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Karjakin ends the year as the Blitz World Champion!

by Sagar Shah - 31 December 2016

Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin were locked in an epic race at the World Blitz Championship 2016. None of them was ready to let the other escape with the lead. While it was Magnus who lead the event for most of the duration, it was Karjakin who won the all important last round against Jobava and became the World Blitz Champion. Carlsen had to settle for the silver while Dubov won the bronze. In women's section it was Anna Muzychuk who scored a double by winning the gold in both the events. A detailed report with round by round analysis.

Pictures by Maria Emelianova

 

When the second day of the World Blitz Championship 2016 began Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin were leading the scoreboard with 10.0/12. The next players after them were on 8.5/12. It was clear that one of those two would become the champion. But no one could have predicted that it would have gone down to the wire, right until the very last round. Let's have a look at how it all panned out.

Round 13

Bo. No.     Name Rtg Pts. Result Pts.   Name Rtg   No.
1 6   GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2823 0 - 1 10 GM Carlsen Magnus *) 2873   1
2 8   GM Karjakin Sergey 2800 10 ½ - ½ GM Morozevich Alexander 2684   27

Magnus took over the lead with a fine victory over MVL with the black pieces. Karjakin had to settle for a draw against Morozevich. While Magnus played a perfect game, Sergey was very lucky!

[Event "World Blitz 2016"]
[Site "Doha QAT"]
[Date "2016.12.30"]
[Round "13.1"]
[White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C78"]
[WhiteElo "2804"]
[BlackElo "2840"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "86"]
[EventDate "2016.12.29"]
[EventType "blitz"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O b5 6. Bb3 Bb7 7. d3 Be7 8. Nc3
O-O 9. a3 d6 10. Nd5 Nxd5 11. Bxd5 Qd7 12. d4 exd4 13. Nxd4 Bf6 14. Nf5 Nd8 15.
Re1 Re8 16. c3 Bxd5 17. Qxd5 Nc6 18. Ng3 g6 19. Bf4 Ne5 {Black's position is
preferable. His knight is coming to c4 and white's queenside structure is weak.
} 20. Rad1 Rad8 21. Re2 (21. Bxe5 Bxe5 22. Ne2 $11 {It was better to get rid
of the knight.}) 21... c6 22. Qa2 Qg4 23. Bc1 h5 24. h3 Qe6 25. Qxe6 Rxe6 {
d6 is weak, but covered. White pieces are not really doing much.} 26. f4 Nc4
27. b3 Na5 28. b4 Nc4 29. Rd3 Rde8 30. e5 {MVL goes into desperation mode.}
dxe5 31. f5 e4 32. Rd7 gxf5 33. Nxf5 e3 34. Rd3 Re5 35. Nd4 Rd5 36. Bxe3 Rde5
37. Nc2 Bg5 $1 38. Kf2 Rf5+ 39. Kg1 Rfe5 40. Kf2 f5 {With just under 10
seconds on his clock, Magnus is so accurate.} 41. Re1 Nxe3 42. Nxe3 f4 43. Nc2
Bh4+ {A game that was worthy of being a classical encounter.} 0-1

Karjakin had a completely lost position against Morozevich, but swindled him with a basic knight fork!

