Chess

The Guardian Weekly - - Sport - Leonard Barden

Mag­nus Carlsen won the world blitz cham­pi­onship in Riyadh by scor­ing 9/10 in the con­clud­ing rounds to cap­ture the $200,000 first prize. Sergey Kar­jakin, who won in 2016, was sec­ond while Vishy Anand took bronze. The 48-year-old In­dian lost only one game out of 38 in five days of rapid and blitz speed chess.

Blitz is three min­utes for all your moves, plus two sec­onds in­cre­ment af­ter each move. Carlsen has per­fected the art of us­ing off­beat open­ings, tak­ing his op­po­nents out of au­topi­lot, gain­ing a time edge and pos­ing a long se­ries of tricky de­ci­sions un­til his ri­val cracks.

When Kar­jakin chose the Berlin 3...Nf6, Carlsen’s 4 d3 dodged 4 0-0 Nxe4 and its queen­less endgame.

He got on top af­ter the pas­sive 13...Nd7?! (c4!) and was ready to meet 19...g5 by 20 Rh4! gxh4 21 Bxh6 Bd7 22 Bg7! Kxg7 23 Ng5. Kar­jakin could have re­sisted longer by 21...Bf7 or 22...h5, since as played Carlsen’s 24 Ne5! set up his queen, rooks and bishop to crush the black king. Mag­nus Carlsen v Sergey Kar­jakin 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 Nf6 4 d3

Bc5 5 Bxc6 dxc6 6 Nc3 O-O 7 Be3

Bd6 8 Bg5 Re8 9 h3 c5 10 Nd5 Be7

11 Nxe7+ Qxe7 12 O-O h6 13 Be3 Nd7? 14 Nd2 Nb8 15 f4 exf4 16 Rxf4 Nc6 17 Qh5 b6 18 Raf1 Rf8 19 Nf3 Be6 20 Rh4! f6 21 Qg6 Qf7?! 22 Qg3 Nb4?! 23 Bxh6 Nxc2 24 Ne5! fxe5

25 Rxf7 Rxf7 26 Qg6 Bxa2 27 Bg5 Rff8 28 Rh7 Rf7 29 Bf6 1-0

The world cham­pion made a rare po­lit­i­cal state­ment in an in­ter­view when he said that Saudi Ara­bia should not host the rapid/ blitz in 2018 and 2019 if it con­tin­ued to bar Is­raelis.

wins. Nxa2 and c1N+! Kxe2 4 Rxe2! Kf3 3 Rxh2+ Rxa2 2 Rh1!1... 3528

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