Carlsen Wins 4th Rapid World Championship, Tan Takes Women’s Title

Carlsen Wins 4th Rapid World Championship, Tan Takes Women's Title


GM Magnus Carlsen claimed his fourth world rapid chess crown on Wednesday and finished with a commanding score of 10/13 in the 2022 FIDE World Rapid Chess Championship

A round-11 hiccup against GM Vladislav Artemiev pulled Carlsen’s tournament into question briefly. However, a brilliant round-13 demolition of GM Parham Maghsoodloo put all the pressure on co-leaders GMs Vincent Keymer and Artemiev, who both failed to win their final games.

A playoff was required to confirm the women’s rapid world champion due to GM Tan Zhongyi and IM Dinara Saduakassova both finishing on 8.5/11. In a scintillating two-game blitz tiebreaker Tan managed to take down the local hero and add another world title to her glowing resume.

The 2022 FIDE World Blitz Chess Championship will begin on Thursday, December 28, starting at 1 a.m. PT / 10:00 CET.

The final day of the championship saw Carlsen pick up right where he left off, first sweeping aside Keymer who, in the form of his life, was slowly ground down by the world champion in a queenless middlegame. 

On boards two and three results fell in favor of Carlsen, with GM Vladimir Fedoseev (7/9) succumbing to a rocketing GM Fabiano Caruana, while GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov (also on 7/9) conceded a draw against GM Yu Yangyi with the white pieces.

Caruana’s win was his fourth in a row and fans began to salivate at the idea of a Carlsen-Caruana matchup as the American GM joined the chasing group one point behind the leader. The distinguished chasers after 10 rounds also included Artemiev and GM Daniil Dubov, who all but ended the chance of a podium finish for their opponents, GMs Arjun Erigaisi and Anish Giri.

Camaraderie between top-flight players (Caruana and Giri are pictured) is common. Photo: Maria Emelianova/ 

GM Ian Nepomniachtchi‘s temporary queen sacrifice against GM Evgeny Tomashevksy made his game the most exciting of round 10 although the win left him a point and a half off the pace in what has overall been a disappointing tournament for the world championship challenger.

Round 11 saw Carlsen pair with Artemiev, who commentators Howell and Trent suggested was a difficult matchup for the world number-one. Stabilization out of the Bogo-Indian Defense suggested that the game was heading for a draw, but a stunning blunder from Carlsen in a blatantly equal position gifted his opponent the full point! 

This unexpected upset tore open the field and allowed Artemiev to join the defeated leader at the top on 8.5/10. Five other players ascended to within half a point of the lead during round 11: Dubov, Keymer, Fedoseev, Caruana, and GM Vidit Gujrathi. Vidit, whose start left him on a mediocre 3.5/6, managed to score 4.5 points in the next five rounds after the shaky start, highlighting the importance of momentum and resilience during an event such as this.

The penultimate round brought forth a pairing that many had been waiting for: the duel between the once-dubbed “Mozart of chess” and the popular U.S. Champion Caruana. 

While offbeat openings had benefited Carlsen in earlier games of the tournament, Caruana showed that he is not to be trifled with and equalized comfortably against White’s 7.Qc1!? in the Catalan Opening. There came a moment on move 22 that Carlsen began shaking his head profusely, feeling that he had overpressed, though a flurry of accurate moves came to the rescue and secured him a draw.

The only decisive results on the top eight boards were by Keymer, who joined the leaders on 9/12, and Maghsoodoloo, who booked himself a showdown on board one in the final round.

With everything to play for amongst the three players on 9/12 (Carlsen, Keymer, and Artemiev) the world number-one was still the heavy favorite given that his adversaries were paired against some of the most difficult opponents in the field, Caruana and Vachier-Lagrave respectively.

As the only player on 9/12 with the white pieces, Carlsen opted to play one of the most aggressive lines possible against Maghsoodloo’s Sicilian Defense, and after just 18 moves it become very crystal clear that he had built a near-decisive attack. With his highlight reel over 13 rounds primarily featuring endgame squeezes, it was fitting that his most rambunctious game was his last.

Maghsoodloo had an excellent tournament but couldn’t quite match Carlsen’s level in round 13. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Our Game of the Day, which secured the championship, is analyzed by GM Rafael Leitao below.

By the time the board-one game had finished, Caruana had all but dashed Artemiev’s chances of a maiden title after blowing him off the board. Keymer, on the other hand, pressed hard as Black against Vachier-Lagrave and even found himself in a winning endgame, but the young German GM caved under pressure against his experienced opponent and had to settle for a draw.

The prospect of a playoff became more real by the second for Carlsen. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

The conclusion of Keymer’s game came with the confirmation that Carlsen had won his fourth world rapid title and that he will still hold a world championship title when his classical title is passed on in 2023. 

For his victory, Carlsen earned a healthy $60,000 while the silver and bronze medalists, Keymer and Caruana, will receive $50,000 and $40,000 respectively.

