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

Raven11's picture

I am happy for Radjabov's performance. He seems to be forgotten by tournament organizers these days, maybe this might change things...

siva's picture

Exactly! He plays so cool. Check out his endgame finesse win over Aronian!

fireblade's picture

Exactly what was on my mind !

Wouter Otto Levenbach aka Dave's picture

I hope this tournament makes things clear about Nakamura's blitz strength : He is definitely in the top 10, but far from being the best.

Jim West's picture

Excactly!!

ebutaljib's picture

Nakamura finished where you would expect someone of his rating to finish. No more, no less - his blitz strength is normal for a player of his calibre.

reality check's picture

What a coincidence, i was thinking the same about the other favourite, Carlsen.

gg's picture

That Carlsen is far from being the best blitz player? The last two years he has won the World Championship with a three point margin and was now 1 point from first. If that is being far from the best blitz player I wonder who the best blitz player is, and exactly how much worse Carlsen is at blitz than he is.

reality check's picture

GM Levon Aronian is the World Blitz Champion, the "Prez" if i may use some american slang, and the runner up, GM Sergie Karjakin, is "Vice Prez".
No Opinion Poll can change this fact, no further discussion needed to clear things up. Lev won the title fair and square. So until next years world blitz championship, good day.

laynard's picture

"far" from the best? how "far" is tied 4th out of 20 in a very strong field, in his first world blitz championship? he'll probably win it next year.

ebutaljib's picture

Based on what was written by Nakamura's fans before the tournament and in the past years when he didn't compete, this is a catastrophic result for Nakamura.

THAT is the whole point here :)

Otherwise it is a completely normal performance for a 2740 rated player.

catfishcore's picture

Naka is the best blitz player on the planet. Because he didn't win for once, is only an indication that he is human. Naka is still the uncrowned king of blitz.! Regardless of his performance here.

vladimirOo's picture

Nakamura is a God made human. Yep! One day he will revolutionize the world and overpass all limits. Till then, just believe me, he is divine! Yep!

Guillaume's picture

You should have seen the comments on ICC when Nakamura managed to beat Carlsen and Kramnik back to back. Suddenly all the American nationalists were awaken, and some of their comments were really ugly. I wouldn't mind if Nakamura was to become one day the blitz World Champion --- he's a great blitz player indeed and clearly among the favorites for future events --- but if it means we have to read this kind of nationalist crap everywhere, it's probably much better if he doesn't become blitz WC at all. The worst part about Nakamura is really his fanboys.

Saji Soman's picture

Let the God give you good sense

flshstar's picture

Say what??? the uncrowned King of Blitz? The devine god of blitz chess?? Definitely Nakamura's fans are gone bonker since he did not crush, destroy, annihilate, vanished all the pretenders of chess world.How dare 'em! ....hahahahaha..

GB's picture

Best on the planet regardless of his performance???
So if he never wins he is still the best on the planet. Nonsense!!
Please stop such irrational fanaticism about Nakamura, he is just a good chess player nothing less nothuing more, but really far away from being the best, or ask Anand, Kramnik, and Topalov. I wonder if he could even beat Judit Polgar in a match, or you can ash Vassily Ivanchuk.

GB's picture

sorry , you can ASK Vassily Ivanchuk

Victor's picture

Indeed..he is very arrogant!..He said after the big blunder against Grischuk:
“One of the single most disappointing oversights in my whole career. However, I am going to destroy Grischuk like a baby in the blitz.”
Well Grischuk got 1.1/2 against him.
I am wonder this guy needs some kind of help. And a lot of people think because he plays really great on internet he is the best blitzer of the whole world. That´s far to be true.
Thx

Guillaume's picture

lol, did he really say that?? I don't know if he needs help, but he certainly needs to grow up.

Andre's picture

Fabricated statements being attributed to Nakamura.

Guillaume's picture

Unfortunately not. He said it on Twitter.

http://twitter.com/GMHIkaru

Look for the entry
6:16 AM Nov 15th via web from Moscow, Moscow

JaNisamTesla's picture

Although Nakamura's placed a respectable 5th of 20, his performance is at this tournament is much lower than the usual ICC drubbings he dishes out on patzers.

i hope it teaches him some humility.

test's picture

All due to a bad first day. I wouldn't draw too big conclusions, he's clearly up there with the best.

Wouter Otto Levenbach aka Dave's picture

Well, they all had bad moments including Aronian in the first day. I actually think we can draw conclusions after 38 games played against the chess elite in perfect conditions : Nakamura belongs to the top half of the table, nothing more...

ebutaljib's picture

"All due to a bad first day"

LOL. Nakamura had the MOST CONSTANT performance throughout the tournament!!!

