President's Cup: FIDE World crushes Azerbaijan

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
President's CupThe President's Cup in Baku yesterday ended in a crushing victory for the FIDE World team, who defeated Azerbaijan 21.5-10.5. Especially Vladimir Kramnik showed great form, scoring 6.5/8. All games are now available for replay - some of them truly great fights!

President of the Azerbaijan Chess Federation Elman Rustamov making the first move in the game Gashimov-Kramnik, with FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov watching | Photo courtesy of

The 2009 President’s Cup took place May 7th to 9th in the "UNS" Creative Stage theatre in Baku, Azerbaijan. The event was an 8-round rapid match (Scheveningen system) between the strongest players of Azerbaijan (Teimour Radjabov, Vugar Gashimov, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Gadir Guseinov and Rauf Mamedov - the latter only played two games, losing 1.5-0.5 against Anand) against a “FIDE World” team with World Champion Viswanathan Anand, former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik, 2007 World Cup runner-up Alexei Shirov and 2009 Corus winner Sergey Karjakin.

It must have been a great event, and from looking at the games it surely was, but not for the thousands of fans who wanted to follow the rapid games of the world's best players live. Because that's what we're talking about: arguably the best format to follow games live, and with the World Champ and the man who beat Kasparov playing! The broadcast of the games was a total failure and this is especially strange when you realize that only a year ago the first FIDE Grand Prix was held in Baku, where thirteen rounds of live games were covered.

President's Cup logoBut perhaps it's too easy to criticize the local organizers, when it's actually the material, being used in all those big events, that's not perfect, to say the least. My own club happens to own ten DGT boards and after two years we keep on having trouble with the terrible software that's delivered together with the very nice boards, so I understand a little bit of the problems they were having in Baku. In fact the US Championship also decided to switch from DGT to Monroi yesterday because of similar problems.

It takes hours and hours of trial and error, and at some point the technical guy realizes that one shouldn't use the latest version of the DGT software because it's worse that the previous version, and a few hours later (or days, if he's not a very experienced webmaster) the poor guy realizes that he should only use it for creating PGN files and a viewer out of the boards, but not the FTP part, it's absolutely necessary to use a separate FTP program... Well, I'll save you more details. They're nice guys at DGT, and they've served the chess world well, but I think this bit of criticism should be said, at least once, to trigger them to improve their stuff, or anybody else who's good in designing game viewers.

In our first report we covered the first two rounds, after which the FIDE World team was leading by a point. In the end it turned out that this specific line-up FIDE World team was just overkill for the Azeri's, who will have to consider it an interesting training match with lots of instructive moments! And lots of great fights - to name a few that shouldn't be missed: Mamedyarov-Karjakin (round 2), Shirov-Radjabov (3), Kramnik-Guseinov (5), Shirov-Mamedyarov (7), Radjabov-Karjakin (8) and Mamedyarov-Kramnik (8).

All games



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