RAPID and blitz event is totally different from the classical format due to its sheer unpredictability. A bad start can lead to complications in later rounds and can test the very best.
Reigning world classical champion Magnus Carlsen experienced it at the recent FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Championships in Doha, where he failed to retain the rapid title after a first-round draw against Indian Grandmaster Surya Sekhar Ganguly.
For Ganguly, the draw against the Norwegian was an excellent result.
“At one point, I was leading. I could’ve beaten him in three moves, but I fell under time pressure and had to settle for a draw,” Ganguly told Doha Stadium Plus.
After Ganguly committed a few errors, Carlsen sacrificed his rook and the game ended in a draw.
“I was happy because I could hold him to a draw. It was his first match after winning the classical World Championships against Sergei (Karjakin). It was a very good experience for me,” added Ganguly, who finished 21st.
Though Ganguly was disappointed at not being able to beat the world champion, he was happy that it made him richer by experience.
“He (Carlsen) is the strongest player in the world. He’s very good at middle and end games. That’s where he’s ahead of the rest. Besides, his energy level is very high. We can’t compare him with Kasparov who was very good in opening, but Carlsen hasn’t won or lost due to opening mistakes,” said the 33-year-old.
Asked why Asians were way behind Europeans in rapid and blitz, Ganguly said, “It’s more popular in Europe unlike in Asia. I play only two-three events a year. Maybe, it’s not in our culture as we believe the classical ones are more important. Organisers usually reserve the shorter versions for the last day after classical tournaments.”