2022 World Rapid Chess Championship | Final Standings (Top 20)

# Fed Title Name Rating Points
1 GM Magnus Carlsen  2834 10
2 GM Vincent Keymer  2590 9.5
3 GM  Fabiano Caruana 2747 9.5

GM Daniil Dubov  2712 9
5 GM Arjun Erigaisi  2628 9

GM Vladimir Fedoseev  2741 9

GM Vladislav Artemiev  2727 9
8 GM Richard Rapport 2802 9
9 GM Sarin Nihal   2628 8.5
10 GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov   2676 8.5
11 GM Rauf Mamedov   2578 8.5
12 GM Anish Giri   2708 8.5
13 GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda   2791 8.5

GM Ian Nepomniachtchi  2766 8.5
15 GM Vidit Gujrathi 2659 8.5

GM Alexey Sarana 2629 8.5
17 GM Parham Maghsoodloo   2656 8.5

GM Alexander Grischuk   2759 8.5
19 GM  Maxime Vachier-Lagrave  2777 8.5
20 GM  Surya Ganguly  2646 8.5

(Full standings here.)

All World Rapid Chess Championship Games

The early stages of the final day of the women’s event were all about the local Kazakh players, GMs Zhansaya Abdumalik and Saduakassova, who both managed to win their round-nine games and catch the tournament leaders. Tan and GM Aleksandra Goryachkina, who dominated play on the second day, drew in a relatively mundane encounter and allowed the Kazakh grandmasters, along with GM Humpy Koneru, to soak up the lead.

Nerves crept in as Saduakassova realized that a title shot could become a reality. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Abdumalik’s dispatching of day two co-leader WIM Savitha Shri was all class and swashbuckling middlegame play in the Sicilian Defense: Richter-Rauzer Variation. Strong play prompted Shri to make a one-move blunder, leaving the 15-year-old enigma rueing in what could have been.

High-stakes matchups were the name of the game in round 10 and the mettle of the leaders was tested as the five faced off against each other (barring Abdumalik who floated down to play GM Alexandra Kosteniuk).

The key round-nine matchups. Image:

Draws on boards one and three allowed a clear leader to emerge in Saduakassova who scored her sixth win on the fly against the top-seed Goryachkina. Gaining a small advantage out of the opening with White, the 26-year-old, Astana-based IM saved all her tricks for the crucial round-10 matchup and asserted herself over the field with one round to spare.

Saduakassova found herself with a favorable pairing against Shri in the final round but curiously chose to take an early draw. While the result guaranteed an equal first finish, Howell pointed out that a playoff against either Tan, Koneru, or Abdumalik weren’t particularly appealing if any of them were to win their final-round games.

Although Abdumalik-Koneru did finish in a draw, Tan did in fact win her game against GM Nino Batsiashvili and move into equal first on 8.5/11, forcing a tiebreak between the former world champion and the Kazakh hero. Despite their unbeaten runs in the main event, the pair’s first playoff game was a nervy one. After building an advantage off the back of several blunders by Black, Tan missed three opportunities to put the game to bed and instead opted for a repetition.

A game of missed chances for Tan. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

A topsy-turvy second game produced a drawish rook endgame that seemed slightly easier for White to play until Saduakassova made played the passive 26.Rbc3. Tan immediately went on the attack and never looked back, spotting a championship-winning trick to liquidate into a winning king and pawn ending on move 37.

For her historic victory, Tan will receive $40,000 as the first prize while silver and bronze medalists, Saduakassova and Shri, will receive $30,000 and $20,000 each.

2022 Women’s World Rapid Chess Championship | Final Standings (Top 20) 

# Fed Title Name Rtg Pts.
1 GM Tan Zhongyi 2502 8.5
2 IM Saduakassova Dinara 2435 8.5
3 WIM Savitha Shri B 2311 8

GM Goryachkina Aleksandra 2484 8
5 GM Abdumalik Zhansaya 2448 8
6 GM Koneru Humpy 2468 8

IM Bivol Alina 2179 7.5
8 GM Khotenashvili Bela 2405 7.5

GM Kosteniuk Alexandra 2537 7.5

IM Charochkina Daria 2259 7.5
11 GM Batsiashvili Nino 2370 7
12 GM Danielian Elina 2331 7
13 WGM Gong Qianyun 2315 7

GM Gunina Valentina 2389 7

IM Garifullina Leya 2316 7
16 WIM Munkhzul Turmunkh 2192 7
17 IM Mammadova Gulnar 2343 7
18 IM Maltsevskaya Aleksandra 2327 7
19 GM Stefanova Antoaneta 2399 7
20 GM Dzagnidze Nana 2475 7

(Full standings here.)

All Women’s World Rapid Chess Championship Games

The 2022 FIDE World Rapid Championship is an elite over-the-board event featuring the best speed chess players in the world. Masters and national champions from around the globe gather to compete in a Swiss tournament for their share of the $350,000 prize fund.

Classical world champion Carlsen, followed by speed chess legends Nakamura, Duda, and Vachier-Lagrave head the field and will be challenged by numerous other 2700+ players. 

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