Samarkand Hosts World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships This Week

ASTANA – Samarkand hosts the World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships on Dec. 26-30, reported the International Chess Federation’s (FIDE) press service on Dec. 25. 

Photo credit: Darmen Sadvakassov’s Instagram

FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich expressed gratitude to Uzbekistan for hosting the event and emphasized FIDE’s objective to organize more global chess events, providing enthusiasts worldwide the chance to witness their heroes in action.

“Dear friends, new pages of chess history will be written in the next five days. Many of the world’s finest players have come together to fight for the crowns in Rapid and Blitz chess. There will be excitement and tension, happy and sad moments, but sportsmanship must prevail. To the players, the organizers, and everyone involved in this event – I wish you the best of luck,” said Dvorkovich.

Photo credit: Darmen Sadvakassov’s Instagram

The tournament witnesses an impressive lineup of renowned players, both current and former champions. The Open section includes the current World Rapid and Blitz Champion and world number one, Magnus Carlsen, former world champion challengers and top players Ian Nepomniachtchi and Fabiano Caruana, and Levon Aronian. In the Women’s section, the current world champion Ju Wenjun and former world champions Alexandra Kosteniuk, Mariya Muzychuk, Tan Zhongyi, Antoaneta Stefanova, and others will compete. The prize fund totals $1 million.

“We brought a large delegation of young chess players. Samarkand is relatively close, and there is an opportunity for the entire expanded team to play – thanks to our FIDE colleagues for such support. Our players are excited. … Reigning two-time Women’s World Blitz Chess Champion Bibisara Assaubayeva is among our favorites in the championship. We wish her and our team good luck,” FIDE grandmaster and Vice President of the Kazakhstan Chess Federation Darmen Sadvakassov wrote in his Instagram post on Dec. 26.

Last year, Assaubayeva won the 2022 FIDE World Blitz Chess Championship, which took place in Almaty.

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