Recently-dethroned world champion Magnus Carlsen won the 2023 Superbet Rapid and Blitz Poland event, thanks to his performance during the second day of the blitz section. The Norwegian ended with a score of 24/36. The world no 1 pocketed a cool pay cheque of $40,000 for his win.
Carlsen — who opted to skip the recently concluded World Chess Championship and was succeeded on the throne by China’s Ding Liren as the 17th world champion — pipped local favorite and defending champion Jan-Krzyzstof Duda to the title in Warsaw. Duda led the race until the final day, but eventually ended just a point behind Carlsen at 23/36. On the last board, he almost forced the event into a playoff by nearly beating Carlsen.
Finishing just below the two were Wesley So and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, each finishing joint third with 21½ points. Levon Aronian was fifth with 20½.
“Thanks to the fans in Poland for showing out. Great place to play. I’ll take this as another bad day for chess and add it to my trophy cabinet,” tweeted Carlsen, who has off-late taken a healthy interest in poker, appearing in multiple events during the World Chess Championship between Ding and Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi.
Richard Rapport, who was a second to Ding at the World Championship, finished sixth wile Anish Giri was seventh.
The 2023 Grand Chess Tour will move to Zagreb, Croatia with the event scheduled for July 3-10.