The big attraction of the Ninth Corsican Circuit was the visit of Garry Kasparov, who stopped over at the island of Corsica on his way back from Canada, where he had been doing lectures (on politics and business, not chess). Kasparov was honored guest, attending dinners and social gatherings, but also playing a clock simultaneous exhibition against the five strongest players on the island.
Corsica, which the French call Corse, is located west of Italy, southeast of France, and north of the island of Sardinia, and is the fourth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea (after Sicily, Sardinia, and Cyprus). It is politically part of Metropolitan France, although it is closer to Italy. The island is famed as the birthplace of Napoléon Bonaparte.
Garry Kasparov, picked up at the airport by Leo Battesti
The main organiser of the Corsican Circuit is Leo Battesti, a well-know figure in chess. He loves the game and has been organising tournaments in Corsica since 1997. He has also played a role in chess politics, and actually ran, briefly, for the FIDE presidency in 2005. Chess is extremely popular in Corsica, with 4,000 players amongst the 260,000 inhabitants of the island.
While Anand and Kramnik were playing game nine Garry Kasparov was giving a clock simul in Corsica
The five players did not have a snowflake's chance against the ruthless Kasparov. Two players hung on for 32 moves, the other three had to capitulate in 24 to 26 moves.
The simultaneous exhibition on the stage of the theatre in Bastia
Garry Kasparov with Vadim Milov, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Sergey Tiviakov
At dinner with Leo Battesti and wife Dasha
Kasparov and Mamedyarov follow a game nine of Anand vs Kramnik on Kasparov's cellphone
Moroccan GM Hichem Hamdouchi (doesn't he remind you a bit of an Indian world champion?) and his wife Adina-Maria, who is a WGM from Romania
The qualifier with 123 participants produced 14 players who could take part in the final knockout phase. They were joined by two seeded players, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Etienne Bacrot. The rate of play was 25 minutes for the entire game and 3 seconds per move for each player. Here are the top results of the qualifier:
|5||GM||Tregubov Pavel V.||2658||RUS||8||69.5||2623|
1/8 Final (no accurate result available)
|Mamedyarov vs Brih||Mamedyarov won|
|Bacrot vs Dimitrov,R||Bacrot won|
|Tiviakov vs Zozulia||Tiviakov won 2:0|
|Tregubov vs Bujisho||Tregubov won|
|Hamdouchi vs Sanchez||Sanchez won|
|Agrest vs Godena||Agrest won|
|Djuric vs Malakhatko||Malakhatko won|
|Mamedyarov - Agrest||Mamedyarov won 2:0|
|Bacrot vs Sanchez||Bacrot won 2:0|
|Tiviakov vs Malakhatko||Tiviakov won 2:0|
|Tregubov vs Milov||Tregubov won: 1:1, 2:0 blitz|
|Mamedyarov vs Tregubov||Mamedyarov won 2:0|
|Bacrot vs Tiviakov||Tiviakov won: 1:1, 2:0|
|Mamedyarov - Tiviakov||Mamedyarov won 1.5:0.5|
The winner: Shakh Mamedyarov at the old port of Ajaccio, Corsica
In second place: GM Sergey Tiviakov, who sent us the pictures for this report
A chess cake in a bakery in Corsica
All photos by GM Sergey Tiviakov and the Organising Committee