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Magnus Carlsen retains the World blitz crown; Koneru Humpy finishes 12th

By Pti

Moscow, January 1: Magnus Carlsen again proved why he is the best chess player around by retaining the World blitz title, after winning a playoff against Hikaru Nakamura, in Moscow on Monday (December 31). Veteran Vladimir Kramnik won the bronze medal.

The Norwegian, who had claimed the Rapid crown a few days earlier, now holds all three titles in chess again - classical, rapid and blitz- and will be on top of the rankings in all formats in the next FIDE list.

Carlsen's World title tally now has four classical crowns, three rapid titles and five blitz honours.

Russia's Kateryna Lagno retained the women's blitz crown even as a hat-trick of losses pushed the newly -crowned rapid champion Koneru Humpy to the 12th place.

Humpy, who had claimed the rapid title after drawing the Armageddon game against Lei Tingjie of China on Saturday, was placed second with seven points from nine rounds after the opening day of the blitz competition.

Fading away

However, the 32-year-old Indian failed to continue in the same vein and ended the tournament with 10.5 points out of 17 games.

Humpy started the second day of the blitz competition by winning the first two games. She then shared the lead with Lagno after round 13 with two draws.

After round 13, Humpy and Lagno had 10 points each but the Indian then drew against Russia's Alisa Galliamova in the 14th round to drop to the second position, half-a-point behind Lagno, who had claimed another crucial win.

Humpy, who had taken a two-year sabbatical from 2016 to 2018 after she became a mother, then lost the final three games to bow out of contention.

Another Indian Harika Dronavalli finished 25th.

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Story first published: Wednesday, January 1, 2020, 9:19 [IST]
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