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Day 2 report: Magnus Carlsen well set to become World Rapid Champion 2022

by Sagar Shah - 28/12/2022

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 game of Ghaem Maghami and Khusenkhojaev reached the infamous Rook + Bishop for Ghaem Maghami (White) vs lone rook for Khuenkhojaev (Black)

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!

Deputy Chief Arbiter Ana Srebrnic was on the ball, very alert of all the rules

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 chief arbiter talking to Ghaem Maghami, who was not too pleased with the outcome
The entire incident with a final statement by the chief arbiter

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

White has just played his rook on d8. Uskov (Black) took the rook and somehow placed his own rook on e8! 

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.

The most weird case that you will see in a chess tournament

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.

Magnus first started off with a win over Jorden van Foreest

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.

This setup a nice clash between Fedoseev and Magnus Carlsen in round 7

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.

Things didn't go Ian Nepomniachtchi's way! He ended day 2 with 6.0/9.

Nodirbek Abdusattorov is someone you just cannot write off. After beating Duda in round 6 and Nepo in round 7, he had two draws and is now on 7.0/9.

Nepomniachtchi vs Abdusattorov, round 7 

White is completely better, but his last move turned into a huge blunder. Abdusattorov played his rook to a8 and the bishop is trapped as after Bb6, there is Rxb6 and the rook swoops into a1, picking up the guy on g1.

In round 7 Magnus Carlsen was up against yet another team member, this time Daniil Dubov!
Daniil gave his opponent absolutely no chances and the game ended in a draw!

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.

Vincent Keymer beat Arjun Erigaisi in a game where it was quite difficult to pinpoint where exactly did Arjun make a mistake!

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.

In order to reach Magnus, Daniil Dubov played a brilliant game to down Nihal Sarin in just 18 moves! The finish of the game was very pretty with a queen sacrifice.

Daniil Dubov vs Nihal Sarin, Round 7

How did Daniil Dubov finish off the game in style here? Find the move in the game video below:
Daniil Dubov's miniature victory over Nihal Sarin

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.

Magnus Carlsen played a wonderful game to score the full point and snatch the sole lead in the tournament
IM Sagar Shah explains some of Magnus' decisions in the game and also shows a point where the World Champion could have improved.

With all other leaders drawing their games, Magnus Carlsen has assumed sole lead at the World Rapid Championships 2022. He was in a similar situation in 2021 as well going into day 3 and was stopped by Nodirbek Abdusattorov. This time he faces Vincent Keymer and needs to be careful.

The game between Vladimir Fedoseev and Vincent Keymer ended in a draw

Standings after round 9

Rk.SNo NameFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4 
11GMCarlsen MagnusNOR28347,5495426490
211GMFedoseev VladimirFID27417485126360
320GMAbdusattorov NodirbekUZB26767475126880
454GMKeymer VincentGER259074750,526430
514GMDubov DaniilFID27126,5505426280
637GMErigaisi ArjunIND26286,54951,526910
712GMArtemiev VladislavFID27276,546,550,525890
815GMGiri AnishNED27086,545,550,526340
910GMYu YangyiCHN27436,544,54825920
108GMCaruana FabianoUSA27476,542,546,525960
1138GMNihal SarinIND26286485326390
124GMDuda Jan-KrzysztofPOL27916485326380
1381GMQuparadze GigaGEO2538647,549,526820
1462GMMartirosyan Haik M.ARM25756464926100
156GMNepomniachtchi IanFID27666454926330
1636GMSarana AlexeyFID2629643,547,526050
1739GMTomashevsky EvgenyFID2628643,547,525730
1860GMMamedov RaufAZE2578643,546,526100
197GMGrischuk AlexanderFID27596434725640
209GMMamedyarov ShakhriyarAZE27466424625720

Arjun Erigaisi lost two games (Fedoseev and Keymer) but won two games against world class opponents (MVL and Giri). The boy is very resilient.

