World blitz and rapid chess championship in Astana

by ChessBase
7/5/2012 – The Official World Blitz and Rapid Chess Championships are being held from July 1-11, 2012, in Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan. Top ranked players of the current FIDE rating list (Carlsen, Radjabov, Karjakin, Morozevich, Ivanchuk, Grischuk, etc.) have been invited, with qualifiers yielding the rest. The finals are sixteen-player events with a total prize fund of US $400,000 and start on Friday.

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World blitz and rapid chess championship

The Official World Blitz and Rapid Chess Championships are being held from July 1-11, 2012, in Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan. It is worth noting that the Rapid Chess Championship is a first in the history of FIDE! The top ten players of the current FIDE rating list have the right to take part in the championships. The total prize fund is US $400,000.

Qualifiers are held prior to the finals, with chess players from all over the world getting a chance to advance to the main event. The only requirement for participants was that their international ratings should be not less than 2300. Three winners of the qualifiers take part in the finals and be able to win prizes. Four Kazakhstani grandmasters have been nominated to the finals: Murtas Kazhgaleyev and Anuar Ismagambetov in rapid chess, and Pavel Kotsur and Rinat Dzhumabayev in blitz.

Apart from the chess battles, the guests in Astana are able to attend festive events, enjoy the hospitability of Kazakhstanis, familiarize with the modern metropolis – new capital city of Kazakhstan.


July 1, Sun.   Arrival of participants in Astana
July 2, Mon. 13:30 Opening ceremony; Rapid qualifiers – five rounds
July 3, Tues. 15:00 Rapid qualifiers – four rounds
July 4, Wed. 15:00 Blitz qualifiers – 11 x 2 rounds
July 5, Thurs. 17:00 Opening ceremony
July 6, Fri. 15:00 Rapid Chess Championship 1 – 5 rounds
July 7, Sat. 15:00 Rapid Chess Championship 6 – 10 rounds
July 8, Sun. 15:00 Rapid Chess Championship 11 – 15 rounds
July 9, Mon. 15:00 World Blitz Chess Championship rounds 1 – 15
July 10, Tues. 15:00 World Blitz rounds 16–30; closing ceremony
July 11, Wed.   Departure of participants

World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championship

The World Rapid Chess Championship will be played in three days as a round-robin event with five rounds per day. Time controls are 15 minutes for all moves plus 10 seconds increment per move. The World Blitz is a sixteen-player double round robin with 15 rounds per day. The time control is three minutes + two seconds increment per move. These are the participants

Rapid Chess Championship   Blitz Chess Championship
Magnus Carlsen 2837   Magnus Carlsen 2835
Teimour Radjabov 2788   Teimour Radjabov 2784
Sergey Karjakin 2779   Sergey Karjakin 2779
Alexander Morozevich 2770   Alexander Morozevich 2769
Vassily Ivanchuk 2769   Vassily Ivanchuk 2764
Alexander Grischuk 2763   Alexander Grischuk 2761
Veselin Topalov 2752   Veselin Topalov 2752
Peter Svidler 2749   Peter Svidler 2741
Boris Gelfand 2738   Boris Gelfand 2727
Viktor Bologan 2732   Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2726
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2726   Dmitry Andreikin 2700
Alexey Dreev 2677   Le Quang Liem 2693
Igor Kurnosov 2663   Nikolai Chadaev 2605
Vladislav Tkachiev 2644   Darmen Sadvakasov 2629
Murtas Kazhgaleyev 2589   Rinat Jumabayev 2556
Anuar Ismagambetov 2471   Pavel Kotsur 2548

Tiebreak rules for first place: (a) results between the players involved; (b) number of wins; (c) Sonneborn-Berger score; (d) Sudden death game: 5 min vs 4 min.

The rapid chess qualifier under way

Nikolai Chadaev, rated 2605, qualified for the blitz

FM Rauan Mankeyev of Kazakhstan, rated 2333, did not qualify

Dinara Saduakassova, 2216, the only female participant, did not qualify for the finals


View Larger Map

Astana has been the capital of Kazakhstan since 1997, and is the country's second largest city (after Almaty, the former capital). It is located in the north-central portion of Kazakhstan, within Akmola Province, though administrated separately from the province as a federal city area.

The monument and observation tower Bayterek is the most famous landmark in Astana. It is meant to embody a folktale about a mythical tree of life and a magic bird of happiness, Samruk, that has laid its egg on a poplar tree. The tower is 105m tall, the gold-mirrored egg, 22m in diameter, contains the observation deck. From there it is possible to see much of the newly built city:

Panorama view of Astana by Ken and Nyetta for Wikipedia (scroll right)

Videos from the qualifiers (Russian with English subtitles)


The games of the Finals will be 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 11 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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