FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championship 2023 starts in Samarkand

The 2023 FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championship takes place from 26-30 December in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. The city where the world’s oldest chess pieces have been found (dating from the 6-8 century AD) will more than 350 players from 50 federations who will compete for the world champion rapid and blitz titles.

FIDE World Rapid Chess Championship 2023 will be held from 26-28 December with 13 rounds (swiss system) in the Open event, and 11 rounds (swiss system) in the Women’s section. GM Magnus Carlsen (NOR, 2818 Rapid rtg) headlines the field and defends both Rapid and Blitz titles, while GM Ian Nepomniachtchi (FIDE, Rapid rtg 2778), GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda (POL, 2772 Rapid rtg), GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA, 2767 Rapid rtg) and GM Levon Aronian (USA, 2762 Rapid rtg) follow among the top seeds.

The top-seeded players in the Women’s event are GM Ju Wenjun (CHN, 2575 Rapid rtg), GM Tan Zhongyi (CHN, 2528 Rapid rtg) who will try to defend her 2022 Rapid crown, GM Lei Tingjie (CHN, 2517 Rapid rtg), GM Alexandra Kosteniuk (SUI, 2506 Rapid rtg), and GM Alexandra Goryachkina (FIDE, 2486 Rapid rtg).

The Blitz Championship will take place from 29-30 December, with 21 rounds i the Open section, and 17 rounds in the Women’s tournament. GM Magnus Carlsen (NOR, 2887 Blitz rtg) is the top-seeded, followed by GM Fabiano Caruana (USA, 2815 Blitz rtg), GM Vladislav Artemiev (FIDE, 2799 Blitz rtg), GM Ian Nepomniachtchi (FIDE, 2795 Blitz rtg) and GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda).

GM Lei Tingjie (CHN, 2530 Blitz rtg) holds the starting No.1, GM Ju Wenjun (CHN, 2522 Blitz rtg), GM Kateryna Lagno (FIDE, 2522 Blitz rtg), GM Tan Zhongyi (CHN, 2519 Blitz rtg) and IM Bibisara Assaubayeva (KAZ, 2476 Blitz rtg) follow, and Assaubayeva will try to defend her 2022 Blitz Champion title.

Starting rank lists of both events can be found here.

The total prize fund of the events is one million US dollars, with $700,000 for the Open and $300,000 for the Women’s tournaments.

The events’ programme starts tomorrow with the Opening press conference which will take place at 18:00 (local time), followed by the Opening ceremony which will be held at 19:30 (local time). A detailed schedule of the Championship can be found on the official website.

Photos by Anna Shtourman and Lennart Ootes