[Event "World Blitz 2016"]
[Site "Doha QAT"]
[Date "2016.12.30"]
[Round "13.2"]
[White "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Black "Morozevich, Alexander"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A06"]
[WhiteElo "2785"]
[BlackElo "2676"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "161"]
[EventDate "2016.12.29"]
[EventType "blitz"]
1. Nf3 d5 2. e3 Nf6 3. c4 c6 4. Nc3 a6 5. b3 Bg4 6. d4 e6 7. Be2 Nbd7 8. O-O
Bd6 9. Bb2 O-O 10. h3 Bh5 11. Ne5 Bxe2 12. Nxe2 Qc7 13. Nd3 dxc4 14. bxc4 b5
15. Rc1 Qb7 16. Qc2 Rac8 17. Rfd1 Be7 18. Qb3 Rb8 19. c5 a5 20. a3 Bd8 21. f3
Bc7 22. e4 Rbd8 23. Qc2 a4 24. Bc3 Rfe8 25. e5 Nd5 26. Re1 Nf8 27. Ng3 f5 28.
Ne2 Ng6 29. Qd2 Rd7 30. Nb4 Nxb4 31. Bxb4 Nxe5 32. Qc3 Nc4 33. Rcd1 e5 34. dxe5
Bxe5 35. Qc1 Rxd1 36. Qxd1 Qc8 37. Kh1 Rd8 38. Qc2 Qd7 39. Nc1 Bg3 40. Rg1 Ne3
41. Qa2+ Qf7 42. Qe2 Nd5 43. Nd3 Re8 44. Qd2 h6 45. Bc3 Qe6 46. Nb4 Bf4 47. Qc2
Ne3 48. Qd3 Qg6 49. Qd7 Qg3 $1 {A brilliant move by Morozevich. It's a forced
mate now. Sergey has to give up a piece.} 50. Qxg7+ (50. Qxe8+ Kh7 $19) 50...
Qxg7 51. Bxg7 Kxg7 {Black is just a piece up.} 52. Nxc6 Rc8 53. Nd4 Rxc5 $4 (
53... Kf6 $19 {Everything is under control and the game is over.}) 54. Ne6+ Kf6
55. Nxc5 $13 {The position is now unclear and later ended in a draw.} Bd6 56.
Nd3 Bxa3 57. Rb1 Bd6 58. Rxb5 a3 59. Ra5 Nc4 60. Ra6 Ke6 61. Kg1 Kd5 62. Kf2
Kd4 63. Ke2 Kc3 64. f4 Bc7 65. g4 fxg4 66. hxg4 Ba5 67. Nc1 Kc2 68. Rc6 Kxc1
69. Rxc4+ Kb2 70. Ra4 Bc7 71. Kf3 a2 72. Ke4 a1=Q 73. Rxa1 Kxa1 74. f5 Bd8 75.
Ke5 Kb2 76. f6 Kc3 77. Ke6 Bb6 78. Kf7 Kd4 79. Kg7 Ke5 80. f7 Bc5 81. Kxh6
1/2-1/2 

Carlsen 11, Karjakin 10.5

Round 14 on 2016/12/30 at 15.25

Bo. No.     Name Rtg Pts. Result Pts.   Name Rtg   No.
1 3   GM Nakamura Hikaru 2842 9 ½ - ½ 11 GM Carlsen Magnus *) 2873   1
2 10   GM Dominguez Perez Leinier 2783 9 ½ - ½ 10½ GM Karjakin Sergey 2800   8

Magnus and Hikaru played a fighting game of chess but it ended in a draw

Karjakin wasn't successful against Leinier Dominguez and Carlsen managed to keep his half point lead.

Carlsen 11.5, Karjakin 11

Round 15 on 2016/12/30 at 15.50

Bo. No.     Name Rtg Pts. Result Pts.   Name Rtg   No.
1 1   GM Carlsen Magnus *) 2873 11½ ½ - ½ GM Grischuk Alexander 2761   12
2 8   GM Karjakin Sergey 2800 11 0 - 1 GM Nakamura Hikaru 2842   3

Magnus' game was highly uncharacteristic of him. He played with the white pieces against the Najdorf and settled for a three fold repetition in just 15 moves.

[Event "World Blitz 2016"]
[Site "Doha QAT"]
[Date "2016.12.30"]
[Round "15.1"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Grischuk, Alexander"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B54"]
[WhiteElo "2840"]
[BlackElo "2737"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "29"]
[EventDate "2016.12.29"]
[EventType "blitz"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. f3 Nc6 6. Nc3 e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. Be3
O-O 9. Qd2 a5 10. Bb5 Be6 11. O-O Na7 {This position has been reached in 30
games before.} 12. Be2 Nc8 13. Bb5 (13. Rfd1 a4 14. Nc1 Nb6 {d6-d5 is coming
up and overall Black doesn't have too many problems.}) 13... Na7 14. Be2 (14.
Bd3 {looks like the best way to continue.} Nc8 (14... d5 15. exd5 Nxd5 16. Nxd5
Bxd5 17. Nxa5 $16) 15. Qf2 a4 16. Nd2 d5 17. exd5 Nxd5 18. Nxd5 Qxd5 19. Ne4 f5
20. Nc5 $14) 14... Nc8 15. Bb5 1/2-1/2

"I feel as if I am greatest exponent of the Najdorf!" Magnus and Alexander drew their game in just 15 moves!

