MASTER PLAN
THE recently-concluded FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Championships in Doha was a big boost for the game in the region.
Karjakin leading the great Russian revival
AFTER a brief lull, Russians are back in the reckoning. Sergey Karjakin, who stretched champion Magnus Carlsen at the classical FIDE World Championships in New York last December and won the blitz title in Doha recently, leads the way. 
‘Drawing against Carlsen a good experience’
RAPID and blitz event is totally different from the classical format due to its sheer unpredictability. A bad start can lead to complications in later rounds and can test the very best.
ILYUMINATION!
INTERNATIONAL chess federation (FIDE) chief Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who has been at its helm for long 21 years,..
Fast and flawless!
RUSSIAN Grandmaster Sergey Karjakin was all smiles after he turned the tables on classical world champion Magnus Carlsen to win his maiden World Blitz Championship at the Ali bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena in Doha last week. 

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World classical champion Magnus Carlsen had an unimpressive outing at the FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Championships, where he failed to defend his rapid title, finishing third, and came second in blitz.

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AT 47, VASSILY Ivanchuk is one of the oldest players in the sport, but he showed how age has not at all slowed him down and how well he has adapted to the shorter version of the game by dethroning world champion Magnus Carlsen to win the rapid title last week.

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Qatar’s Reem Hani Ballan, one of the tournament officials at the World Rapid and Blitz Championships, hoped to get her International Arbiter (IA) norm soon. 

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INDIA’S first Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand, who won his maiden FIDE World Championship in 2000 and then ruled the sport from 2007 to 2013, is regarded as one of the best players in the game’s history.

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CHINA’S world champion in classical format Hou Yifan, who tops the women’s rapid and blitz rankings, was conspicuous by her absence in Doha. 

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Magnus Carlsen opted for a normal e3 opening in his first-round game against Indian Grandmaster Surya Sekhar Ganguly at the Doha Worlds, but the FIDE world champion in both classical and rapid formats said he had decided on it long ago. 

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THE FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Championships are expected to boost the game’s profile in Qatar, but Qatar Chess Association Secretary Mohammad Al Medaikhi said it was easier said than done.

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DEFENDING champion and top seed Magnus Carlsen had a far-from-impressive start when he settled for a draw in the first game and lost the second at the Ali bin Hamad Al Atiyah Arena last Monday.

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Some of the world’s top Grandmasters including Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Wesley So will play in the inaugural PRO Chess League organised by www.chess.com. 

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THE FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Championships to be held in Doha later this month will provide enough consolation and plenty of excitement for fans after the annual Qatar Masters, which started in 2014, was scrapped this year.

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MAGNUS Carlsen’s ‘second’ or coach Peter Heine Nielsen, who helped the Norwegian prepare for his match against Sergey Karjakin at the recent FIDE World Championships in New York, said the 26-year-old felt slightly uneasy after losing the eighth game.

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Qatari Grandmaster Mohammed Nasser Al Sayed said more international tournaments were needed for the game’s development in the country.  

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QATAR Chess Association (QCA) President Khalifa Mohammed Al Hitmi exuded confidence the World Rapid and Blitz Championships will enhance the sport’s development in the country.