The King Salman World Rapid Championship started today at the iconic Apex Convention Centre in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Players from 55 countries, among them 10 men out of the World Top-15 as well as 11 out the World Top-15 women, are competing in this prestigious event.
The honorary first move in the round 1 game Carlsen-Bu was made by Mr Kosay A.Alfawaz, Advisor to H.E. The Chairman of General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia.
In the very same game Bu Xiangzhi stunned the world’s top rated player Magnus Carlsen by inflicting him yet another loss. Only few months ago Bu eliminated Carlsen from the FIDE World Cup in Tbilisi.
Also on the main stage, the second-seeded Maxime Vachier-Lagrave lost to Levan Pantsulaia. Likewise, in the women’s championship the top seed Kateryna Lagno started with a loss against Jolanta Zawadzka.
As if these introductory games set the tone for the rest of the rounds, we witnessed some exciting battles and many surprises throughout the day.
At the end of the first day of the competition, world championship challenger in classical chess Ju Wenjun is leading in the women’s section with the perfect 5/5 score.
In the Open section Baadur Jobava and Vladimir Fedoseev are on the top with 4,5/5 points each.
The King Salman World Rapid Championship has ten more rounds to be played and continues until 28th December.