Day 2 report: Magnus Carlsen well set to become World Rapid Champion 2022
Magnus Carlsen became the triple champion in 2019 - in classical, rapid and blitz. However, in 2021, he lost both his rapid and blitz titles to Abdusattorov and MVL respectively. This year, the Norwegian has come with great willpower in order to reclaim his dominance on the world of chess. And he is doing it in style at the World Rapid Championships 2022 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. After 9 rounds, he is in sole lead with 7.5/9. In the women's section we have three leaders - Tan Zhongyi, Goryachkina and the surprise Savitha Shri. All three of them on 6.5/8. A detailed day 2 report.
Let's start today's article with two incidents which could hardly happen at any other world class event except the World Rapid and Blitz! That's because the time to make your moves in rapid and blitz is quite low and that could lead to controversial situations. But quite often when players of two countries play each other, they do not know each other's language and there is no common language! This can make things quite complicated and the arbiters task is quite an important one.
The curious case of Ghaem Maghami and Khusenkhojaev
The players surpassed the 50-move mark and Khusenkhojaev who was defending the position didn't claim for a draw. Now the next rule that comes into effect is when 75 moves have been made. When the 75th move is done, the arbiters have to declare it a draw. This would have happened, but on move 73 after the last capture, Khusenkhojaev claimed a three-fold repetition. His claim was wrong, Ghaem Maghami was given 2 minutes on the clock and the game continued. Because the clock was paused, somehow the live broadcast of the game stopped. Hence. the moves were not updating on the live games software. To make things even more interesting, Khusenkhojaev blundered and resigned on the 76th move after the last capture!
The kings were placed on the board in a way that showed white won and the result was digitally updated. As the entire hall with close to 300 players were waiting for this game to end since quite some time the pairings were instantly made. However, the deputy chief arbiter Ana Srebrnic had the 75-move rule in her mind. She consulted with the chief arbiter Amir Erfan Hashemi and told him about this rule and how the broadcast had stopped on 73rd move after the capture. On closer inspection it was found that 75 moves had been completed and the arbiters have to give the result as a draw. However, the pairings were already out and this could not be changed. In order to ensure that Khusenkhojaev got the half point, the result was changed for the next round. Ghaem Maghami wasn't particularly thrilled by the fact that he had to play an opponent with half point more when his score was going to be reduced.
The weird situation between Kovalev and Uskov
This is one of the most weird cases that you would come across in a chess tournament.
Kovalev vs Uskov
This is an illegal move. So the arbiters were called. To make things more interesting Uskov was left with only 1 second the clock. So the position was reset to the one above and he was asked to make his move. But with just 1 second left on the clock, he was bound to lose on time! What a curious case! You need to check the video below to understand how things rolled out.
Magnus Carlsen in sole lead
The World Rapid and Blitz Championships is all about pacing yourself well. These are long winding events and dropping points is going to be inevitable. But the best chances are reserved for the player who is ready to draw their games, instead of losing and taking their chances when opportunity presents itself! This is exactly what Magnus Carlsen did on day 2 of the World Rapid Championships 2022.
This win helped Magnus to get to 5.5/6. However, Fedoseev was not losing any steam. He beat the Indian talent Arjun Erigaisi with white pieces to keep pace with Magnus.
The game ended in a solid draw after both sides made no real errors. Now both Carlsen and Fedoseev were on 6.0/7.
But Magnus and Fedoseev were not alone! Reigning World Rapid Champion Nodirbek Abdusattorov beat Ian Nepomniachtchi and also reached 6.0/7 to join the leaders. It was quite unfortunate for Nepo as in a completely better position, he got his piece trapped.
Nepomniachtchi vs Abdusattorov, round 7
With each draw, the number of players catching up with Carlsen were growing. Abdusattorov also drew his game, but Vincent Keymer managed to beat Arjun Erigaisi and join the leaders at 6.5/8. Now there were four - Carlsen, Fedoseev, Abdusattorov and Keymer.
Keymer had an amazing day at the office. He not only beat Arjun, but also got the better of Fabiano Caruana and Yu Yangyi as well.
Daniil Dubov vs Nihal Sarin, Round 7
In the final round of the day, Magnus Carlsen got a slightly favourable pairing. He was up against the Georgian GM Giga Quparadze. Magnus had the black pieces and was completely determined to win. You could literally sense his willpower coming forth in the game. Winning such a game is extremely important if you want to win the tournament.
Standings after round 9
|14||62||GM||Martirosyan Haik M.||ARM||2575||6||46||49||2610||0|
The battle for the top spot in the women's section is wide open. After 8 rounds there three leaders - Aleksandra Goryachkina, Tan Zhongyi and the surprise of day 2 Savitha Shri.
Rankings after round 8
|3||36||WIM||Savitha Shri B||IND||2311||6,5||34||36||2325||0|
Performance of Indian players
|22||GM||Vidit Santosh Gujrathi||2659||IND||1||½||1||½||0||½||1||½||1||6||21||Open|
|26||GM||Ganguly Surya Shekhar||2646||IND||1||0||1||½||½||½||½||1||1||6||23||Open|
|61||GM||Aravindh Chithambaram Vr.||2576||IND||1||½||0||1||½||0||½||½||0||4||110||Open|
|36||WIM||Savitha Shri B||2311||IND||1||0||1||½||1||1||1||1||6,5||3||Women|