Monday 1 January 2024

2023 World Rapid and Blitz - Final Day

 Magnus Carlsen completed the double at the 2023 World Rapid and Blitz by winning the Blitz tournament with 16/21. He started the 2nd day of the Blitz with a loss to Maxime Vachier-Lagrave but finished with 7/8 to end up half a point ahead of Daniil Dubov. Vladislav Artemiev was in the lead at round 16 but fell back to 3rd place by the end.

Valentina Gunina was the popular winner of the Women's Blitz, finishing with 14/17. Alexandra Kosteniuk was 2nd on 13.5, and Jiner Zhu was 3rd on 12.5.

Unlike Day 4, there were no issues on the last day (at least from a pairing and organizational point of view). There was a slight delay for the final round after Carlsen queried the color allocation of his final game (he had double black), but a brief explanation from the Chief Arbiter  was all that was needed to assure him. 

My own experience of the event was overwhelmingly positive. It was well organised by the Uzbekistan Chess Federation, and the arbiting team was top notch. The quick turn around time between rounds to collect/check and produce pairings meant I was on my toes for the entire event, but to get to the finish was enormously satisfying. 

I'll be in Samarkand for another full day (due to flight rescheduling) then I begin the 30 hour trip back to Australia

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