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Praggnanandhaa, Vidit, Nihal, Gukesh, Arjun to battle Carlsen and world's best at World Rapid and Blitz 2023

by Shahid Ahmed - 26/12/2023

The World Rapid and Blitz Championships 2023 was inaugurated in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on 25th of December 2023. The opening press conference, draw of lots and inauguration ceremony was held at Hotel Silk Road by Minyoun. In this edition, a total of 29 Indians are slated to take part which is the highest ever. Magnus Carlsen (NOR), Zhongyi Tan (CHN) and Bibisara Assaubayeva (KAZ) returns to defend their World Rapid and Blitz titles. The tournament marks the absence of Hikaru Nakamura and Alireza Firouzja. R Praggnanandhaa, Vidit Gujrathi, Nihal Sarin, D Gukesh, Arjun Erigaisi, Koneru Humpy, Harika Dronavalli, Divya Deshmukh and Vaishali R are the top Indians in the fray. Five rounds of Rapid in the Open and four in the Women will be played on 26th December 2023. Round 1 starts today at 3 p.m. local time, 3:30 p.m. IST. Photo: Shahid Ahmed

29 Indians are slated to take part

"...The Rapid and Blitz are very separate events in the sense that, the rapid has considerably fewer rounds and the results at the top thus will be more random. I am personally very significant favorite in the Blitz event. The rapid championship is a lot more open. I would say that there are a lot of players who have the potential to win including Nodirbek Abdusattorov but there is not one particular name that stands out." - Magnus Carlsen on the contenders of World Rapid and Blitz 2023. When Carlsen himself is saying that he is the heavy favorite in Blitz but none in Rapid, that should speak volumes about the level of the playing field. 

Tingjie Lie (CHN), Wenjun Ju (CHN) and Magnus Carlsen (NOR) after drawing their colors for World Rapid and Blitz 2023 with Chief Arbiter - IA Ivan Syrovy (SVK) | Photo: Shahid Ahmed
World Rapid and Blitz 2023 Opening Ceremony and Draw of Lots | Video: ChessBase India

Magnus Carlsen donning the traditional 'Chapan' after he drew the white color for the Rapid Open | Photo: FIDE/Anastasia Korolkova

The four-time Women's World Champion - GM Wenjun Ju (CHN) got the white pieces in Women Rapid | Photo: FIDE/Anastasia Korolkova

Magnus Carlsen got the white pieces in Blitz Open too | Photo: FIDE/Anastasia Korolkova

Magnus Carlsen on getting white pieces for the first game in both rapid and blitz

GM Tingjie Lei (CHN) will get the black pieces in the first round of Women Blitz | Photo: FIDE/Anastasia Korolkova
FIDE World Rapid and Blitz 2023 Draw of Lots | Video: ChessBase India

The Opening Ceremony had an interesting dance performance where the performers donned black and white colors | Photo: FIDE/Anastasia Korolkova

Vishy Anand, one of the official commentators, was present at the opening ceremony | Photo: FIDE/Anastasia Korolkova

Sarayu Velpula and FM Varshini M will make their debuts at World Rapid and Blitz Women 2023 | Photo: FIDE/Anastasia Korolkova

World Rapid Women 2022 Bronze medalist - WGM Savitha Shri B next to the returning Muzychuk sisters - Anna and Mariya who skipped the last edition in 2022 | Photo: FIDE/Anastasia Korolkova

Magnus Carlsen with organizer, Husan Turdaliev, Tournament Director, Alisher Sadullaev, President, Uzbekistan Chess Federation and Arkady Dvorkovich, President, FIDE | Photo: FIDE/Anastasia Korolkova

Opening Press Conference | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

Milan Dinic, Moderator of the Press Conference next to Magnus Carlsen | Photo: Shahid Ahmed
Winning is my Style! Magnus Carlsen at the Opening Press Conference of World Rapid & Blitz 2023 | Video: ChessBase India

World Rapid 2021 champion - GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov (UZB) on the mic next to Alisher Sadullaev, President, Uzbekistan Chess Federation | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

The flight which had over a dozen Indian players

On 25th of December, an Indigo flight carried various Indian players including three ChessBase India team members to Tashkent. Here are the players who were present in it - GM R Praggnanandhaa, GM Nihal Sarin, GM D Gukesh, GM Arjun Erigaisi, GM Sandipan Chanda, GM S L Narayanan, GM B Adhiban, GM Pranav Venkatesh, GM Mitrabha Guha, GM Karthik Venkataraman, GM Vaishali R, IM Divya Deshmukh, WGM Savitha Shri B and Sarayu Velpula. Can you guess their combined Elo rating? It is possible that I might be forgetting a name or two present in the flight, so apologies for that.

