He narrowly failed in 2015 (second), here he is now world champion. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave won the world blitz chess championship on Thursday in Warsaw (Poland). The 31-year-old won his first international title, beating Poland’s Jan-Krzysztof Duda in a final.
In ultra-fast paced games, called “blitz”, players have three minutes at the start, to which are added two seconds per move played. This cadence is one of the three formats where a world championship is played every year, but the most prestigious of the titles, by far, is the long game where the thinking time is counted in hours, and which has recently was won by Magnus Carlsen.
After 21 games in the championship formula, over two days, three players finished tied for the lead, the third being another Frenchman, Alireza Firouzja. But according to the tie-breaker rule, depending on the opponents encountered in their journey, only “MVL” and Duda faced each other for the title.
— Chess.com (@chesscom) December 30, 2021
After two draws, the two players faced each other in sudden death. In this third part, Vachier-Lagrave, playing with white, made the difference. The Frenchman had a dreamy second day, when he was believed lost after three losses in the first ten rounds. But he finished undefeated during the second day, where he encountered a priori tougher opponents.
Norwegian Magnus Carlsen, defending champion in blitz and favorite to his succession finished in a disappointing 12th place, after a loss in the final round against “MVL”. However, Carlsen holds the most prestigious title, the long game, which he won for a fifth time in December after beating Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi.
Here’s the final moment that determined the winner of the FIDE World Blitz Championship 2021!
— ChesscomLive (@ChesscomLive) December 30, 2021