Hikaru handed Sergey his only defeat of the day

Karjakin on the other hand played a beautiful game against Nakamura. He was theoretically winning when he had a queen against Hikaru's knight + bishop. But as we all know, a knight is one of the most dangerous piece in blitz. Sergey lost his queen in a knight fork and lost the game.

[Event "World Blitz 2016"]
[Site "Doha QAT"]
[Date "2016.12.30"]
[Round "15.2"]
[White "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B10"]
[WhiteElo "2785"]
[BlackElo "2779"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "138"]
[EventDate "2016.12.29"]
[EventType "blitz"]
1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nf6 5. Nxf6+ exf6 6. Bc4 Bd6 7. Qe2+ Qe7
8. Qxe7+ Kxe7 9. O-O Rd8 10. d4 Bg4 11. Nd2 Kf8 12. c3 Bf5 13. Re1 Nd7 14. Ne4
Be7 15. Ng3 Bg6 16. a4 c5 17. Be3 Rac8 18. Bf1 cxd4 19. Bxd4 Nc5 20. Be3 a6 21.
a5 Nb3 22. Ra4 Bc2 23. Bb6 Rd2 24. Rc4 Rxc4 25. Bxc4 Bc5 26. Nf1 $5 {A very
nice move by Sergey. It had to be accurately calculated.} Bxb6 (26... Rd7 27.
Bxb3 $18) 27. Nxd2 (27. axb6 Rd6 28. Ne3 $14 {This was the best way for White
to play.}) 27... Nxd2 {The knight on d2 attacks the bishop on c4.} 28. Bd5 $5 (
28. Bxa6 Bxa5 29. Bxb7 Bb3 $14 {White seems to have preferable chances here.})
28... Bc7 $1 {The only move against Re2.} 29. Re2 Bf4 $1 30. g3 Bd3 (30... Bd1
$1 31. Re1 Bf3 $17) 31. Re1 Bh6 (31... Bc7 32. Rd1 $18) 32. f4 Bb5 (32... Nc4
$1 $15) 33. Bxb7 g5 34. Rd1 Nb3 {The position is around equal, but White has
more chances because of the queenside pawns running down the board.} 35. Rd6
Nxa5 36. Bxa6 Be8 $2 (36... Ke7 37. Rb6 Bd7 $11) 37. Rxf6 $1 Bg7 38. Rb6 (38.
Rf5 $18) 38... gxf4 39. gxf4 Ke7 40. Bb5 Bxb5 41. Rxb5 Nc4 42. Kf2 Ke6 43. Ke2
Bh6 44. Kd3 Nd6 45. Rh5 Nf5 46. Ke4 Nd6+ 47. Kf3 Nf5 48. b4 Bg7 49. b5 Bxc3 50.
b6 Ba5 51. b7 Bc7 52. Rxh7 Nd6 53. Rh6+ Ke7 54. h4 Nxb7 55. Ra6 Nc5 56. Ra7 Kd6
57. h5 Nd7 58. h6 Nf6 59. Ra8 Ke7 60. Rh8 Ke6 61. h7 Bd6 $5 {Hikaru in the few
seconds that he had decides to keep his knight on the board. Who knows he can
swindle his opponent with a knight fork.} (61... Nxh7 62. Rxh7 Kf6 {is a
tablebase draw.} 63. Ke4 Kg6 64. Rh1 f5+ 65. Ke3 Bd6 66. Rf1 Bc7 67. Kd4 Kf6
68. Kd5 Bb8 $11 {There's just no way to make progress.}) 62. Re8+ Nxe8 $5 63.
h8=Q {This is a winning position for White, but requires some time and
technique. With just five seconds on the clock, this is not easy.} Ke7 64. Kg4
Nf6+ 65. Kf5 Nd5 66. Qh4+ Kd7 67. Qh7 Ke7 68. Qh4+ Kd7 69. Qg4 $4 {Oh boy!}
Ne3+ {The knight as always has the last laugh!} 0-1

Nakamura had the last laugh!

Carlsen 12.0, Karjakin 11.0

Round 16 on 2016/12/30 at 16.15

Bo. No.     Name Rtg Pts. Result Pts.   Name Rtg   No.
1 1   GM Carlsen Magnus *) 2873 12 0 - 1 10 GM Ivanchuk Vassily 2754   16
2 7   GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2813 0 - 1 11 GM Karjakin Sergey 2800   8

If there is one player who is giving a hard time to the World Champion it is definitely Vassily Ivanchuk. The Ukrainian played a fantastic Sicilian and completely outplayed the World Champion.

