Reports | July 09, 2012 15:23

Grischuk leads World Blitz Championship at half time (VIDEOS)

Alexander Grischuk, the leader after 15 rounds | All photos © ChessVibes

Alexander Grischuk is leading the FIDE World Blitz Championship in Astana, Kazakhstan after 15 of the 30 rounds in total. The Moscovite scored 10.5/15 and has one point more than Dmitry Andreikin, Vassily Ivanchuk and Sergey Karjakin. Magnus Carlsen, who started badly, still has chances to win the event. The Norwegian is in sole 5th place with 8.5/15. The second and final part of the tournament starts tomorrow at 15:00 local time (11:00 CET).

Alexander Grischuk, the leader after 15 rounds | Photo © ChessVibes

Event World Blitz and Rapid Championships | PGN: Rapid | Blitz 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, Viktor Bologan, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Alexey Dreev, Igor Kurnosov, Vladislav Tkachiev, Murtas Kazhgaleyev, Anuar Ismagambetov, Dmitry Andreikin, Le Quang Liem, Nikolai Chadaev, 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.
Special rule 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

The World Rapid Championship was already quite exciting to follow, and it was no surprise that the World Blitz saw even more spectacle. Purists who can only enjoy high quality chess are not recommended to read further...

Let's first mention a few of the biggest blunders, to get a bit of that comforting feeling that even these giants are humans after all. (And don't forget that in most of these cases the player making the mistake had little time on the clock.)

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The fresh World Rapid Champion, Sergey Karjakin, started strongly. He scored 4.5/5 and continued to remain unbeaten to reach 7/9. Especially his game against Le Quang Liem was impressive.

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Sergey Karjakin | Photo courtesy of the organizers, more here

Magnus Carlsen, who seemed to be playing without much energy on the last day of the rapid event, surely wants to reclaim the blitz title which he lost to Levon Aronian in Moscow, 2010. However, again he wasn't in top shape during the first few rounds of the blitz. Already in the first game he went down to Dmitry Andreikin, who in fact is a blitz specialist.

The final part of Andreikin-Carlsen, round 1

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Like Carlsen, another former World Blitz Champion, Vassily Ivanchuk, also lost to Andreikin. The final position isn't completely lost yet, but Ivanchuk just couldn't find a good move and lost on time.

Ivanchuk-Andreikin, round 2

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The following game was a fantastic fight which ended with two bare kings on the board and smiles on the players' faces.

Mamedyarov-Carlsen, round 3

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With 7/9, Karjakin was a full point ahead of Grischuk and Andreikin, but then he lost his first game.

Karjakin-Gelfand, round 10

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Both Andreikin and Grischuk won their games to catch Karjakin in first place. Andreikin and Karjakin then drew their mutual game, while Grischuk defeated Carlsen, just like in the rapid tournament:

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Alexander Grischuk (here during the rapid tournament) | Photo courtesy of the organizers, more here

Grischuk kept the lead until round 15, the last round of the first day. Here's another victory by the Moscovite:

Grischuk-Ivanchuk, round 12

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Magnus Carlsen had started with 1/4 but ended with 3.5/4 to finish at two points behind Grischuk after round 15. He beat Karjakin, just like in the rapid: 

Karjakin-Carlsen, round 14

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The playing hall during the World Blitz | Photo courtesy of the organizers, more here

Games rounds 1-15

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World Blitz Championship 2012 | Round 15 standings


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.


Anonymous's picture

if pigs could fly..

RealityCheck's picture

if blind men could see...

bronkenstein's picture

Nice to see old Chucky placed so high amongst all these blitzin´ kids. Also, I hope that Andreikin will finish in top 3. And OFC - go Grish!

PS pity Naka is not playing, when I just think of all the angryTweets we missed that way =)

MH's picture

The Carlsen - Ivanchuk was a nice mayhem game...I think Karjakin will win also the blitz, he is showing great steady form during this whole week.

Grischuk great performance, also a great player, a positive contributor to chess.

Thomas's picture

That's one way to describe that game - from Ivanchuk's point of view it was rather a tragedy or tragic comedy: he was completely winning twice; in the end he had to "choose" between giving mate and blundering a whole rook and blundered a rook. Safe to say that the game didn't have its logical result - and in that case (with everything else remaining equal) Ivanchuk would be in shared first place, and only the most optimistic Carlsen fans would talk about Magnus' chances to win the event. That's blitz, and there are no "rules" on when it is time to resign ... .

Amazing that Chucky then didn't collapse but can still fight for the medals. BTW he is almost as "digital" as Bologan, only one draw in 15 games. I wouldn't make too much of that though: I didn't look at many games, but any single one can peter out to a dead-drawn position or finish with perpetual check. For some reason, it never happened to Bologan and only once to Ivanchuk - I would say for no particular reason.

redivivo's picture

I've always like Grischuk so nice if he wins. If he just had won that last game against Gelfand he would have been World Champion now.

TomTom's picture

Yes! Lets hope he takes the blitz

Anonymous's picture

your loyalty is very touching

Bert de Bruut's picture

You leave out a few more "ifs" before that would have happened, but Sasja's chances to regain the blitz world title are, in contrast, very real...

Chess Fan's picture

He has to beat Anand after that in World Championship Chess to be World Champion, you know don't you?
It is one thing to be loyal, and another thing to be not objective to the point of seeming STUPID.

kamalakanta's picture

Chess Fan, what I understood from Redivivo's post is that he felt that Grischuk would have beaten Anand in a WC match. Therefore, in his line of reasoning, if he had beaten Gelfand, he would now be WC.....

Anonymous's picture

Of course, Grischuk is a better player than Gelfand, but he was unlucky with the draw in Kazan. After beating both Aronian and Kramnik he was better also the first five games against Gelfand but then played his only bad game at the worst possible moment. But such things happen in knockouts. In a match I think he would have beaten the 2012 version of Anand, who has beaten Grischuk only once, and that when he was at his peak in 2007. Grischuk is an underestimated player, at least compared to Gelfand.

craig's picture

please let me know the next tournament Vishy is playing.

Anonymous's picture

Isn't Vishy's schedule on his website?

Anonymous's picture

@craig, WCC 2014.

Columbo's picture


kenh's picture

Just thought I would make a statement here as well. Heh.

Emperor's New Clothes's picture

This is an interesting an exciting tournament, but it's no world championship. More like a Kazakh Open.

Former blitz/rapid champions Aronian, Anand, Dominguez & Kamsky are sorely missed, as are Kramnik, Nakamura, Caruana ....

Columbo's picture

thanks for this amazing coverage

Zeblakob's picture

As far as I could see, the only one who smiles when he loses is Topa.

Anonymous's picture

He also looks his opponent in the eye when shaking his hand as a concession of defeat. He is impressive but many want to still hold a grudge against him for the blunder he made years ago by allowing his manager to imply that Kramnik was a cheat.

Septimus's picture

I would not be surprised if Karjakin rolls to yet another 1st place. The man is in sublime form. 1-1-1-1-1...WOW!

Pandolfi - FICS's picture

Thank you chessvibes for allowing us to see the videos and the whole coverage!!!


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