Reports | July 07, 2012 16:52

Carlsen in firm lead at World Rapid Championship after day 2 (VIDEO)

Magnus Carlsen poised to win the World Rapid Championship in Astana

After ten rounds of play, Magnus Carlsen has a 1.5 point lead over Sergey Karjakin and Veselin Topalov. Tomorrow the last five rounds of the World Rapid Championship will be played in Astana, Kazakhstan. Carlsen still has to play against Ismagambetov, Ivanchuk, Grischuk, Radjabov and in the final round Topalov.

Magnus Carlsen poised to win the World Rapid Championship in Astana | All photos © ChessVibes 

Event World Blitz and Rapid Championships | PGN (rapid) via TWIC
Dates July 2-10, 2012
Location Astana, Kazakhstan
System Rapid: 16-player single round robin | Blitz: 16-player double round robin
Players Magnus Carlsen, Teimour Radjabov, Sergey Karjakin, Alexander Morozevich, Vassily Ivanchuk, Alexander Grischuk, Veselin Topalov, Peter Svidler, Boris Gelfand, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Viktor Bologan, Murtas Kazhgaleyev, Anuar Ismagambetov, Pavel Kotsur and Rinat Jumabayev 
Rate of play Rapid: 15 minutes + 10 seconds increment per move, starting from move 1 | Blitz: 3 minutes + 2 seconds increment per move, starting from move 1.
Extra The players are not allowed to offer draws directly to their opponents. Any draw claim will be permitted only through the Chief Arbiter and accepted in case of a triple-repetition of the position or the 50-move rule
Prize fund US $200,000 for each tournament; first prize US $40,000

On the day that Serena Williams clinched her fifth Wimbledon title, to the regret of Polish Chief Arbiter Andrzej Filipowicz, Magnus Carlsen added another four points to his score. One of his victims was Sergey Karjakin, the co-leader after five rounds, who is 1.5 points behind Carlsen after ten rounds. Veselin Topalov had a good second day and joins second place with Karjakin.

Here's our video report of rounds 6-10:

Some chess and tennis fans had difficulty in chosing what to watch on Saturday: the live coverage of the World Rapid in Astana, or the Women's Wimbledon final. Two well known grandmasters exchanged some tweets about this tough problem (and probably simply watched both):

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave:

Wimbledon ladies final starts. Well, Serena is an obvious favourite vs Radwanska, by her experience of GS finals and by her level so far.

Anish Giri:

@Vachier_Lagrave Oh, no, don't tell me you prefer Wimbeldon to Rapid Chess WCh... Patzer!


@anishgiri I follow it too, but one always have to settle their priorities.


@Vachier_Lagrave Sad story...


To please @anishgiri : it might be the decisive game between #Carlsen and #Karjakin to decide World Rapid Championship, in the 10th round.


@Vachier_Lagrave Thanks, having tears in my eyes from joy. Indeed! But it's a long way to go, tomorrow one more day with lots of rounds...


@anishgiri I knew this would move you. And well, sure, anything can still happen. But still!

Later Vachier-Lagrave tweeted some more about the game, for instance

27...Nxf5 seemed to be a tactical mistake but the refutation could definitely not be found in a rapid game, but it was a beautiful one!

Here is that game between Carlsen and Karjakin. The decisive mistake was 53...Rc4+ where 53...Bf6 is good enough to draw.

PGN string

Carlsen beats Karjakin in round 10

Although he has a commanding lead of 1.5 points over Karjakin and Topalov, Carlsen isn't there yet. His program for the last day includes former Blitz World Champions Ivanchuk and Grischuk and also Radjabov. The Norwegian starts with a game against tail-ender Ismagambetov but in the final round he has Black against Topalov.