We meet again! Magnus is in high spirits before the game.

It was Ivanchuk's weird Sicilian that put the World Champion under pressure

It was an interesting game with small tactics littered everywhere
[Event "World Blitz 2016"]
[Site "Doha QAT"]
[Date "2016.12.30"]
[Round "16.1"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Ivanchuk, Vassily"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B30"]
[WhiteElo "2840"]
[BlackElo "2747"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "102"]
[EventDate "2016.12.29"]
[EventType "blitz"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 e6 4. O-O Nge7 5. d4 cxd4 6. Nxd4 b6 $5 $146 {
A novelty on move 6!} 7. Nxc6 Nxc6 8. Nc3 Qc7 9. Qg4 h5 10. Qg5 Ne5 11. Bf4 f6
12. Qg6+ (12. Bxe5 Qxe5 13. Qg6+ Ke7 14. f4 $36) 12... Nxg6 13. Bxc7 {This
endgame is complicated. Like all Sicilians, if Black manages to catch up in
development, he is better because the pawn structure favours him.} a6 14. Bd3
b5 15. a4 b4 16. Nb1 (16. Nb5 $2 axb5 17. axb5 Rxa1 18. Rxa1 Bc5 19. Ra8 Ke7
$19) 16... Bc5 17. Nd2 Ra7 18. Ba5 Ne5 19. Nb3 Be7 20. Bb6 Ra8 21. Be2 g5 22.
Rfd1 Bb7 23. f3 Rc8 24. Rd2 Rc6 25. Be3 Bc8 26. Kf1 (26. Na5 Bc5 $1 $11) 26...
Bd8 27. a5 Be7 {Now that the knight cannot use the a5 square, the bishop comes
back.} 28. Bb6 Nc4 29. Bxc4 Rxc4 30. Nd4 Bb7 31. b3 Rc8 32. Rad1 Kf7 33. Ne2 d5
34. exd5 Bxd5 {Black has the bishop pair and a clearly superior position.} 35.
Nd4 h4 36. Nf5 h3 $1 $17 37. Nxe7 Kxe7 (37... hxg2+ 38. Kxg2 Kxe7 $17) 38. g4
Rc3 $1 {White is just losing now.} 39. Rf2 Rhc8 40. Rdd2 Rxf3 41. Ke1 Rfc3 $6 (
41... Rf4 $19) 42. Bd4 $1 Rf3 43. Rxf3 Bxf3 44. Rf2 e5 45. Rxf3 $2 (45. Bxe5 $1
fxe5 46. Rxf3 Rxc2 47. Rxh3 $11) 45... exd4 46. Kd2 (46. Rxh3 Rxc2 47. Rd3 $17)
46... Rc3 $1 47. Rxc3 $2 {Magnus just blanked out.} (47. Rf2 d3 48. cxd3 Rxb3 {
Should be winning for Black but with some work.}) 47... dxc3+ 48. Ke3 Ke6 49.
Kf3 Ke5 50. Ke3 f5 51. gxf5 Kxf5 {It's just a matter of pushing your pawns.}
0-1

 

2.0/2 for Chuky in five days against the World Champion!
Karjakin won the game against the person who has helped him a lot recently Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. With this he was able to join Magnus at the top.

Carlsen 12.0, Karjakin 12.0

Round 17 on 2016/12/30 at 16.40

Bo. No.     Name Rtg Pts. Result Pts.   Name Rtg   No.
1 9   GM Radjabov Teimour 2800 10 0 - 1 12 GM Carlsen Magnus *) 2873   1
2 8   GM Karjakin Sergey 2800 12 1 - 0 11 GM Ivanchuk Vassily 2754   16