1st day (14 games)
10 - Aronian and Carlsen
9.5 - Mamedyarov
8.5 - Kramnik and Svidler
8.0 - Gelfand
7.5 - Nakamura, Karjakin, Grischuk and Eljanov
7.0 - Radjabov
6.5 - Caruana, Nepomniachtchi and Ponomariov
6.0 - Vachier Lagrave
5.5 - Grachev
5.0 - Andreikin and Movsesian
4.5 - Savchenko
3.0 - Mamedov

2nd day (14 games)
9.5 - Nepomniachtchi
9.0 - Radjabov
8.5 - Savchenko and Aronian
8.0 - Vachier Lagrave, Mamedov and Nakamura
7.5 - Gelfand, Kramnik and Movsesian
7.0 - Carlsen
6.5 - Eljanov, Grischuk and Grachev
6.0 - Karjakin and Andreikin
5.5 - Caruana
5.0 - Ponomariov
4.5 - Mamedyarov and Svidler

3rd day (10 games)
8.0 - Radjabov
7.0 - Karjakin and Mamedov
6.5 - Svidler, Carlsen and Andreikin
6.0 - Gelfand, Aronian and Nakamura
5.5 - Mamedyarov
5.0 - Grischuk, Elajnov and Movsesian
4.5 - Kramnik and Grachev
4.0 - Vachier Lagrave
2.5 - Savchenko
2.0 - Nepomniachtchi
1.5 - Caruana
1.0 - Ponomariov

Face it - Nakamura is the only one who performed at his level. Other players had highs and lows, not Nakamura.

test's picture

I said it because Aronian & Carlsen scored 2.5 points better the first day and about the same the rest. But I suppose you're right, their level dropped, Nakamura stayed the same.

vladimirOo's picture

What a Devil Nakamura is! Even when he does not win, he is still the best! He should not play, to let the others really win.

test's picture

???

flshstar's picture

@test--its a sarcastic remark toward Nakamura's fans. Even when he did not win the blitz tournament and did not crush everybody as predicted by his fans. They still declared him the best in the world. Not giving credit to the winner and runner ups of the tournament and past winners. Do you get it now Duh?

test's picture

Congrats to Aronian, the next WC. ;)

Serbian's picture

Aronian proved that he is one of the most intuitive and creative players today!
This win does not look that superior, but it actually is! He was leading 2-3 points ahead all the time. Congratulations!

Blind Faith's picture

Kramnik seemed to have had enough on the last day. He was playing any old rubbish. Probably wanted to get off home to see Daria. Good fun.

Castro's picture

Hello! A sugestion/asking: Is it posible a crosstable, pls?

cip's picture

I think you can find one on the tournament homepage:
http://www.russiachess.org/online/blitz/cross_table_acc_places&38.html

Castro's picture

:-) Thx.

By the way, why are you here?

cip's picture

:) does it matter?

Joe's picture

What does the + column mean?

TeresaZ's picture

The number of games won, I think.

Jan's picture

Yeh. Was rooting heavily for Magnus, following him since Corus C, but no longer.

Stanley Peters's picture

Indeed Jan. Maybe we can't have leaders who can take the chess world forward, but we can have fighters who can restore the legitimacy of chess as a sport.

We can't have another one of those so called pseudo- legends like Kasparov and Karpov who pursue personal agendas in the name of sport. Their legendary exploits on the board have long since been wiped out by their personal ambitions to prolong their time as 'champions', at any cost and by any means.

In future, when China, India, etc become super powers in chess and have chess historians of their own, the world chess history will look quite different - from a non-russian (or near-russian) perspective, Kasparov and Karpov will be deemed great players of their times (not of all time) with severely flawed personalities who damaged the credibility of chess as a sport.

I am sure Magnus won't follow in their ill-fated footsteps, and I know he never will. But he has done nothing so far to give hope that he is the future of chess (as a sport) as well.

To compare it to a football world championship (as Magnus has pointed out), it is one thing to beat Brazil in the qualifiers (which every minnow south american footballing country does in every cycle) and another to beat Brazil in the Football World Cup.

I only wish Magnus would compete with the likes of Kramnik and Aronian to battle for the privilege of competing for the ultimate title in the chess world.

fgdfd's picture

"We can’t have another one of those so called pseudo- legends like Kasparov and Karpov"

More Lekos and Wang Yues in chess, less of those Kasparovs and Karpovs!

Guillaume's picture

"pseudo- legends like Kasparov and Karpov "

I stopped reading there. Why don't you include Fischer and Botvinnik while you're at it?

gg's picture

Then you missed that Kasparov and Karpov aren't great players of all times and that their achievements since long ago have been "wiped out by their personal ambitions to prolong their time as ‘champions’" and many other amazing facts. :)

Guillaume's picture

Since you're just repeating Stanley Peters's vague and unmotivated statement, I think I can safely ignore it. Don't bother elaborating however. I'm not really interested in hearing once more the same lament about what Kasparov and Karpov did off-the-board. We all know all this. It does not diminish their accomplishments on-the-board in any way. Why would it?

ebutaljib's picture

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.

Joe Fiasco's picture

I liked Gelfand's games. I think he did quite well.

Sanjeevi's picture

I wish Anand - "the lightning kid" had participated in this Championship.

reality check's picture

Anand's already been there, done that, got the trophy.

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