Daniil Dubov and Ju Wenjun World Rapid Chess Champions Print
Friday, 28 December 2018 01:01

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The King Salman World Rapid Championship ended in the Manege on December 28.

The title in the Open Section went to Daniil Dubov (Russia), who collected 11 points in 15 games. 
Please view final standings and complete prize fund allocations: PDF | Excel

Daniil Dubov: “I cannot say I played very well, but the luck was on my side. The game against Anton Korobov was perhaps critical for my success. I thought it will end in a draw, but he kept pressure until the very end, and then made a blunder. Such a gift can give a real boost to the overall winning chances. All in all, I think this victory is my biggest achievement to date.”

Half a point behind him were Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan), Hikaru Nakamura (USA), Vladislav Artemiev (Russia), and Magnus Carlsen (Norway). Superior tie-break score gave Mamedyarov the silver, and Nakamura got the bronze.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan)

Ju Wenjun, who had defended her Women's World Champion's title a month ago in Khanty-Mansiysk, managed to defend her champion's title in rapid chess as well. With 10 points in 12 games, the Chinese finished solely on top.

Ju Wenjun said that she played really well on the first two days, which gave her confidence for the remaining rounds. Another important factor in her success: her trainer grandmaster Ni Hua was present in St. Petersburg and helped her a lot. Finally, Ju Wenjun said that she is already a very experienced player, and called rapid a more interesting and even funny form of chess compared to the classical form.

Sarasadat Khademalsharieh (Iran) and Aleksandra Goryachkina (Russia) tied for second place a full point behind the winner. Khademalsharieh's superior tie-break secured her second place, Goryachkina got the bronze.

Sarasadat Khademalsharieh (Iran)

Aleksandra Goryachkina (Russia)

The King Salman World Blitz Championship starts on December 29 in the Manege.

The rounds begin at 3 p.m.; the games on the final day start at 2 p.m.

The total prize fund is USD 1,150,000.

Official website

Seven players lead the Open Section. Ju Wenjun remains on top in the Women's Section

WRBC 2018

The King Salman World Rapid and Blitz Championship continues in St. Petersburg. Ten rounds are played in the Open Section; eight rounds are in the books in the Women's Section.

 Playing Hall

Before the start of the day, the Chief Arbiter Laurent Freyd congratulated Kateryna Lagno on her birthday and brought her flowers.

 Kateryna Lagno
Kateryna Lagno

The leading group in the Open Section increased to seven players. Ian Nepomniachtchi, Dmitry Andreikin, Vladislav Artemiev, Daniil Dubov, Maxim Matlakov (all Russia), Wang Hao, and Yu Yangyi (both China) are ahead with 7.5 points after 10 games. Half a point behind them are 11 players, including the World Champion Magnus Carlsen.

 World Champion Magnus Carlsen
World Champion Magnus Carlsen

The Women's World Champion Ju Wenjun remained a sole leader of the Women's Section with 7 points out of 8. She won six games and drew with two ex-World Champions Tan Zhongyi (China) and Mariya Muzychuk (Ukraine). Mariya is on clear second place with 6.5 points, seven players have 6 points.

 Ju Wenjun
Ju Wenjun

The World Rapid Champions will be determined on Friday, December 28. On the concluding day of the Rapid Championship, five rounds will be played in the Open Section, and four rounds – in the Women's section.

Official website

First Games of King Salman World Rapid Championship played in Saint Petersburg.

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The King Salman World Rapid Championships started on December 26 in St. Petersburg. There were five rounds in the Open Section and four rounds in the Women's Section.

His Highness Prince Fahad bin Jalawi bin Abdulaziz bin Mousaad Al Saud, Adviser to the President of General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia, made an honorary first move for the World Champion Magnus Carlsen in his second round game. FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich started the first round game between Guliskhan Nakhbayeva and Anna Muzychuk.

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His Highness Prince Fahad bin Jalawi bin Abdulaziz bin Mousaad Al Saud 

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FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich


The World Champion began the tournament with two defeats. He lost on time in the first game against the Ukrainian Adam Tukhaev, and then lost the second game to the young Uzbek player Shamsiddin Vokhidov. However, after that Carlsen won three games in a row.

