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

Andre's picture

Carlsen , Nakamura better than Anand in blitz.

Sadik's picture

Dont agree with that. Even at this age Anand is stronger than Carlsen and NAkamura and all the cuurent young people. If he wants to I am sure he can beat all of them. REmember last year blitz, he was just 2 points ahead on day 1. Later on he lost few games against girls and Carlson, which can happen to any body as we see this year rapids. He is just a superb player as Stanley Peters say, and is getting better with age. Only reason why he is not coming all out is the need to defend title with a extremely strong bunch of candidates. Just remember, after the WC matches he said his next aim is to regain Number 1 by year end, and Actually he has done it and he is currently the official number 1 in FIDE ratings.!!!

Sadik's picture

excuse me y u r nt publishing my reply?

Guillaume's picture

Yes, Anand and Ivanchuk were clearly missed. But with the awesome live video provided by the official website, and the live commentaries provided by Yasser Seirawan on ICC, it was a very entertaining and impressive show!

reality check's picture

Ivanchuk, been there, done that, got the the trophy. Also one of my all time favorites win or lose!

john's picture

So Nakamura is not quite as good as Gelfand in blitz. Nothing to be ashamed of, unless you are the self proclaimed blitz king. oh...

sah's picture

gelfand carlsen 2:0 gelfand player wery well . But whats with prize money why that is secret ? vachier lagrave got 10 000e for win in quali, what are the prizes here ?

Bart-Jan Andriessen's picture

Whats up with some of the games? They are sometimes incomplete. Or was Eljanov, in game 13, so bedazzeled by Gelfands 6. Bxc4 that he resigned? There are more examples.

Karoman's picture

Mamedyarov-Kramnik should be the most agressive game of this tournament. Pity that Mamedyarov destroyed his brilliant start

Guest's picture

Aronian was deffenetly the best from all the players on this tournament. Rajabov is ok, but he doesn't play stable chess, Aronian stays in top ten of the best chess players already for a long time unlike Rajabov who plays one year good, one year bad

noone's picture

According to him he played badly:
"Not meant to be, but considering how badly I played overall, a tie for 4th is quite respectable. Just gotta eliminate 3-game losing streaks."
Though now I do agree he is not the best in the world. But still I also feel like he could have done better. Also what does this mean?:
"Just when I thought I couldn't get enough chess, it looks like @MagnusCarlsen and I will be playing a blitz match tonight!"

vladimirOo's picture

Well, Nakamura is not a priviledged one: if he had not played bad, Ponomariov would surely have won! For sure!

The problem is that if Mamedov had perfectly played, he would have won too!

And if Karjakin had done well, he would be co-co-winner too!

And if Vachier-Lagrave had not made mistakes, he would be the best in the world, equally to the ones who played perfectly!

And if Kramnik had not lost games...

And if Eljanov...

And if...

noone's picture

What are you talking about?

ebutaljib's picture

"The problem is that if Mamedov had perfectly played, he would have won too!"

That one is kind of true. If on the 1st day he would perform "normally" he would be fighting for the top places. He had a miserable 1st day 3/14, but was among best performers on days 2 and 3.

vladimirOo's picture

Nobody is perfect!

noone's picture

vladimir you almost understand

LMedemblik's picture

Living on a boat and drinking beer NO-ONE?

and's picture

Amazing game between Ian Nepo and Kramnik! (NOT) Must be transmission error or something

Bert de Bruut's picture

I guess this was one worldchampionship Carlsen had not decided to get rid off...

ebutaljib's picture

Well, it was contested as a tournament, not matches ;)

Jan's picture

Some interesting results:
Both Kramnik and Gelfand lose 0-2 against Kariakin (is Kramnik his client?)
Nakamura loses 0-2 against... Vachier Lagrave

Stanley Peters's picture

I am beginning to wonder how good and strong Anand really is, considering at the age of 38 and 39 he consistently took the 2nd spot in the two world blitz championships he played in and before that he won the world rapid championship in 2003, and a plethora of other rapid events more so than any other player including Kasparov.

He is the only non-white world chess champion - disputed or undisputed. There is no doubt Anand is well past his prime, and yet...he is the champion of the chess world. Posterity, for sure, will do justice to his achievements.

In the meantime, many congratulations to Levon Aronian for his twin victories in the Tal Memorial and the World Blitz Championship.

