2016-10-27: Carlsen Beats Nakamura To Win GM Blitz Battle Championship (chess.com) 'Just like the quarterfinals and the semifinals, all three time disciplines opened with a chess960 game' That last event merits a deeper look.
Skipping ahead, a chart from the event's final report gives an overview of the entire tournament.
The event was announced in January 2016:-
The $40,000 GM Blitz Battle Championship
(chess.com; ditto for all links given below)
'Here are the details of the event:
All matches, starting from the quarterfinal rounds through the finals will follow this format:
- Three hours of blitz and bullet chess
- First time control: 5|2 for 90 minutes, then 3|2 for 60 minutes, then 1|1 for the final 30 minutes
- First game of each time control will be Chess960
- Total match score will determine who moves onto the next round'
Seven of the eight players were all members of the world's chess elte. A preliminary, qualifying event selected the eighth player.
- 2016-05-31: Carlsen To Face Tigran Petrosian In GM Blitz Battle 'GM Tigran L. Petrosian of Armenia bested a field of 99 players Tuesday in what can be considered the strongest online blitz tournament ever for the right to face Carlsen next month.'
The individual match reports were all written by three of Chess.com's best journalists: Sam Copeland, Peter Doggers, and Mike Klein. Here are the reports on the four quarterfinal matches:-
- 2016-04-07: Grischuk Beats Aronian 11.5-9.5 In Epic 1st GM Blitz Battle
- 2016-05-04: GM Blitz Battle 2: Harikrishna No Match For Nakamura's Bullet Train
- 2016-05-11: MVL Comes Back vs Caruana As Blitz Battle Speeds Up
- 2016-06-23: Carlsen Routs Petrosian 21-4 In Blitz Battle 'As game one got underway, Petrosian said, "I didn't know that we have to play Fischer Random."' Oops!
And here are the reports on the two semifinal matches:-
- 2016-08-23: Carlsen Doubles Down vs Grischuk, Wins Blitz Battle 16-8
- 2016-08-24: Nakamura Routs MVL Via 3-Minute Special, Will Face Carlsen In Blitz Battle Final
And here are two reports on the final match:-
- 2016-09-20: Carlsen-Nakamura Championship Set For October 27
- 2016-10-27: Carlsen Beats Nakamura To Win GM Blitz Battle Championship
Some highlights from the final match:-
'Today GM Magnus Carlsen [...] defeated GM Hikaru Nakamura in the finals by an overall score of 14.5-10.5.' 'On the whole, Carlsen played faster early and his consistent time advantage helped him open with a 5.5-3.5 win in the five-minute portion.' 'The world champion then extended his lead to five games by taking the three-minute by the larger margin of 5.0-2.0.' 'Nakamura attempted a comeback in the bullet, but the lead proved insurmountable. He mostly traded wins in the one-minute, winning the segment by a single game, 5.0-4.0.'
'Nakamura won easily in chess960. Just like the quarterfinals and the semifinals, all three time disciplines opened with a chess960 game, but for the finals, a twist. The players did not get advance notice of the starting positions.' 'Nakamura would go on to take 2.5/3 in the three iterations of chess960, one of the few bright spots for him on the day.'
Seven matches times three chess960 games per match gives 21 chess960 games played by the world's top grandmasters. I didn't see an easy way to collect those games, but a little perseverance should pay off.