Reports | November 18, 2010 23:17

Aronian wins World Blitz Championship

Aronian wins World Blitz ChampionshipLevon Aronian today won the 2010 World Blitz Championship in Moscow, Russia. The Armenian scored 24.5 points out of 38 games and finished half a point ahead of Teimour Radjabov from Azerbaijan. Third came Magnus Carlsen from Norway, who won the title in 2009. First video, audio clip Aronian and many photos.

The World Blitz Championship took place at the GUM department store on Red Square in Moscow, from 16 to 18 November. It was a 20-player, double round-robin tournament with 14 rounds on the first day, 14 on the second and 10 on the final day. The rate of play for all games was 3 minutes plus 2 seconds increment.

Since last year's winner Magnus Carlsen picked lot number 20 at the drawing of lots, and Hikaru Nakamura got number 1, the two big favorites already met in the very first round. The American grandmaster had never played in the World Blitz before, but is known to be very strong in quickplay and in fact defeated Carlsen in a tournament in Norway last year. However, this time it was Carlsen who won this psychologically important first game.

Carlsen finished on 10/14 on the first day, the same score as Levon Aronian. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov also had an excellent first day, and finished only half a point behind the two leaders. Hikaru Nakamura, a favourite to win the title for many, had a terrible start with three losses in the first three games (against Carlsen, Kramnik and Vachier-Lagrave). Eventually the American finished on a decent 7.5/14 to stay in the race.

On the second day, just before the end, Nakamura seemed to be on his way back with a convincing victory against Levon Aronian. Here's his summary of the game as an audio clip, followed by the game itself:

[audio:http://www.chessvibes.com/audio/talmem10/blitz/nakamura-aronian.mp3]

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We have much more high-quality video material and we intend to publish more material at a later stage. In the mean time, besides the awesome video stream on the Russian Chess Federation's website (don't miss the hyperlinks on the right hand side) we refer to the channel of bumblebee1607 on YouTube - a friendly Russian we met in the playing hall. He was filming many of the games with a handheld camera and had some problems with the white balance, but at least you can follow some of the action already.

After the second day Levon Aronian was in sole lead with a score of 18.5/28, followed by Carlsen with 17 points and then Radjabov, Nepomniachtchi and Kramnik on 16 points. Aronian continued strongly on the third and last day, and at some point built up a margin of three points. Despite losing his last two games to Karjakin and Svidler, he still ended clear first, half a point ahead of Radjabov.

Here's an audio clip with Aronian after the tournament:
[audio:http://www.chessvibes.com/audio/talmem10/blitz/aronian.mp3]

On a personal note, we found the atmosphere at the World Blitz quite thrilling. The round 'arenas' in which the boards are placed work quite nicely, as the spectators can stand literally around the board without getting too close. However, at the games of 'popular' players such as Carlsen or Aronian often there were just too many spectators, so that it was quite difficult to follow the games at all (let alone film them).

A good solution would be to project the games on a large screen along one of the walls, or with separate TV screens, but this wasn't the case. In the corridor one TV was showing the video stream that was also shown online - game fragments in excellent quality, but never more than one game at the same time.

And so, if you really wanted to follow a certain game, it was important to check the pairings and board numbers, and arrive early at the particular board. A number of spectators even stayed at board 1 (where Carlsen played many games in a row) even during the breaks, as they didn't want to give up their good spot...

World Blitz Championship 2010 | Final Standings

World Blitz Championship 2010 | Final Standings

Games via TWIC

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Again the GUM department store is the venue

