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Magnus Carlsen beat reigning World Rapid Champion Nodirbek Abdusattorov on Day 1

The first day of the World Rapid Сhess Сhampionship 2022 ended with Carlsen, Erigaisi, Fedoseev and Van Foreest sharing the first place with 4,5/5 in the Open section, while Valentina Gunina was the sole leader with a perfect 4/4 score in the Women’s tournament.

Photo: Anna Shtourman, FIDE

“Becoming World Champion is very easy! You just have to defeat the previous World Champion and then you’ll be World Champion” Carlsen responded to a young chess enthusiast during the pre-tournament press conference to add later: “The most helpful thing I’ve learned from chess is to make good decisions based on incomplete data in a limited amount of time”.

Despite his slow-start reputation in the World Rapid and Blitz, Carlsen managed to achieve a perfect 4/4 score after playing 1.b3 against Eric Hansen in Round 2 and knocking out the World Rapid Champion Nodirbek Abdusattorov in Round 4 with the same first move! The 18-year-old Uzbekistan prodigy had an amazing year by beating Magnus in the same event in Warsaw a year earlier, getting the title and leading his team to the gold at the Olympiad 2022 in Chennai, India. “It’s never revenge, but it was a good win!” Magnus said after his win with Nodirbek also commenting: “I’m feeling pretty good, only lost to Magnus, in an interesting game. I’m pretty satisfied.”

In Round 5 Magnus went against the 19-year-old Indian GM Arjun Erigaisi who have recently signed a $1.5 Million sponsorship deal with Quantbox and has become one of the strongest players in rapid and blitz. “Magnus defended very well” Arjun said after drawing a position with a clear pawn up.

Also Vladimir Fedoseev and Jorden van Foreest finished the day with 4,5/5 to co-lead with Carlsen and Eerigaisi, while other top players like Anish Giri, Jan-Krzysztof Duda, Nihal Sarin and Ian Nepomniachtchi finished just half a point back.

An awkward day 1 must have been for the Israeli legendary GM Boris Gelfand who got two forfeit wins in a row against Iranian players, with the one being the 16-year-old current Iranian Champion.

On the contrary, two female Iranian players, Atousa Pourkashiyan and Sarasadat Khademalsharieh made a statement by playing without their hijab.

On the Wome’s Section the Russian Women’s Chess Champion for the last two years, Valentina Gunina, hit the perfectt 4/4 score while tournament’s No.2 Kateryna Lagno surprisingly suffered two defeats against Olga Badelka and Daria Voit.

Watch the World Rapid Championship 2022 Open here
Watch the World Rapid Championship 2022 Women here

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