The FIDE World Rapid & Blitz Championships will be held December 26-30, 2022 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The International Chess Federation confirmed the dates and the host city on Monday in a press release.

Traditionally, two of the most exciting events on the chess calendar are held in the last week of the year, and this year will be no different. Between Christmas and New Year’s Day, once again the world rapid and blitz championships will be held. This time, the host city is Kazakhstan’s largest metropolis, Almaty—10 years after the event was held in the capital, Astana.

The main sponsor of the event is Freedom Finance, an investment company that is a part of Freedom Holdings (Nevada, U.S.) which is engaged in investment banking, asset management, and capital markets services. The company owns the Kazakh bank Freedom Finance, the online store Freedom24, and the Kazakhstani broker Freedom Finance JSC among other assets.

FIDE’s Director General Emil Sutovsky confirmed to that the format of the two tournaments will remain unchanged. This means that the world rapid championship will be a Swiss system with 13 rounds for the open tournament and 11 rounds for the women’s tournament, played over three days. The world blitz will be a Swiss system as well with 21 rounds for the open tournament and 17 rounds for the women’s tournament on the last two days.

Last year, the events were held in Warsaw, Poland, where GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov won the rapid tournament and GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave won the world blitz. In the women’s sections, GM Alexandra Kosteniuk won the world rapid and IM Bibisara Assaubayeva the world blitz.

The world rapid and blitz championships have used this format since 2012. In the open sections, the rapid was won three times by Carlsen, in 2014, 2015, and 2019. The Norwegian GM won the world blitz four times, in 2014, 2017, 2018, and 2019. GM Hikaru Nakamura, who recently won his first world title at the Fischer Random championship, hasn’t won gold yet in either the rapid or blitz but is always among the top favorites. So far, names of participants haven’t been announced yet.

Jun 23, 2017

The Paris tournament of the Grand Chess Tour is running from June 21-25.

The Paris tournament of the Grand Chess Tour, running from June 21-25 started with exciting chess from the players, and many dramatic reversals. Both Magnus Carlsen and Wesley So took off with 2.5/3, but it was really Carlsen’s show as he displayed excellent form on the first day. With many games and snippets, here is the illustrated report by GM Alex Yermolinsky.

The Paris tournament of the Grand Chess Tour is running from June 21-25. It is a combination of Rapid and Blitz games. The ten participants are Magnus Carlsen, Wesley So, Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana, Alexander Grischuk, Sergey Karjakin, Veselin Topalov, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Etienne Bacrot. They will play nine rapid games, three a day, from June 21–23. The games start at 14:00h, 15:30h and 17:00h European Standard Summer Time. The Blitz tournament is on June 24 and 25, with nine rounds on each day, starting at 14:00h. The total prize fund is $150,000!

Note that the event is using the Bronstein mode: the players have 25 minutes for all the moves of a rapid game, and a ten second delay per move. This means that the clock does not run for ten seconds – the point is that you cannot accumulate time by playing very quickly in the Bronstein Mode.

This year’s Grand Chess Tour Series kicked off today with a Rapid/Blitz event in Paris. There will be two more similar tournaments, next week in Leuven and in August in St. Louis. It is interesting how this series, the brainchild of Garry Kasparov, has morphed into a combination of three different kinds of chess. Perhaps, it wasn’t Garry’s original intention, but as he himself admitted in his recent interview, it’s getting harder to find sponsors for classical time control tournaments willing to join the Tour. I guess the organizers in Norway and other places prefer to have their own exclusive event with a full control over selection of participants. Garry talks about adding one more Rapid/Blitz event in 2018 – surely a sign of the times.

Before the start of the tournament, the main question was how Magnus Carlsen would respond to his recent string of mediocre (by his standards) results. Magnus gave an emphatic answer by scoring two wins and one draw on the opening day, albeit not without some cooperation from his opponents. First he drew Grischuk with Black in a solid, error-free game. Then came a game against one of his favorite opponents not named Hikaru.

This win brought Carlsen’s advantage in their head-to-head encounters to +17-3=11. Some head scratching for Shak to do.


This is how without doing anything in particular, Carlsen took the lead and pushed his rapid rating over 2900.One wonders if his opponents will continue their blundering ways, and what happens if they stop.

