Two Indian greats — Dommaraju Gukesh (aged 17) and Viswanathan Anand (53) | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Firouzja 1 - 0 Duda

Alireza Firouzja

Alireza Firouzja was one of only two players who beat Magnus Carlsen in the blitz section of the event | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Final standings - Blitz

Final standings - Rapid

All games - Blitz


Carlos Colodro is a Hispanic Philologist from Bolivia. He works as a freelance translator and writer since 2012. A lot of his work is done in chess-related texts, as the game is one of his biggest interests, along with literature and music.