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Carlsen & Koneru are winners of 2019 World Rapids

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Carlsen & Koneru are winners of 2019 World Rapids

Magnus Carlsen of Norway and Humpy Koneru of India are the winners of the 2019 World Rapid Chess Championship.  The event ended on Saturday evening in Moscow.

The Open Rapid

Carlsen set off on his path to victory with three wins and three draws in day one. He accelerated on the second day with four wins and two draws. Magnus at the end of the Day 2 was leading with 8/10 and half a point above the rest.

World Champion Magnus Carlsen after winning the World Rapid title as well.
World Champion Magnus Carlsen after winning the World Rapid title as well.

In Round eleven Magnus drew with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. Carlsen was White against Levon Aronian in round 12. In a tense endgame with queens, Aronian overlooked his Queen and lost. It was the moment when Carlsen increased his lead over everybody else to a whole point. 

Magnus then defeated Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and drew against Leinier Dominguez Perez in round 14. Magnus was now 1 point in the lead going into the final 15th round.  

Nakamura in the final round went for a quick draw after 22 moves. This left Magnus to claim the title of the Rapid World Champion, one point above everybody else.

Levon Aronian checking out some of the books on sale.
Levon Aronian checking out some of the books on sale.

Alireza Firouzja

Alireza Firouzja emerged second with 10.5 points out of 15 rounds. In the final standings, he was ranked first among those sharing second to fourth place. The remaining two were Hikaru Nakamura and Vladimir Artemiev, all on 10.5/15.

Seven players shared places five to eleven all had 10/15. These included Aronian, Dominguez, Duda, Dubov, Korobov, Anton Guijaro and Yu Yangyi.

16 year old prodigy Alireza Firouzja from Iran but playing under the FIDE flag.
16 year old prodigy Alireza Firouzja from Iran but playing under the FIDE flag.

Players from Africa

GM Adly Ahmed of Egypt ended up with a respectable 8.5 points out of 15 rounds.

GM Amin Bassem also of Egypt ended with 8 points.

IM Mohamed Tissir of Morocco ended with 5.5 points.

Ladies Rapid

After two days and eight rounds of play, four players were sharing the first place, with 6.5/8.  These included Irina BulmagaTan ZhongyiLei Tingjie, and Mariya Muzychuk

At the end of the 12th round, both Humpny Koneru and Lei Tingjie had 9 points. The rules dictated that these two players should play two blitz games to decide the winner.

The match included two two blitz games.  The time control was 3 minutes + 2 seconds increment per move, starting from move 1. 

Humpny Koneru (left) and Lei Tingjie in action during the deciding blitz event.

Koneru lost the first game with White but managed to recover in the second after Lei made an oversight. The decisive decision happened in the “Armageddon” in which Koneru was better of the two.

Proud moment for India. Humpy Koneru (centre) pose with two of India's most prominent chess journalists - Amruta Mokal & Sagar Shah both of www.chessbase.in.
Proud moment for India. Humpy Koneru (centre) pose with two of India’s most prominent chess journalists – Amruta Mokal & Sagar Shah both of www.chessbase.in.
Ukranian National Champion Natalya Zhukova ended with 5.5 points.
Ukranian National Champion Natalya Zhukova ended with 5.5 points.
The charming Sgircea Silvia-Raluca of Romania in action.
The charming Sgircea Silvia-Raluca of Romania in action.

Football

A football match was organised for some of the players and officials.  Others who took part included FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich, and retired footballers Dmitri Bulykin and Andrei Karyaka.

Ian Nepomniachtchi thinking 'What!!I never expected the ball to go to b7'
Ian Nepomniachtchi thinking ‘What!!I never expected the ball to go to b7’
Chess players on the pitch.
Chess players on the pitch.

Photo credits

All photos by Lennart Ootes, Maria Emelianova, David Llada.

Article

Article adapted from Milan Dinic.

Links

Official website and LIVE broadcast: https://wrbc2019.com