Anand wins Corsica Masters Knockout

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage

Vishy Anand won the Corsica Masters Knockout on Monday in Ajaccio, Corsica. The World Champion beat 2010 winner Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan 2-0 in the final. In the semifinal Anand had a narrow escape against Krishnan Sasikiran, who had earlier won the 9-round Swiss.

EventCorsica Masters 2011 | Masters: PGN | Knockout: PGN via TWIC
DatesOctober 22nd-31st, 2011
LocationAjaccio and Bastia, Corsica, France
System9-round Swiss & Knockout
PlayersTop rated players in the Masters were GMs Laurent Fressinet, Krishnan Sasikiran, Ivan Cheparinov, Rauf Mamedov, Gawain Jones, Hrant Melkumyan, Avetik Grygorian and Pavel Tregubov. The fourteen best qualified for the knockout phase, together with World Champion Vishy Anand and 2010 winner Shakhriyar Mamedyarov as invitees
Rate of play

Masters: 90 minutes for the whole game and 30 seconds increment from move 1 | Knockout: 10 minutes + 3 seconds increment

Our first report about the Corsican Circuit focused on the issue with the Iranian grandmaster who refused to play against an opponent from Israel. It was not the last issue the organizers had to deal with. In the next round, Rauf Mamedov and Marc Arnold drew their game relatively quickly.

[Event "Corsica Masters 2011"]
[Site "Bastia FRA"]
[Date "2011.10.25"]
[Round "5.3"]
[White "Arnold, Marc T"]
[Black "Mamedov, Rauf"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E91"]
[WhiteElo "2505"]
[BlackElo "2660"]
[PlyCount "44"]
[EventDate "2011.10.22"]

1. d4 g6 2. Nf3 Bg7 3. c4 d6 4. Nc3 Nf6 5. e4 O-O 6. Be2 c5 7. O-O cxd4 8. Nxd4
Nc6 9. Be3 Bd7 10. Rc1 Nxd4 11. Bxd4 Bc6 12. f3 a5 13. b3 Nd7 14. Bxg7 Kxg7 15.
Qd4+ Kg8 16. Rfd1 Rc8 17. a3 Qb6 18. Qxb6 Nxb6 19. b4 Na4 20. Nxa4 Bxa4 21. Rd5
axb4 22. axb4 Bd7 1/2-1/2

However, this was against the tournament rules. In fact even before the MTel Masters existed, the now-called 'Sofia rule' was already in effect in Corsica, something the players were not aware of apparently. The game was declared lost for both.

And then, in one of the side events (a blitz tournament on Saturday) a Bulgarian player was disqualified and asked to leave for offering money to his opponent, as reported on the website of the French Chess Federation. Well... it's about time that we have a look at the chess that was played on the French island!

The big Swiss event was eventually won by Krishnan Sasikiran. The Indian grandmaster was the only player to finish at 7.5/9 while our blogger GM Gawain Jones finished in clear second place. Arguably the most interesting game was the following - quite original stuff from such strong players!

[Event "Corsica Masters 2011"]
[Site "Bastia FRA"]
[Date "2011.10.24"]
[Round "3.10"]
[White "Cheparinov, Ivan"]
[Black "Pesotskyi, Vitalii"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A40"]
[WhiteElo "2650"]
[BlackElo "2268"]
[PlyCount "81"]
[EventDate "2011.10.22"]

1. d4 b5 2. e4 c6 3. Nf3 e6 4. a4 b4 5. d5 Bc5 6. dxe6 fxe6 7. e5 Qb6 8. Bd3
Bxf2+ 9. Ke2 Bc5 10. a5 Qc7 11. Nbd2 d5 12. exd6 Bxd6 13. Nc4 Nf6 14. Bxh7 Bxh2
15. Rxh2 Rxh7 16. Rxh7 Nxh7 17. Nd6+ Kf8 18. Ne5 Ba6+ 19. Kf2 Nd7 20. Ng6+ Kg8
21. Bf4 Ndf6 22. Nc8 e5 23. Nce7+ Kf7 24. Nxe5+ Ke8 25. Qf3 Ng5 26. Bxg5 Qxe5
27. Bxf6 gxf6 28. Qxc6+ Kf7 29. Qd5+ Qxd5 30. Nxd5 Rb8 31. Re1 Rb5 32. Re7+ Kg6
33. Nf4+ Kf5 34. Ne2 Rxa5 35. Rxa7 Ra2 36. Ke3 Ke5 37. Nf4 Bc4 38. Rxa2 Bxa2
39. Nd3+ Kd6 40. b3 Bb1 41. Kd2 1-0