Magnus played a classy game to beat Teimour Radjabov with the black pieces

Ivanchuk wasn't able to continue his magic as he got mated against Karjakin
[Event "World Blitz 2016"]
[Site "Doha QAT"]
[Date "2016.12.30"]
[Round "17.2"]
[White "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Black "Ivanchuk, Vassily"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B66"]
[WhiteElo "2785"]
[BlackElo "2747"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "43"]
[EventDate "2016.12.29"]
[EventType "blitz"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bg5 e6 7. Qd2 a6 8.
O-O-O h6 9. Nxc6 bxc6 10. Bf4 d5 11. Qe3 Bb4 12. Be2 O-O (12... Bxc3 13. Qxc3
Nxe4 14. Qxg7 $16) 13. e5 Nd7 (13... Nh7 {Might be a safer alternative.}) 14.
h4 c5 $6 (14... f6 {was necessary.}) 15. Bxh6 $1 {Sergey doesn't need to be
asked twice for such moves.} gxh6 16. Qxh6 Nxe5 17. Rh3 Bxc3 18. bxc3 Ra7 (
18... f5 19. Rg3+ Kf7 20. Rg7+ Ke8 21. Bh5+ Nf7 22. Bxf7+ Rxf7 23. Qh8+ Ke7 24.
Rxf7+ Kxf7 25. Qxd8 $18) 19. Rg3+ Ng6 20. h5 (20. Bd3 $18) 20... Qh4 21. Rg4
Qh2 22. Bd3 {Vassily let his flag fall.} 1-0

 

Carlsen 13.0, Karjakin 13.0

Round 18 on 2016/12/30 at 17.05

Bo. No.     Name Rtg Pts. Result Pts.   Name Rtg   No.
1 17   GM Jobava Baadur 2752 11 0 - 1 13 GM Carlsen Magnus *) 2873   1
2 34   GM Korobov Anton 2666 11 ½ - ½ 13 GM Karjakin Sergey 2800   8

Magnus Carlsen managed to win his game against Baadur Jobava with the black pieces while Karjakin had to settle for a draw against Korobov. This meant that Carlsen had a half point lead over Karjakin.

Carlsen 14.0, Karjakin 13.5

Round 19 on 2016/12/30 at 17.50

Bo. No.     Name Rtg Pts. Result Pts.   Name Rtg   No.
1 1   GM Carlsen Magnus *) 2873 14 1 - 0 11½ GM Onischuk Vladimir 2740   19
2 8   GM Karjakin Sergey 2800 13½ 1 - 0 11½ GM Leko Peter 2697   26

Onischuk is known for his Pirc Defense, but against the World Champion that's not an opening you want to play. Carlsen launched a dangerous attack and won the game. Peter Leko had an excellent position against Karjakin, but one tactical error and the game was over.

[Event "World Blitz 2016"]
[Site "Doha QAT"]
[Date "2016.12.30"]
[Round "19.2"]
[White "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Black "Leko, Peter"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C50"]
[WhiteElo "2785"]
[BlackElo "2693"]
[PlyCount "55"]
[EventDate "2016.12.29"]
[EventType "blitz"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. O-O Nf6 5. d3 d6 6. a4 a6 7. c3 O-O 8. h3 Ba7
9. Nbd2 Ne7 10. Re1 c6 11. b4 Ng6 12. d4 exd4 13. cxd4 d5 14. exd5 Nxd5 15. Qb3
Be6 16. b5 axb5 17. axb5 Ndf4 18. Bxe6 Nxe6 19. Ba3 Nxd4 20. Nxd4 Bxd4 21. Rad1
Re8 22. Ne4 Qb6 23. Nd6 Rxe1+ 24. Rxe1 Bxf2+ 25. Kh1 Bxe1 $2 (25... Qc7 $1 $11)
26. Qxf7+ $1 Kh8 27. Bb2 $1 Rg8 28. Nf5 $18 {There is no way to avert mate.}
1-0

 

Carlsen 15.0, Karjakin 14.5

Round 20 on 2016/12/30 at 18.15

Bo. No.     Name Rtg Pts. Result Pts.   Name Rtg   No.
1 1   GM Carlsen Magnus *) 2873 15 1 - 0 12 GM Anand Viswanathan 2754   15
2 35   GM Wojtaszek Radoslaw 2666 12 0 - 1 14½ GM Karjakin Sergey 2800   8

Vishy Anand was completely outplayed in the London.

