It took a few days to find his groove, but after an incredible turn of events on the final day, Magnus Carlsen reclaims his victory at the 2017 King Salman World Blitz Chess Championships, with Georgian female chess player and mother of two, Nana Dzagnidze winning the Women's.
Described by players as a championship to remember, it was just 6 days ago when Saudi Arabia welcomed male and female players from 55 countries for the World Open and Women's Blitz Chess Championships. Onlookers from around the globe have witnessed some exciting encounters and many shockers throughout the tournament.
Following defeats in the rapid phase for both Carlsen and Dzagnidze, opening blitz round kicked off on Friday, at the iconic Apex Convention Centre and it was anybody's guess as to who would walk away with prize.
Carlsen defeated Ukrainian Anton Korobov, while Georgian European female world chess champion and mother of two, Nana Dzagnidze kept on her stellar performance in the blitz rounds and ended up winning with a nearly 80% win rate.
"Extremely happy" were Carlsen's first words following a three year wait on reclaiming the world blitz crown. While Dzagnidze recalls that winning the title was no easy feat. "It was a very difficult event and this title is very important to me. This was my dream," Dzagnidze said.
Dzagnidze will take home $64,000 while Carlsen secures $200,000.
The event marked an important advance in Saudi Arabia's mission to become a sporting hub capital and provides a refreshing inclusion of women in such high profile public events. It attracted more than 240 players from all over the world, providing aspirational role models for players in the region.
His Excellency Turki bin Abdulmohsen Al-Sheikh, speaking as President of The General Sports Authority hopes that the success of this tournament will promote the game of chess in Saudi Arabia and encourage citizens to become more involved in the sport.
The inaugural Championship in Saudi Arabia promised to be a spectacle to remember and one thing is certain; chess fans all around can agree it delivered on its promise.