Wed. Feb 21st, 2024

On Tuesday, December 26, the last chess tournament of the year, the World Rapid and Blitz Championship, begins in Samarkand (Uzbekistan). The participants are the best grandmasters in the world, including Carlsen and Nepomniachtchi.

We have compiled for you the most important things about the upcoming tournament.

Where will the 2023 World Rapid and Blitz Championship take place?

The tournament will be held in Samarkand from December 26 to 30. The decision to hold the tournament in Uzbekistan was made quite late, on November 8.

“FIDE recognizes Uzbekistan’s rich chess tradition and its recent emergence as a chess superpower. This dedication and investment in chess has led us to entrust the organization of this prestigious tournament to Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan will also host the 2026 Chess Olympiad, and hosting such an important blitz and rapid-fire tournament will certainly give impetus to preparations,” said FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich.

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World Cup 2023 schedule

First of all, chess players will compete for the title of world fast speed champion. The competition will last three days, from December 26 to 28. The grandmasters will then compete for the trophy in blitz. The competitions are scheduled for December 29 and 30.

2023 World Rapid and Blitz Championship Schedule: December 26, 1:00 p.m. – fast, first day; December 27, 1:00 p.m. – fast, second day; December 28, 1:00 p.m. – fast, third day; December 29, 1:00 p.m. – blitz, first day; December 30, 12:00 – bombing, second day.

World Championship format in rapid and blitz

Traditionally, the World Rapid and Blitz Championship will be held in the Swiss system format: grandmasters will play opponents who are close to them in the current ranking.

Quick time control format: 15 minutes + 10 seconds added for each play, starting with the first. In blitz: 3 minutes + 2 seconds per move.

The new world rapid champion will be announced on Thursday, December 28. Over three days of competition, 11 rounds will be played in the women’s tournament and 13 rounds in the open tournament. The winner of the blitz will be determined on Saturday, December 30. Over two days, 21 rounds will be played in the open tournament and 17 rounds in the women’s tournament.

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All participants will compete for $1 million in prizes. In the open tournament, chess players will compete for larger sums than in the women’s part of the competition. The world champions in each discipline will earn 60 thousand dollars, while the world champions will receive only 40 thousand dollars.

Who participates in the World Championship?

There are 208 registered chess players from 49 countries in the open category of the World Rapid Championship, and 122 athletes from 31 countries in the women’s category. And in Samarkand there will be two other blitz players made up of two men and a girl.

Among the famous chess players at the tournaments will be Magnus Carlsen (Norway), Jan-Krzysztof Duda (Poland), Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France), Levon Aronian, Fabiano Caruana (both from the USA), Richard Rapport (Romania), Ju Wenjun. , Tan Zhongyi, Lei Tingjie (all from China), Alexandra Kosteniuk (Switzerland).

Magnus Carlsen

Photo: FIDE

In fact, almost all the stars attended the men’s tournament, with the exception of world classics champion Ding Liren, Hikaru Nakamura and Alireza Firouzja.

Will the Russians act in Samarkand?

Of course. It is true that they will not compete under their own flag, but under the FIDE flag in a neutral state. 40 Russians will play in the open category. Our country will be represented by the strongest chess players: Ian Nepomniachtchi, Vladislav Artemyev, Pyotr Svidler, Daniil Dubov, Alexander Grischuk, Andrey Esipenko, Evgeny Tomashevsky and many others.

In the women’s category, 20 Russians will perform. But the squad is very strong, capable of fighting for the highest positions. Battles for the titles will include: Alexandra Goryachkina, Ekaterina Lagno, Polina Shuvalova, Olga Badelko, Valentina Gunina, Leya Garifullina, Baira Kovanova and others.

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Who is the World Cup favorite?

Of course, the main favorite of the tournament is the current world rapid and blitz champion, Magnus Carlsen. The Norwegian will travel to Samarkand to defend the two titles won in Astana. Magnus has been actively focusing on rapid chess lately, which means it won’t be easy to resist him.

His main rivals will be Fabiano Caruana, who has won four major tournaments, and Ian Nepomniachtchi, who shows a consistently high level and is preparing for the Candidates Tournament. Additionally, Levon Aronian, Jan-Krzysztof Duda, Anish Giri, Yu Yangyi, Rameshbabu Pragnanandha, Vidit Gujrati, and Gukesh Dommaraju will likely be forced to fight Magnus.

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In the women’s case, two chess players will defend their crowns: Tan Zhongyi in rapid and Bibisara Asaubaeva in blitz. Serious competition will be from world classics champion Ju Wenjun and World Cup winner Alexandra Goryachkina. The following will also participate in the competition for the first places: Ekaterina Lahno, Humpy Koneru, Anna and Maria Muzychuk, Alexandra Kosteniuk.


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