I am hoping Levon qualifies to play Anand for the 2012 world chess champion title. Although, having Kramnik to fight again with Anand in 2012 is not bad at all - just fosters the aura of a chess world championship a bit more.

All said and done, Anand is a legend beyond compare (or so it seems), Kramnik is a legend for sure, and Levon is all set to become the next legend.

By the time Magnus decides to play in a world championship, whether or not he is world no.1, he will have realised chess (as with any other sport) is bigger than him.

Many congratulations to Levon once again, and looking forward to the battle between Kramnik and Anand in London.

How Magnus fares in London is obviously of no consequence in the bigger scheme of things, and I am truly surprised with myself for writing this. But of course, I never expected Magnus to pull of a fair fight, which he has. Pull out of a fair fight that is.

reality check's picture

Stanley Peters, you are the closest thing to "reality" I've encountered on this forum. Thank you for so elegantly summarizing the thoughts, feelings, and ideas shared by so many posting on this site. Once again, thank you.

Stanley Peters's picture

Thank you, reality check.

gg's picture

"There is no doubt Anand is well past his prime"

There is some doubt.

"he has done nothing so far to give hope that he is the future of chess"

You may not have followed chess too closely the last years.

Stanley Peters's picture

Well...I am just stating what some of the world's top GMs say among themselves - that Anand was at his creative best during 1991 - 2000, and if India had a strong chess history, Anand's 1995 clash with Kasparov might have taken a different turn. More than a dozen top 20 GMs have said over the years that Anand is probably the most natural talent in the history of chess (although Magnus has an opportunity to change that opinion).

Adams and Short (both top ten players at the time) believed that Anand had over prepared for his match with Kasparov for the PCA World Championship, and that had he played Kasparov the player instead of Kasparov the legend the ... we can only speculate and different may have different opinions...Kasparov himself said he exploited Anand's lack of world championship match experience in different ways...one of them being slamming doors!!!

It is indeed true that I lost interest in following chess about 12 years ago...that in no way means Carlsen was a genuine contender in world championship cycle before 2009. Indeed, he has tried and failed to qualify.

Magnus's ascendency began from the March of 2009. And he opts out of the world championship in less than a year's time. I don't see how he has done anything so far to strengthen chess and its future. You have to be in the system to influence and change the system. In any case, it is matter of opinion depending one's view of things.

ebutaljib's picture

Well, even if everything was true - it was still Kasparov's greatness that "scared Anand in 1995 ;)

If you look at the results noone can deny that Kasparov is by far the most successfull chess player of all time. He won about 80% of all super tournaments he ever participated in. And that over a span of +20 years. Noone comes even remotly close to this.

Also at his peak Kasparov was giving clocked simuls agains national teams and won! One of his greatest achievemnts is winning against Israel national team in 1998 by the score of 7-1 in a simul (two rounds in two days with alternate colours). The same team that couple of months later ended up on 4th place in the Olympiad. Who achieved something even remotly like this before or since?

In my book, Kasparov is by far the greatest player.

Stanley Peters's picture

Indeed, he is the most successful player so far in terms of classical chess games played.

gg's picture

"Magnus’s ascendency began from the March of 2009. And he opts out of the world championship in less than a year’s time"

Less than a year, that is before March 2010? But that's not important, I wonder though if doing nothing to give the impression he is the future if chess isn't a very biased way of putting things. Kamsky and Gelfand play for the title but aren't the future of chess. If Carlsen has done nothing yet I wonder what he should have done to be the future of chess.

vladimirOo's picture

Kamsky and Gelfand did the thing right: they won the World Cup both! Indeed for Kamsky it is a bit tortuous since the cycle changed after his win etc...

Carlsen did nothing; he was chosen afterwards by biaised decision from the FIDE who decided to select some more player according to their rating. The same applies to Kramnik, but the latter reckons it and does not overclaims things like the former.

So what? Carlsen had a fantastic winning streak. Then, should the title have been given to Spassky had he decided to never play Petrosian?

I repeat myself: what has proven Carlsen so far? That he is a tremendous tournament player. Like Larsen and Kasparov were. Unfortunately, one of the two became a WCC (and he had to prove it, toughfly, to overcome Karpov).

reality check's picture

Let's not forget the last minute venue change from Cologne, Germany to New York.
If you add up all the crude off-the-board tactics Kasparov used against Anand in 1995, he makes Fischer look like an angel to Spassky in 1972.

