Cap d'Agde: Karpov Wins Preliminary Tournament With 11.0/14
Anatoly Karpov finished the preliminary tournament in Cap d'Agde like he started, and his excellent play resulted in an undefeated 11/14 score. The 12th World Champion qualified for the semi-finals together with Etienne Bacrot, Mariya Muzychuk and Vassily Ivanchuk, who recoved just in time.
Anatoly Karpov | Photo courtesy of the organizers
We already know that Karpov, who last year won the tournament named after himself, started the second edition very well. After the first eight rounds he was leading the group with 7.0/8 — see the first report.
On Tuesday Karpov duly continued with another win, against Mariya Muzychuk. In a Fianchetto Grünfeld, he didn't get a huge advantage and the ending should have been a draw, but somehow the white pieces became very active at some point. In an ending with opposite-colored bishops, the typical f7-weakness decided the game.
Karpov then also beat the lowest rated participant, in a Queen's Gambit Declined, Lasker Defence. A bishop sac on h3 was easily refuted.
With 9.5/11 (!) Karpov was still one and a half point ahead of the rest of the pack. With three relatively quick draws in the last three rounds, he cruised to victory.
Etienne Bacrot finished second, but it was about the top four, and the problem was that three players tied for third-fifth place: Yannick Pelletier, Mariya Muzychuk and Vassily Ivanchuk. The latter had started with seven draws and a loss but finished with three draws and three wins, just enough! A blitz tiebreak was played in which Pelletier lost all games, and so Ivanchuk and Muzychuk went through to the semis, with Karpov and Bacrot.
At the time of writing, the semi-finals have started but we'll cover those together with the final in a third report.
Below is a video of rounds 11 & 12 created by Europe-Echecs. You can find more on their YouTube channel.
2nd Karpov Trophy 2013 | Preliminary, final standings
The "Trophée Anatoly Karpov" starts with a preliminary event, which is an 8-player, double round robin. After 14 rounds, 4 players advance to a knockout phase. The time control is 25 minutes + 10 seconds per move. The players are Vassily Ivanchuk (2733), Etienne Bacrot (2730), Anatoly Karpov (2619), Yannick Pelletier (2578, Switzerland), Mariya Muzychuk (2491, Ukraine), Nino Maisuradze (2302, France), Zhao Xue (2579, China) and Marie Sebag (2510, France). The tournament runs from Friday, October 25th till Saturday, November 2nd in Cap d'Agde, the seaside resort of the town of Agde, France, on the Mediterranean sea, southwest of Montpellier.