Corsica Circuit | Swiss, round 9 standings

1SASIKIRAN KrishnangIND26897.544.555.52792
2JONES Gawain C BgENG262474556.52692
3MELKUMYAN HrantgARM26196.546.557.52647
4FRESSINET LaurentgFRA26966.545.555.52664
5DURARBEYLI VasifgAZE25266.545542542
6BARON TalgISR25056.544.554.52559
7CHEPARINOV IvangBUL26506.54454.52597
8ARNOLD Marc TmUSA25056.544542629
9BATTAGLINI GabrielmFRA24526.543532455
10GRIGORYAN AvetikgARM26146.54352.52588
11MAMEDOV RaufgAZE26606.542.5532599
12MULLON Jean-BaptistemFRA23796.542.551.52464
13TREGUBOV Pavel V.gRUS26026.541.5512554
14MASSONI MichaelfFRA23046.540.549.52387
15BERTHELOT YannickfFRA22866.539.5492421
16BAGHDASARYAN Vahe ARM2362642.552.52427
17INANTS Aghasi ARM2288642.550.52360
18BEDOUIN XaviermFRA2406641.550.52344
19FLEAR Glenn CgENG2471641512435
20SULAVA NenadgCRO2540641512394
21COLEMAN TeddyfUSA2312641492366
22DEBRAY ChristophermFRA2402640.550.52354
23IVANOV Stojan Emilov BUL2221640.547.52339
24DIMITROV RadoslavmBUL2424639.5492343
25MAMEDJAROVA TurkangfAZE227763947.52310
26EGOZI Nadav ISR217363847.52225
27HUMEAU Cyril FRA2261636.544.52165
28PESOTSKYI VitaliimUKR22685.54351.52472
29JUDKOVSKY Yair ISR23295.542.551.52341
30SHACHAR EhudfISR23555.542502349

Video impressions

The top 14 players qualified for the traditional knockout rapid tournament, where they were joined by two invited players: World Champion (and multiple winner) Vishy Anand and 2010 winner Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. The system for this event was 2 games of 10 minutes plus 3 seconds increment, and if required, two blitz games at 3 minutes plus 2 seconds increment, and if required, an Armageddon game.

The quarter-finals took place on Friday, October 28th in the evening, just hours after the 9-round Swiss had finished. The top seed of the classical event Laurent Fressinet had apparently lost all his energy, and lost to Gabriel Battaglini (2452). The other results were less surprising:

Viswanathan Anand 1.5 – 0.5 Avetik Grigoryan
Krishnan Sasikiran 2.5 – 1.5 Rauf Mamedov
Ivan Cheparinov 3 – 1 Gabriel Battaglini
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 1.5 – 0.5 Gawain Jones

Video impressions

The semifinals saw the following results:

Viswanathan Anand 3 – 1 Krishnan Sasikiran
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2 – 0 Ivan Cheparinov

However, it all could have gone differently, if Sasikiran hadn't missed a golden opportunity to beat his compatriot in the second rapid game (the first had ended in a draw):

[Event "Corsica Masters KO 2011"]
[Site "Bastia FRA"]
[Date "2011.10.29"]
[Round "3.2"]
[White "Sasikiran, Krishnan"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D45"]
[WhiteElo "2689"]
[BlackElo "2817"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "b2r2k1/3n1ppp/B1p5/2B5/pR2PP2/2P4P/6P1/6K1 w - - 0 28"]
[PlyCount "42"]
[EventDate "2011.10.28"]

