Magnus Carlsen won the World Rapid Chess and World Blitz Chess titles in Almaty, Kazakhstan in the latest milestone of his illustrious career.
The 32-year-old Norwegian is now the holder of all three world chess championship titles – Classic, Rapid and Blitz – for the third time in his career, while no other player has ever won both titles Quick and Blitz in the same year.
“I will need more hands soon,” joked Carlsen Twitterposting a video of him counting his now 15 world titles on his fingers.
It caps a triumphant end to Carlsen’s remarkable reign as recurve world champion, who has already announced he will not be defending his title next year.
“It’s awesome,” he said in a press release after winning two world championship titles in three days.
“It’s a really tough event. It started well yesterday, but I didn’t feel like I had much energy… Yesterday I was trying to survive until the second day and see if I had a chance …Today I felt a little better than yesterday and I tried to win as many games as I could.
Rapid and Blitz championships are more rushed than classic chess. Rapid gives each player 15 minutes + 10 seconds of overtime per move, starting from move 1 while Blitz is three minutes per player per game, with two seconds of overtime per move.
Carlsen won his fourth Rapide title on Wednesday, half a point ahead of German Vincent Keymer.
He then made a thunderous entrance into the first round of the World Blitz Championship, crossing the playing hall and arriving at his board two minutes and 30 seconds late, still wearing a tracksuit.
He still won the match, with just 30 seconds on the clock.
“To a certain extent, the Blitz title is very important because it’s [won in a tournament with] no more heats… Regarding the classic championship [goes] I won it but it wasn’t expensive enough to keep it.
American Hikaru Nakamura had led the tournament after Day 1 but ended up finishing second overall, under pressure from Carlsen.
“Although he is used to winning tournaments, he has never won this one,” Carlsen said afterwards in a press release. “When he started a little shaky, then I knew I had a chance.”
However, Carlsen also faced pressure as he suffered two defeats at important times – against Russians Ian Nepomniachtchi and Alexey Sarana.
But he held on to finally seal the victory with a one-point lead over Nakamura and Armenia’s Haik M. Martirosyan in third place.