Chess: Magnus Carlsen world blitz champion

A real machine! The Norwegian Magnus Carlsen won the blitz (ultra-fast) world championship on Saturday in Samarkand (Uzbekistan), two days after winning the rapid game, gleaning his 16th and 17th world titles

Chess: Magnus Carlsen world blitz champion

A real machine! The Norwegian Magnus Carlsen won the blitz (ultra-fast) world championship on Saturday in Samarkand (Uzbekistan), two days after winning the rapid game, gleaning his 16th and 17th world titles.

This is the fourth rapid-blitz double achieved by Magnus Carlsen, the two competitions traditionally taking place back to back during the last week of the year. Of the 34 games he played in four days, he only lost one, on Saturday, against Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, fourth in the competition.

The Norwegian confirms his supremacy in the world of chess, even if since April he no longer holds the most prestigious title, that of long game world champion. After winning five matches for the title – the world long game crown is contested in the form of a duel – he preferred to give up defending it again, tired of the format. The Chinese Ding Liren won the duel for the most prestigious coronation in chess, but he has been rare in competition since and has not participated in both competitions.

Controversies

Magnus Carlsen, in addition to his five long game victories from 2013 to 2021, has won the blitz world championship seven times, and the rapid game five times. His influence is such in chess that he was the only player to benefit from a personal box during the competition, which triggered strong criticism from the other great players present in Samarkand.

But this was not the only controversy of the four days of competitions, marked by “parlor draws”, where the players agreed on a tie after a few shots played. Two of the best Russian players, Daniil Doubov and Ian Nepomniachtchi, were also sanctioned for "match-fixing": the two grandmasters moved only one of their knights during the 13 moves that the game lasted, before return them to their original place and agree on a draw.

The International Chess Federation also fined a player, Anna-Maja Kazarian, 100 euros on Wednesday because her shoes were found not to comply with the regulations. The Dutchwoman was forced to remove her sneakers and put on a pair of heels.