Indigo announces the names of Indian participants at World Rapid and Blitz 2023 | Video: ChessBase India

After the conclusion of Opening Press Conference, Inauguration Ceremony and Draw of Lots, the day concluded with a gala dinner at a restaurant in the city center of Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

A Lavish Dinner for Chess Players and Officials at the FIDE World Rapid and Blitz 2023 | Video: ChessBase India

Video Gallery

Magnus Carlsen answers questions at Opening Press Conference of FIDE World Rapid and Blitz 2023 | Video: ChessBase India
Magnus Carlsen arrives at the Opening Ceremony of World Rapid and Blitz 2023 | Video: ChessBase India
The Players arrive at the opening ceremony of the World Rapid and Blitz 2023 | Video: ChessBase India
A fan gets an autograph from Magnus Carlsen | Video: ChessBase India
The epic WACA reunion | Video: ChessBase India
AMA with Anish Giri and Vidit Gujrathi | Video: ChessBase India
The World Rapid and Blitz 2023 Vlog | Chennai to Samarkand | Video: ChessBase India
This couple is trying to build a toxicity free app| Vidit and Melissa on Wildr and Chess | Video: ChessBase India
Top Indian players meet at Delhi Airport | Video: ChessBase India
Vidit Gujrathi on his World Rapid and Blitz 2023 aims + the Candidates Race | Video: ChessBase India
World Rapid and Blitz 2023 Vlog 2 | Video: ChessBase India
We found these unique chess sets in Uzbekistan | Video: ChessBase India
Gukesh helps Sagar to get a personalized gift from Anish! | Video: ChessBase India

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Win Rs.10,000 prize by predicting the winners of the World Rapid and Blitz 2023 until the 26th of December. Predict here.


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Watch World Rapid Open and Women 2023

Live Commentary of Day 1 by GM Viswanathan Anand & WGM Anastasiya Karlovich from 3 p.m. local time, 3:30 p.m. IST

Indian players in Rapid Open

14GMPraggnanandhaa R25059530IND27062023 World Rapid Open
18GMVidit Santosh Gujrathi5029465IND26912023 World Rapid Open
23GMNihal Sarin25092340IND26672023 World Rapid Open
24GMGukesh D46616543IND26562023 World Rapid Open
26GMErigaisi Arjun35009192IND26542023 World Rapid Open
30GMGanguly Surya Shekhar5002150IND26452023 World Rapid Open
49GMChanda Sandipan5004225IND26022023 World Rapid Open
58GMNarayanan S L5058422IND25862023 World Rapid Open
60GMSadhwani Raunak35093487IND25862023 World Rapid Open
68GMAravindh Chithambaram Vr.5072786IND25732023 World Rapid Open
93GMAdhiban B.5018471IND25282023 World Rapid Open
122GMPranav V25060783IND24722023 World Rapid Open
129GMPranesh M35028600IND24592023 World Rapid Open
134GMMitrabha Guha5057000IND24362023 World Rapid Open
137GMBharath Subramaniyam H46634827IND24262023 World Rapid Open
138GMKarthik Venkataraman25006479IND24262023 World Rapid Open
150GMAditya Mittal35042025IND23812023 World Rapid Open
156GMRaja Harshit5089000IND23612023 World Rapid Open


Indian players in Rapid Women

9GMKoneru Humpy5008123IND24442023 World Rapid Womens
10GMDronavalli Harika5015197IND24402023 World Rapid Womens
14WGMDivya Deshmukh35006916IND24222023 World Rapid Womens
21IMVaishali Rameshbabu5091756IND23732023 World Rapid Womens
57IMPadmini Rout5029295IND22552023 World Rapid Womens
61WGMSavitha Shri B35061887IND22382023 World Rapid Womens
70WGMPriyanka Nutakki25049615IND22052023 World Rapid Womens
83FMSahithi Varshini M45095248IND21382023 World Rapid Womens
92IMSoumya Swaminathan5016193IND21042023 World Rapid Womens
106WGMRakshitta Ravi25073230IND19212023 World Rapid Womens
113Velpula Sarayu45075204IND17512023 World Rapid Womens


Round 1 Open pairings

114115GMSmirnov Anton248600GMPraggnanandhaa R270614
118119IMAmar Elham247500GMVidit Santosh Gujrathi269118
12121GMEsipenko Andrey267700GMPranav V2472122
12323GMNihal Sarin266700IMTerry Renato2471124
124125GMDaneshvar Bardiya247000GMGukesh D265624
126127GMZvjaginsev Vadim246900GMErigaisi Arjun265426
128129GMPranesh M245900GMBrunello Sabino265128
130131GMSuleymenov Alisher244600GMGanguly Surya Shekhar264530
13333GMIturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo263500GMMitrabha Guha2436134
136137GMBharath Subramaniyam H242600GMKeymer Vincent263136
13737GMAndreikin Dmitry262900GMKarthik Venkataraman2426138
14949GMChanda Sandipan260200GMAditya Mittal2381150
158159IMSattarov Bobir233300GMNarayanan S L258658
160161IMSeemann Jakub233000GMSadhwani Raunak258660
168169FMSuyarov Mukhammadzokhid230000GMAravindh Chithambaram Vr.257368
192193Akhmedov David209900GMAdhiban B.252892


Round 1 Women pairings

1260WGMSavitha Shri B223800GMTan Zhongyi25282
1866WGMMamedjarova Turkan221100GMKoneru Humpy24448
199GMDronavalli Harika244000WIMNurmanova Alua221167
11111GMZhu Jiner243100WGMPriyanka Nutakki220569
11313WGMDivya Deshmukh242200WGMKamalidenova Meruert219671
12078WIMRudzinska Michalina214400IMVaishali Rameshbabu237320
12280FMSahithi Varshini M213800IMShuvalova Polina237122
13131WGMWagner Dinara234000IMSoumya Swaminathan210489
14545WGMTokhirjonova Gulrukhbegim228500WGMRakshitta Ravi1921103
152110Velpula Sarayu175100WIMMkrtchyan Mariam226252
156114Aktamova Zilola160300IMPadmini Rout225556



Official site

Tournament Regulations: Open and Women

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