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Your Next Move (Rapid) Tournament

Wesley So7/9(+5 -0 =4)[games]
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave6/9(+4 -1 =4)[games]
Magnus Carlsen5.5/9(+3 -1 =5)[games]
Anish Giri5/9(+2 -1 =6)[games]
Ian Nepomniachtchi4.5/9(+3 -3 =3)[games]
Levon Aronian4.5/9(+4 -4 =1)[games]
Vladimir Kramnik4.5/9(+3 -3 =3)[games]
Viswanathan Anand4/9(+3 -4 =2)[games]
Vassily Ivanchuk3.5/9(+2 -4 =3)[games]
Baadur Aleksandrovich Jobava0.5/9(+0 -8 =1)[games]
* Chess Event Description
Your Next Move (Rapid) (2017)

Played in Leuven, Belgium 28-30 June, as part of the Grand Chess Tour 2017. The ten participants first played nine games of rapid chess (this page) then 18 games of blitz (see Your Next Move (Blitz) (2017)) for a total prize fund of $150,000. Wesley So won the rapid with 7/9. Crosstable:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts 1 So * ˝ 1 ˝ ˝ 1 1 1 ˝ 1 7 14 2 Vachier-Lagrave ˝ * ˝ ˝ 1 0 ˝ 1 1 1 6 12 3 Carlsen 0 ˝ * ˝ ˝ 1 1 ˝ ˝ 1 5˝ 11 4 Giri ˝ ˝ ˝ * 0 1 ˝ ˝ 1 ˝ 5 10 =5 Nepomniachtchi ˝ 0 ˝ 1 * 1 ˝ 0 0 1 4˝ 9 =5 Aronian 0 1 0 0 0 * 1 1 ˝ 1 4˝ 9 =5 Kramnik 0 ˝ 0 ˝ ˝ 0 * 1 1 1 4˝ 9 8 Anand 0 0 ˝ ˝ 1 0 0 * 1 1 4 8 9 Ivanchuk ˝ 0 ˝ 0 1 ˝ 0 0 * 1 3˝ 7 10 Jobava 0 0 0 ˝ 0 0 0 0 0 * ˝ 1

Combined with the blitz chess (Your Next Move (Blitz) (2017)), Carlsen won the event with 25.5 points using the scoring system which weighted rapid games twice as much as blitz.

Official site:

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 45  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Carlsen vs Aronian 1-0492017Your Next Move (Rapid)E49 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Botvinnik System
2. Jobava vs Ivanchuk 0-1332017Your Next Move (Rapid)C15 French, Winawer
3. A Giri vs Aronian 1-0302017Your Next Move (Rapid)A29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
4. M Vachier-Lagrave vs Kramnik ½-½442017Your Next Move (Rapid)C53 Giuoco Piano
5. Carlsen vs W So 0-1512017Your Next Move (Rapid)E53 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3
6. Anand vs I Nepomniachtchi  1-0672017Your Next Move (Rapid)B90 Sicilian, Najdorf
7. Aronian vs Jobava 1-0322017Your Next Move (Rapid)D16 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
8. Kramnik vs Anand 1-0392017Your Next Move (Rapid)C50 Giuoco Piano
9. I Nepomniachtchi vs A Giri  1-0502017Your Next Move (Rapid)B90 Sicilian, Najdorf
10. W So vs Kramnik 1-0622017Your Next Move (Rapid)C65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
11. A Giri vs Anand  ½-½482017Your Next Move (Rapid)A08 King's Indian Attack
12. M Vachier-Lagrave vs Ivanchuk 1-0382017Your Next Move (Rapid)C41 Philidor Defense
13. Jobava vs I Nepomniachtchi 0-1542017Your Next Move (Rapid)E60 King's Indian Defense
14. Ivanchuk vs Carlsen ½-½332017Your Next Move (Rapid)C89 Ruy Lopez, Marshall
15. W So vs M Vachier-Lagrave  ½-½602017Your Next Move (Rapid)D85 Grunfeld
16. Anand vs Ivanchuk 1-0342017Your Next Move (Rapid)B09 Pirc, Austrian Attack
17. W So vs Anand  1-0602017Your Next Move (Rapid)C65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
18. M Vachier-Lagrave vs A Giri  ½-½442017Your Next Move (Rapid)C53 Giuoco Piano
19. Ivanchuk vs I Nepomniachtchi 1-0742017Your Next Move (Rapid)A20 English
20. Carlsen vs Jobava 1-0332017Your Next Move (Rapid)E67 King's Indian, Fianchetto
21. Kramnik vs Aronian 0-1562017Your Next Move (Rapid)C53 Giuoco Piano
22. Jobava vs M Vachier-Lagrave 0-1712017Your Next Move (Rapid)A45 Queen's Pawn Game
23. I Nepomniachtchi vs Aronian  1-0512017Your Next Move (Rapid)A29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
24. Carlsen vs Kramnik 1-0442017Your Next Move (Rapid)A02 Bird's Opening
25. W So vs Jobava 1-0572017Your Next Move (Rapid)E70 King's Indian
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 45  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: did his blood parents actually end up in prison in the PP?
Premium Chessgames Member
  tuttifrutty: <did his blood parents actually end up in prison in the PP?>

Nope...sugardom is just a sour puss...nothing more, nothing less. LOL a million times.

