THE world No 1, Magnus Carlsen, was hit with a Russian double whammy at the World Rapid and Blitz Championships in Astana, Kazakhstan, as first Sergey Karjakin, and then Alexander Grischuk respectively snatched both titles ahead of the Norwegian top seed.
Carlsen again had to be content with the silver in the blitz contest, as Grischuk held on to take gold with his final tally of 20/30. Grischuk was chased all the way to the finish by Carlsen, though, who won his final eight games but still finished half a point behind the Muscovite; with Karjakin adding bronze to his Rapid World Championship gold, finishing a full point ahead of Alexander Morozevich in fourth.
Grischuk is now a two-time world blitz champion, having last won the title in 2006. But Grischuk’s performance was certainly nowhere near as strong as Bobby Fischer’s famous win in the unofficial contest at Herceg Novi, Yugoslavia, in 1970 – arguably the first event to put blitz on the map – that followed the USSR vs The Rest of the World Match.
There, Fischer scored 19/22, to win by 4.5 points ahead of Mikhail Tal, and reportedly never took more than two and a half minutes of his allotted five for any game. He wiped out the strong Soviet contingent of three world champions and two challengers 8.5-1.5.
A Morozevich - A Grischuk
World Blitz Championship, (18)
King’s Indian Defence
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 Nc3 Bg7 4 e4 d6 5 Nf3 0–0 6 Be2 e5 7 Be3 exd4 8 Nxd4 Re8 9 f3 c6 10 Bf2 d5 11 exd5 cxd5 12 c5 Nc6 13 0–0 Bf8 14 Nxc6 bxc6 15 a3 Nh5 16 Re1 Nf4 17 Bf1 Rxe1 18 Qxe1 Bd7 19 Qd2 Ne6 20 b4 Qf6 21 Rd1 h5 22 Ne2 a5 23 Nd4 axb4 24 axb4 Bg7 25 Nxe6 Qxe6 26 Bd4 Rb8 27 Bxg7 Kxg7 28 Qf4 Rb7 29 Kf2 Qf6 30 Qd4 g5 31 Be2 Ra7 32 g3 Ra2 33 Ke3 Rb2 34 Qxf6+ Kxf6 35 Rd4 Be6 36 h4 Rb3+ 37 Kf2 Ke5 38 Rd3 Rxd3 39 Bxd3 gxh4 40 gxh4 Kd4 41 Be2 Kc3 42 f4 Kxb4 43 Bxh5 Kxc5 44 f5 Bxf5 45 Bxf7 Kd6 46 h5 Ke7! 0–1