The FIDE Grand Prix in the capital city of Uzbekistan, Tashkent, finished on December 5th. Amid the beautiful mountainscape afforded by the Tian Shan mountains, some of the biggest names in chess met to see who would be crowned FIDE Champion this year. The tournament was fought for a gruelling fortnight, between November 21 and December 5th. As always, the Grand Prix was an exciting event, with many lesser competitions offering a place at Tashkent to the lucky winners.
In the end, there were a triumvirate of winners at Tashkent: Sergey Karjakin, Wang Hao, and Alexander Morozevich. Twenty two year old Ukranian player Karjakan was the youngest International Master ever, and later became the youngest every Grandmaster too! He had another significant victory in July this year when he beat chess giant Magnus Carlsen, currently the top player in the world, and became the overall winner of the World Rapid Chess Championships in Astana, Kazakhstan. Wang Hao is also an extremely prodigious talent. Born in China, he is a Grandmaster with a peak FIDE rating of 2748. He came to Tashkent with a victory at the Biel Chess Festival in Switzerland already under his belt. Like Karjakan in the World Rapids, Hao also beat Magnus Carlsen in the Biel Chess Festival. Indeed, both Hao and Karjakan beat Carlsen by a full point in these respective events. As for Morozevich, this Russian Grandmaster is well known for being an amazing, and at times eccentric, chess player. He is currently the ninth highest rated player in the world, and he also gives stupendous performances in team games. He is perhaps best known for his use of the rare Chigorin
Defence, which is a way of meeting the Queen’s Gambit (indeed, he has even co-written a book on the subject!).
This triple win at the FIDE Grand Prix delighted chess fans. After such a long period of intense and carefully-structured play, Karjakin, Hao, and Morozevich have well and truly deserved this victory. With a first prize of 25, 000 euros, and 120+50 GP ranking points, and an overall place accumulated first prize of 100, 000 euros, we are sure the three winners are also delighted with the result.