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New trends in chess according to Dubai World rapid and blitz championship. First part.

Magnus Carlsen won both championships. He was lucky, but the strongest players have usually more luck anyway. This tournament was unique, because in short time of period it provided so many games between top players. In circumstances where players could not properly prepare against their opponents. They just needed to show their general pre-tournament preparation. This gives wonderful material to analyze. First I like to review the rapid tournament. The time control was 15 minutes for the game plus 10 second increment per move. Magnus told in his interview that it was important to play quickly and make less blunders. It is of course general advice and does not help the player much. He wants to know first what opening lines to play. I assume that many top grandmasters have different opening repertoire for different time control.  This is definitely true about Alexander Morozevich who showed some lines he never used before. Still I was surprised that many players were stick with their usual game.  Magnus did what he does best, classical approach nothing extraordinary. Opening choices classical symmetrical 1…e5 after 1.e4 only. I remember once he played in team competitinon 1.e4 g6 2.d4 Nf6 3.e5 Nh5, but these days are over. Still we saw this line once in Dubai in blitz tournament played by GM Vakhidov against Vallejo Pons without success. Magnus played more actively with white pieces.

His main choice was closed position, where he could dictate the rhytm of the game. Difference was, that when playing blitz he played even more solid, avoiding all complicated opening systems playing mainly g3 system against aggressive openings like Kings Indian.  In rapid his choice was  more agressive f3 system against Grunfeld and Kings Indian. He likes to play 1.e4 as well, but not pushing too far into theory. There is always a moment when you still can choose the line yourself, the following game was the longest theoretical game Magnus entered.

Other nice example is his game against one of the rapid and blitz specialist.

Magnus still had one game he is not so proud of against Anand. What happened, first of all something went compleatly wrong in the opening.