Magnus Carlsen wins fifth World Rapid Championship title!

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
12/28/2023 – Yet another stunning performance, yet another title! Magnus Carlsen scored 10/13 points throughout three days of play to grab his fifth World Rapid Championship title in Samarkand. The Norwegian obtained two wins in a row at the start of day 3 and managed to win the tournament outright with draws in the final two rounds. In the women’s tournament, Anastasia Bodnaruk beat Humpy Koneru in a blitz playoff to claim the title. | Photo: FIDE / 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.


Incredible stability

Magnus Carlsen continues to collect World Championship titles. Thanks to a brilliant 3-day performance in Samarkand, the Norwegian grabbed his fifth World Rapid Championship title after obtaining an undefeated 10/13 score.

Since 2013, Carlsen has won 16 World Championship titles. The first one he got was, in fact, the classical title — in Chennai. The very next year he grabbed the ‘triple crown’, after winning both the rapid and blitz categories in Dubai.

The 33-year-old went on to win four more matches for the world crown in classical chess and collected five more blitz titles and (now) four more rapid titles. As pointed out by Tarjei J. Svensen, perhaps the most impressive fact if we look back on Carlsen’s performance on these all-important events is his incredible stability. In ten World Rapid Championships, the ace has never finished below fifth place!

In Samarkand, Carlsen entered day 3 of the rapid sharing first place with Vladimir Fedoseev and Yu Yangyi. Round 10, the first of the day, saw him beating Fedoseev in the critical clash of co-leaders. Carlsen became the sole leader and did not let go of that spot until the end of the tournament.

A second consecutive win, over Iranian GM Pouya Idani, left him a half point ahead of Vidit Gujrathi in the standings. Vidit came from grabbing back-to-back victories over Anton Korobov and Arjun Erigaisi. The run of consecutive wins could have continued in round 12, as Vidit got a clear advantage in his game with white against Fedoseev.

This is a completely winning setup for White. Not only does he have an extra pawn and the bishop pair in an open position, but he also has the initiative. Incredibly, however, Vidit began to play imprecise moves at around this point, first giving up his advantage and then blundering into a lost position.

After losing this game, Vidit drew Maxime Vachier-Lagrave to finish in shared third place (fourth on tiebreaks) with 9/13 points. The winner of the FIDE Grand Swiss then shared a post on X confessing, “This won’t be easy to forget💔”.

Vidit Gujrathi

Vidit Gujrathi | Photo: FIDE / Lennart Ootes

Fedoseev’s victory left him in sole second place a half point behind Carlsen going into the final round. Both contenders for the title got the white pieces and drew their games — against Praggnanandhaa and Dmitry Andreikin respectively — which meant the perennial favourite had secured outright victory.

With his 9½/13 performance, Fedoseev, now representing Slovenia, finished in sole second place. A 12-player group scored 9/13 points, with Yu Yangyi grabbing the bronze medal on tiebreak criteria.

The biggest underdog in the large group with 9 points was Volodar Murzin, who finished the tournament undefeated and collected wins over Praggnanandhaa, Ian Nepomniachtchi and Levon Aronian!

Volodar Murzin

Volodar Murzin | Photo: FIDE / Lennart Ootes

Carlsen 1 - 0 Pouya

Analysis by GM Karsten Müller

Vladimir Fedoseev

Vladimir Fedoseev took home the silver medal | Photo: FIDE / Lennart Ootes

Yu Yangyi

Yu Yangyi had the better tiebreak score among the group with 9 points and thus collected the bronze | Photo: FIDE / Lennart Ootes

World Rapid Chess Championship 2023

Elite GMs relaxing after a demanding tournament — Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (9/13 points), Fabiano Caruana (9/13) and Richard Rapport (8½/13) | Photo: FIDE / Lennart Ootes