If one has to stoop so low to win a match he is no real champion in my eyes. An incomplete champion at best; one who'd failed the character test.
As far as I'm concerned, Kasparov's reign ended at the very latest in 1993.

The WC's contested after the turn of the 20th century are far more interesting having had more to do with proving one's chess supriority rather than just beating your opponent by any ugly means neccessary. 

V's picture

Levon was so good all these days - both Alexander Jhukov (Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, President of the Russian Olympic Committee) and Arkady Dvorkovich (The Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Russian Chess Federation) were truly admired by his performance, noting in their speeches that he was leading during all 3 days and he gotta a very very solid gap to play final rounds without even exerting himself, and that his success is really outstanding since he is also shared first at the Tal Memorial. In support, GUM building (where this event was taking place) burst into applause (they say President Medvedev even asked, what's going on up there :)), while Red Square turned red from pleasure.

Stanley Peters's picture

ndeed 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.

vladimirOo's picture

Sorry i meant Stanley's (nothing against you fgdfd)

ebutaljib's picture

If we would score "match points" then Carlsen would have won.

reality check's picture

Why not start at the begining of the Roman alphabet fgdfd? Anand and Aronion seem far more relevant to the topic at hand.

Coco Loco's picture

I don't think in blitz any of these guys are looking to draw from a decent position, no matter who they play against. Also, blitz is fun, but it's still, well, blitz. Look at Eljanov-Aronian (nr. 27 in the game list) to see what I mean...

Peter's picture

Congratulations (again!) to Aronian for winning the Blitz Championship, decisively. I'm not surprised at his recent success - I'm more surprised it took him this long because a few years ago I had expected Aronian to just climb up to the top. It's great to see him in top form, and he now has the opportunity to take both World Championship Title and the #1 rating spot (based on FIDE November list) from Anand.

Ron's picture

Nakamura and Aronian both played the best chess of the tournament. They both played highly creative chess and Nakamura drew 2 of his games in completely winning positions, especially his game against Grischuk. Although I was not a big fan of Naka's pre-tourney, I am now. Amazing performance Naka and don't let the result get you down!

reality check's picture

And don't let stardom get to your head Naka; you saw what happened to Bobby and you see what is happening to, what's his name, the Norwegian GM who had ditched his fans and colleagues running from the 2011 Candidates Matches.

Nakamura, stay strong, stay sane, you haven't gone lame. You've got your game.

Guillaume's picture

Beautiful photos and great video format, Peter! Would you have the video of Aronian-Nakamura too? That game was really wild.

calvin amari's picture

An excellent couple of weeks for Levon. Congratulations.

Now that we have a break from chess, for real entertainment value, don't miss the three-part quasi-interview of Ilyumzhinov in the increasingly active NYTimes Gambit Blog:

http://gambit.blogs.nytimes.com/

ebutaljib's picture

Break from chess???

Today starts a (rapid) tournament in Mexico with Topalov, Ivanchuk, Polgar and Hoyos :)

Mike's picture

Thank you very much organizers of this World Blitz Championship. The video streaming was really really outstanding...! It was like to watch mind gladiators in the Coliseum...! It has the potential to make chess more popular and at the same time to show to the World that chess is really a sport, a true fight which demands self control, concentration, determination, intelligence, courage, imagination and a good physical strength too! Long live to Chess..! Congratulations to all grandmasters for the spectacular display of some of the best human qualities..!!

Guillaume's picture

I fully agree. The live video coverage was brilliant. Congrats to the Russian organizers. It really set a new standard for chess broadcast. Let's hope other tournaments organizers will follow the lead!

Andre's picture

Agree , chess as a game deserves popularity similar to other sports , our beloved chess. GM's should always have good camaraderie , infact they have.

vladimirOo's picture

I dream of an Armaggedon (game) between Nakamura's fans and Carlsen's fans.

vladimirOo's picture

Indeed, very interesting and objective point of view!

Stanley Peters's picture

Thank you, vladimirOo.

Antonius's picture

Great Double by Aronian!
I'm very happy for Radjabov too... I wonder why he gets less and less top tournament invites these days.
I'm curious about this blitz match beetween Carlsen and Nakamura... do anyone got some information?

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