Carlsen and Kosteniuk start the World Rapid 2022 with the black pieces


The World Rapid and Blitz Championships 2022 kicked off today in Almaty, Kazakhstan with the opening ceremony taking place on Christmas day at the Baluan Sholak Sports Palace.

Magnus Carlsen is wearing the chapan or shapan, a long, loose, not gender-specific robe | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The opening ceremony of the World Rapid and Blitz Championships 2022 was filled with music, kids performances, culture, and speeches. Top four seeds in each category – Carlsen, Nakamura, Lagno and Kosteniuk for the Rapid and Blitz Championships in Open and Women categories – attended the ceremony, chose color, and spent time with the audience. According to Sagar Shah, the 15 minutes that Magnus spent with the crowd were truly heart-warming.

The players went on the stage with Magnus wearing the chapan or shapan, a long, loose, not gender-specific robe, and Hikaru putting on the Tymaq, a traditional Kazakh fur hat. Two Kazakh style vessels containing one white king and one black king in each one were brought towards Magnus, who chose the black pieces for Game 1 of the Rapid against GM Ter-Sahakyan Samvel (2531). Kosteniuk also chose the black piece for the Women category against WGM Kovanova Baira (2241)

Among others, FIDE President Arkadij Dvorkovich made a speech saying that the Football world cup just ended and it is now time for the chess extravaganza of World Rapid and Blitz to begin!

Watch the World Rapid Championship 2022 Open here
Watch the World Rapid Championship 2022 Women here

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World Rapid and Blitz Championships 2022: all you need to know


On December 25th, the World Rapid and Blitz Championships will kick off in Almaty, Kazakhstan, with over 300 elite chess players from 50 countries gathering to compete from December 25th to 31st.

Photo: Michael Walusza, FIDE

Tournament schedule:

December 25 — Opening Ceremony,
December 26-28 — Rapid competition,
December 29-30 — Blitz competitions and Closing Ceremony.


In rapid chess, each player begins the game with 15 minutes, and 10 seconds are added to his/her clock after each move. In blitz chess, each player begins the game with 3 minutes, and 2 seconds are added to his/her clock after each move.

Prize Fund

The grand prize pool is worth $1 million, with $700,000 awarded to the Open Championships and $300,000 to the Women’s Championships.

Current title holders:

🏆Nodirbek Abdusattorov for Rapid,
🏆Alexandra Kosteniuk for Women’s Rapid,
🏆Maxime Vachier-Lagrave for Blitz,
🏆and Bibisara Assaubayeva for Women’s Blitz.

Top Participants:

Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Anish Giri, Hikaru Nakamura, Alexander Grischuk, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Yu Yangyi, Jan-Krzysztof Duda, Humpy Koneru, Bibisara Assaubayeva, Aleksandra Goryachkina, Zhongyi Tan, Kateryna Lagno and others.

Carlsen — Niemann situation

GM Hans Niemann has become a household name as he is currently involved in a lawsuit with both Carlsen and Nakamura. Their recent game ended with Carlsen resigning after one move, leaving many to speculate how this will affect Carlsen’s chances of winning the rapid or blitz tournaments. Carlsen is a renowned chess player, having already won both tournaments in the past, and is still considered the favorite to win again. The total prize fund for the event is a generous $1 million, with Carlsen likely to be a top contender for the grand prize.


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Andrey Filatov beat Sergey Karjakin


Andrey Filatov has been re-elected President of the Chess Federation of Russia (CFR) following a victory over grandmaster Sergey Karjakin in the election.

Photo: Ria Novosti / Ramil Sitdikov

Filatov, who has served as head of the CFR since 2014, will remain in office until 2026. The vote saw a total of 58 delegates support Filatov and seven back Karjakin. Karjakin, who was suspended by the International Chess Federation (FIDE) for six months for an open letter in support of the invasion of Ukraine, was the opponent of Filatov in the election.


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David Navara and Alexandra Kosteniuk won the 2022 European Blitz Championship


David Navara and Alexandra Kosteniuk are the 2022 European Blitz Champions for the Open and Women Championships respectively, with David winning due to the tiebreaks criteria.

Photo: European Blitz and Rapid Chess Championship Official Page

The European Open and Women Rapid & Blitz Chess Championships 2022 started yesterday in “Spodek” Sport and Entertainment Centre in Katowice, Poland with more than 830 players from 38 countries, making it one of the biggest chess events in the world!

GM David Navara won the Open Championship after a surprising final round. David was in a completely drawish rooks endgame against GM Valery Kazakouski who blundered mate in 1 for David to reach 17.5 points and tie for the first place with GM Maciej Klekowski and GM Shant Sargsyan. Tiebreaks criteria determined David as gold, Klekowski as silver and Sargsyan as bronze medalists.

Women’s event was merged with the Open section and the best-ranked female player would become the European Women’s Blitz Champion. GM Alexandra Kosteniuk won the title with 15.5 points, followed by IM Aleksandra Maltsevskaya with 15 points and GM Antoaneta Stefanova with 14 points and the best tiebreak criteria.

Τheodoros Tsorbatzoglou, Secretary General of the European Chess Union sent his message to Poland via Twitter saying “The whole Poland is a key area of Chess development. Keep co-operating to bring more positive results.”


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FIDE has changed the selection criteria for the candidates’ tournament


The International Chess Federation recently released the requirements for the 2024 Candidates’ Tournament.

