The WORLD BLITZ championship: Levon Aronian leads and Bassem Amin has a spectacular first Day
Egypt’s GM Bassem Amin had a good day at the office, as he ended Day 1 in the Blitz section of the World Rapid and Blitz Championships, 2021 on 9.5 points from 12 games. A performance that earned ‘one of the Day 1 Heroes’ tag on the FIDE Official Facebook page.
It was a spectacular first day for the good doctor, as he ended the day in second place behind GM Levon Aronian who leads with 10/12. Following hot on their heels is the top Iranian player and former junior world champion GM Parham Maghsoodloo who is sitting on 9 points from 12 games.
Dr Bassem Amin went through very tough oppositions, which included Jan-Krzysztof Duda, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Ian Nepomniachtchi, losing only one game from the 12 to GM Sanal Vahap.
MVL is also not having a great tournament performance and he lambasted the organizers in a series of tweets where he complained about various aspects of the event on Twitter.
It would be more reasonable to focus on having water available for players, metal detectors for all players before entering the playing area and respecting a schedule (almost one hour late) than to pay full attention on an outdated dress code @FIDE_chess— MVL (@Vachier_Lagrave) December 27, 2021
The 3 leaders are chased by a field of 12 grandmasters, all with 8.5 points. The chasers include defending champion Magnus Carlsen, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Daniil Dubov, Alexander Grischuk as well as one of the top blitz players in the world, Hikaru Nakamura, who has also struggled to make a breakthrough, making five draws in a row.
Countryman, GM Ahmed Adly ended the day on on 7 points, after suffering defeats from GM Grischuk Alexander and GM Firouzja Alireza respectively during the last 2 games of the first day. Dr Bassem will face tournament leader GM Levon Aronian in his next game.
The women’s championship: Bibisara Assaubayeva leads as defender and three-times champion Lagno sinks
With eight points Bibisara Assaubayeva is the sole leader following the first day of the Women’s World Blitz Chess Championships where nine rounds were played on the first day. The 17-year-old player from Kazakhstan has earlier this year shown great promise in the online Women’s Speed Chess Championship where she lost to Hou Yifan. In the first nine rounds of the world blitz championship, Assaubayeva has lost just one game (to GM Valentina Gunina), defeating some of the tournament top contenders – Alexandra Kosteniuk, Polina Shuvalova and Anna Muzychuk.
Following a very strong performance in the three-day world rapid championship, 20-year-old Indian player Vaishali Rameshbabu (the sister of the Indian chess prodigy Praggnanandhaa) is in second place with 7.5/9.
Three players are sharing third place – Humpy Koneru, Alexandra Kosteniuk (who managed to recover from a loss in the first round to Turkey’s Ekaterina Atalik) and another Kazakh player, 21-year-old Zhansaya Abdumalik.
Top seed and the current title holder, Kateryna Lagno, seriously struggled on the first day of the women’s world blitz tournament. The three-time women’s world blitz champion started with a loss to a significantly lower-rated player and then made a draw. Out of nine rounds, Lagno won just three games, drew four and lost two. With 5/9, she is now as far down as 40th place and will have a tough task in the remaining eight rounds, should she want to retain the title.
How can I to follow the FIDE World Rapid & Blitz Championship 2021?
You can follow all the action of the FIDE World Rapid & Blitz Championship 2021 on all the major chess channels and websites including:
• Official FIDE website
• Chess 24
• Follow Chess