[Event "World Blitz 2016"]
[Site "Doha QAT"]
[Date "2016.12.30"]
[Round "20.1"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A45"]
[WhiteElo "2840"]
[BlackElo "2779"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "47"]
[EventDate "2016.12.29"]
[EventType "blitz"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. Bf4 d5 3. e3 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nd2 e6 6. Ngf3 Bd6 7. Bg3 O-O 8. Bb5
{This move is becoming the way for White to play in the London.} a6 9. Bxc6
bxc6 10. Qa4 Rb8 11. Qa3 Bxg3 12. hxg3 cxd4 13. cxd4 {Black's main problems
are his c8 bishop and the weakness of c6 on the open file.} a5 14. O-O Qb6 15.
b3 Ba6 16. Rfc1 Nd7 17. Qd6 Qa7 18. Rxc6 {White has simply won a pawn.} Bb5 19.
Rc7 Rb7 20. Rac1 a4 21. Rxb7 Qxb7 22. Rc7 Qb8 23. Rxd7 Bxd7 24. Qxd7 {A very
clean victory for Carlsen.} 1-0

 

Karjakin's win was not as clean as Magnus', but it was good enough. With this victory over Wojtaszek he managed to keep a difference of just half a point going into the last round.

Carlsen 16.0, Karjakin 15.5

Round 21 on 2016/12/30 at 18.40

Bo. No.     Name Rtg Pts. Result Pts.   Name Rtg   No.
1 26   GM Leko Peter 2697 12½ ½ - ½ 16 GM Carlsen Magnus *) 2873   1
2 8   GM Karjakin Sergey 2800 15½ 1 - 0 12½ GM Jobava Baadur 2752   17

Peter Leko was extremely solid and gave absolutely no opportunities to the World Champion to play for a win. Karjakin on the other hand not only had the white pieces but also an active opponent in the form of Baadur Jobava.

[Event "World Blitz 2016"]
[Site "Doha QAT"]
[Date "2016.12.30"]
[Round "21.2"]
[White "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Black "Jobava, Baadur"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C42"]
[WhiteElo "2785"]
[BlackElo "2702"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "85"]
[EventDate "2016.12.29"]
[EventType "blitz"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d5 4. exd5 Qxd5 5. d4 Nc6 6. Nc3 Qxd4 7. Nxc6 Qxd1+
8. Nxd1 bxc6 9. Be2 Bd6 10. Ne3 O-O 11. O-O Re8 12. Bf3 Bd7 13. Nc4 Bc5 14. Bf4
Nd5 15. Bg3 Bf5 16. Ne5 Bxc2 17. Rac1 Bd6 18. Nxc6 Be4 19. Rfe1 Bxf3 20. Rxe8+
Rxe8 21. gxf3 f5 22. Bxd6 cxd6 23. Kf1 a6 24. Rd1 Nb6 25. b3 d5 26. Nd4 g6 27.
Rc1 Nd7 28. Rc6 a5 29. Rd6 Ne5 30. Rxd5 Nd3 31. Ne2 Rxe2 $2 {A huge oversight.}
(31... Ne5 $16 {And White is better, but the game goes on.}) 32. Rd8+ $1 (32.
Kxe2 Nf4+ $19) 32... Kf7 33. Kxe2 {That's game over!} Nc1+ 34. Kd2 Nxa2 35. Ra8
Nb4 36. Rxa5 Nc6 37. Ra4 Ne5 38. Ke3 g5 39. h3 h5 40. f4 gxf4+ 41. Kxf4 Nd3+
42. Kxf5 Nxf2 43. h4 {Jobava extended his hand in resignation and Sergey
Karjakin had become the World Blitz Champion.} 1-0

 

Karjakin 16.5, Carlsen 16.5

Karjakin's tiebreak - average rating of the opponent's was 2740, while Magnus' was 2735! This was enough for him to become the World Blitz Champion! One could argue that Carlsen was leading throughout the event, and hence was the deserving champion. However, in their individual encounter Karjakin had beaten him and that's enough to be crowned as the best blitz player in the world!

Final standings after 21 rounds

Rk. SNo     Name FED Rtg Pts.  TB1   TB2 
1 8   GM Karjakin Sergey RUS 2800 16,5 2740 259,0
2 1   GM Carlsen Magnus NOR 2873 16,5 2735 258,0
3 21   GM Dubov Daniil RUS 2724 14,5 2733 259,0
4 3   GM Nakamura Hikaru USA 2842 14,5 2720 256,5
5 12   GM Grischuk Alexander RUS 2761 14,5 2718 253,0
6 6   GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime FRA 2823 14,0 2708 252,5
7 10   GM Dominguez Perez Leinier CUB 2783 13,0 2725 253,5
8 34   GM Korobov Anton UKR 2666 13,0 2708 246,0
9 16   GM Ivanchuk Vassily UKR 2754 13,0 2697 254,5
10 15   GM Anand Viswanathan IND 2754 13,0 2695 249,0
11 26   GM Leko Peter HUN 2697 13,0 2678 238,5
12 5   GM Nepomniachtchi Ian RUS 2830 13,0 2677 245,0
13 44   GM Salem A.R. Saleh UAE 2636 12,5 2767 261,0
14 45   GM Wei Yi CHN 2636 12,5 2722 237,5
15 17   GM Jobava Baadur GEO 2752 12,5 2700 250,5
16 24   GM Yu Yangyi CHN 2712 12,5 2688 249,5
17 29   GM Riazantsev Alexander RUS 2678 12,5 2663 233,0
18 19   GM Onischuk Vladimir UKR 2740 12,5 2634 228,5
19 35   GM Wojtaszek Radoslaw POL 2666 12,0 2712 248,5
20 55   GM Bu Xiangzhi CHN 2613 12,0 2706 238,5

