Anand rolls on in Corsica

11/3/2004 – Vishy Anand rolled over Etienne Bacrot to reach the final of the Corsica Masters. He will face Sergei Rublevsky, who beat his countryman Motylev with the aid of a little luck. Rublevsky is eager to change the course of history by denying Anand yet another Corsica title. Semifinal report and games.

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Anand-Rublevsky in Corsica final

Karpov, Topalov, umm, Drazik, and now Rublevsky. Those were a few of Viswanathan Anand's final match opponents in previous editions of the Corsica Masters. They all lost to the Indian wizard, a fate Sergei Rublevsky will try to avoid sharing tomorrow.

Anand effortlessly eliminated the local hope, French #1 Bacrot. In front of 500 spectators crowding the Bastia theater, Anand outplayed him with black in the first game and then crushed the Frenchman with white in the second game for good measure. In the crucial first game Anand surprised with the Marshall Gambit of the Ruy Lopez. Bacrot declined and entered an obscure sideline with 9.d4. He was quickly rewarded with an inferior position, and Anand wrapped things up on the queenside.

The other semifinal match was a much harder-fought affair. The all-Russian duel between Motylev and Rublevsky came down to the final seconds. If the game score is to be trusted, Motylev went from forcing mate to being mated on a single move at the end. (56.c8Q+ was a winner.) A tragic result for the former Russian champion.

Anand and Rublevsky have met in a rapid match before, according to the MegaBase 2004. Way back in 1996 they met in the Moscow PCA (not ACP!) Grand Prix. Anand needed to win a blitz tiebreak game to go through. The 30-year-old Rublevsky is one of the many very strong "second tier" Russian Grandmasters who find it hard to break out and get invitations with so many of their comrades in the elite.

There is no doubt that Rublevsky is a worthy finalist, but anything other than another trophy for Anand's cabinet will be an upset.

Corsica Masters Semifinals – Nov. 3

Bacrot, Etienne - Anand, Viswanathan 0-2
Rublevsky, Sergei - Motylev, Alexander 1.5-0.5

Replay and download PGN of semifinals

Anand – Bacrot after 16...0-0

Anand continued to give lessons in tactics in Corsica. Here he exploits the position of his queen with 17.Nd5! If Black takes the knight with 17...exd5 18.Nf5 gets the piece back with interest after 18...Bf6 19.exf6 g6 20.Nh6+ Kh8 21.Re7. (17...Nxe5 18.Nxe6! Nxg4 19.Nexc7)

Bacrot, in a must-win situation, decided to give up his queen for two knights with 17...Qd8 18.Nc6 exd5 but resigned on move 30.
 


8th Corsica Masters Rapid Tournament - Oct. 29 - Nov. 4, 2004

Qualifying matches
1/8 Finals
Quarterfinals
Cebalo - Jussupow 0.5-1.5
Greenfeld - Shchekachev 2-0
Krivoshey - Milov 0-2
Zhang - Rustemov 2.5-1.5
Drazic - Rublevsky 0-2
Medvegy - Gurevich 0.5-1.5
Strikovich - Bagheri 2-4
Ivanisevic - Bauer 1.5-3.5
Kazhgaleyev - Sulava 0.5-1.5
Bokros - Balogh 0-2
Glek - Motylev 0.5-1.5
Malakhatko - Naiditsch 0-2
Anand - Sulava 1.5-0.5
Bauer - Gurevich 0-2
Milov - Greenfeld 0.5-1.5
Balogh - Bacrot 0-2
Shirov - Zhang 2.5-1.5
Jussupow - Motylev 0.5-1.5
Rublevsky - Naiditsch 2-0
Bagheri - Topalov 0-2
Gurevich - Anand 0-2
Greenfeld - Bacrot 0.5.1.5
Motylev - Shirov 2.5-1.5
Rublevsky - Topalov 2-0
Replay and download PGN of 36 available games
Official sites: www.echecs.asso.frwww.opencorsica.com

 


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