Carlsson battling in World Rapid/Blitz!

GM Pontus Carlsson has been a regular on the Drum during the latter part of 2018 after launching his “ChessBiz” initiative and appearing on the Perpetual Podcast recently. He closes out the year competing in the World Rapid and Blitz Championships currently being held in St. Petersburg, Russia. This event has attracted the top players from around the world. While there is a lot of debate on the role that faster time controls will play in top level events, it is certainly a favorite among many of the specialists who are often seen on chess servers and streaming sites.

Carlsson mentioned that he was competing in the tournament last week and talked about the formidable contingent of Russians. While he agreed that other federations would be tough, he proceeded to list them and one of the names turned out to be the eventual champion. However, Carlsson also acquitted himself well. After scoring 2/5 on the first day, the second day proved to be a bit better with 2.5/5 with a confidence-boosting win over Ilya Smirin of Israel.


GM Pontus Carlsson
Photo by Daaim Shabazz

The last day he notched 3.5/5 with consecutive wins over GMs Timur Gareyev, Vladislav Kovalev and Francisco Vallejo Pons. After a lost to blitz specialist IM Ivan Bocharov, he closed out the rapid event with an interesting draw against Bassem Amin, The Egyptian #1. He goes into the blitz program with confidence from his creditable performance in the rapids.

GM Pontus Carlsson (2511-Sweden)
RAPID
# Player USCF Nation
Flag
Result
1 GM Ivan Saric 2661 Croatia
0
2 GM Ahmed Adly 2630 Egypt
0
3 CM Ahmed Al-Thebaiti 1826 Saudi Arabia
1
4 GM Henrik Teske 2555 Germany
0
5 Melis Mamatov 2234 Krygyzstan
1
6 GM Mustafa Yilmaz 2546 Turkey
0
7 FM Kirill Shubin 2242 Russia
1
8 GM Ilya Smirin 2601 Israel
1
9 GM Pavel Ponkratov 2650 Russia
0
10 GM Kamil Miton 2590 Poland
½
11 GM Timur Gareyev 2575 USA
1
12 GM Vladislav Kovalev 2624 Belarus
1
13 GM Francisco Vallejo Pons 2628 Spain
1
14 IM Ivan Bocharov 2657 Russia
0
15 GM Bassem Amin 2650 Egypt
½
Score: 8-7 (Results)

All the heavy hitters were present including Magnus Carlsen who holds the “Triple Crown” of chess with titles in classical, rapid and blitz. He got off to a slow start losing his first two games to Ukrainian GM Adam Tukhaev and Shamdiddin Vokhidov, an International Master from Uzbekistan. The defending champion rallied for 10.5 points in next thirteen games. Unfortunately, Carlsen fell half-point short to Russia’s Daniil Dubov who also edged out Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Hikaru Nakamura, Vladislav Artemiev with 11/15.

GM Hikaru Nakamura (USA) vs. GM Magnus Carlsen (Norway), 1/2-1/2

Iranian sensation Alireza Firouzja came in 6th in a pack of 12 players with 10/15. He was tied for the lead after the first day of rapids with 4.5/5, but tailed off with losses to Dmitry Ankreiken and Dubov. While Parham Maghadsoodloo gets the most attention of the Iranian phenoms, it is Firouzja who created buzz in this tournament.

In the women’s tournament, World Champion Ju Wenjun successfully defended her rapid title only a month after defending her classical title. She scored 10/12 overcoming an inspired performance by Iran’s Sarasadat Khademalsharieh who was on 9/12. Russia’s Aleksandra Goryachkina took bronze also on 9/12.

The blitz portion starts tomorrow at 7:00AM (New York) and 3:00PM (Russia).

Official Site: https://wrbc2018.com/
PGN Games (TWIC): Rapid (Open), Rapid (Women), Blitz (Open), Blitz (Women)
Drum Coverage: https://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2018/12/31/2018-world-rapid-blitz-st-petersburg-rus/

Daaim Shabazz

Daaim Shabazz is the founder of The Chess Drum, while serving as a tenured faculty member of Global Business & Marketing at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, USA. He holds a B.S. Computer Science from Chicago State University, an MBA in Marketing and a Ph.D. in International Affairs & Development, both from Clark Atlanta University. He has served the journalist community for more than 30 years and still competes in tournaments occasionally.

4 Comments

  1. Has a chessplayer in the Diaspora ever won one of these fide major events vs the traditional gms like short,krmnik or calsen in it? and if noy why not? UM just curious? Adia? BUBBAFISHA

  2. GM Pontus Carlsson (2511-Sweden)
    BLITZ
    # Player USCF Nation
    Flag
    Result
    1 GM Igor Kovalenko 2693 Latvia
    0
    2 GM Sanan Sjugirov 2748 Russia
    0
    3 IM Carlos Perdomo 2301 Colombia
    1
    4 Abdullah Khayat 1709 Saudi Arabia
    1
    5 GM Alexander Motylev 2609 Russia
    ½
    6 GM Evgeny Shaposhnikov 2603 Russia
    0
    7 GM Aleksandr Rakhmanov 2615 Russia
    0
    8 IM Dinesh K. Sharma 2383 India
    1
    9 GM Konstantin Sakaev 2551 Russia
    1
    10 GM Salem A.R. Saleh 2645 UAE
    0
    11 GM Farrukh Amonatov 2656 Tajikistan
    0
    12 GM Sergei Lobanov 2434 Russia
    1
    13 GM Levan Pantsulaia 2584 Georgia
    1
    14 GM Rinat Jumabayev 2554 Kazahkstan
    0
    15 GM Alexander Huzman 2543 Israel
    1
    16 GM Mikhail Antipov 2656 Russia
    0
    17 GM Aleksey Goganov 2539 Russia
    0
    18 FM Dmitry Tsoi 2387 Russia
    1
    19 GM Falko Bindrich 2639 Germany
    1
    20 GM Artyom Timofeev 2568 Russia
    0
    21 GM Vladimir Zakhartsov 2567 Russia
    1
    Score: 10½-10½ (Results)

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