Let it go...let it go...just enjoy the show.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jambow: <SugarDom> Surely there is more to this story. He filed suit for a bad haircut?
Jul-01-17  BOSTER: If we see in Candidates 2017 such "russian" players like Karjakin, Aronian, Mamedyarov, Kramnik or Svidler, I don't think that players from US like So or Caruana can go forward.
Jul-01-17  activechess55:

Congrats to So for standing first in Rapid and kudos to Carlsen for the Blitz. So beats Carlsen in Rapid, Carlsen beats So in Blitz. We are, probably, heading for the play-off.

May be, we are already in the middle of Carlsen-So rivalry.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Whitehat1963: This tournament, perhaps more than any before it, confirm that the old guard is quickly on its way to irrelevance in elite-level chess. I will miss the likes of Ivanchuck, Kramnik, Anand, Topalov, etc.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <the old guard is quickly on its way to irrelevance in elite-level chess> AIEEE!

Rapid and blitz are different animals than classical time controls. It was great seeing Kasparov in action last year against Nakamura, Caruana and So. Who cares about the results?

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Whitehat1963> How do results in irrelevant Blitz and Rapid tournaments show any irrelevance in tournaments held at classical time controls?
Jul-02-17  WorstPlayerEver: If I wanna see a circus I probably will go to a circus 😄
Premium Chessgames Member
  Whitehat1963: I think blitz results are mostly irrelevant because no one prepares for blitz much or plays with anything approaching the same level of seriousness as they would a world championship match. And I'm sure that's true of a run-of-the-mill rapid tournament, too. But I think the results of rapid games provide an indication of the near future. Rapid games are a good indication of natural talent in evaluating positions quickly, S well as an indicator of general preparation. Sure, anyone can make a mistake when time controls are accelerated, but look at these results. They almost scream that Anand, who used to be Incredible in rapid time controls, is well past his prime. The same goes for Kramnik and Ivanchuck. I've often thought of rapid chess as a look into the future. I could easily be wrong. It's just an opinion.
Premium Chessgames Member
  botvinnik64: Whitehat1963:
I think you're right: we have seen the future and it is getting faster and faster; we're being sucked into the black hole of commercialization. Well, it had to happen if our game is going to have a chance to "survive" economically. As for the chess, we'll see.
Jul-03-17  starry2013: It could be like that, just like test cricket doesn't seem the future of cricket.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: might we see a GM tournament of bullet chess? It would be played via computer screens, not by hand (impossible to referee, pieces getting knocked over, time forfeits...).
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Whitehat1963> I would think that Blitz games, with their faster time control, would be a better indication of natural talent in evaluating positions quickly than the slower Rapid time control, not the other way around. What am I missing?
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <AylerKupp: <Whitehat1963> I would think that Blitz games, with their faster time control, would be a better indication of natural talent in evaluating positions quickly than the slower Rapid time control, not the other way around.>

Maybe, if you group players by age.
Id imagine there's some natural age
degradation in blitz.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Whitehat1963: Blitz is just way too fast. The quality of play is nowhere near what you get with classical time controls. I'm certainly no chess expert, but I suspect that the quality of rapid chess is probably 70 to 80 percent of what you get in classical games. But blitz is probably in the 40 or 50 percent range. Just a guess. It would be interesting to see some kind of computerized scientific analysis on the quality of play in all three. Regardless, something happens to the play of middle-aged elite-level players that they just don't compete very well at faster time controls compared to younger players. And, for example, where Anand, Topalov, Kramnik, and Ivanchuk MIGHT stand a chance against the likes of Carlsen, So, Nakamura, Giri, etc. in a 24-game match at classical time controls, I think the older guys would get smoked at faster time controls. Just a hunch.
Jul-03-17  QueentakesKing: Filipino rules!!!
Jul-03-17  Nina Myers: <Faillipino rules!!!> FTFY
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jambow: <AylerKupp> I agree about faster time controls and natural talent. I doubt the quality of blitz falls off as much as we might expect on average. Most moves will have very high agreement with engine evaluations certainly not less than half? Maybe the breakdown would be 90% 85% 80% or that is my guess. 40% couldn't imagine that even in bullet.
Jul-04-17  WorstPlayerEver: Anyway, it will not popularize chess. People think chess is an odd game. And it is. It's too abstract.

For a while it maybe adds some occasional interested people but after a while it gets boring for them.

There are billions of people, though in the game business chess is hidden in the margin. Oh they sell a lot of chess sets. But chess doesn't sell itself well.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: I think blitz and rapid are definitely more interesting as a spectator sport than watching a entire slow game, which I don't think I've ever managed to do in my life. On the other hand, the fact that it's more interesting watching the artist in action doing sketches, like the famous Picasso documentary (, doesn't mean that sketches can compete in quality with a masterpiece that was well-planned and revised millions of times (like the chess masterpieces, which are almost all slow games).
Premium Chessgames Member
  SugarDom: <Jambow>. The only perfect engine game was accomplished by Carlsen. And it was in a rapid game.

