Reports | July 10, 2012 17:10

Grischuk wins 2nd World Blitz title in Astana (VIDEOS)

Grischuk raises the trophy, standing behind his $40,000 cheque

Alexander Grischuk won his second World Blitz Championship on Tuesday in Astana, Kazakhstan. Six years after his first title, won in in Rishon Lezion, Israel the Russian grandmaster finished clear first in Astana. Just like in the Rapid World Championship, Magnus Carlsen of Norway finished second. The third place went to the winner of the rapid event: Sergey Karjakin of Russia.

Grischuk raises the trophy, standing behind his $40,000 cheque | 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

 

Even though it wasn't his first world blitz title, Alexander "Sacha" Grischuk was quite surprised that he actually won it in Astana. The reason? He was not in his best physical shape. Probably suffering from a flu, after the first day Grischuk declined an interview before our camera because of a sore throat. Just after the tournament finished, we did have a brief interview. "Somehow I started to score points and score points..."

Grischuk already started with a lead, as we know from our previous report: at half time he was a point ahead of Dmitry Andreikin, Vassily Ivanchuk and Sergey Karjakin. Magnus Carlsen was one more point behind.

Of these players only Karjakin won in the 16th round and so he came half a point closer to Grischuk. Ivanchuk fell back a bit; he lost to Gelfand and then to Andreikin.

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Le Quang Liem had a much better second day. In fact over rounds 16-30 the Vietnamese player finished shared second with 9.5/15, the same score as Morozevich and Grischuk. In round 17 he defeated the eventual winner convincingly:

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Magnus Carlsen again needed some rounds to warm up. His score over rounds 16-22 wasn't good: just 3/7. This included losses with White against Mamedyarov, Morozevich and Svidler.

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However, when the Norwegian motor was finally running, it didn't stop. Carlsen finished with an amazing 8/8 which got him in fact the best score of the second day: 11.0/15. Grischuk's 9.5 was just half a point enough to finish ahead.

Carlsen won his last eight games | Photo courtesy of the organizers, more here

Carlsen won all three games against Sergey Karjakin. The last of these encounters was the most convincing:

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After 17 rounds everything was possible, as Andreikin, Grischuk and Karjakin were all on 11 points, followed by Carlsen on 10. Grischuk then immediately regained clear first place in the standings by beating his compatriot Morozevich with Black.

Dmitry Andreikin kept on doing excellent, and after 21 rounds he caught Grischuk again; both were on 13.5 points. Topalov didn't have a chance.

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In the same round, Grischuk and Karjakin drew their game.

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Then one of the crucial games of the tournament followed. Andreikin went for exactly the same ending has Le Quang Liem had done the day before, and again Grischuk outplayed his opponent with the black pieces. Instructive stuff for KID players!

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The winner: Grischuk, here against Kotsur | Photo courtesy of the organizers, more here

Here's another win by the winner from the 27th round.

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We'll return to Carlsen once more, because one of his victims during his 8/8 streak was the eventual winner.

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The following game needs some explanation, because Carlsen starting his game against Radjabov with 1.a4 had a little history. During the previous World Blitz Championship, in Moscow, November 2010, Radjabov had said to Carlsen:

Everyone is getting tired. You might as well start with 1.a4 and you can still beat them.

And so it was little inside joke (and a successful one):

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The playing hall on the last day | Photo courtesy of the organizers, more here

Games rounds 16-30

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World Blitz Championship 2012 | Final standings

 

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.

Chess.com

Comments

Aditya's picture

It is'nt surprising. While it might be a different turf for everybody else, Grishchuk was playing like he does in classical chess, making his last 15 moves in 2 minutes :)

Martin's picture

lol, fair enough.

Zeblakob's picture

My congratulation to Grishuk for winning the tourneo, and to Carlsen for winning the exhibition.

S3's picture

You are paraphrasing some quote about Tal or Fischer but I can't remember it properly. Care to enlighten me?

bronkenstein's picture

Quote taken from Chessgames.com USA CH 1963-4 collection : ´...Fischer when he shut out his opponents 11-0 in the 1963-64 US Championship. Quoting "My 60 Memorable Games", Dr. Kmoch congratuated Evans (the runner-up) on "winning" the tournament, then congratulated Fischer on "winning the exhibition"...´

PS unfortunately, stories of such dominance belong to (distant) past.

S3's picture

thnx

Niima's picture

@Aditya

Good one!

Morley's picture

Great job by Grischuk! Everyone knows he is a favorite in these sorts of events; not really surprising he won. I found Carlsen's closing effort pretty impressive. He finished with 7 straight wins to finish a half a point out of first place, and ended up in sole second. Not bad considering his lackluster start.

bronkenstein's picture

It is hard to keep motivation and concentration while being +2-3 above the field , Magnus himself didn´t manage to do that (and in much shorter previous event) - I guess that explains Grish´s ´slow finish´ giving strongly finishing MC some chances in the end.

