Closest Finish Ever At Corus

Closest Finish Ever At Corus

| 7 | Chess Event Coverage

With just one round to go, there is a remarkable and unprecedented 6-way tie for the lead in the A Group at Corus.  That's nearly half the field tying for first place on 7 points!

This very unusual position should make for a fascinating last round.  Many of the players will be keeping an even closer eye on their rival's games than usual!

The four players at the top in the previous round, Aronian, Radjabov, Dominguez and Movsesian were joined by Carlsen and Karjakin who beat Smeets and Adams respectively.

There are no tie-breaks to determine the champion at Corus (prize money is shared), but the winner is due to be invited to the Grand Slam Final in Bilbao later in the year, and the tie-break used to determine who gets this invitation will be head-to-head results followed by the Sonnenborn-Berger system.

The only leaders that will clash in the final round are Dominguez and Karjakin.  The full draw is:

Kamsky (6) Movsesian (7)
Adams (5) Van Wely (5.5)
Dominguez (7) Karjakin (7)
Morozevich (4.5) Ivanchuk (5.5)
Smeets (5.5) Aronian (7)
Wang Yue (5) Carlsen (7)
Radjabov (7) Stellwagen (5)

As is traditional, the prize for winning the B Group is an invite to next year's A Group, and it's been a close fight so far, led most of the way by Nigel Short.  However, going into the final round he is joined in the lead on 8 points by Kasimdzhanov, who beat L'Ami.  Just half a point behind, and within striking distance are Caruana and Volokitin.  The final round pits Caruana against Short, whilst Kasimdzhanov gets black against Motylev, and Volokitin is black against Efimenko.  Expect a dramatic finish here too!

Short and Kasimdzhanov in relaxed mood...

The penultimate round of the C Group saw Wesley So win a crucial clash against one-time leader Hillarp Persson. That means that So is a clear point ahead of his nearest rival, 14-year old Anish Giri going into the final round and is guaranteed at least a share of first place.  Congratulations Wesley!

Remarkably, all games in the C Group in round 12 were decisive - as happened before in round 10.  The very low draw percentage (just 26%!) in this group is perhaps even more noteworthy than the 6-way tie in the A Group.

The games in the final round on 1 Feb start an hour earlier than usual - at 12:30 CET (6:30 EST).  Live games from the official website are broadcast at this page.

The full results in round 12:


Carlsen, Magnus   Smeets, Jan   1-0   29 B10   Caro Kann
Aronian, Levon  Morozevich, Alexander ½-½  44 D98  Gruenfeld
Karjakin, Sergey  Adams, Michael 1-0  35 C92  Ruy Lopez Chigorin
Movsesian, Sergei  Radjabov, Teimour ½-½  27 B30  Sicilian Rossolimo
Van Wely, Loek  Kamsky, Gata ½-½  17 D15  Slav Defence
Ivanchuk, Vassily  Dominguez Perez, Leinier ½-½  22 B54  Sicilian Rauzer
Stellwagen, Daniel  Wang Yue ½-½  32 C67  Ruy Lopez Berlin

Short, Nigel D   Efimenko, Zahar   ½-½   59 B92   Sicilian Najdorf
Kasimdzhanov, Rustam  L'Ami, Erwin  1-0  41 D45  Anti-Meran
Volokitin, Andrei  Navara, David 1-0  37 E04  Catalan
Reinderman, Dimitri  Caruana, Fabiano ½-½  11 A25  English Sicilian Attack
Hou Yifan  Vallejo Pons, Francisco 1-0  31 B30  Sicilian Rossolimo
Sasikiran, Krishnan  Werle, Jan 1-0  23 E21  Nimzo Indian
Mecking, Henrique  Motylev, Alexander ½-½  13 A41  Modern Defence

Giri, Anish   Leon Hoyos, Manuel   1-0   33 A41   Modern Defence
Hillarp Persson, Tiger  So, Wesley 0-1  39 D11  Slav Defence
Howell, David W L  Bitalzadeh, Ali 1-0  18 B40  Sicilian Classical
Gupta, Abhijeet  Iturrizaga, Eduardo 1-0  43 E10  Blumenfeld Counter Gambit
Nijboer, Friso  Holzke, Frank 1-0  40 C78  Ruy Lopez
Pruijssers, Roeland  Bosboom, Manuel 1-0  42 B15  Caro Kann
Romanishin, Oleg M  Harika, Dronavalli 1-0  78 D11  Slav Defence

The standings after round 12:


1 Carlsen, Magnus   NOR   2776 7
2 Radjabov, Teimour  AZE  2761 7
3 Aronian, Levon  ARM  2750 7
4 Karjakin, Sergey  UKR  2706 7
5 Dominguez Perez, Leinier  CUB  2717 7
6 Movsesian, Sergei  SVK  2751 7
7 Kamsky, Gata  USA  2725 6
8 Van Wely, Loek  NED  2625  
9 Ivanchuk, Vassily  UKR  2779  
10 Smeets, Jan  NED  2601  
11 Wang Yue  CHN  2739 5
12 Stellwagen, Daniel  NED  2612 5
13 Adams, Michael  ENG  2712 5
14 Morozevich, Alexander  RUS  2771  


1 Short, Nigel D   ENG   2663 8
2 Kasimdzhanov, Rustam  UZB  2687 8
3 Volokitin, Andrei  UKR  2671  
4 Caruana, Fabiano  ITA  2646  
5 Motylev, Alexander  RUS  2676 7
6 Vallejo Pons, Francisco  ESP  2702  
7 Navara, David  CZE  2638 6
8 Efimenko, Zahar  UKR  2688 6
9 Reinderman, Dimitri  NED  2549  
10 Hou Yifan  CHN  2571  
11 L'Ami, Erwin  NED  2603 5
12 Sasikiran, Krishnan  IND  2711 4
13 Mecking, Henrique  BRA  2567 4
14 Werle, Jan  NED  2607  


1 So, Wesley   PHI   2627 9
2 Giri, Anish  RUS  2469 8
3 Hillarp Persson, Tiger  SWE  2586  
4 Howell, David W L  ENG  2622 7
5 Gupta, Abhijeet  IND  2569  
6 Holzke, Frank  GER  2524 6
7 Harika, Dronavalli  IND  2473  
8 Nijboer, Friso  NED  2560  
9 Bosboom, Manuel  NED  2418  
10 Pruijssers, Roeland  NED  2444  
11 Leon Hoyos, Manuel  MEX  2542 5
12 Bitalzadeh, Ali  NED  2400  
13 Iturrizaga, Eduardo  VEN  2528  
14 Romanishin, Oleg M  UKR  2533 4

Photos courtesy of ChessVibes.

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