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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Dubai World Blitz Chess 2014 Day 1: Carlsen Leads, but Who is Lu Shanglei

Hello chess friends, even while World Classical and Rapid Chess Champion, Magnus Carlsen was busy in his demolition run to the top of the standings, one Chinese youngster stole the Norwegian's thunder... for a while at least.

Dateline Dubai. Event - World Blitz Chess Championship 2014... and, we're talking about Round 8. Lu Shanglei, a relatively unknown Chinese GM, beat Magnus Carlsen to take lead. The Chinese GM, with six points, was paired to play Carlsen. Carlsen was leading with 6.5 points. 

Carlsen had reached Round 8 after beating Vladimir Fedoseev, Gadir Guseinov, Laurent Fressinet, Eduardo Bonelli Iturrizaga, P Harikrishna and defending champion Le Quang Liem. Carlsen only had one draw - in Round 5 - against Ian Nepomniachtchi. 

Shanglei had amassed six points after beating Shyam Sunder, Jasem Alhuwar, Evgeny Tomashevsky, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Alekseey Dreev and Peter Svidler! He had only one loss to Hikaru Nakamura in Round 5.

Yes, that youngster on the right! - Magnus Carlsen vs Lu Shanglei in Round 8 at World Blitz Chess Championship 2014. Screenshot via official website.

Then, the Chinese chess player ran into Carlsen and beat him in Round. Carlsen was quoted by the media as saying that he was irritated by the loss.

But, it didn't take long for Carlsen to bounce back. He completed Day after 11 round on top of the standings as the sole leader. Carlsen beat Markus Ragger, drew with Hikaru Nakamura and beat Shakhriyar Mamedyarov to lead with 9/11 points.

Here are the top board pairings for Round 12 beginning Day 2 on Friday at the World Blitz Chess Championships in Dubai.

Round 12 on 2014/06/20 at 15:00
1. GM Meier Georg 2663 8½ - 9 GM Carlsen Magnus 2837 
2. GM Nakamura Hikaru 2879 8½ - 8 GM Sargissian Gabriel 2689
3. GM Lu Shanglei 2668 8 - 8 GM Nepomniachtchi Ian 2816 
4. GM Fressinet Laurent 2705 7½ - 8 GM Le Quang Liem 2817
5. GM Anand Viswanathan 2827 7½ 7½ GM Harikrishna P. 2669

You can watch all the games live with a video feed and commentary at the official website. You can find lots of videos and a great photo gallery at the website as well.
The FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Championships take place in Dubai, from June 15th (opening ceremony) to June 21st, 2014. The Rapid event was played from June 16th-18th over 15 rounds, at a time control of 15m+10s. World Champion Magnus Carlsen won that event. The Blitz runs from June 19th-20th and lasts 21 rounds at 3m+2s. The total prize fund for the tournament is US$400 thousand with $40 thousand for the winner of each championship. The world's best chess players are there in Dubai now.

Speaking about Shanglei, his Wikipedia entry states he is born July 10, 1995 and was, in 2011, the highest-rated under-16 chess player in Asia and the fifth highest-rated chess player in that age group in the world. 

The chess world is sure going to keep tabs on this Chinese youngster from now on!

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