The new King and Queens of Chess are crowned at the inaugural King Salman World Open and Women’s Rapid & Blitz Chess Championships in Saudi Arabia.
Described by players as a championship to remember, the World Open and Women’s Blitz Chess Championships kept onlookers from across the world with bated breath for the jam-packed affair. Saudi Arabia welcomed male and female players from 55 countries, among them 10 men and 11 women of world’s top players, in an effort to become a sporting hub and a beacon for change.
After a suspenseful opening which saw his initial defeat, World No.1 Magnus Carlsen (Norway) found his groove and reclaimed his supremacy as Champion of World Open Blitz Chess. In the Women’s Championship, Georgian mother-of-two Nana Dzagnidze fulfilled her dream and snatched the gold with her stellar performance.
For the Rapid Chess category, Indian grandmaster Viswanathan Anand, fondly known as ‘The Tiger from Madras’, remained unbeaten against some of the highest IQs in the world and swiftly emerged as winner. The Women’s Championship was dominated by Chinese Grandmaster Ju Wenjun, who won the gold medal as the only player to finish with a win rate of nearly 80%.