Again the GUM department store was the venue

Speeches from officials before the event

Speeches from officials before the event

Head of the Supervisory Board of the Russian Chess Federation Arkadij Dvorkovich

Head of the Supervisory Board of the Russian Chess Federation Arkadij Dvorkovich

FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

Ex-World Champion Anatoly Karpov

Dvorkovich and a representative of E4 Group signing a new sponsor agreement

Dvorkovich and a representative of E4 Group signing a new sponsor agreement

Former political opponents Ilyumzhinov and Karpov

Former political opponents Ilyumzhinov and Karpov chatting

Fabiano Caruana and his father Lou

Fabiano Caruana and his father Lou, before the tournament started

Levon Aronian

Levon Aronian, getting ready too

Pavel Eljanov, photographer Anastasia Karlovich and Sergei Movsesian

Pavel Eljanov, photographer Anastasia Karlovich and Sergei Movsesian

World Junior Champion Dmitry Andreikin

World Junior Champion Dmitry Andreikin

Magnus Carlsen interviewed just before the tournament started

Magnus Carlsen interviewed just before the tournament

Sergei Karjakin, Peter Svidler and Alexander Grischuk

Sergei Karjakin, Peter Svidler and Alexander Grischuk

Sergei Karjakin

Sergei Karjakin

Vladimir Kramnik and Boris Gelfand

Vladimir Kramnik and Boris Gelfand

Rauf Mamedov and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

Rauf Mamedov and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

Hikaru Nakamura

Hikaru Nakamura, a bit tense before the first round

Ian Nepomniachtchi, Peter Svidler and Alexander Grischuk

Ian Nepomniachtchi, Peter Svidler and Alexander Grischuk

Ruslan Ponomariov

Ruslan Ponomariov

Teimour Radjabov and one of the arbiters in Moscow, Faik Gasanov

Teimour Radjabov and one of the arbiters in Moscow, his compatriot Faik Gasanov

Boris Savchenko

Boris Savchenko

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave chatting with Joel Lautier

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave chatting with spectator GM Joel Lautier

Anatoli Vaisser

Spectator and World Senior Champ GM Anatoli Vaisser

Carlsen, in a good mood, talking with his father Henrik

Carlsen, in a good mood, talking with his father Henrik

Chief arbiter Andrzej Filipowicz interviewed before the tournament

Chief arbiter Andrzej Filipowicz interviewed before the tournament

Fabiano Caruana

Fabiano Caruana in action

Carlsen-Svidler

Carlsen-Svidler inside one of the round 'arenas'

Aronian-Ponomariov

Aronian-Ponomariov with young and old spectators

Carlsen-Nakamura: Hikaru takes revenge

A handshake before the game Carlsen-Nakamura: Hikaru takes revenge in their second encounter

Kramnik-Andreikin

Kramnik-Andreikin

Spectator GM Dennis Khismatullin

Spectator GM Dennis Khismatullin

Boris Gelfand

Boris Gelfand trying to find concentration before a game

Scores added by one of the arbiters

Scores added by one of the arbiters

Levon Aronian interviewed for Russian TV just after the last round

Levon Aronian interviewed for Russian TV just after the last round

President of the Russian Chess Federation Alexander Zhukov

President of the Russian Chess Federation Alexander Zhukov spoke at the closing ceremony

Levon Aronian with the World Blitz cup

Levon Aronian with the World Blitz cup

The traditional 'family photo'

The traditional family picture - Karjakin holds the Tal Memorial trophy; Aronian will get his sent to his home in Berlin

After the ceremony a few exhibition matches were held, here with Carlsen and Zhukov vs Kramnik and Dvorkovich

After the ceremony a few exhibition matches were held, here with Carlsen and Zhukov vs Kramnik and Dvorkovich

Kramnik and Dvorkovich

Kramnik and Dvorkovich

Carlsen and Zhukov

Carlsen and Zhukov

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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of ChessVibes.com, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.

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Comments

Thomas's picture

About the Carlsen-Nakamura match: It seems that it was just a private match as it also happens between amateurs after tournaments or during club evenings - no prize money, no game scores recorded?

About Radjabov getting less invitations: I think there are two reasons:
- He lost some rating points (not much, but enough to drop out of the top 10)
- He is no longer clear #1 from Azerbaijan: Mamedyarov and Gashimov are close, sometimes ahead of him. Usually organizers invite only one of them.

Phil's picture

Carlsen mentions only this in his blog: "As if that was not enough, late in the evening I played 40 blitz games (3 2) with H. Nakamura. We were both pretty tired and the quality of the games varied to put it mildly."

Thomas's picture

You wrote this before, are you "nobody"? ,:) But I wouldn't call it (pure) short-term luck, it takes certain qualities to beat the tailenders as efficiently as Aronian did: create winning chances with both colors (while they might be happy with a draw), avoid overpressing and/or underestimating the opponent.

By definition, there is some "justice": For every loss against a direct competitor you need two or three wins against tailenders - as your competitors will also score 50% or more against such opposition.

