Added on 12/29/2021

DAY 1 Rapid DAY 2 Rapid DAY 3 Rapid DAY 1 Blitz DAY 2 Blitz


GM Ronen Har-Zvi reviews the World Blitz Championship

You can find the whole story in the article written for the ICC by GM Ronen Har-Zvi.



Blitz is madness. The time control for the World Championship is 3 minutes plus a 2-second increment. Today, Magnus had three losses, eight wins, and a draw in the last round. The reigning Champion started with a bang, winning the first four games. In doing so, Magnus broke the 2900 barrier in the live rating. Nothing special for the Norwegian, who has the best close to 3000 (2986, Dec 2017). In round 5, Magnus lost to Socko, and in round 6 to Fedoseev. Fedoseev, one of the leaders, commented after his win:

"It's a disappointment that we don't play with him often because I like his method of decision-making, it’s just pure brilliance. For me games with him mean a lot."

It was odd to see the best player ever in Blitz lose two games in a row.


Bartosz Socko, after beating Magnus Carlsen:

"How could I feel? Of course, I am very, very happy." [about applause from the public] "It was very nice, shocking to me. I get it for the first time in my life, I believe."

And the Polish Grandmaster could not refrain from smiling broadly during the interview. It wasn't Magnus day today. He lost to Mamedyarov in round 8, collecting the third loss. In 2019 Magnus lost only one game to win the title. Meanwhile, Levon Aronian had a wonderful day, finishing first with 10/12! Amin Bassem is second with 9.5, and Maghsoodloo third with 9. Then there is a pack of 12 howling wolves, including Magnus, Hikaru, Artemiev, Nepo, Grischuk, Fedoseev, and Giri. The Rapid Champion is way back, with "only" 6.5 points out of 12. It happens, especially when you're 17, and you've just won a World Championship. Will Levon keep playing better than anyone else tomorrow? Will Magnus recover from a disastrous – for his standards – day? And Hikaru? We always expect great things from the American when it's about Blitz. We'll see. Don't forget that tomorrow, the last day in Warsaw, games start one hour earlier: at 8 AM EST, 14:00 local!