After five rounds, the Open Section is led by Ian Nepomniachtchi, Dmitry Andreikin (both Russia), and the 15-year-old Alireza Firouzja (Iran) with 4.5 points each. 15 players scored 4 points.

The Women's World Champion Ju Wenjun (China) took the lead in the Women's Section with four straight wins. Half a point behind her are Anna Muzychuk, Mariya Muzychuk (both Ukraine), Tan Zhongyi (China), Dinara Saduakassova, Zhansaya Abdumalik (both Kazakhstan), and Antoaneta Stefanova (Bulgaria).

Women's World Champion Ju Wenjun (China)

On Thursday, December 27, the tournament will continue with five more rounds in the Open Section and four more rounds in the Women's Section.

Official website

King Salman World Blitz and Rapid Championships 2018 Opened in Saint Petersburg

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On Tuesday, December 25, the Central Exhibition Hall Manege hosted the opening ceremony for the King Salman World Blitz and Rapid Championships. A press-conference with World Champions Magnus Carlsen and Ju Wenjun, Vice-World Champion Sergey Karjakin, FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich, RCF President Andrey Filatov, and Manege Director Pavel Prigara took place prior to the ceremony.


In his speech, Arkady Dvorkovich thanked everyone involved in organizing this prestigious event: King Salman, St. Petersburg authorities, Russian Chess Federation, the sponsors – Gazprom, Russian Railways, Sberbank, PhosAgro, etc. The President of FIDE emphasized: “We chose St. Petersburg as the venue of the championships together. I am very happy that the event takes place in Manege – a beautiful historical building in the heart of the city. St. Petersburg is rightly considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and I am sure that many chess players will be happy to visit it again a few times.”

Andrey Filatov mentioned a unique feature of the championship: for the first time in chess history it is organized by two countries: the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Russia. “It is a big honor for us to become organizers of the World Blitz and Rapid Championships. We are grateful to King Salman and FIDE leadership for the trust they put in us”, summarized the RCF President.

According to Pavel Prigara, it is a first sporting event ever hosted in Manege, which is normally an art exhibition hall. “Yet I think chess is the closest to art of all sports, so the decision seems logical – we will try to demonstrate beauty of sport in an art exhibition hall. As far as I know, Russian Chess Federation had already organized their tournaments in world's largest museums, including the Louvre and the Russian Museum. Our Central Exhibition Hall fits this list well”, said the Director of Manege.


Answering a question from the media, Magnus Carlsen and Ju Wenjun discussed bringing chess to school curriculum. Magnus Carlsen said that this is a great idea, however, he didn't think chess should be compulsory. According to the World Champion, those studying chess definitely benefit from it.

Ju Wenjun added that China is already implementing this idea in a number of schools, and she hopes that this number will increase in the future: “Chess teaches logic”.

In the beginning of the opening ceremony, the Deputy Sports Minister of the Russian Federation Sergey Kosilov read out the welcome address of the Russian President Vladimir Putin.


There were welcome speeches from the acting Governor of St. Petersburg Alexander Beglov, President of the Saudi Chess Federation Rami Altassan, RCF President Andrey Filatov, and FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich, who declared the championships open.

In the drawing of lots ceremony Magnus Carlsen picked a black pawn, thus giving all odd numbered players in the Open Section Black in the first round. Ju Wenjun, who is number two in the tournament, in turn, picked a white pawn, therefore, all odd numbered players in the Women's Section will start the championship with Black.


A concert that followed consisted of ballet performance, aerial gymnasts' act, and several jazz pieces by the Acoustic Band. The technical meeting for the players concluded the evening.

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The rounds begin at 3 p.m.; the games on the final day start at 2 p.m.

The total prize fund is USD 1,150,000.

General partner – General Sports Authority.

The Championship is supported by Gazprom.

Official partner – Russian Railways. Partner – Sberbank. General Partner of RCF – PhosAgro.

Official website

Seven players lead the Open Section of the King Salman World Rapid Championship. Ju Wenjun remains on top in the Women's Section.

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