It may not be the world championship title Vassily Ivanchuk really wanted in his career, but it's a very nice feather in his cap all the same.* Scoring 11 out of 15, as did Alexander Grischuk and Magnus Carlsen but having the better tiebreak scores, Ivanchuk won the 2016 World Rapid Championship, defeating Carlsen, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Viswanathan Anand and other great players along the way. He drew with Grischuk, among others, and lost to Levon Aronian and Ian Nepomniachtchi along the way. But he won most of the big games, including victories in the last two rounds, and was the deserved winner. Among other accomplishments, he's now #2 in the world in rapid, behind only Carlsen himself.
Grischuk also lost twice, to Anton Korobov (the leader after the first day with 5/5) and to Carlsen on day 2, but finished very strongly with an undefeated 5/6 in the day two finale and on day 3. He won his last three games, with the last two victims the notable Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Nepomniachtchi. He came in second on tiebreak. Had he won, he'd have been the reigning champion in rapid and in blitz, heading into that championship which starts tomorrow (or today, depending on where you are) - Thursday.
Carlsen was third on tiebreaks, and given his so-called Swiss gambit (early losses and/or draws resulting in easier opponents in subsequent rounds) that was pretty much a guarantee early on if he finished tied for a top place. He was lucky to draw in round 1 against Surya Ganguly, especially when Ganguly missed a simple mate in three, and in round 2 he was crushed by Levan Pantsulaia. After that he won four in a row, mostly against non-elite opponents, and then lost to Ivanchuk in round 7. After a couple of good wins and a draw with Levon Aronian, he lost one ore time, to Korobov, but then reeled off four in a row to finish equal first. The last two wins were especially big, especially his win in the penultimate round over Nepomniachtchi. Nepo had the white pieces and was a full point ahead of what would be the winning trio. He had been undefeated up to that point, but he lost to Carlsen and then to Grischuk, as noted above.
The winning trio finished a point clear of their closest pursuers: Mamedyarov, Yu Yangyi, Nepomniachtchi, and the surprising David Anton Guijarro. The next score group saw six players with 9.5, including Aronian, while Anand and Sergey Karjakin were among those with 9 points. How difficult was the tournament? The group with 8.5 points included Vachier-Lagrave and Hikaru Nakamura. So the event was plenty strong, though it's still a slight pity that the world's #2-4 players, Fabiano Caruana, Vladimir Kramnik, and Wesley So, didn't participate. (To be fair, those are their classical rankings; their rapid rankings are 19, 11, and 17, respectively.)
On to the blitz!
* Ivanchuk also won the World Blitz Championship in 2007, so this isn't his first world championship title.