Magnus Carlsen in the groove won blitz chess Championships
Magnus Carlsen was far behind before the last day, but eight wins and two remis in ten games still made him world champion in blitz chess for the third time in his career.
The gold was secured before the last round in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh. Carlsen beat Ukrainian Anton Korobov with white pieces while challenger Sergei Karjakin lost his game against Levon Aronian.
Thus, Carlsen had 15.5 points against Karjakin’s 13.5 before the last round.
– That’s very good. I’m a little tired and have spent a lot of energy today, but it feels incredibly good, Carlsen told NRK.
– I got a much better start today. That helped. That made it easier to play than it did yesterday, where it was more up’s and down’s, he added.
The 27-year-old won the bliz chess WC in 2009 and 2014. Last year, he had to settle with silver after finishing a point with Karjakin. Saturday Carlsen got his revenge.
– It means a lot. I failed last year. Before today, I did not think so much about winning. I Had been pleased to be in the top three, but when it started so well, it was just to go on. Now I can enter the New Year with a very good feeling, says Carlsen.
Strong string of games
Karjakin led the championship after Friday’s games, but the Russian was hunted down after Carlsen’s phenomenal Saturday string of wins. He won eight out of ten parties, with only two ending in a draw. Karjakin could not keep up with that.
The Russians played a lot of remis on the closing day, and he had to see the gold definitely slip when he lost in the second last game against Aronian. Carlsen got a psychological grip on Karjakin when he beat the rival when they met in today’s fourth game.
Freshly shaved and on a roll
Before Saturday’s parties, Carlsen was in 20th place and was two points behind Karjakin. He honestly admitted that his play was not good enough. The chess ace removed his beard before the closing day, and with a new look he was clearly on the offensive.
In the 21st and final party Carlsen accepted a quick draw against Aronian. Thus he went unbeaten through all of the ten games.
The win is a solid upturn for Carlsen after a year in which he has not showed himself at his best. In the limited time World Championships, the gold was lost in the last game, and he ended up as number five with Indian Vishy Anand as the somewhat surprising winner.
Carlsen has also won three World Championships in classic chess where he is ruling champion since 2013.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today