Level with Carlsen is Wesley So, also with 2.5/3. Actually, it’s 5/6, as rapid games in this tournament count twice as much as blitz games to give some balance to scoring in two different disciplines. Wesley’s path to a good start was even rockier. He could have easily lost the following game in the first round.  read more on chessbase

So the standings after Day 2 of rapid chess are as follows:

See also:

  • Official website
  • All the games with computer analysis on chess24
  • Kasparov on hand for Paris Grand Chess Tour launch
  • Paris Grand Chess Tour Day 1: Carlsen and So lead


May 09, 2020

Free video course from Magnus Carlsen for chess fans

Magnus Carlsen publishes 1st free video course on Chessable, fresh from his victory in The Magnus Carlsen Invitational, is back with another great gift to chess fans. The World Champion, 29, has released his first interactive video lesson on Chessable – and it’s free.

The Magnus Touch – Free Strategy Lesson is a mini-training course based around one of the Norwegian’s most memorable games – his 2015 masterpiece against Li Chao. In it, Carlsen, in conversation with Chessable’s IM John Bartholomew, guides you through the game move-by-move in a highly instructive endgame.

Then Chessable’s new MoveTrainer 2.0 system kicks in and tests you on what you’ve learned with a series of problems based on the game. In total there’s 27 minutes of free video with Carlsen, 2,600 words of instruction and 12 trainable variations.  And there’s more to come.

The Magnus Touch: Free Strategy Lesson is a fascinating journey into the mind of the world’s greatest chess player AND it is a taster of his upcoming landmark The Magnus Touch course.
Chessable has scheduled its big Magnus Carlsen course launch for May 18. Look forward to it – but until then, try this out.

Jul 06, 2019

” The real talent is the ability to work hard…”

Grandmaster Iossif Dorfman, a former USSR and French Chess Champion, talks to Joachim Iglesias about chess life in the Soviet Union, seconding Garry Kasparov for four World Championship matches, coaching the 9-year-old Etienne Bacrot, new chess talents (he feels Vladislav Artemiev has much more potential than Sergey Karjakin) and his book and now video series, The Method in Chess.

Before we get to the interview, here are some key moments from Iossif’s career:

  • Born on May 1st 1952 in Zhytomyr, Soviet Ukraine
  • Awarded the title of Merited Master of Sports of the USSR in 1973
  • European Champion with the USSR in 1977
  • Became an International Master in 1977
  • USSR Champion in 1977
  • Obtained the Grandmaster title in 1978
  • Seconded Garry Kasparov during four of his World Championship matches from 1984 to 1987
  • Came to live in France in 1989
  • Starts training 9-year-old Etienne Bacrot in 1992, helping him to become the youngest grandmaster in history
  • French Champion in 1998
  • Contributor and commentator for chess24’s French site since 2019

Joachim Iglesias: Hello, Iossif. If you don’t mind, we’ll first take a chronological look at your career as a player, and then coach, before getting to current projects. You were born in 1952 in present-day Ukraine. At what age did you learn to play chess ? 

Iossif Dorfman: I vividly remember the day a friend of the family offered to play chess and taught me the rules, but I didn’t really start to play until I was 11, which even at the time was very late.

Like Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, who has a degree in Mathematics, you went to university. Is that a choice you regret? Would you advise promising young players nowadays to do a degree?

I spent five years studying Engineering at the Kiev Polytechnic Institute. You have to understand that at the time becoming a professional player was extremely difficult, since the slots were so scarce. Rafael Vaganian, for example, finished runner-up in the 1975 Soviet Championship without being a professional. In the USSR, the best players had a huge amount of recognition – they were as well-known as cosmonauts and could play in front of halls packed with thousands of spectators. There was very little money, however, and you had to be a little crazy to choose to become a professional. In France there’s no recognition: who knows Maxime, Etienne or Laurent? No-one, or almost no-one. Having said that, nowadays it’s possible to live well from chess in France, but it’s become an altogether different and varied profession. You have to give classes, write books and make videos on the internet as well as playing games. We’re far from the cliché, still in vogue in the 90s, of a chess player who gets up at 2pm in order to play blitz for money in the bars…

On January 1st 1977, Karpov is the World Champion and you’re still only a Soviet Master of Sport, but you’re about to have an incredible year…

I’d already had major successes before that. You need to realise that in that era Master of Sport is like Grandmaster nowadays. To make a norm it was necessary to score +6 in the USSR U27 Championship, which, as you can imagine, was pretty tough. I’d won that tournament with +11, becoming a Master of Sport with 4 rounds to spare.

In 1976 I won the Red Army Championship, which was as strong as the current French Championship.

I then went on to win the Premier League, a qualifier for the USSR Championship final, by 1.5 points. It was almost all grandmasters, such as Tseshkovsky, Sveshnikov, Beliavsky…

In the final of the USSR Championship I won six games, but unfortunately I also lost too many for a place on the podium.

Read more at chess24

See also:

  • The Method in Chess | Iossif Dorfman and Jan Gustafsson
  • The Method in Chess: 5 new video series