2010 Cap d'Agde rapid - Ivanchuk beats Nakamura

11/4/2010 – After beating their respective opponents in the semifinals, Ivanchuk and Nakamura met in the final, both of whom have had an excellent year. The Ukrainian immediately took the psychological initiative by choosing a King's Gambit in game one, surprising his opponent, and eventually prevailing in the endgame. Nakamura tried returning the favor in game two, but less successfully. Report and videos.

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The 2010 Cap d'Agde rapid tournament is underway with the first phase having just finished. It is a 16-player invitational event going from October 23rd to October 31st for the final. The time control is 25 minutes plus 10 seconds increment.

The participants:

Name
Rtg
Tit
Age
Nat.
Vasily Ivanchuk
2754
GM
41
Ukraine
Hikaru Nakamura
2733
GM
22
USA
Xiangzhi Bu
2695
GM
25
China
Liem Le Quang
2694
GM
19
Vietnam
Judit Polgar
2682
GM
34
Hungary
Tigran Gharamian
2658
GM
26
France
Romain Edouard
2636
GM
19
France
Jon Ludvig Hammer
2633
GM
20
Norway
Truong Nguyen Ngoc
2633
GM
20
Vietnam
Anatoly Karpov
2619
GM
59
Russia
Yannick Pelletier
2592
GM
34
Swiss
Tatiana Kosintseva
2573
GM
24
Russia
Nadezhda Kosintseva
2565
IM
25
Russia
Kateryna Lahno
2539
GM
20
Ukraine
Zhu Chen
2480
GM
34
Qatar
Sophie Milliet
2388
IM
26
France

The semi-finals

The semi-finals took place on October 30th, and pitted Hikaru Nakamura (2733) against Liem Le Quang (2694), and then Vasily Ivanchuk (2754) against Bu Xiangzhi (2695). In the first match, It seemed as if Nakamura was finally going to be eliminated as he lost the first game against Vietnamese prodigy Liem Le Quang, meaning he was faced with a must-win situation in the second game if he was to have a chance. As the players entered the endgame, this seemed an impossible task since it seemed a fairly straightforward draw, but nerves seemed to get the better of Liem as he made a number of imprecisions that changed the verdict from drawn to worse to lost. Hikaru later commented that after that reversal he felt confident he would prevail in the blitz tie-breakers, and prevail he did. The second match was won more comfortably by Ivanchuk, who imposed a 2-0 victory over the Chinese GM Bu Xiangzhi.

The finals

The finals, played on Sunday, October 31st, between both top seeds, Hikaru Nakamura (2733) and Vasily Ivanchuk (2754), was looked forward to with great anticipation, and to the surprise and delight of the audience, both games were King's Gambits no less. The first game quickly degenerated into a very odd development of the declined variation, with an almost perfectly symmetrical position after twelve moves. The endgame was dead equal needless to say, but Ivanchuk outplayed his opponent, and a final blunder gave the Ukrainian the victory.

Ivanchuk,V (2754) - Nakamura,Hi (2733) [C30]
Trophee CCAS KO Cap d'Agde FRA (3.1), 31.10.2010

1.e4 e5 2.f4 One can imagine the audience mentally rubbing their hands in glee as this appeared on the overhead displays: the first game of the final wasn't going to be some stodgy Queen's Gambit Declined, or other, but rather a romantic King's Gambit!


Ivanchuk really caught his young opponent off-guard by going for a King's Gambit

2...Nc6 3.Nf3 f5 4.d3. 4.exf5 e4 5.Ne5 Nxe5 6.fxe5 Qe7 7.Qh5+ Kd8 8.d4 exd3 9.Bxd3 Qxe5+ 10.Kd1 Nf6 11.Qf3 Bc5 12.Nc3 Qd4 13.Re1 Qf2 14.Qxf2 Bxf2 15.Re2 Bd4 16.Bg5 c6 17.Kd2 Re8 18.Rae1 Rxe2+ 19.Rxe2 d5 0-1 (56 moves) Fier,A (2590)-Hammer,J (2532)/ICC INT 2009/CBM 129 Extra 4...d6 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.g3 g6 7.Bg2 Bg7 8.fxe5 dxe5 9.Bg5 h6 10.Be3 0-0 11.0-0 fxe4 12.dxe4 Be6








Assuredly not what anyone had expected. Twelve moves and the position is almost perfectly symmetrical. 13.a3 Kh7 14.Kh1 a6 15.Bg1 Rf7 16.Qe2 Nd4 17.Qd3 Nxf3

18.Qxf3 Rd7 19.Rad1 Bg4 20.Rxd7 Bxf3 21.Rxd8 Bxg2+ 22.Kxg2 Rxd8 23.Be3 g5 24.h3 Kg6 25.g4 c6 26.Rf2 b5 27.Rd2 Rxd2+ 28.Bxd2 Bf8 29.Kf3 h5 30.Ne2 hxg4+ 31.hxg4 Nd7 32.Nc1 c5 33.Na2 Nb8?! [33...c4!] 34.c4! bxc4 35.Nc3 Nc6 36.Nd5 Nd4+ 37.Ke3 Kf7 38.Nb6 Ke6 39.Nxc4 Be7 40.Ba5 Nb5 41.Kd3 Nd6??








42.Nxd6. After Kxd6 43.Kc4 Kc6 44.Bd2 Bf6 45.Be3 Be7 46.b3 a5 47.a4! Black is in zugzwang and must lose a pawn and the game. 1-0 [Click to replay]

The second game was also a King's Gambit, this time the accepted line, and when asked about it, Vasily said that he wasn't sure how the theory of the line went, but could not believe that White's combination of h4 followed by a kingside castle could be correct.


Nakamura showed his frustration as he realized he was headed for an inevitable draw

Nakamura quickly realized he was going to be stuck facing repetition, and after shaking his head in frustration more than once, played the inevitable moves, and quickly shook hands.


Vasily Ivanchuk with the winner's trophy and first prize

Pictures by Europe Echecs

 
Video reports courtesy of Europe Echecs.


Links

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