Carlsen achieves triple crown

by Webmaster on June 21, 2014

Not only is 23-year old Norwegian Grandmaster the World Champion and the highest ranked player in the world (by a significant margin), but he recently just became the World Rapid Champion and the World Blitz Champion.

The traditional World Championship is played in long time controls of “120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for moves 41–60 and 15 minutes for the rest of the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting after move 61”, i.e. games where short draws are not agreed would be expected to last more than 4 or 5 hours.

Both ‘blitz’ and ‘rapid’ have a range of definitions in terms of time control, but rapid is always longer than blitz. Blitz can range from 2 minutes each plus 12 seconds increment per move to somewhere like 7 minutes each with no increment. Here, the blitz time control was 3 minutes plus 2 seconds additional time per move, while rapid was 15 minutes plus 10 seconds additional time per move.

I thought it would be unlikely that Carlsen could hold all three titles at the same time, but it turns out that I continue to underestimate the World Champion. My reasoning was that there is a lot of variance in shorter time controls like blitz, even for very strong players. Indeed, this displayed itself in the blitz where Carlsen lost to a relatively unknown and low-ranked Chinese Grandmaster. But all of Carlsen’s competitors also lost to weaker opponents, still leaving him the victor.

Carlsen won both the rapid and blitz events outright by 0.5 and 1 point respectively.

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