Thomas's picture

Actually Grischuk didn't even slow down in the end, it was Carlsen speeding up. Their scores per half-day:
Grischuk 5/7, 5.5/8, 4/7, 5.5/8
Carlsen 3.5/7, 5/8, 3/7, 8/8
Was the start of the rounds (15:00 local time) too early for Carlsen, or did he have a better condition than others particularly on the second day?
BTW another participant with a rather asymmetric score was Ivanchuk (3.5/7, 6/8, 2/7, 3.5/8) - I didn't check for everyone else ...

S3's picture

I haven't looked at every game, obviously, but there were certainly a lot of high placed players who increased their blunder frequency a lot today.
But not Grischuk, he was playing very confidently and well until he was defeated by Carlsen.
Still he managed to minimize the damage, congrats to him !

Well deserved he was in the lead the whole tourney.

Thomas's picture

Speaking of blunders: Did Ivanchuk-Carlsen (game 40) really finish like this? And if so, why was the result 0-1? It's hard to imagine how the last three half-moves could be a transmission error, though it's possible that the score is incomplete. If so, Ivanchuk lost both games against Carlsen, despite being a piece up in both games!!?

hansie's picture

@Thomas: My hypothesis is that Ivanchuk first blundered horribly by picking up a protected Bishop with his Queen, and, then Carlsen counter blundered by not capturing the Queen. Ivanchuk made his next move automatically, but in disgust of his poor play resigned immediately though being a piece up.

Peter Doggers's picture

Unfortunately that game was "lost in transmission" and I didn't film it either... I assume he took on f6 first but things went too fast for the board/software to register.

Chess_FM's picture

Peter, when do you plan to upload videos? pl do it fast. Want to see fire on the board desperately.

Peter Doggers's picture

Uploading as we speak. Unfortunately I cannot get everything online yet before I have to head to the airport, as the internet in the hotel is slower than on previous days. I'll probably add the rest tomorrow from Amsterdam. But you can always keep an eye on our YouTube account.

Chess_FM's picture

Yep. Awesome stuff on Youtube. Incredible job as always Peter. Thanks a ton.

Thomas's picture

I also thought about 19.Rxf6 being played, but then 21.Qe7 makes sense only if Carlsen recaptured with the pawn (which I missed when saying that a transmission error is hard to imagine).
hansie's explanation would be vintage Chucky - it might make more sense to offer a draw because Carlsen's reply was just as bad ... oh wait, draw offers weren't allowed.

S3's picture

Look at the video Ivanchuk is filmed right after the game. He looks devastated.

Chenk's picture

Looking the final 5 games of Carlsen was awesome. He simply crushed his opponents. He started with 1:a4 against Radja! like sending a message to him. Grischuk was a lot better, but Magnus started Plan B. Move quickly, until his opponent ran out of time and made mistakes. His last game against Gelfand was very good, too.

anna's picture

Yes i have seen this (carlsen vs radjabov). Awesome.
The body language of carlsen was unreal. Too lazy for thinking

bronkenstein's picture

...And, OFC, Bravo Sasha for becoming the Blitz World Champ =)

We have 3 crowns now, ´small´ ones in Russia, and the big one in India. Now that all three ´disciplines´ are rated, things are becoming quite interesting. I am looking forward to more events like this.

RealityCheck's picture

Breaking News:

Norways' Elo Rating Giant, Magnus Carlsen, plays second fiddle at the Rapid and Blitz World Championships.

Congrat's Sergie Karjakin & Alexander Grischuk!

Zeblakob's picture

Usually it is not harmful to read the standing table.

Septimus's picture

LOL!

Anonymous's picture

crosstable says he is 2nd, so reality is right?

Anonymous's picture

Impressive show of Grischuk, but he seemed to be getting a little nervous with the title in sight.
Karjakin played very good as well but the tournament seemed a little too long for him. In general the quality of play was markedly lower in the last phase. Carlsen's endurance was very impressive in this respect, had the tournament been longer he might well have won.
Can't help but feel sorry for Andreikin btw he was in top 3 for so long.

giovlinn's picture

QRealityCheck- LOL, as always you put Carlsen down. Second fiddle, so what? You won't even make it to an orchestre, ANY orchestre.

Anonymous's picture

Why do Carlsen fans always make it personal?
Let reality have his fun, he is not telling lies and after all, a lot of people were proclaiming Carlsen champion before the start of the tournament already. Just read the comments on this site for proof.

Anonymous's picture

But once again it was a carlsen hater who made the first comment. nobody was talking about carlsen and then there is that comment about second fiddle. And then complain that carlsen fans reply to that. Pretty pathetic

Anonymous's picture

Carlsen did play 2nd fiddle, it's pathetic when you can't stand that and have to resort to personal attacks.

RealityCheck's picture

@Anonymous

Whhoooa. Comparing Carlsen with Dudley-do-Right is by no means a "personal attack". Its not my fault his managers market him in this way. Have you read the open letter explaining their position on why Carlsen chickened out of the Candidates Match?

