FIDE World Chess Rapid and Blitz Championship opens in Berlin

Results of Rapid Tournament Day 1: After five rounds, Sergey Karjakin leads, with a group of 16 players just a half-point behind

October, 10 2015 – BERLIN, GERMANY – The 2015 FIDE World Chess Rapid and Blitz Championship began Saturday at Bolle Meierei hall, located in the heart of Berlin.

FIDE’s President, Mr. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, officially opened the Rapid Championship and made the ceremonial first move. There are 158 players in the field. The rapid tournament spans three days, with the winner to be determined by Monday, October 12.

The official press-conference, hosted by Ilya Merenzon, chairman of the organizing committee, took place at Bolle Meierei. Mr. Ilyumzhinov and Mr. Merenzon were joined by Mr. Herbert Bastian, president of the German Chess Federation; Mr. Fridrik Olafsson, a former FIDE President; and Mr. Boris Spassky, the 10th World Chess Champion.

After Day 1, Russian grandmaster Sergey Karjakin was in sole possession of first place, scoring 4,5 points out of 5. A group of 16 grandmasters, including the reigning Rapid Chess World Champion, Magnus Carlsen, Vidit Santosh Gujrathi of India, and Rustam Kasimdzhanov of Uzbekistan were chasing him. 

Two pre-tournament favorites, Viswanathan Anand of India, a former rapid champion, and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France, had difficult starts, scoring just 2,5 points out of 5 in the first day. Mr. Anand, who is widely known as Vishy, lost to Daniil Dubov and Pavel Pankratov of Russia in the final 2 rounds of the day.

Rounds 5-10 will be played Sunday, October, 11. The games will start at 2 PM, Berlin time. Fans can follow games live via streaming on Worldchess.com, the official site of the FIDE World Chess Rapid and Blitz Championship. 

Full results for day 1 are at http://www.berlin2015.fide.com/results/.