In a way, Grachev and Savchenko decided the tournament: Aronian scored 3.5/4 against them, Radjabov 1.5/4, Carlsen 2/4, .... Karjakin 0.5/4 - so despite finishing 15th and 16th, they were dangerous opponents for everyone but "lucky"(?!) Aronian.

free 6yu's picture

NO body points out Karjakin was 7/8 in mini-matches against the plus scores, and Aronian only won because he beat the bottom 6 by 11/12. This is why the whole thing is dominated by short-term luck.

Johan's picture

I think Nakamura reminds his errors for too long.
In the lost game against Aronian he keeps shaking his head for almost a minute!
He should take a deep breath, forget it and play on.
That will help him avoiding losing streaks.

Sander's picture

That was a brillaint game by Levon the way he handled the minor pieces against rook! The great Karpov couldnt have done better.

vladimirOo's picture

When Big Mouths get slammed, they often feel it tough...

reality check's picture

Prosit GM Levon Aronian!! Always a treasure to find players with class and culture at the very top!!

Nigel P's picture

As someone mentioned above, Nakamura posted on twitter something about an informal blitz match between him and Carlsen after the closing ceremonies.

"Just when I thought I couldn't get enough chess, it looks like @MagnusCarlsen and I will be playing a blitz match tonight!"

Anybody know anything about it?

ebutaljib's picture

To Peter Doggers:

Would it be possible to get the "family photo" at the higher resolution?

Thanks in advance.

sah's picture

Ye broadcast was good, really new standard for chess coverage but it can be much better. isnt it posible to put camera from top so we can see whole board and especially clock, something like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHrg8Lib0WU

I watched on http://www.russiachess.org/ and sometimes eboard is late or inacurate and u cant see board really good from camera view.

unknown's picture

Thanks Peter and all crew for awesome reports and videos.

Keep great work, guys.

hanseman's picture

Sorry, but this time i found the reports of Chessvibes really too slow. Maybe you have spoiled us, but Chessvibes was one of the last chessblogs to publish updates. Normally you are one of the first.

I realy like CV video's in general, but think that you invest too mutch time in editing the stuff. Better to publish fast raw material instantly and then edit afterwards and republish.

CAL|Daniel's picture

Beautiful photos! Thanks Peter! Congrats to Aronian.

Mike's picture

After replaying Carlson's loss with white pieces against Nakamura I found myself surprised with the ridiculous Carlson's 1500 rating play on the opening, loosing pawn without any sort or compensation...I thought that a 2800 player was capable of playing automatically and super-fast that type of "French or Karo-Kan" type of closed-e5-advanced pawn structure, avoiding a collapse in the opening phase...

ebutaljib's picture

Some games have more moves than TWIC has. You can download them here

ebutaljib's picture

For some reason it loads really slowly. Open in new window (hold ctrl+N while clicking on link) and be patient ;)

giovlinn's picture

I am annoyed by the comments on Magnus, he has his own agenda, give the guy some space , okay?

Stanley Peters's picture

ebutaljib
"November 20th, 2010 at 16:51
Kasparov and Karpov are just two most succesfull players of all time. No other player comes even close to the number of events they have won. Not even close."

That's exactly my point.

This is a perception created by their aura - a result of their off-the-board activities prolonging their tenure as 'wold champions'; much of the 1990s has been spent with both of them being the 'world champions' together!

Hence, it is hard to believe that Anand has won more chess events than Karpov, and yes, more chess events than Kasparov as well. Hard to believe but true.

As chess players, Kasparov and Karpov are legends and are among the strongest players in chess history. No less, but no more as well. Like their predecessors, and like their successors.

If games records are taken into account rather than events, all the world champions fare roughly the same but Kasparov is clearly ahead of the rest.

vladimirOo's picture

Interesting. I believe that Anand is a really underrated player (in was in the overwhelming shadow of Kasparov in his youth, and now he is to discret).

Where did you find your statistics?

Another point is the crucial-polemic point of "domination era". This applies well to Karpov who really dominated his time, gained victory in almost tournaments he participated in. No one could really stand against him (that really evident looking at how Korchnoi got crushed in his last WCC).

Only Kasparov did succeed in reaching Karpov level and overcoming it. He played less tournaments but won them. Then, when we look at his WCC (after Karpov), it is clear: he always crushed in opponents. No equal fight. Except against Karpov.

Thus, if we look at their legacy in terms of quality and not of quantity: Karpov and Kasparov really were above everybody else for decades, really monsters in their time like no-one before has ever been (except for Morphy, perhaps).

