Carlsen, Ivanchuk, Karpov & Nakamura in semi-finals Cap d'Agde

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Cap d'Agde 2008Magnus Carlsen, Vassily Ivanchuk, Anatoli Karpov & Hikaru Nakamura have qualified for the semi-finals in the very strong rapid tournament that's taking place in Cap d'Agde, France this week.

From 25 October to 1 November, 16 GM's are participating in the 8th Troph?ɬ©e CCAS rapid event in Cap d'Agde. It's the seaside resort of the town of Agde, France on the Mediterranean sea.

The event is a closed tournament that is devided into two groups, than 1/4 finals, than 1/2 finals and then the final. The organizers strongly believe that rapid is the best way to present chess to a big audience; both online and on site, the event is broadcast with video.

In the group phase, all ladies were eliminated. Kosteniuk, Lahno and Sebag together with Cheparinov didn't make it to the quarter finals while in group B Konuru, Skripchenko and Feller were directly eliminated. Hou Yifan and Karpov both ended on 3.5 points and in four games of 3 minutes and 2 seconds per move, Karpov managed to set aside his 43 years younger opponent.

Hou Yifan - Karpov

Hou Yifa playing against 12th World Champion Anatoli Karpov


In the quarter finals, Karpov met another member of the new generation: 16-year-old Fabiano Caruana, who had made a strong impression by finishing first in the A group, after spending a nice holiday week in Greece, as he coudn't play in the European Club Cup.

But again it was experience that conquered talent (perhaps the NH Tournament organizers should consider inviting Karpov to Amsterdam next year...). After both players won one rapid game, three games of 3' 2" ended in a draw but the last was won by Karpov in a nice ending (see the game selection below).

Ivanchuk defeated Radjabov and he also did it in the blitz stage, after the players had drawn their two rapid games. The reigning world blitz champion and winner of this year's Tal Memorial blitz was too strong for Radjabov: 2-0.

Radjabov - Ivanchuk

Teimour Radjabov and Vassily Ivanchuk in deep concentration

The same scenario saw the minimatch Nakamura - Vachier-Lagrave. The American, famous for his blitz successes on the ICC, won both blitz games after two draws in the rapids.

Today at 14:30 CET the semi-finals start: Nakamura-Karpov and Carlsen-Ivanchuk. Here's a selection of decisive games:

Video reports by Robert Fontaine and Gerard Demuydt, Europe Echecs, who are joined by Stuart Conquest in the English reports (recommended!):

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