And, neither is saying he played SECOND FIDDLE at the FIDE Rapid & Blitz World Championship. As I'd mentioned earlier, you Carlsen fanboys can dish it out (criticism) but you can't take it. You lose.

Johnnie's picture

Cheers!

Jerk :)

RealityCheck's picture

@ Johnnie

mad at me?

RealityCheck's picture

@ giovlinn

Don"t be sore losers. Carlsen fans: you can dish it out but, you can't take it.

So here, a taste of your own medicine:
Karjakin First Trumpet. Carlsen Second Fiddle.
Grischuk Lead Guitar. Carlsen Second Fiddle.

Anonymous's picture

Did you just say

"Karjakin First Trumpet. Carlsen Second Fiddle.
Grischuk Lead Guitar. Carlsen Second Fiddle." ?

I guess you succeeded in stating the obvious. I can't see anybody misgrudging them their victories. It's all well deserved. And you try to think in colorful shades of grey, rather than your ever boring usual black and white.

RealityCheck's picture

@ Anonynous

Another sore loser. Yes you are. I state the obvious for People like you---just in case you missed it. There's a big chance you got all caught up in the hype. You thought a 2830+ Rating was some kind of guarntee to win a tough Wch tournament like this. You're wrong. You think a 2830+ rating makes a better player than the World Champion. Wrong again.
But we (people who aren't that impressed with Dudley-Do-Right--Carlsen--since he backed out of the Wch qualifer) have to listen to your redundant exagerated praise of anything (draw win sneeze lose blunder) the guy does.

In 2010 Anand took second three tournaments in a row (Nanjing, Bilbao, London) and was ridiculed to no end by people just like you. Now what?

Listen buddy, I remember when movies were in black and white. And so was everything else.

Johnnie's picture

Cheers to all the haters. Where's bronkenstein? :)

Niima's picture

lol :-)

Anonymous's picture

I respect the elderly. Yikes, those were he times! :-)

slonik's picture

Anand was ridiculed no end for finishing second? Hardly, isn't that the best he has finished the last five years in classical chess? In his last three tournaments he finished in the bottom half IIRC, and that's still no reason to ridicule him the way you try to ridicule Carlsen every time he is so humbled as to finish second with 2800+ performances. I wonder how it would sound if Carlsen once had scored like Anand in all those last three

Anonymous's picture

Best was Anand coming 1rst at the world championship. That's what matters and that's the paycheck. Funny you forgot.

Anonymous's picture

Inventing a fictitious persona with actions or beliefs which are then criticized, implying that the person represents a group of whom the speaker is critical.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

Guillaume's picture

Intended for RealityCheck's post below

Bigglesworth's picture

I wouldn't say Anand was ridiculed for his three second place finishes. However, I would point out several differences between the situation Anand was in and Carlsen's current situation:

1. Anand's second place finishes were in fact the best he had posted in years. Before Bilbao 2010, Anand had finished 4th in 4 classical events in a row, and 6th (dead last) in his last event before that (Bilbao 2008). Carlsen's second place finishes comes after winning the last two Amber rapids, winning the World Blitz in 2009, and finishing third in 2010. So we see that Anand's second place finishes were "good" for him, while Carlsen's were "bad."

2. Anand finished second behind Carlsen in all those events. Thus, it seems clear that Carlsen is the superior tournament player. Nobody here has finished ahead of Carlsen in more than one rapid/blitz event in the last three years. Carlsen can still claim to have the best rapid/blitz record of everyone here, even if he doesn't win every event.

Even the best can't win every event - and we saw that here. Carlsen came close to winning both events, but "only" finished second. Nobody expects him to win every event he participates in - being the best simply means winning more than anybody else. Anand, however, is not just failing to win every event - he's making us wonder if he can win *any* event.

Anonymous's picture

"Even the best can't win every event - and we saw that here."- I didn't.
Grisch and Karjak are worthy and they proved to be better by winning when it mattered. And better games. 2 World champions!

Bigglesworth's picture

Sigh... Grischuk and Karjakin have not won every event they participated in either. In fact, I don't believe either of them won a rapid or blitz event in the last five years prior to Astana.

Anonymous's picture

That's your problem. Earlier this year for example Karjakin was first in the aeroflot blitz, and Grischuk was 2nd. That's the problem with the average Carlsen fan, they only watch their man and have no factual knowledge what so ever. But it doesn't stop them of making all kinds of statements and conclusions.

Bigglesworth's picture

Sorry, I omitted the word "top," as in they hadn't won any *top* rapid/blitz events in at least five years. An event where 6/9 of Karjakin's opponents were rated below 2700 and 7/9 of Grischuk's were below 2700 isn't comparable to Amber or the World Blitz Championships.

Thomas's picture

If only Amber (how often were Karjakin and Grischuk invited?) and World Blitz Championships count, there are pretty few top events.
More importantly, Aeroflot blitz certainly wasn't weak: Karjakin also faced Andreikin (2688) and Dreev (2698), and several 2700ers finished far down the field: for example, Svidler and Nepomniachtchi were 27th and 28th, and Morozevich was 42nd.

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