28. Bf2 (28. Rd4 $1 {followed by 29.Be7 wins on the spot.}) 28... c5 29. Rxa4
Bc6 30. Ra2 Ra8 31. Bc4 Rxa2 32. Bxa2 Bxe4 33. Bb3 Kf8 34. Ba4 Ke7 35. Bxd7
Kxd7 36. Bxc5 h5 37. Kf2 f5 38. g3 Ke6 39. Bf8 g6 40. c4 Bc6 41. Ke3 Bg2 42. h4
Be4 43. Kd4 Bg2 44. Kc5 Bf1 45. Kb4 Kd7 46. Kc5 Ke6 47. Kb4 Kd7 48. Kc5 Ke6

Anand went on to win both blitz games.

Video impressions

All this happened in Bastia and after a rest day on Sunday, the players moved to the Palace of Congress in Ajaccio. There, Anand faced Mamedyarov in Monday's final. In the first game the World Campion picked the 3.f3 line against his opponent's Grünfeld - in fact an old pet line of Mamedyarov himself! The Indian won convincingly:

[Event "Corsica Masters KO 2011"]
[Site "Ajaccio FRA"]
[Date "2011.10.31"]
[Round "4.1"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D70"]
[WhiteElo "2817"]
[BlackElo "2746"]
[PlyCount "85"]
[EventDate "2011.10.28"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. f3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nb6 6. Nc3 Bg7 7. Be3 O-O 8. Qd2
Nc6 9. O-O-O Qd6 10. Kb1 Rd8 11. Nb5 Qd7 12. d5 Ne5 13. Qc2 c6 14. Nxa7 Rxa7
15. Bxb6 Ra8 16. Ne2 Re8 17. Nc3 Qd6 18. Be3 Bd7 19. dxc6 Qxc6 20. Bb5 Qe6 21.
Bxd7 Nxd7 22. Qb3 Qxb3 23. axb3 Ne5 24. Nd5 Rac8 25. Rd2 e6 26. Nb6 Rcd8 27.
Rhd1 Rxd2 28. Rxd2 f5 29. Nc4 fxe4 30. fxe4 Rf8 31. h3 Rf1+ 32. Kc2 Nc6 33. Rd1
Rf7 34. Rd6 Re7 35. Bc5 Rf7 36. Rxe6 Bd4 37. Rxc6 Rf2+ 38. Kd3 bxc6 39. Bxd4
Rxg2 40. Ne5 Rg3+ 41. Kc4 Rxh3 42. Nxc6 h5 43. b4 1-0

In the second game Mamedyarov made clear that these days in the QGD it's possible to play the g2-g4 push as early as move 7. He needed to win, and tried hard, but Anand defended well and also won this game.

[Event "Corsica Masters KO 2011"]
[Site "Ajaccio FRA"]
[Date "2011.10.31"]
[Round "4.2"]
[White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D37"]
[WhiteElo "2746"]
[BlackElo "2817"]
[PlyCount "79"]
[EventDate "2011.10.28"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 Nbd7 7. g4 dxc4 8.
Bxc4 c5 9. g5 Nh5 10. Be5 a6 11. Bd3 g6 12. h4 Nxe5 13. dxe5 b5 14. Nh2 Ra7 15.
Qe2 c4 16. Bc2 Qa5 17. O-O b4 18. Ne4 Qxe5 19. Ng4 Qc7 20. Rad1 a5 21. Rd4 Ba6
22. Rfd1 c3 23. Bd3 Bxd3 24. R4xd3 Qc4 25. Nef6+ Bxf6 26. gxf6 Qc5 27. bxc3
bxc3 28. Rd8 h6 29. Rxf8+ Qxf8 30. Qc4 Qb4 31. Qc8+ Kh7 32. f3 Qb7 33. Qf8 Ra8
34. Qxh6+ Kg8 35. Ne5 Nxf6 36. Qf4 Nd5 37. Qd4 Qb2 38. Nd3 Qe2 39. Re1 Qxf3 40.
h5 0-1

Video impressions

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