Games day 2

PGN file

World Rapid Championship 2012 | Round 10 standings


Pairings day 3

11 Ismagambetov-Carlsen Grischuk-Tkachiev Topalov-Gelfand Morozevich-Kurnosov Bologan-Svidler Dreev-Kazhgaleyev Mamedyarov-Radjabov Karjakin-Ivanchuk
12 Carlsen-Ivanchuk Radjabov-Karjakin Kazhgaleyev-Mamedyarov Svidler-Dreev Kurnosov-Bologan Gelfand-Morozevich Tkachiev-Topalov Ismagambetov-Grischuk
13 Grischuk-Carlsen Topalov-Ismagambetov Morozevich-Tkachiev Bologan-Gelfand Dreev-Kurnosov Mamedyarov-Svidler Karjakin-Kazhgaleyev Ivanchuk-Radjabov
14 Carlsen-Radjabov Kazhgaleyev-Ivanchuk Svidler-Karjakin Kurnosov-Mamedyarov Gelfand-Dreev Tkachiev-Bologan Ismagambetov-Morozevich Grischuk-Topalov
15 Topalov-Carlsen Morozevich-Grischuk Bologan-Ismagambetov Dreev-Tkachiev Mamedyarov-Gelfand Karjakin-Kurnosov Ivanchuk-Svidler Radjabov-Kazhgaleyev


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.


Bartleby's picture

The next level has to wait for half an hour. Carlsen lost two in a row. Now Karjakin is first.

hansie's picture

Carlsen re-wrote history just too soon!

redivivo's picture

Hehe, Christmas comes early to some now that Karjakin has regained the lead with two rounds to go. :-)

redivivo's picture

Well, it's just to congratulate Karjakin, he played some excellent chess today and scored all wins (before the last round), and that against top players like Radjabov, Ivanchuk and Svidler, a couple of them with black. Be it far from me to suggest that the stars were lined in a fortunate way in the win against Ivanchuk, the best player won this event. Carlsen played well as always but this time it wasn't enough.

RealityCheck's picture

Poor Magnus. He has yet to live up to all the hype. Another humbling experience for the Norweedgen star.

redivivo's picture

He's +6 before the last round, I wonder when Anand last had such a humbling experience. You can't win all the time and Karjakin was better this time.

RealityCheck's picture

Wake up. Wch Anand has nothing to prove. He's been there. Got the trophies. On the other hand, Carlsen has got everything to prove. We'll see if he ever becomes World Champion and Number 1 simultaneously. We'll see how successful he is at defending his Wch Title (if he ever wins one). We'll see how close he comes to Wch Vishy Anands' tournament wins Classical, Rapid, and Blitz.

Until then, the hype is nothin but a sales pitch. And, we aint buying it.

While I'm at it, why don't you get Jeff Sonas to do some magic tricks with the numbers regarding Vishy's historical Rapid Rating!! That shd clear the dust for all you doubters. Peace. Out.

redivivo's picture

It says something about your way of seeing things when you consider Carlsen to be "humbled" when he performs 2850+. Sometimes someone else plays better and this time Karjakin did.

RealityCheck's picture

@redivivo I see things quite clearly. Carlsen needed to perform at 2900+ to win this Rapid tourney. He failed. Karjakin succeeded, In my opinion this was yet another humbling experience for Carlsen and even more-so for those who make believe he's the best player on the planet since Steinitz.

Btw, I'm just as curious as the next guy to see if he makes it the very top. You know,World Champion. Until then call me a hater, a loser, tell me to "get a life" etcetera bcause I don'tcare. Me will never buy into the hype!

Recently Vishy said Fischer is the greatest player ever. I disagree. I think Anand is the greatest player of all time.

Anonymous's picture

"In my opinion this was yet another humbling experience for Carlsen and even more-so for those who make believe he's the best player on the planet since Steinitz."

It's one single rapid event and he performed better than Kasparov's peak rating. It says something about what kind of chess player Carlsen is when a 2855 performance in one rapid event is celebrated by the regulars as if Carlsen had announced his retirement from chess.

"I think Anand is the greatest player of all time"

Well well


Latest articles