Added on 12/30/2021

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.



COVID played the villain part on this last day in Warsaw. Hikaru Nakamura tested positive and had to withdraw from the Blitz tournament. The 5-time US Champion tweeted his disappointment. The organizers postponed the start of the games by an hour while the players got tested. With Carlsen out of the run due to one of the worst tournaments of his glorious career, Levon emerged as the dominator until round 16. Then, maybe due to tiredness, Levon lost three games in a row in rounds 17, 18, and 19. Daniil Dubov and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave took the lead, playing consistently. At the beginning of round 20, Daniil was in the sole lead with 14 points, followed by Maxime with 13.5. In round 20, Magnus won, Dubov lost to Firouzja, MVL drew, Aronian won, and Duda won. The beauty of Blitz tournaments: the standings can change dramatically with just one round. Entering the last round, the standings saw six players in the lead: Aronian, Dubov, Duda, Firouzja, Artemiev, and Vachier-Lagrave. Half a point behind Magnus Carlsen, who collected 3.5 points in the last four games! In a dramatic last round, MVL beat Magnus in a game full of mistakes on both parts, Firouzja beat Aronian, and Duda won with Artemiev. Carlsen also lost the top spot on the LIVE rating list in Blitz. Asked about that, the Champion said,


"It's very deserved after this performance here, but obviously, I am not happy about it."

Three players finished the tournament with 15 points: MVL, Duda, and Firouzja. And again, the rules of the tournament imposed only two players to contend for the title. The best tiebreakers were MVL and Duda. Before the playoffs, Magnus found the time to tweet a sarcastic "good luck"  to the finalists, again being polemic about the "idiotic" rules:


Maxime played the first playoff game with white. It was a Ruy-Lopez, which ended in a draw. The second playoff game, a QGA, was drawn again. From now on, according to the rules, the first to win a game is the Champion! And the third game was a Spanish again. MVL played perfect chess, emerging victorious. Congratulations to the 3-time French Champion!