Carlsen's accuracy does not fall much in a rapid game. So the new standard in chess should be the rapid 25/10 time controls. In a tournament, the players should play each other twice in one round, alternating colors.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<diceman> Id imagine that there's some natural age degradation in blitz>

I would think that there would eventually be an age degradation of performance regardless of the time control. In his book, "the Rating of Chessplayers Pas & Present" Dr. Elo used data from tournaments since the 1850s through 1975 to determine the change in ratings for 36 master and grandmaster-level players based on games played at classical time controls. He also used this data to determine a composite player development curve. Not unsurprisingly, the curve rises relatively quickly during a player's teenage years, slows as the player approaches his peak at about age 35, then it starts a relatively slow decline. The actual shape of the curve, of course, depends on the player.

I would think that a player's development curve at rapid and blitz time controls would be similar, a rise in performance when the player is young, a leveling off, and then an eventual drop in performance is older. But the rate of performance increase and decrease, as well at the player's age at their peak, could presumably be very different than the same player's development curve at classical time controls.

So I looked at the ratings of those players currently ranked in the top 30 at classical time controls and who are currently older than 40: Adams (45), Anand (47), Gelfand (49), Ivanchuk (48), Kramnik (42), Svidler (41), and Topalov (42). Ratings, after all, give an indication of the player's relative performance against his contemporary opponents.

FIDE's site lists the players' ratings for classic time control games since Jan-2000; initially semi-annually, quarterly since Jul-2000, then bi-monthly Jul-2009, and monthly since Jul-2012. It also lists the number of games on which the rating is based and the total number of games rated range from a low of 774 (Topalov) to a high of 1,385 (Ivanchuk). I then plotted each player's rating over time. None of them showed a nice, clean parabola-like performance curve like Dr. Elo indicated and, in particular, none showed a drop in ratings starting at age 35 or so. Most player's ratings have remained steady; only Gelfand and Topalov have shown a decline in the last 2 – 3 years and some and some, like Kramnik, have shown an increase. Perhaps the player's ratings need to be adjusted to take ratings inflation into account.

FIDE's site lists the players ratings for rapid and blitz time control games only since Sep-2013 (for Rapid) and since Jun-2013 (for Blitz). There hasn’t been enough time (less than 4 years) or games (an average of 99 for Rapid and 138 for Blitz) to establish a development performance pattern. There have been some drops in Rapid ratings (Adams, Svidler, and Topalov) and some increases as well (Gelfand). For Blitz ratings there have been both decreases (Anand) but mostly increases (Adams, Gelfand, Svidler, and Topalov). But, given the relative amount of time and games considered, I don't think that anyone should form any definitive opinions based on this data.

If you or anyone wants to the data, you can download it from

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <SugarDom: <Jambow>. The only perfect engine game was accomplished by Carlsen. And it was in a rapid game.

Carlsen's accuracy does not fall much in a rapid game. So the new standard in chess should be the rapid 25/10 time controls. In a tournament, the players should play each other twice in one round, alternating colors.>

You sound like Carlsen's lawyer. I'm sure he would love that, but maybe the others can find beautiful moves, too, just not at lightning speed. Should they be penalized and should the overall quality of the games suffer by using speed as a general criterion?

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Whitehat1963> Blitz is just way too fast.>

Way too fast for what? To say that the quality of the games is less than the quality of the games at classic time controls is hardly news, and the same can be said for the quality of games at rapid time controls. If you really want to see the best quality of games, go check correspondence games, particularly if computer assistance is allowed.

As far as seeing a comparison of the quality of games at rapid and blitz time controls, yes, that would be interesting. But I have not seen an article that I believe uses a proper methodology that will stand to critical scrutiny to determine game accuracy at classic time controls based on engine/player move comparison so, until that's done, I doubt that I will see any attempt to determine game accuracy at either rapid or blitz time controls. And I wouldn't trust the results anyway.

But the data that I recently looked at (see YourNextMove (Rapid) (2017) (kibitz #99) above) shows that the older players (older than 40) seems to be able hold their own at Rapid and Blitz time controls against the younger players as evidenced by the ratings increase in some of the older players, or at least a maintenance of their rating. But, as I said above, given the short amount of time that the data has been gathered and the relatively small number of games rated, I don't think anyone should form a definite opinion based on the data. Still, it does not show a consistent inability of the older players (with perhaps some exceptions, Anand being the most notable) to keep up with the younger players as evidenced by their ratings increase.

One thing that I thought was interesting was that there did not seem to be a correlation between the players' performance at Rapid time controls and Blitz time controls. Some players that showed a rating increase at Rapid time controls showed a ratings decrease at Blitz time controls and vice versa. You and anyone else can download the data from the link above and see for yourselves.

As far as your guesses as to the relative quality of Rapid and Blitz compared to Classic time control games, I think that they're too high. But that's also just a guess on my part. As you said, we're not experts.

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