Russia’s Danill Dubov, 22, has won the World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships in St. Petersburg, seeing off rivals including world number one Magnus Carlsen to claim the $ 1 million prize and earning praise from Vladimir Putin.
Dubov won the World Rapid championship on Friday, in which players are permitted just 15 minutes each for the entire game, and followed up with a victory in the Blitz to earn praise from the Russian leader.
“Please accept my heartfelt congratulations on winning the 2018 World Rapid Championships,” a message from Putin read on the official Kremlin website.
“You delivered a perfect performance at the home tournament, succeeding in pulling yourself together and achieving the desired goal. Your brilliant performance and convincing victory proved to be a wonderful New Year’s gift for your teachers, family and friends, as well as for all Russian chess fans.”
Putin would continue to wish Dubov continued success for the rest of his career.
Dubov bagged 11 points from 15 available in the tournament, with Azerbaijani grandmaster Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in second place.
Japanese-American grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura finished in third place, while another Russian entrant, Vladislav Artemyev, came in fourth.
Carlsen, meanwhile, will be disappointed with his performance in finishing fifth, having entered the competition as heavy favorite due to his status as the sport’s current world champion.