Photo: World Chess (Candidates Tournament 2018 in Berlin)

“The main innovation is creating a new qualification path through different FIDE-rated tournaments. Tournaments that meet certain criteria, like being played under standard time control, supervised by International Arbiters, and where Fair Play measures are applied (among other criteria listed below in detail), will grant points towards the ‘FIDE Circuit’. The player with more points at the end of 2023 will get the coveted spot in the most prestigious of all chess tournaments.”

The competition will feature:

  • The loser of the FIDE World Championship Match (Ian Nepomniachtchi or Ding Liren),
  • The three top players from the World Cup 2023,
  • The two best players by FIDE Grand Swiss Tournament standings,
  • The top-performing player in FIDE tournaments in 2023 who has not yet been chosen,
  • The highest-ranked player in the Classic in January 2024 who has not already been selected.


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Indian Chess Prodigy Arjun Erigaisi Breaks Big Record with $1.5 Million Sponsorship Deal


Chess prodigy Arjun Erigaisi is making history as he signs a groundbreaking sponsorship deal with Singapore-based Quantbox.

Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess India

This five-year contract, worth over $1.5 million, marks the first-ever sponsorship of the Grandmaster from Telangana, and could be a major boost to his professional career. For Erigaisi, 2022 has been a breakthrough year as he has consistently improved his game, earning him a strong rank of 26th in the world by classical score. This sponsorship is the biggest of its kind in the history of Indian chess.


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Andrea Botez could have won in boxing but Dina Belenkaya actually won in chess!


The Content Creator of the Year, Ludwig, created the show of his life, bringing influencers, content creators and professional chess players together for an epic chessboxing event in the Galen Center in Los Angeles.

The Mogul Chessboxing Championship was one of the most anticipated events of the year with big names invited like the professional Smash players Fiction and KJH, chess professionals GM Aman Hambleton and WGM Dina Belenkaya, chess influencer Andrea Botez and content creators GothamChess, Boxbox, Cherdleys, PointCrow and Disguised Toast.

Ludwig Anders Ahgren had a successful event with full house attendance onsite in the Galen Center, as he also broke yet another record of his in terms of viewership online.

As far as the results, GM Aman Hambleton – the highest rated chess player ever competing – defeated IM Lawrence Trent via TKO in the second round. Also Dina defeated Andrea Botez via Checkmate in the sixth round.

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Both Carlsen and Niemann to Play in the FIDE Rapid and Blitz. Just Not Against Each Other


Both Carlsen and Niemann are to play in the FIDE Rapid and Blitz Championship, creating yet another possible high-stakes clash. But boy, will Niemann be checked for anti-cheating devices!

Hans Niemann, the enfant terrible of chess circa 2022, has registered for the FIDE Rapid and Blitz in Kazakhstan. There he will have the opportunity to face off against the reigning world champion, Magnus Carlsen. It’s a potential scandal in the making, because Carlsen will probably refuse to play against Niemann, as he did during an online event earlier this year.

Players are already involved in a high-profile fight in court, where Carlsen is fighting off a $400m-defamation suit. Niemann remains a polarizing figure in the chess world. Some admire his talent and fearlessness (both on and off the board), while others view him as a player who admitted to cheating online and not trustworthy to be allowed to play.

The Rapid and Blitz Championships, held over five days in the capital of Kazakhstan, are organized as Swiss events, where winners of the previous rounds are paired with winners, allowing to determine the strongest players. Carlsen consistently fared well in these events and won them numerous times, Niemann’s performance is hard to predict, but chances are that he will face Carlsen in one of the rounds.

The potential showdown between Niemann and Carlsen has sparked intense anticipation among chess fans (and probably lawyers). In case Carlsen refuses to play, he will most likely be penalized — the decision will be taken by an appeals committee appointed by FIDE, the chess governing body that currently investigates both Niemann (for alleged cheating) and Carlsen (for alleged defamation).

Regardless of the outcome, one thing is clear: the World Rapid and Blitz Championship is set to be a rare event in the chess world where the spectators and commentators alike will watch for not the games but the pairings. It’s going to be a must-watch event for anyone interested in the world of chess. The potential clash between Niemann and Carlsen promises to be a high-stakes and dramatic showdown, and it will be interesting to see how it all plays out.


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The Next Women’s World Champion is from China.


China’s Tan Zhongyi has claimed victory in the final game of the Women’s Candidates Pool B, defeating Russia’s Aleksandra Goryachkina in a closely-fought match.

Photo: FIDE

The win means that Tan Zhongyi will face Pool A winner, China’s Lei Tingjie, in the first quarter of 2023. The winner of that match will go on to challenge current Women’s World Chess Champion Ju Wenjun, also from China, for the title.

The fourth and final game of the second leg of the FIDE Women’s Candidates began at 3 pm at the Farovon Hotel in Khiva. Tan Zhongyi had been dominant throughout the opening stage, using a variety of openings to keep Goryachkina on the back foot. In the final game, Tan Zhongyi repeated the Semi-Slav defense from the second game, but instead of repeating the Exchange variation, she opted for 6.e3.

Goryachkina was caught off guard by this choice, and after some hesitation, chose the Cambridge Springs variation. However, Tan Zhongyi was clearly still in preparation, and on move 18, Goryachkina made a crucial blunder with 18…Rac8, allowing Tan Zhongyi to launch a powerful pawn thrust with 18.c5. This put Goryachkina on the back foot, and despite sacrificing a piece for two pawns, she was unable to recover and Tan Zhongyi secured victory on move 40.

The win means that Tan Zhongyi will now face Lei Tingjie in a highly anticipated match, with the winner going on to challenge Ju Wenjun for the Women’s World Chess Championship.


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