Sergey Karjakin has turned the tables on rival Classical World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen by winning the World Blitz chess championship in Doha, Qatar.
The Russian had lost the Classical World Chess Championship 2016 to the Norwegian superstar last month in New York.
The Karjakin-Carlsen showdown in the Qatari capital was as closely matched as the one in New York in November.It was a dramatic climax to five days of speed chess. Carlsen was leading after rounds 18, 19 and 20, however, in the final 21st round, Karjakin caught him and won the title on tiebreak. Karjakin scored a total of 16.5 points from 21 games, and so did the Magnus.
A similar tie-break settled the third place, among the three contestants with 14.5 points each. Russian Daniil Dubov came third, ahead of American Hikaru Nakamura and 2015 champion Alexander Grischuk.
Blitz chess has a time limit of three minutes and an additional two seconds increment per move.
For the first time in his, career Karjakin has won the world blitz title while Carlsen has held it twice before – in 2009 and 2014.
Ukrainian Anna Muzychuk took the female blitz chess champion. She scored 13 points in 17 rounds.
The two rapid chess championship which was also held in Doha, went to Ukrainian players, too. Vassily Ivanchuk was the best among men and Muzychuk was the strongest in rapid chess.
Moreover, rapid chess allows 15 minutes to each player with a 10-second increment per move.
Later, Karjakin said, that his mediocre performance in the rapid championship gave him the push to try harder.
Karjakin added “On day one [of the blitz] I managed to beat Carlsen, which was a beautiful continuation of our story in New York. And after defeating the Norwegian, I realized I actually could claim the champion’s title”.
Here is how Karjakin conquered Magnus: