MVL Beats Anand In Corsica Masters Final

MVL Beats Anand In Corsica Masters Final

| 23 | Chess Event Coverage

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave won the Corsica Masters on Sunday by beating Vishy Anand in the final. The rapid tournament also featured Teimour Radjabov and Hou Yifan as well as many other strong grandmasters.

Organizer Léo Battesti posted this awesome photo of Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
and Vishy Anand on Facebook before their final match in Ajaccio, Corsica.

The 20th Corsica Masters took place on October 27, 28 and 30. The Masters was a 16-player knockout with 12 qualifiers from an open tournament held earlier in the week and four seeded grandmasters. These were the qualifiers from the open:

# Fed Name Rtg Born
1 GM Anton Korobov 2687 1985
2 GM Alexander Moiseenko 2648 1980
3 GM Mikhail Antipov 2557 1997
4 GM Bogdan-Daniel Deac 2543 2001
5 GM Zaven Andriasian 2622 1989
6 GM Sergei Azarov 2577 1983
7 GM Benjamin Gledura 2585 1999
8 GM Daniele Vocaturo 2600 1989
9 IM Bilel Bellahcene 2475 1998
10 GM Tigran Gharamian 2626 1984
11 GM Vladimir Onischuk 2602 1991
12 IM Koen Leenhouts 2499 1984

They were joined by Vishy Anand, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Teimour Radjabov and Hou Yifan. Together they played a 16-player knockout on Thursday and Friday in Bastia. The time control was 15 minutes with a 3-second increment per move. In the case of a tie, the players played a blitz playoff.

In the very first round, Anand won an interesting game against Dutch IM Koen Leenhouts. It was clear that the five-time world champion had to warm up a little! (He won game two without problems.)

Bogdan-Daniel Deac of Romania became the youngest grandmaster in the world this summer. He gained the title at the age of 14 years, 7 months and 27 days. Before continuing, let's quickly look at the updated table for youngest GMs in history:

Youngest Chess Grandmasters Ever

# Name Country Age
1. Sergey Karjakin Ukraine 12 years, 7 months, 0 days
2. Parimarjan Negi India 13 years, 4 months, 22 days
3. Magnus Carlsen Norway 13 years, 4 months, 27 days
4. Wei Yi China 13 years, 8 months, 24 days
5. Bu Xiangzhi China 13 years, 10 months, 13 days
6. Sam Sevian United States 13 years, 10 months, 27 days
7. Richard Rapport Hungary 13 years, 11 months, 6 days
8. Teimour Radjabov Azerbaijan 14 years, 0 months, 14 days
9. Ruslan Ponomariov Ukraine 14 years, 0 months, 17 days
10. Wesley So Philippines 14 years, 1 month, 28 days
11. Etienne Bacrot France 14 years, 2 months, 0 days
12. Jorge Cori Peru 14 years, 2 months[5]
13. Ilya Nyzhnyk Ukraine 14 years, 3 months, 2 days
14. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave France 14 years, 4 months
15. Peter Leko Hungary 14 years, 4 months, 22 days
16. Hou Yifan China 14 years, 6 months, 16 days
17. Anish Giri Netherlands 14 years, 7 months, 2 days
18. Yuriy Kuzubov Ukraine 14 years, 7 months, 12 days
19. Bogdan-Daniel Deac Romania 14 years, 7 months, 27 days
20. Dariusz Swiercz Poland 14 years, 7 months, 29 days
21. Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son Vietnam 14 years, 10 months
22. Daniil Dubov Russia 14 years, 11 months, 14 days
23. Ray Robson United States 14 years, 11 months, 16 days
24. Fabiano Caruana Italy 14 years, 11 months, 20 days

Back to Bastia, where Deac immediately showed his talent by drawing twice with Radjabov. He then lost in the playoff in a most dramatic fashion. After the first blitz game ended in a draw, the second seemed to be heading to the same result.

Then the following happened.

Deac's reaction, taken from the video feed.

MVL won his first match against French IM Bilel Bellahcene easily, but Hou Yifan risked early elimination after losing the first game to Sergei Azarov of Belarus. She won her must-win game as follows. Then she won the blitz playoff.

The quarterfinals in action. | Photo courtesy Corsican Circuit.

The two top seeds showed their class in the quarterfinals and semifinals. MVL first beat Vladimir Onischuk, and then he defeated the strong Ukrainian grandmaster Anton Korobov, who had eliminated Hou Yifan in the quarterfinals. Anand knocked out Tigran Gharamian and then Radjabov.

Here's his White game, where the Indian showed wonderful patience an technique. At the end he liquidates to a winning pawn endgame.

Wonderful technique by Anand. | Photo courtesy Corsican Circuit.

The final was held on Sunday in the Palace of Congress in Ajaccio, Corsica's capital and the birth place of Napoleon Bonaparte. After a long week of chess on the French island, the final was a rather short affair. The first game was drawn, and then Vachier-Lagrave won the second to become the winner of the jubilee 20th edition.

The dream final between Anand and MVL on Sunday
was a short affair. | Photo courtesy Corsican Circuit.

The Corsica Masters was part of the annual Corsican Circuit festival, which included more open tournaments and a special events for kids. The total prize fund was an impressive €102,000.

The chess stars together with the kids on stage—always
a good idea! | Photo courtesy Corsican Circuit.

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