Fressinet Beats Karpov In Final, Wins Cap d'Agde Rapid

Fressinet Beats Karpov In Final, Wins Cap d'Agde Rapid

| 22 | Chess Event Coverage

Laurent Fressinet won the 13th edition of the annual rapid tournament in Cap d'Agde, France. The French GM beat none other than Anatoly Karpov in the final.

The Mediterranean seaside resort of Cap d'Agde is not a bad place at all to spend some time at the end of October. Anatoly Karpov is among a group of chess players who enjoys the French sun (and Languedoc-Roussillon wines!?) every year.

The 12th World Champion keeps on coming back for some chess as well, and since 2012 the tournament is in fact called “Anatoly Karpov Trophy.”

The rapid event had the following eight participants this year: GMs Laurent Fressinet (France, 2702), Tigran Gharamian (France, 2654), Romain Edouard (France, 2636), Anatoly Karpov (Russia, 2628), Anna Muzychuk (Ukraine, 2549), Mariya Muzychuk (Ukraine, 2528), Marie Sebag (France, 2496) and WGM Zhansaya Abdumalik (Kazakhstan, 2390).

The tournament started with a double round robin, so 14 rounds in total, at 25 minutes plus 10 seconds increment. Each day only two rounds were played, so this part lasted a week. The first four would go to a playoff stage.

The double round-robin in action. | Photo courtesy Capechecs/Europe-Echecs.

The results wasn't surprising: all four 2600+ grandmaster made it to the next stage. Top seed Fressinet finished first, and was joined by Karpov, Edouard and Gharamian.

After a decent 4.5/7 and an even better 5.0/7 in the second half, Karpov finished on the same score as Fressinet — the only player who beat him, with a simple but nice two-move tactic:


4th Karpov Trophy | Preliminary Group | Final Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pts
1 Fressinet,Laurent 2702 2685 phpfCo1l0.png ½1 ½½ ½½ 10 ½½ 11 11 9.5/14
2 Karpov,Anatoly 2628 2694 ½0 phpfCo1l0.png ½½ ½½ ½1 ½1 11 11 9.5/14
3 Edouard,Romain 2636 2665 ½½ ½½ phpfCo1l0.png ½½ ½0 11 11 9.0/14
4 Gharamian,Tigran 2654 2562 ½½ ½½ phpfCo1l0.png 01 ½½ ½½ 7.0/14
5 Sebag,Marie 2496 2558 01 ½0 ½½ 10 phpfCo1l0.png ½0 ½1 ½½ 6.5/14
6 Muzychuk,Anna 2549 2527 ½½ ½0 ½1 ½1 phpfCo1l0.png 6.0/14
7 Muzychuk,Mariya 2528 2450 00 00 00 ½½ ½0 phpfCo1l0.png ½1 4.5/14
8 Abdumalik,Zhansaya 2390 2439 00 00 00 ½½ ½½ ½0 phpfCo1l0.png 4.0/14


In the semi-final, Fressinet defeated Gharamian 1.5-0.5. The second game, a 6.h3 Najdorf, was basically decided by Black's slightly weaker king:

The other semi-final was more tense. After playing two draws, Edouard and Karpov exchanged two wins so the score was still equal! In the 3+2 blitz games Karpov managed to win both. Here's the first:

Here's a video by Europe-Echecs with footage from the semi-finals:

The final started with two draws as well, and so the players went on to blitz. Many older fans would have liked to see Karpov win, to add another to his impressive list of tournament victories.

In 2012 and 2014 he was in fact victorious, but this year it wasn't meant to be, despite reaching winning positions in both blitz games. Here's the first:


Karpov and Fressinet shake hands at the start of one of their games. | Photo courtesy Capechecs/Europe-Echecs.

In the second blitz game something similar happened. Fressinet was just a little bit more fresh, and Karpov failed to decide the game with little time on the clock.

In 2013 the 12th world champion lost the final to Bacrot, and now to Fressinet. Apparently in 2016 it's Karpov's turn again!

The playing hall was designed beautifully, set up like an amphitheatre. | Photo courtesy Capechecs/Europe-Echecs.


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