Third International Open of Ajaccio on Corsica
Part of the "Corsican Circuit" International Chess Open Festival,
which was held on the French island of Corsica, was the Corsica Masters Bastia.
It took place from November 4-7 and carried a prize sum of €100,000.
Information on this tournament is sparse – you can try to mine the official
web site for more than we have in this report. However we did contact the
organisers who send us the games and a bunch of pictures for our news page.
Sixteen players started in this rapid chess knockout tournament, with two
games per round deciding who proceeded to the next stage. The favourites were
of course Vishy Anand, who had won the event five times in past years (and
is probably the best rapid chess player in the world today); Rustam Kasimdzhanov,
who like Anand is a former FIDE world champion and capable of playing extraordinary
chess; Etienne Bacrot, France's top GM and number 18 in the world.
In the following cross table you can see how the tournament developed. In
the first stage there were four matches that went to tiebreaks, after that
Anand went through his opponents like hot butter through a knife (as Anand
himself once put it). In the other branch of the tournament Rustam Kasimdzhanov
squeaked past tough opposition: Tregubov, Bologan, Bacrot. In the final Kasim
won the first game with black against Vishy, and held the Indian superstar
to a draw in the second to take the title.
Anand,Viswanathan - Kasimdzhanov,Rustam
Bastia Bastia (4.1), 05.11.2006
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3
0-0 9.h3 Re8 10.d4 Bb7 11.Nbd2 Bf8 12.a4 h6 13.Bc2 exd4 14.cxd4 Nb4 15.Bb1
c5 16.d5 Nd7 17.Ra3 c4 18.Nd4 Qf6 19.N2f3 Nc5 20.Ree3 Nbd3 21.axb5 axb5 22.Nxb5
Rxa3 23.Nxa3 Rxe4
Let the tactical slugout begin: 24.Nxc4 – the idea
being that 24...Rxc4 25.Bxd3 Nxd3 26.Rxd3 and White has an extra pawn in a
roughly equal position. 24...Nxf2!? Now after 25.Kxf2 Rxc4
White is doing fine. 25.Qe2 Nxh3+ 26.gxh3 Qg6+ 27.Kf2 Rxe3.
Did Anand miss this in his calculations? 28.Bxe3. After 28.Bxg6
Rxe2+ 29.Kxe2 fxg6 Black is a healthy pawn up. 28...Qxb1 29.Bxc5 dxc5
30.Qe5 Qc2+ 31.Nfd2 Qd3 32.d6 Qxh3. Now it's a two-pawn advantage
for Black. 33.Qe8 Bc8 34.Ne5 Qe6 35.Qxe6 Bxe6 36.Ne4 f5 37.d7 Bxd7
38.Nf6+ gxf6 39.Nxd7 Kf7 40.Kf3 Bd6 41.Nb6 Ke6 42.b3 h5 43.Nc4 h4 0-1.
Anand and colleagues in the spectators' area...
...while his main rivals battle it out on the stage
Etienne Bacro, number 18 in the world...
...knocked out by former world champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov
So now it is between the you and me, bro! Anand and Kasim
The first and fateful game between the two
The world's finest rapid chess player at work
His very dangerous Uzbek opponent
The final game, which Anand desperately needed to win
But it wasn't meant to be – and Rustam Kasimdzhanov wins the event
The prize is handed over to the winner
The players with their prizes
Previous winners of the Corsica Masters:
1997 – Pavel Tregubov (Russia)
1998 – Alexander Chernin (Hungary)
1999 – Vladimir Akopian (Armenie)
2000 – Viswanathan Anand (India)
2001 – Viswanathan Anand (India)
2002 – Viswanathan Anand (India)
2003 – Viswanathan Anand (India)
2004 – Viswanathan Anand (India)
2005 – Vadim Milov (Switzerland)
All pictures by courtesy of the Organisation