Reports | November 18, 2009 8:05

Carlsen leads by a point after 2nd day World Blitz

Blitz World Ch 09 - day 2Magnus Carlsen has taken over the lead from Viswanathan Anand on the second day of the World Blitz Championship in Moscow. The Norwegian scored 11/14 today (no draws!) while Anand 'only' managed 8/14, but he's is still 2nd in the standings. Day 2 saw excellent scores for Karjakin, Mamedyarov and Kosteniuk.

The World Blitz Championship, the second stage of this year's Tal Memorial, takes place 16, 17 and 18 November in the Main Department Store GUM on Red Square, Moscow. The time control is 3 minutes + 2 seconds increment per move. The 22-player, double round-robin has 42 rounds which are devided over three days.

The participants are: Viswanathan Anand, Levon Aronian, Magnus Carlsen, Vladimir Kramnik, Peter Leko, Boris Gelfand, Vassily Ivanchuk, Alexander Morozevich, Peter Svidler and Ruslan Ponomariov (the players of the Tal Memorial round-robin); invited players Anatoli Karpov, Alexandra Kosteniuk, reigning Blitz World Champion Leinier Dominguez, former Blitz World Champion Alexander Grischuk, Dmitry Jakovenko and Judit Polgar and five of the six winners of the qualifying blitz “Aeroflot Open”: Sergey Karjakin, Vugar Gashimov, Shakhryiar Mamedyarov, Evgeny Bareev and Vladislav Tkachiev. The sixth winner, Zhou Jianchao, was replaced by Arkadij Naiditsch.

Day 2

There seemed to be a few dubious moments of Magnus Carlsen yesterday (some takebacks and forgetting to shake hands, mentioned in the comments), but these were clearly overrated. We learnt that after for instance the Carlsen-Kosteniuk game, Henrik Carlsen approached Alexandra's husband Diego with some sort of apology, but it was unnecessary, Diego said. She didn't think anything out of the ordinary, despite the fact Magnus was clearly upset.

In any case, the top seed drew the attention today for much better reasons. With a strong score of 11 out of 14, almost as good as Anand's 12/14 yesterday, Carlsen surpassed the Indian to grab first place in the standings after 2/3 of the tournament.

If we only look at the second day, then Sergey Karjakin ends on second place with a score of 10.5/14. Among others the now Russian defeated Aronian, Grischuk and his former compatriot Ivanchuk today. Speaking of Ivanchuk - he played terribly today and scored only 4.5/14. Mamedyarov did much better than yesterday; his aggressive playing style with especially the white pieces, often going for the black king right out of the opening, earned the Azeri GM a 9.5/14 score.

We would also like to mention Alexandra Kosteniuk, who did very well today. In the overall standings she's still 20th, but over rounds 15-28 she ended on a fine 12th place, beating Morozevich, Grischuk, Tkachiev, Anand, Polgar and Aronian today (after e.g. Carlsen yesterday). Anatoli Karpov couldn't continue his fantastic play of the first day and got a much weaker 5/14 on the leaderboard.

Tomorrow the fight for first place will probably be a tough one between the reigning (classical) World Champion and the top seed (and probable future world champion), with Karjakin as a dangerous outsider. Whoever you consider title holder, Dominguez for winning last year's World Blitz in Almaty or Ivanchuk who won last year's Tal Memorial Blitz (which had a stronger field), neither of them will keep his title.

Some players we expected to do better, for instance Levon Aronian and Vugar Gashimov. However, we were told that Aronian is clearly under the weather, sniffling audibly and looking sick. And what about Gashimov, currently the world's number 6 player? His second day wasn't very good either, on which he forfeited his first game against Svidler. According to one of our sources Gashimov went out until 5:00 AM...

Don't forget that the tournament can be followed by a video stream provided by the tournament website.

World Blitz 2009 | Round 28 Standings

World Blitz 2009

World Blitz 2009 | Round 28 Standings (Crosstable)

World Blitz 2009

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Big selection of games day 2

Game viewer by ChessTempo



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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, 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.


CAL|Daniel's picture

great report again!

sulotas's picture

Who wants to go to bed early in such a paradise city for single guys? I am sure Gashimov will have more stories to share with his friends when he goes back to Baku than Carlsen does! :-))

Coco Loco's picture

According to one of our sources Gashimov went out until 5:00 AM…

So where is *that* part of the report?...
Can't blame the guy, especially after a bad first day. I hear the Moscow nightlife is pretty memorable.

Castro's picture

Kosteniuk vs Polgar

What a girl's fight!
Pretty impressive cold blood, Alexandra!!

Karpov: +6 =16 -6 Also very impressive, specially the 16 draws!

Q: Something common to the 3 great candidates to final victory (Carlsen, Anand, Karjakin)?
A: The three beat Bareev 2-0!


CAL|Daniel's picture

The only strange thing so far is Ivanchuk's score.

T. Goto's picture

What a great feat! I can't remember such great events regarding the qualities of the games, amazing participants, and the tightness of contest. The classical part was great, and blitz are really exiting! Thank you for covering all of this!

JoeK's picture

Carlsen will win it for sure, he's been very consistent on both days and looks set for a good performance tomorrow. 10/14 will probably be enough for clear first since the chances of Anand scoring 11.5+/14 in the next day aren't high.

jazzkoo's picture

what is the column "S.B." in the crosstable?

Remco G's picture

Sonneborn-Berger, probably. Sum of the scores of the people you won against plus half the sum of the scores of the people you draw against.

If the story about Gashimov is true he has a new fan. We need more such guys at the top, not just dry professionals :-)

Bert de Bruut's picture

That's Sonnema Berenburg, of course jazzkoo, we all know that.

unknown's picture


Sonneborn-Berger score:

Thomas's picture

Hmmm, Tkachiev is the only one who is still behind Gashimov in the standings ... .

Ianis's picture

In the final standings , Tkachiev finished ahead of Naiditsch and Kosteniuk only .
It is very disappointing indeed , because he won Moscow super final Blitz champ in the past ahead of the likes of Morozevich for instance .

But to play your best blitz chess , you need your best confidence and high energy level , and it's clear that he had some personal problems recently , he went through a difficult period so it's not that suprising to see him perform below his standard .

Aronian also made an interview in Russian where he explains that he was exhausted and not playing well , i would have thought he'd be in the top 5 .

Magnus Carlsen is really impressive , warm congratulations to him and also to Anand who at twice the age of Carlsen , managed a remarkable performance . I never liked blitz and the idea to play first the clock instead of the position , but some of his games were great to watch

Thomas's picture

@Ianis: Now that the final tournament table is up ... if "conventional" ELO is a reliable predictor of blitz results, Tkachiev actually didn't deceive but performed almost exactly as expected - like two other players (Kramnik and Svidler). His result is similar to last year's Tal Memorial blitz (11.5/34) and world blitz championship (6.5/15) - the Moscow tournament you are referring to seems to be back in 2004.
I didn't look at Tkachiev's games myself (too much to digest ...) - according to the German Chessbase report on day 2 he was blundering in several games.

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