Guillaume's picture

"Hence, it is hard to believe that Anand has won more chess events than Karpov, and yes, more chess events than Kasparov as well. Hard to believe but true."

I don't believe it. Any strong reference to support your fantastic claim?

Thomas's picture

"Anand has won more chess events than ... Kasparov"
This _might_ be true if we include Amber rapid and blindfold (where Kasparov never participated) and Mainz rapid events (did Kasparov ever participate?). But I guess classical time controls are still more relevant for a player's legacy, and Wikipedia is probably right: "Kasparov holds the record for most consecutive professional tournament victories, placing first or equal first in 15 individual tournaments from 1981 to 1990".

Anand is a great player, who was in the shadow of another great player for part of his career ... .

reality check's picture

"Mainz rapid events (did Kasparov ever participate?" the answer is yes. Here's a look at the closing numbers since 1996:

Shirov 1996 Anand 2004
Anand 1997 Amand 2005
Anand 1998 Anand 2006
Kasparov 1999 Anand 2007
Anand 2000 Anand 2008
Anand 2001 Aronian 2009
Anand 2002 Kamsky 2010
Anand 2003

Stanley Peters's picture

True Thomas. Chess events include all rapid events as well.

If we count only classical events, Anand is still not far behind Kasparov but ahead of Karpov.

If we take games played as the measure, and the scores for Anand and Karpov are virtually identical. Kasparov is of course ahead by a mile.

For folks who doubt the numbers, the statistics are there everywhere - you just have to go through the tournaments one by one by yourself and do the calculations.

ebutaljib's picture

That is simply not true. I like Anand, but you are talking nonsense.

Stanley Peters's picture

Sense or nonsense is simply a point of view. There will be many on one side and plenty on the other.

Numbers however do not lie. We may still interpret them differently and draw our own conclusions and all of these are of course context specific.

But when we talk about numbers ... all I can say is they are in Anand's favour in terms of tournaments, and in Kasparov's favour in terms of chess games.

And it is not about anyone liking Anand or Kasparov or Carlsen or Kramnik; they have the respect of their peers.

It's about what we as fans can do to to support whichever one (or possibly more than one) of them is good for world chess.

vladimirOo's picture

"Numbers however do not lie."

That's why we ought to think in terms of qualities and not quantities.

I value much more Kramnik, Aronian and Karjakin winning Tal Memorial than Carlsen winning London, much WCC/Candidates matches than tournaments.

Rating does not give the name of the best player in the world. Only the best tournament player and possibly the most regular. See Topalov was not near to beat Anand and Kramnik. And i do not think Carlsen is ready too.

For instance, Aronian earned the right to challenge the WCC much more than Carlsen, 1) for the many super-class tournaments he won years after years (proof of strenght and regularity), 2) for his crushing win in the Grand-Slam cycle.

One might add that Aronian is not (yet) modelling, nevertheless he is doing good to chess. He is young, dynamic and unexpectly wise (his regards about the WC title are truly deep). He knows why he plays, he truly loves the game and he defends it well. I am eager to seing in which direction he will lead us in the future!

Thomas's picture

"Aronian is not (yet) modelling"
Actually the way he likes to dress he does some sort of modelling!? But it is limited to tournament venues (rather than every other bus stop) and he doesn't earn money with it. One reason might be that western companies like G-Star aren't interested in models from Armenia [or India].
"Numbers do not lie" - one number (not a perfect one, but probably still the most objective one) favors Kasparov: Elo

Guillaume's picture

“Numbers however do not lie.”

Yes they do. Especially when you're still not giving any actual numbers or reference to support your fantastic claim. But I see that you've now admitted that it's not working when considering only classical events. You should perhaps have specified that little bit of information earlier, that would have avoided a lot of raised eyesbrows here. What else are you counting or discounting exactly to make the numbers fit your theory?

reality check's picture

"Mainz rapid events (did Kasparov ever participate?" the answer is yes. Here's a look at the closing numbers since 1996:

Shirov 96 Anand 04
Anand 97 Anand 05
Anand 98 Anand 06
Kasparov 99 Anand 07
Anand 00 Anand 08
Anand 01 Aronian 09
Anand 02 Kamsky 10
Anand 03

rambe's picture

congrat aronian.......

Patrick's picture

Great job by Aronian! Radjabov also did well and continued strongly each day while Kramnik seemed to falter more in the end - maybe out of fatigue. Thanks for the great pictures!

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