Kasparov's 1st Bughouse Game: Grand Chess Tour
Garry Kasparov (with daughter Aida behind him) playing with Marc Andria Maurizzi in Paris on Monday. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Kasparov's 1st Bughouse Game: Grand Chess Tour

| 23 | Chess Event Coverage

On Monday, the Paris Grand Chess Tour participants had a "pro-biz" event, and were joined by Garry Kasparov. It was also announced that Magnus Carlsen will play the Sinquefield Cup.

The Château d'Asnières, in the town of Asnières-sur-Seine in Hauts-de-Seine (just northwest of Paris), was the location of a stylish and fun closing event of the Paris Grand Chess Tour. The day involved simuls by all 10 grandmasters (against 10 players each), the closing ceremony and a pro-biz event, where chess professionals were paired with prominent guests. 

Grischuk Kramnik simul Paris Grand Chess Tour Pro Biz

Kramnik (left) and Grischuk during their simul.

At the ceremony, Grand Chess Tour spokesman Michael Khodarkovsky announced that Magnus Carlsen and Leinier Dominguez have accepted invitations as wildcards for the next GCT events. Carlsen will be playing in this year's Sinquefield Cup (August 17-28) while Dominguez is going to play in the Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz (August 11-15), both held at the St. Louis chess club.

Khodarkovsky announcing wild cards Paris Grand Chess Tour Pro Biz

Khodarkovsky (right) announcing the wildcards.

For the pro-biz, teams of two played a knockout tournament. Twelve corporate VIPs were paired with either Garry Kasparov, Etienne Bacrot or one of the 10 grandmasters from the tournament. Playing two against two, the players had to alternate moves.

The six teams were playing in two groups for a spot in the final. The time control was five minutes plus two seconds increment per move.

MVL with Gilles Betthaeuser Paris Grand Chess Tour Pro Biz

MVL (far right) with regular partner and sponsor Gilles Bethaeuser.

It was Bacrot, during the tournament MVL's second, who was lucky enough to be paired with WGM Dana Reizniece-Ozola, the current minister of finance in Latvia who famously defeated Hou Yifan at the 2016 Baku Olympiad.

Although Reizniece-Ozola said she was nervous, she and Bacrot nonetheless were by far the strongest team. It was no surprise that they scored 5/5 in their group, and qualified for the final.

Dana Reizniece-Ozola Paris Grand Chess Tour Pro Biz

Reizniece-Ozola playing black vs Bethaeuser.

Not all games were a walk in the park though. Levon Aronian and his partner Jean Staune, scientific philosopher and essayist, put up a decent fight:

The other group was won by Garry Kasparov and his partner, the 10-year-old talent CM Marc Andria Maurizzi who is already rated 2155 and the current U10 European champion. They scored 4.5/5 in the group phase and just crushed Sergey Karjakin and his partner, consultant Jacques Schramm:

Kasparov Paris Grand Chess Tour Pro Biz

Grischuk and Nakamura smiling at one of Kasparov/Maurizzi's games.

The final was a little different from earlier years. This time, not regular chess but bughouse was played! And so, there was a bit of chess history there in the Château d'Asnières because, as it turned out, Kasparov had never played bughouse before in his life. 

Crash course bughouse Caruana Kasparov Paris Grand Chess Tour 2018

Caruana gave Kasparov a crash course in bughouse.

Kasparov got to play White vs Reizniece-Ozola on the left, and Bacrot had White vs Maurizzi on the right.

Bughouse Paris Grand Chess Tour Kasparov

Kasparov vs Reizniece-Ozola Bacrot vs Maurizzi

This moment was worth mentioning because Bacrot played 1.Qb4-a5+!! on the right board, where Black cannot take because of checkmate in two. (Can you see how?)

Maurizzi went 1...Kxc5, 2.Be7+ Kd5 but after 3.Nf6+ he and his teammate Kasparov had to throw in the towel. The killer team Bacrot/Reizniece-Ozola had lived up to the expectations.

Full video of the bughouse match filmed by Maria Emelianova.

Bughouse is hard to present on a chess website. However, DGT operator Lennart Ootes recorded his screen, with which we managed to create the video below, in case you're interested in seeing the full games. Unfortunately, the boards are both seen from White's perspective, which makes it a bit harder to follow the teams.

I love chess children

Lots of children loving chess! | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Kramnik Kasparov simul Paris 2018

Kramnik still hadn't finished his simul when Kasparov arrived; the latter couldn't resist mocking him a bit! | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Outside Pro Biz chess Paris 2018

The atmosphere was excellent. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Group photo Paris Grand Chess Tour 2018

A group photo after the simuls ended. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Nakamura wins Paris Grand Chess Tour 2018

Nakamura receiving the Paris GCT trophy. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Caruana kid Paris Grand Chess Tour 2018

Caruana played with 9-year-old Antoine Kosciusko-Morizet... | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Nakamura Paris Grand Chess Tour 2018

...the son of Nakamura's partner Pierre Kosciusko-Morizet, entrepreneur and investor. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Blunder Paris Grand Chess Tour 2018

That move might have been a blunder. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Kasparov Paris Grand Chess Tour Pro Biz 2018

We've seen that look before! | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Dasha Kasparova Aida Kasparova Paris Grand Chess Tour Pro Biz 2018

Kasparov's wife Dasha and daughter Aida came along as well, after they had visited the Louvre. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Family Kasparov Paris

Aida was tired but nonetheless interested in the chess. She plays chess, but also loves playing the piano and tennis. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Garry Aida Kasparov Paris Grand Chess Tour Pro Biz 2018

A beautiful moment between father and daughter. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

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