The 2022 World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championship happens in Almaty, Kazakhstan on Sunday, December 25 and also runs through Friday, December 30. Traditionally, at this time of the year, the chess world collaborates to determine that is the best world player despite time pressure. This is the one of the most exciting events in the chess calendar.
The tournament has 180 open competitors and 100 women. There are 22 Indians (15 in open and 7 in women). Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura will be the favorites to win, but the event will also see young talents such as Arjun Erigaisi and Nihal Sarin.
- Tournament schedule
December 25 — Opening Ceremony
December 26-28 — Rapid competitions
December 29-30 — Blitz competitions and Closing Ceremony
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The largest landlocked country in the world
Ten years later this tournament returns to Kazakhstan. Unlike in 2012, this time the host city will not be the resources Astana, however Almaty. The occasion will be held at the Baluan Sholak Sports Palace in the city center. The location, named after the well-known Kazakh composer, singer, poet, dombra gamer, wrestler and also Žigit Baluan Sholak (1864-1919), can fit as much as 5,000 individuals.
Kazakhstan’s former capital and its largest city, with nearly 2 million inhabitants, is located in the southeast of the country, near the border with Kyrgyzstan, and is not the warmest location to spend the winter. Almaty is regarding to get a warmth wave as the world’s most popular players collect to contend in the World Rapid and also Blitz Chess Championships.
The best of the best
Both the Open and the Women’s classifications will be played in the Swiss system format. The conditions of the occasion state that a gamer has to get to at the very least 2550 points in the open section or 2250 points in the women’s, or be the reigning national champion to certify to play in Almaty. Consequently it is not shocking that the list of gamers contains the best in chess.
In the Open section, Nodirbek Abdusattorov will safeguard his 2021 Rapid Chess title and also Maxime Vachier-Lagrave will attempt to keep his world title in the blitz. In the ladies’s department, Alexandra Kosteniuk will safeguard the gold medal she won in the 2021 rapid event, while Bibisara Assaubayeva will safeguard her title in the blitz.
With nearly 300 players from more than 50 countries competing in the Open and Women’s categories, the chess world is set to close out 2022 with a huge spectacle.
$1 million World Chess Championship for Rapid and Blitz
The World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championship is an annual tournament held by FIDE (International Chess Federation). The FIDE is a non-governmental international organization which links 200 national chess associations in different countries. It has a headquarters in Lausanne. It is responsible for regulating all the international chess competitions. The event is expected to include the best players in the world. As usual, the players will play for a $1 million prize pool, with $700,000 going to the Open Championship and $300,000 to the Women’s Championship.
The world’s top players gathered together
While the FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Championship is not a major event, it does offer a massive prize pool of about $1 million. FIDE has published a preliminary list of participants for the 2022 World Rapid and Blitz Championship. The top 40 players from the Blitz and Rapid categories are included in the list.
The World Rapid and Blitz 2022 will feature the world’s top players, including Magnus Carlsen. Yuri Milner is the sponsor of the event. He is also a personal friend of Carlsen.
In the Open, ruling world champ of classical chess Magnus Carlsen (who won the rapid and blitz world titles in previous versions) leads the field. This is the last time Carlsen will play in the World Rapid and Blitz as Timeless Chess World Champ (as he decided not to defend his title in 2023).
Some of the leading players in the chess world include Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana. Both have won the world championships in the past. The list also includes the reigning world Blitz Champion, Fabiano Caruana and Hikaru Nakamura. Nakamura (silver and bronze medalist at the last World Rapid as well as Blitz Championship) is considered to be the best blitz player in the world. He has a rating of 2900+. He has a number of talented young players including Nazerke Nurgali.
They are joined by a number of champions and also medalists, including Nodirbek Abdussatolov (2021 rapid champion), , Jan Krzysztof Duda (runner-up in 2015’s World Blitz). Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (existing World Blitz champion), Ian Nepomniachtchi (second time opposition for the title of timeless chess world champion, champion in previous rapid and blitz world championships), etc.
The journey from Mumbai to Almaty
There are no direct flights from Mumbai to Almaty. There were two options – a stopover in Dubai or a stopover in Delhi. We chose the latter because of the shorter stopover time. One of the biggest advantages of traveling to Kazakhstan is that Indians do not need visas here. This saves not only money, but also a lot of time.
We had 15 Indians participate in the open section. Looking at the young talent, it will be interesting to see how Nihal Sarin and Arjun Erigaisi, who recently won the Tata Steel Chess India Rapid and Blitz, perform. There are other promising youngsters taking part, including Raunak Sadhwani, Pranav V., Arjun Kalyan and Sankalp Gupta. there are also the experienced Vidit Gujrathi, P. Harikrishna, S.L. Narayanan, Abhimanyu Puranik, Aravindh Chithambaram, Adhiban Harsha Bharathakoti, Srinath, Surya Ganguly and others of the group. None of these players have ever won medals in the world rapid and blitzkrieg. They will try their best to achieve this goal here.
Indian women players have a good chance to win medals. Humpy and Harika will be the favorites for this tournament. As well as Vaishali who recently won the Tata Steel Chess India blitz, she is ahead of players like Anna and Mariya Muzychuk. Tania Sachdev is playing her first world rapid and blitz event. padmini Rout always plays well in a short controlled format, watch the young talents Savitha and Divya Deshmukh will be very exciting to watch.
Chess boom continues in the last 12 years
In Central Asia, a chess boom is sweeping the region. Chess is the oldest game in the world, and has been played for over 1500 years. A number of countries have seen an increase in popularity and competition over the last year.
The chess boom in Kazakhstan has been particularly pronounced. A new chain of chess schools has opened in the country to help teach children to play the game. There are also a number of talented young players under fourteen years of age.
One of the most successful female players in Kazakhstan is Dinara Saduakassova. She is the country’s highest-ranked woman, and is an ambassador for UNICEF. Her chess school is supported by private donations, and offers free classes for poor children. Women are playing chess in the country in increasing numbers. Some believe that being part of the Soviet Union may have helped the women’s chess community in the country.
Other prodigies include 12-year-old Nodirbek Abdusattorov, who won an international chess tournament in St. Petersburg. And Zhansaya Abdumalik, who reached the standard of a male international grandmaster at the age of 17.