A lot of people gathered around the game of Arjun vs MVL! It's one of the joys for players at World Rapid and Blitz Championships. After their games are over, they generally stay back and watch the games of other players
Arjun Erigaisi vs MVL, Round 9

Women's section

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.

Three leaders in the women's section are Tan Zhongyi, Goryachkina and Savitha Shri

Goryachkina got the better of Danielian in the final round of the day to lead the event with 6.5/8.

Tan Zhongyi has reached the lead by beating Alina Bivol

Savitha doing things in her own unique way! On her way to beat Bela Khotenashvili in the last round on day 2
Savitha Shri talks about her games that helped her to beat strong players like Stefanova, Khademalsharieh and Khotenashvili

Rankings after round 8

Rk.SNo NameFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4 
GMTan ZhongyiCHN25026,538,54223290
GMGoryachkina AleksandraFID24846,534,538,523150
WIMSavitha Shri BIND23116,5343623250
GMBatsiashvili NinoGEO23706394323370
GMGunina ValentinaFID2389635,538,523370
WIMMunkhzul TurmunkhMGL219263438,523730
GMKoneru HumpyIND246863437,523130
GMAbdumalik ZhansayaKAZ2448633,536,522890
IMSaduakassova DinaraKAZ2435631,533,522430
GMDanielian ElinaARM23315,5394223690
IMBivol AlinaFID21795,538,54223970
GMKhotenashvili BelaGEO24055,535,537,523120
WGMGong QianyunSGP23155,533,53623470
WGMVoit DariaFID23125,533,53523330
GMStefanova AntoanetaBUL23995,532,535,522680
GMKosteniuk AlexandraFID25375,5313323100
WIMSultanbek ZeinepKAZ18345364023650
IMMammadova GulnarAZE2343534,53822570
IMGarifullina LeyaFID2316534,53622890
WGMBalajayeva KhanimAZE2284532,534,522220

Koneru Humpy started day 2 with a loss to Danielian but came back strongly to beat Tania Sachdev and Polina Shuvalova in rounds 7 and 8

Tania Sachdev had a strong start on day two winning two games, one of them against Nana Dzagnidze, but lost her last two games. She is on 50% score.

Hans Niemann managed to score a big win beating Richard Rapport in round 7, but then lost his game to yu Yangyi in round 9. He is on 5.5/9 

Aravindh Chithambaram takes on Pranav V. as Adhiban, S.L. Narayanan and Arjun Kalyan kibitz the game. Pranav managed to win the encounter.

In the battle between two Indians Surya Ganguly and Adhiban, it was the more experienced player who came out on top

Performance of Indian players

22GMVidit Santosh Gujrathi2659IND1½1½0½1½1621Open
26GMGanguly Surya Shekhar2646IND101½½½½11623Open
27GMHarikrishna Pentala2646IND½1½0½½10½4,594Open
37GMErigaisi Arjun2628IND1111½01016,56Open
38GMNihal Sarin2628IND111½½½0½1611Open
48GMNarayanan S.L.2605IND½½01½½0½½4129Open
61GMAravindh Chithambaram Vr.2576IND1½01½0½½04110Open
63GMHarsha Bharathakoti2574IND101001½014,597Open
75GMPuranik Abhimanyu2549IND101½½½½10558Open
80GMAdhiban B.2538IND0½011½101581Open
87GMSadhwani Raunak2532IND10011½1½½5,543Open
99GMNarayanan Srinath2518IND001½0½½013,5140Open
131GMPranav V2430IND½010½0111578Open
132GMArjun Kalyan2426IND001½0011½4126Open
141GMSankalp Gupta2402IND1½½0110004104Open
6GMHarika Dronavalli2475IND1½½½½0½14,536Women
7GMKoneru Humpy2468IND11½10½1167Women
32IMTania Sachdev2318IND01101100452Women
36WIMSavitha Shri B2311IND101½11116,53Women
39IMPadmini Rout2290IND½1½0½½1½4,533Women


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