World Blitz: Nakamura a full point ahead!

by ChessBase
12/29/2022 – Hikaru Nakamura had a magnificent first day at the World Blitz Championship in Almaty, as he won eight games and drew four to go into the final nine rounds a full point ahead of a five-player chasing pack. In the women’s tournament, Valentina Gunina and Polina Shuvalova are sharing first place on 7½/9 points. | Find here the standings and all available games. | Photo: Lennart Ootes

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Naka on 10 out of 12

Less than two weeks after beating Magnus Carlsen in the Speed Chess Championship final, Hikaru Nakamura again showed his incredible blitz skills on day 1 of the World Championships in Almaty. The US grandmaster scored eight wins and four draws against top-notch opposition to enter the final nine rounds of the event a full point ahead of his closest chasers. Naka defeated the likes of Fabiano Caruana and Nihal Sarin, and drew his round-8 direct encounter against Carlsen.

Carlsen also finished undefeated but ‘only’ managed to rack up six victories on Thursday. The now 4-time world rapid champion is one of five players standing on 9 points in shared second place. He is joined in the chasing pack by Anish Giri, Daniil Dubov, Haik Martirosyan and Richard Rapport.

A half point further back stand a group which includes three extremely dangerous Russian players: Ian Nepomniachtchi, Vladimir Fedoseev and Vladislav Artemiev. 

Replay all available games of the open section at

Standings after round 12

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Nakamura Hikaru 10 86,5
2 Giri Anish 9 93
3 Carlsen Magnus 9 88,5
4 Dubov Daniil 9 83,5
5 Martirosyan Haik M. 9 78
6 Rapport Richard 9 77,5
7 Fedoseev Vladimir 8,5 82,5
8 Artemiev Vladislav 8,5 81,5
9 Sadhwani Raunak 8,5 77,5
10 Shimanov Aleksandr 8,5 77
11 Matlakov Maxim 8,5 75,5
12 Moussard Jules 8,5 73,5
13 Nepomniachtchi Ian 8,5 73
14 Lazavik Denis 8 87
15 Duda Jan-Krzysztof 8 85,5

...176 players

Gunina and Shuvalova co-leaders

Nine rounds of 3-minute games (plus 2-second increments) were played in the women’s tournament. Valentina Gunina and Polina Shuvalova emerged as co-leaders with 7½ points each. Importantly, Gunina defeated her younger compatriot with white in round 8.

Recently crowned women’s world rapid champion Tan Zhongyi is sharing second place with Aleksandra Goryachkina and Alexandra Kosteniuk, all on a 7/9 score. Kosteniuk has yet to draw a game in the event, much like Martirosyan in the open section.

Replay all available games of the women’s section at

Standings after round 9

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Shuvalova Polina 7,5 48,5
2 Gunina Valentina 7,5 48,5
3 Tan Zhongyi 7 48
4 Goryachkina Aleksandra 7 46,5
5 Kosteniuk Alexandra 7 40,5
6 Harika Dronavalli 6,5 46
7 Dzagnidze Nana 6,5 45,5
8 Paehtz Elisabeth 6,5 44,5
9 Danielian Elina 6 50
10 Tania Sachdev 6 47,5
11 Javakhishvili Lela 6 43,5
12 Assaubayeva Bibisara 6 43
13 Lagno Kateryna 6 43
14 Fataliyeva Ulviyya 6 41,5
15 Mammadzada Gunay 6 41

...99 players

The World Blitz Championship are Swiss opens (21 rounds in the open and 17 rounds in the women’s) with a time control of 3 minutes for the entire game, plus a 2-second increment starting from move one. A tie for first place will be decided by two 3+2 blitz games. If still tied, more 3+2 games will be played until finding a winner.


  • December 29: Rounds 1-12 (open); Rounds 1-9 (women’s)
  • December 30: Rounds 13-21 (open): Rounds 10-17 (women’s)

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Commentary by GM Alexander Shabalov & WGM Keti Tsatsalashvili



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