Both Rapid Titles For Ukraine

Both Rapid Titles For Ukraine
By Arvind Aaron

Two 1969-born players fought a penultimate round game and Vassily Ivanchuk of Lvov, Ukraine prevailed against Viswanathan Anand to win the FIDE World Rapid Chess Championship that concluded at Doha on December 28, 2016.

India’s Vidit Gujrathi impressed and finished eighth in a tough field ahead of Anand who was pushed to 16th place after the Ivanchuk defeat.

Vidit played at stunning 2819 scoring last two wins over Onischuk and Radjabov. He also scored over Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Wojtaszek, Akopian and drew the likes of Karjakin and Aronian. His defeats to Carlsen, Grischuk and Ivanchuk will allow him to ponder and improve in the future.

Ivanchuk’s motivation could have come from Anton Korobov, his countryman who led with 5/5 after day one. Or from Anna Muzychuk who won the women’s rapid event.

Nobody could stop Ivanchuk in his day. His victims included key players Carlsen, Anand, Mamedyarov etc. Only Nepomniachtchi and Aronian could beat him but they were not in the title race.

Anna Muzychuk won remaining undefeated winning seven games and drawing five. Humpy lost three games and did not face the eventual winner. She finished tenth with 7/12. Harika also lost three games and did not face Anna Muzychuk. She finished with 6.5, good for 16th place.

Final placings (tie-break order): 1-4. V Ivanchuk (Ukr), A Grischuk (Rus), M Carlsen (Nor), S Mamedyarov (Aze) 11/15 each; 5-7. Yu Yangyi (Chn), I Nepomniachtchi (Rus), David Anton (Esp) 10 each; 8-10. Vidit Gujrathi (Ind), Levon Aronian (Arm), L-P. Dominguez (Cub) and others 9.5 each; 16 V Anand 9; 21 S S Ganguly 9; 34 B Adhiban 8.5; 60 M.R. Lalith Babu 7.5; 70 Debashis Das 7; 90 Neelotpal Das 6.

Final placings (women): 1 Anna Muzychuk (Ukr) 9.5/12; 2 A Kosteniuk (Rus) 8.5; 3 N Dzagnidze (Geo) 8; 4-6. S Khademalsharieh (Iri), Ju Wenjun (Chn), Z Abdulmalik (Kaz) 7.5 each; 7-11 Kateryna Lagno (Rus), A Stefanova (Bul), Dinara Saduakassova (Kaz), Koneru Humpy (Ind), Zhao Xue (Chn) 7 each; 16 D Harika 6.5.