Karjakin wins ACP World Rapid Cup

0 | Chess Event Coverage
4th ACP World Rapid CupDmitry Jakovenko and Sergey Karjakin today play the final of the ACP World Rapid Cup in Odessa, Ukraine. Friday Karjakin eliminated Shirov and Grischuk, while Jakovenko was too strong for Eljanov and Gurevich. Update: After four draws in the rapids, and two in the blitz, Karjakin won the Armageddon game.

The 4th ACP World Rapid Cup takes place May 27-29 in Odessa, Ukraine. The venue is the Odessa National Academy of Law. It's a 16-player knockout tournament with 16 participants with two-game matches, except for the final which has four games. Again sponsored by the Pivdenny Bank in Odessa, the prize fund is USD $70,000 (13,000 more than last year) with USD $14,000 for the winner.

The rate of play is 20 minutes per game with an increment of 5 seconds per move. If the initial match is drawn 1-1 there are two blitz games with a time control of 3 minutes with an increment of 2 seconds per move starting from move 1. If this tie-break ends in a draw (1-1) a final decisive Armageddon blitz game with White starting with 5 minutes and Black wth draw odds only 4 minutes.

Day 2

Grischuk and Movsesian started their match with an interesting battle in a Chebanenko Slav, full of positional sacrifices. With a queen and passed pawn against rook, bishop and three pawns, Grischuk decided the game by playing for mate. In his White game, Movsesian couldn't get through Grischuk's Petroff and "had to resign to a draw", a phrase we used experimentally before here.

Gurevich, who knocked out Ivanchuk on the first day, continued strongly. He beat Gashimov with the black pieces after the big blunder 40.Ra7??

4th ACP World Rapid Cup

(and not even with the move 40...Ne3+). Then, as if he were to say "this opening of yours wasn't correct when I was a top 10 player", Gurevich happily allowed Gashimov's Benoni, but the Azeri GM tried it in a different flavour, with ...Bd6. Soon more normal Benoni structures arose, and indeed Gurevich played it strongly, with a well-timed e4-e5-e6, and after many complications he ended up with an extra pawn, and then offered a draw.

Jakovenko held Eljanov to a draw with Black in a closed QGD (5.Bf4, 7.c5) and in the second game, a Caro-Kann Advance, it went wrong for the Ukrainian already in the opening. After 12.h4! Eljanov couldn't solve the problem of how to safe the bishop on g6.

4th ACP World Rapid Cup

The longest quarter-final was Karjakin vs Shirov. The first rapid game went to Shirov, who played a lovely Berlin Wall endgame with White. Then Karjakin used the Exchange Ruy Lopez (suddenly very popular again at top level) to level the score in the 5...Bg4 main line.

In the first blitz game, a 12.d5 Zaitsev, again it was Shirov who won a smooth game with White. For the second time Karjakin was in a must-win situation, and the two repeated their Exchange Ruy Lopez. Shirov deviated, but this time he lost even quicker. In the Armageddon game Karjakin had Black, improved upon his Zaitsev and cashed in when Shirov allowed his kingside getting weakened.

Also against Grischuk, in the semi-finals, Karjakin had to make up for a loss in game 1. This time he lost with White - Grischuk played another strong Najdorf - and so he had to win with Black. He did so, amazingly, in an Exchange Slav, from what looked like a horrible position after 20 moves.

4th ACP World Rapid Cup

20...Rxf4! was the only way to stay in the game. From the moment Karjakin got a passed pawn, Grischuk started to make more and more mistakes.

In the first blitz game, a Sicilian with gxf6, Karjakin's clear plan of attacking e6 was very instructive, as the pawn eventually dropped. In the next game Grischuk then seemed to be on his way to reaching the Armageddon, winning the bishop pair, pushing a pawn to c7 and ending up with an extra piece, but with 4 against 3 on the kingside he couldn't convert it into a full point. (Couldn't Karjakin start that simple plan he showed at the end, putting the king on h8 and the bishop on the long diagonal, already immediately after the queen's were exchanged, we wonder.)

So today the final is between compatriots Jakovenko and Karjakin. They play four rapid games, instead of two, and it's already at 12:00 local time (11:00 CET, so in half an hour from now at the moment of writing).

Update: day 3 (final)

All four rapid games and the two blitz games ended in a draw today, and then Karjakin won the Armageddon game to take the cup. He was a pawn up in an ending but the technical task wasn't easy, until Jakovenko got tricked and lost a piece. Games of the final have been addded to the game viewer.


1/8 1/4 1/2 Final Winner
Grischuk, Alexander
2 : 0 Grischuk, Alexander
Motylev, Alexander
1.5 : 0.5 Grischuk, Alexander
Movsesian, Sergei
1.5 : 0.5 Movsesian, Sergei
Naiditsch, Arkadij
1.5 : 2.5 Karjakin, Sergey
Shirov, Alexei
3 : 2 Shirov, Alexei
Bacrot, Etienne
2 : 3 Karjakin, Sergey
Karjakin, Sergey
3 : 1 Karjakin, Sergey
Drozdovskij, Yuri
4 : 3 Karjakin, Sergey
Eljanov, Pavel
1.5 : 0.5 Eljanov, Pavel
Moiseenko, Alexander
0.5 : 1.5 Jakovenko, Dmitry
Jakovenko, Dmitry
2 : 0 Jakovenko, Dmitry
Inarkiev, Ernesto
1.5 : 0.5 Jakovenko, Dmitry
Ivanchuk, Vassily
0.5 : 1.5 Gurevich, Mikhail
Gurevich, Mikhail
1.5 : 0.5 Gurevich, Mikhail
Gashimov, Vugar
3 : 2 Gashimov, Vugar
Tregubov, Pavel V.

Game viewer

Game viewer by ChessTempo

4th ACP World Rapid Cup

Sergey Karjakin: verrrry tough to beat

4th ACP World Rapid Cup

Dmitry Jakovenko, also in the final

4th ACP World Rapid Cup

Vassily Ivanchuk, eliminated in round 1, grabbing the mic in the commentary room

4th ACP World Rapid Cup

What is this, the Primera Division, or Formula 1? :-)

Photos © Boris Buchman, more here


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