Karjakin idThe King Salman World Blitz Chess Championship started today at the beautiful Apex Convention Centre in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

A total of 138 players in the Open section and 100 players in the Women’s section are competing in this prestigious event. 11 rounds have been played today.

The defending World Blitz Champion GM Sergey Karjakin (Russia) is on the roll, winning seven games and drawing four, to conclude the day as clear leader on 9/11 points.

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France), who is also blitz specialist, is close behind on 8,5 points. Six players, including three Chinese, are on 8 points each: Peter Svidler, Wang Hao, Ding Liren, Yu Yangyi, Le Quang Liem, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.

After the first round GM Ernesto Inarkiev submitted a complaint regarding the result in his game against Magnus Carlsen. The tournament’s Appeals Committee rejected the claim (ruling attached).

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The claim of an “illegal move”

Having a very low blitz rating, as she herself admitted in an interview, Pia Cramling (Sweden) started the competition from the lower braket of the Women’s competition. This brought her a round 1 loss against the 3rd-seed Valentina Gunina. But from then on, Cramling had a magnificent score of nine wins and only one draw to conclude the first leg with 9,5/11 points.

The nearest followers Nana Dzagnidze and Valentina Gunina are a full point behind.

The remaining 10 rounds will be played on Saturday 30th December.

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Pia Cramling

Yesterday Viswanathan Anand and Ju Wenjun won gold medals in King Salman World Rapid Championship.

Official website / Photo gallery / Results, Standings, Pairings

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Anna Zatonskih, Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant and Martha Fierro resting between the rounds

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GM Salem A.R. Saleh

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Chief arbiter Takis Nikolopoulos announcing the start of the round

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Alexandra Goryachkina, Natalia Zhukova and Nana Dzagnidze

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GM Laurent Fressinet

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Women’s section

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Kind staff of the General Sports Authority

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Arbiters from Estonia and Greece

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Former world women’s classical champion Zhu Chen

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Natalia Zhukova

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Vassily Ivanchuk checking the screens

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Sanan Sjugirov defeated Magnus Carlsen in round 2

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Valentina Gunina and Monika Socko

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Big screen in the lobby area

Source: World Chess Federation – FIDE