17th Corsican Chess Circuit

10/25/2013 – The 2013 Corsican Circuit enjoyed its 17th edition in Bastia and Ajaccio in Corsica. The series of events included a massive youth tournament which brought 700 youths to fight over 30 thousand Euros worth of prizes, a blitz tournament sponsored by Coca-Cola, and a very strong rapid tournament, the Oscaro Open, with several top players. Illustrated report with video.

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17th Corsican Chess Circuit

The 2013 Corsican Circuit enjoyed its 17th edition in Bastia and Ajaccio in Corsica. The series of events included a massive youth tournament which brought 700 youths to fight over 30 thousand Euros worth of prizes, a blitz tournament sponsored by Coca-Cola, and a strong rapid tournament, the Oscaro Open, which qualified fourteen players, with added invitees Etienne Bacrot and Vladislav Tkachiev into a 16-player knockout phase. Many strong players came for a shot, at the 50 thousand Euro prize fund including several 2700 players such as Arkadij Naiditsch, and Zoltan Almasi. The Croatians, led by Miso Cebalo, brought a powerful delegation of their own, and it proved a boon.

The youth tournament guaranteed prizes for everyone

Mathias, in first grade, commented, "I learned to play in school, and I like it. You have to think and try to play moves like a kiss of death. This is my third tournament." 

The strong open was the main attraction, endowed with a prize fund of 50 thousand Euros, and served as an inspiration to the innumerous young fans who filled the theatre with boisterous support for the players.

They weren't the quietest fans, but they were certainly the most enthusiastic

The tournament saw few surprises until the quarterfinals , when Ivan Saric created a sensation the Corsican Circuit by convincingly eliminating the top seed Etienne Bacrot (2730 FIDE). Croatian Grandmaster Miso Cebalo did not lie when he announced his young compatriot Ivan Saric, 23, as the great Croatian hope.

A video report of the youth prize ceremony, as well as the loud young fans (2:25), and scenes from the subsequent quarter finals and semi-finals.

Another noteworthy performance in the quarterfinals was the victory of German Daniel Fridman over his compatriot Arkadij Naiditsch (2724 FIDE).

The semi-finals pitted Fridman against Almasi, and Saric versus Fedorchuk

Unfortunately for Fridman, Hungarian grandmaster Zoltan Almasi ended his impressive winning streak in the semifinals to become the mathematical favorite of the Ajaccio final.

During this final phase, the players showed great fighting spirit taking extreme risks in order to reap the rewards of such a richaly endowed open. There was no doubt that the joyous atmosphere that accompanied the BNP Paribas Youth Trophy would impel Zoltan Almasi and Ivan Saric to a great final.

Coca-Cola sponsored the blitz tournament on the last day won by GM Andrei Istratescu

Although one might expect a player as strong and as experienced as Almasi to dominate the final, but his opponent Ivan Saric, is not a player of negligible talent, having won the World U18 Championship in 2008, and after two draws in the rapid games, the young Croatian took the lead and the title.

The crosstable of the knockout phase

The young champion Ivan Saric was besieged for his autograph


Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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