Karjakin, Muzychuk Win FIDE World Blitz Titles
By Arvind Aaron
Ukraine had won two of the rapid titles at Doha. On December 30, 2016, they also followed it up with winning the FIDE World Blitz Chess Championship.
The minor difference was, Sergey Karjakin had moved to Russia since the retirement of Garry Kasparov and is not longer representing Ukraine. Anna Muzychuk who won the FIDE World Women’s Blitz event is born in Ukraine, then briefly represented Slovenia before coming back to Ukraine! Ukraine is a main centre of chess after Russia.
Karjakin and Carlsen tied for the first place with 16.5 points out of 21 games. The dominance of the world champion and his challenger were clear. They were two clear points above the rest of the field. Karjakin lost one game to Nakamura, beat Carlsen, Ivanchuk, Mamedyarov and drew Anand. Carlsen lost to Karjakin, Ivanchuk, beat Vachier-Lagrave, Radjabov, Anand and drew Nakamura.
Anand started and ended well but lost games in the middle to Morozevich, Dubov, Ivanchuk and finally to Carlsen. Harika led with 6/6 in the Women’s section but scored only 5.5 in the remaining 11 games for fifth place. Humpy was tenth. Champion Anna Muzychuk lost to Lagno and won ten games that included wins over Harika, Humpy, Zhao Xue, Tan Zhongyi, Paehtz etc. It was a double for Anna Muzychuk as she had won the World Rapid earlier along with Ivanchuk (Open Rapid Champion).
International Arbiter Ashot Vardapetyan of Armenia was the chief arbiter. GM Mohamad Al Modiahki was the tournament director. It was organised by the Qatar Chess Association. The time control for the blitz games were three minutes plus two second increment per move. It took place on Dec 29-30, 2016.
Final placings (Open): 1-2. Sergey Karjakin (Rus), Magnus Carlsen (Nor) 16.5/21; 3-5. Danil Dubov (Rus), Hikaru Nakamura (USA), Alexander Grischuk (Rus) 14.5 each; 6 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra) 14; 7-10. Leinier Perez Dominguez (Cub), Anton Korobov (Ukr), Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukr), Viswanathan Anand (Ind) and others 13 each; 41 Surya S Ganguly 11; 46 M.R. Lalith Babu 11; 53 Vidit Gujrathi 10.5; 74 B Adhiban 9.5; 87 Debashis Das 9; 101 M.R. Venkatesh 8…108 players.
Women: 1 Anna Muzychuk (Ukr) 13/17; 2-3. Valentina Gunina (Rus), Kateryna Lagno (Rus) 12.5 each; 4 Tan Zhongyi (Chn) 11; 5-6. Dronavalli Harika (Ind), Daria Charochkina (Rus) 10.5 each; 7 Alexandra Kosteniuk (Rus) 10; 8-10. Alina Kashlinshaya (Rus), Ju Wenjun (Chn), Koneru Humpy (Ind) and others 9.5 each…34 players.