He tried his best, but couldn't go home as the World Blitz Champion

In the women's section Anna Muzychuk made it a double by winning the World Blitz as well!

Final standings after 17 rounds

Rk. SNo     Name FED Rtg Pts.  TB1   TB2 
1 1   GM Muzychuk Anna UKR 2645 13,0 2486 159,5
2 3   GM Gunina Valentina RUS 2605 12,5 2482 158,0
3 2   GM Lagno Kateryna RUS 2641 12,5 2464 156,0
4 6   WGM Tan Zhongyi CHN 2552 11,0 2473 161,0
5 10   GM Harika Dronavalli IND 2501 10,5 2499 160,0
6 20   IM Charochkina Daria RUS 2375 10,5 2470 156,5
7 12   GM Kosteniuk Alexandra RUS 2500 10,0 2484 157,5
8 27   IM Kashlinskaya Alina RUS 2286 9,5 2494 162,5
9 5   GM Ju Wenjun CHN 2571 9,5 2483 163,0
10 9   GM Koneru Humpy IND 2502 9,5 2464 159,0
11 18   IM Javakhishvili Lela GEO 2380 9,5 2440 151,0
12 15   IM Gaponenko Inna UKR 2414 9,5 2391 142,5
13 23   WGM Abdumalik Zhansaya KAZ 2361 9,5 2377 135,5
14 16   GM Zhukova Natalia UKR 2394 9,5 2350 129,5
15 17   IM Pham Le Thao Nguyen VIE 2382 9,5 2322 119,5
16 4   GM Stefanova Antoaneta BUL 2582 9,0 2468 149,0
17 8   GM Zhao Xue CHN 2526 9,0 2451 156,5
18 24   IM Khademalsharieh Sarasadat IRI 2335 9,0 2422 138,5
19 26   WGM Saduakassova Dinara KAZ 2299 9,0 2407 137,5
20 7   IM Paehtz Elisabeth GER 2528 9,0 2395 142,0

The two blitz World Champions: Anna Muzychuk and Sergey Karjakin!

Can you spot the two World Champions?! (Source: YAUST - Yet Another Ukrainian Super Talent)

World Blitz - Gold: Anna Muzychuk, Silver: Valentina Gunina, Bronze: Kateryna Lagno

World Rapid - Gold: Anna Muzychuk, Silver: Alexandra Kosteniuk, Bronze: Nana Dzagnidze

Open Blitz - Gold: Sergey Karjakin, Silver: Magnus Carlsen, Bronze: Daniil Dubov

Open Rapid - Gold: Vassily Ivanchuk, Silver: Magnus Carlsen, Bronze: Alexander Grischuk

The Ivanchuk Story

This article would have remained incomplete without Ivanchuk's story at the closing ceremony. After the blitz event ended Chuky started a checkers game against Baadur Jobava.

He was so engrossed in the Checkers game that he didn't really care that his name was being announced as the World Rapid Champion!

Finally he ran to take the prize!

But even on the podium he was busy thinking about his checkers game

After coming back he executed the winning combination against Jobava and ended up victorious. I am not sure what gave Vassily more happiness - a World Rapid gold or the sweet feeling of having defeated Jobava at Checkers! Kowing the kind of person he is, I would say probably the latter!

 

You must definitely not miss out on these two videos captured by Mohamed Tissir at the closing ceremony.

It was a great event to end the year 2016. A huge thanks to Mohammed Al- Medaihki for wonderful organization. And kudos to Maria Emelianova for her excellent photography. We hope that you enjoyed our coverage.