The winners of the SportAccord Mind Games 2012 have just been announced as this competition drew to a close on Wednesday December 19th. In the chess element of the Mind Games (which also invite some of the world’s best players to participate in Go, Xiangqi, Bridge, and Drafts competitions) there were three sections: rapid, blindfold, and blitz tournaments.
The rapids were won by Laurent Fressinet for the men, and Kateryna Lahno for the women. Fressinet is a French Grandmaster, and for many it will be unsurprising that he won the rapids as in both 2009 and 2011 he was crowned French Rapid Chess Champion. Ukranian Grandmaster Lahno is also no stranger to big wins: she was, for example, the 2010 World Blitz Champion.
The Blitz aspect of the Mind Games was an exciting one to watch, especially in the women’s section which concluded with a tie-break game between the two fantastic players Alexandra Kosteniuk and Anna Muzuchuk. In the end, Sergey Karjakin was the male winner, and Alexandra Kosteniuk was the winner of the female Blitz event.
Finally, the Blindfold was won by Levon Aronian on the male side and the one-time top female player in the world Hou Yifan on the female side. Hailing from Armenia, Aronian is currently the second-highest FIDE rated player in the world, and he has won a number of prestigious chess competitions including the FIDE Grand Prix.
All in all, the Mind Games were an exciting mix of different sports, bringing together some of the best players in their respective fields. The chess aspect of the Mind Games was certainly no exception to this, with some of the best and most interesting players in the world today showing off some really superb tactics.