Game analysis by Robert Ris

Final standings

Rk. SNo Name Rtg Pts.  TB1   TB2   TB3   TB4 
1 Carlsen, Magnus 10 99
2 Fedoseev, Vladimir 9,5 98
3 Yu, Yangyi 9 99,5
4 Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi 9 98,5
5 Murzin, Volodar 9 97
6 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 9 96
7 Dubov, Daniil 9 94
8 Praggnanandhaa, R 9 93,5
9 Andreikin, Dmitry 9 92
10 Grischuk, Alexander 9 92
11 Abdusattorov, Nodirbek 9 91
12 Svidler, Peter 9 90
13 Caruana, Fabiano 9 89,5
14 Maghsoodloo, Parham 9 84,5
15 Erigaisi, Arjun 8,5 100,5
16 Cheparinov, Ivan 8,5 98
17 Matlakov, Maxim 8,5 92
18 Korobov, Anton 8,5 91
19 Rapport, Richard 8,5 90,5
20 Tomashevsky, Evgeny 8,5 90
21 Dardha, Daniel 8,5 89
22 Van Foreest, Jorden 8,5 87,5
23 Artemiev, Vladislav 8,5 87
24 Giri, Anish 8,5 87
25 Gukesh, D 8,5 85,5

...202 players

All available games

Bodnaruk beats Humpy in blitz playoffs

Entering the final three rounds of action in the women’s tournament, Anastasia Bodnaruk had a half-point lead over Humpy Koneru and Zhai Mo, with seven strong players standing a further half point back.

Bodnaruk remained atop the standings after drawing Humpy and Zhai in rounds 9 and 10. At that point, third seed Lei Tingjie (the challenger of the latest match for the Women’s World Championship) had caught up with her in the lead. A group of five players stood a half point behind with one round to go.

Co-leaders Lei and Bodnaruk signed a 3-move draw in the final round, a more understandable decision for Bodnaruk, who both had the black pieces and a better tiebreak score — in case of a tie for first between more than two players, the two participants with the better tiebreak scores would decide the tournament winner in a blitz playoff.

Out of all the chasers, only Humpy grabbed a win in round 11, as she obtained an advantage out of the opening and converted it into a victory playing white against Kateryna Lagno.

Bodnaruk and Humpy had better tiebreak scores than Lei, which meant they were to play a blitz playoff to decide the championship.

Humpy Koneru, Kateryna Lagno

Humpy Koneru beat the ever-fighting Kateryna Lagno to catch the leaders in the final round | Photo: FIDE / Lennart Ootes

Lei Tingjie

Lei Tingjie grabbed the bronze medal | Photo: FIDE / Lennart Ootes

In the playoff, Humpy — who won this event back in 2019 — kicked off with a win. Bodnaruk bounced back with black in a wild encounter, which meant two more blitz games would follow.

The third blitz encounter ended in a draw, and once again it was Bodnaruk who prevailed in the rematch, when she obtained a major time advantage — while getting a clearly inferior position on the board.

Humpy, playing white, has a piece for two pawns here, with a winning position. Her 38.Kc7 was a mistake, as it allowed 38...Rxb3, and the position is now balanced.

More importantly, though, this miss seems to have befuddled the Indian star, who lost on time after 39.Rd4 Bd5. The final moments of the dramatic game were captured and shared on FIDE’s X profile:

Anastasia Bodnaruk

Anastasia Bodaruk leaving the playing hall after winning game 4 of the blitz playoff | Photo: FIDE / Lennart Ootes

World Rapid Chess Championship 2023

The 2023 World Rapid Chess champions! | Photo: FIDE / Anastasia Korolkova

Final standings

Rk. SNo Name Rtg Pts.  TB1   TB2   TB3   TB4 
1 Bodnaruk, Anastasia 8,5 73,5
2 Koneru, Humpy 8,5 71,5
3 Lei, Tingjie 8,5 71
4 Salimova, Nurgyul 8 71
5 Zhai, Mo 8 70
6 Ju, Wenjun 8 66
7 Gunina, Valentina 8 65,5
8 Lagno, Kateryna 7,5 69
9 Goryachkina, Aleksandra 7,5 68,5
10 Garifullina, Leya 7,5 68,5
11 Yu, Jennifer 7,5 67
12 Narva, Mai 7,5 61,5
13 Sahithi, Varshini M 7,5 60
14 Zhu, Jiner 7 76,5
15 Lu, Miaoyi 7 69
16 Muzychuk, Anna 7 68,5
17 Munkhzul, Turmunkh 7 67,5
18 Nurgaliyeva, Zarina 7 65,5
19 Assaubayeva, Bibisara 7 65,5
20 Fataliyeva, Ulviyya 7 64
21 Ni, Shiqun 7 63,5
22 Priyanka, Nutakki 7 63
23 Tan, Zhongyi 7 63
24 Nomin-Erdene, Davaademberel 7 58,5
25 Wagner, Dinara 7 55,5

...117 players

All available games


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.