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Teimour Radjabov wins Cap d'Agde

11/3/2006 – It was undoubtedly a very exciting, fighting event. The 7th Cap d’Agde rapid chess tournament saw eight players go into the knockout phase, and two young prodigies come out in the final. There Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan, 19, defeated 16-year-old Sergey Karjakin of Ukraine to take the €16,000 first prize. Final report with video links.
 

Cap D'Agde Rapid

The Cap d' Agde Rapid tournament went into its final knockout phase and ended today in a victory for the top Azerbaijan GM Taimour Radjabov. The 19-year-old ex chess prodigy defeated the 16-year-old still chess prodigy Sergy Karjakin from Ukraine, who at 12 (you believe it) became a full grandmaster and was the second of the then world champion Ruslan Ponomariov.

In our first report we had seen the results of the preliminary tournaments, which contained sixteen players in two groups. After some exciting tie-break action in Group B eight players qualified for the quarter-finals.

Quarter finals

On Monday Teimour Radjabov made quick work of Etienne Bacrot in their first game, after a decisive error by France's top GM:

Radjabov,T (2729) - Bacrot,E (2705) [D15]
KO Cap d'Agde FRA (1.1), 30.10.2006
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 a6 5.e3 b5 6.c5 g6 7.Bd3 Bg7 8.h3 0-0 9.0-0 Bf5 10.Bxf5 gxf5 11.Ne5 Nfd7 12.Nd3 e5 13.a4 exd4 14.exd4 Bxd4 15.axb5 Nxc5 16.Ne2 Ne6 17.Nxd4 Nxd4 18.Bh6 Re8 19.Nf4 Nxb5 20.Qh5 Qf6 21.Rac1 Kh8 22.Bg5 Qg7 23.Qh4 Nd7 24.Rxc6

24...Nd4? 24...Rg8 would have given Black a fighting chance. Now Radjabov simply tears him to pieces: 25.Nh5 Re4 26.f4 Nxc6 27.Nxg7 Kxg7 28.Qh6+ 1-0.

The second game was an amazing blockade with all the pieces on the board with only two pawns missing, with Bacrot eventually trying a breakthrough with a knight sacrifice on move 75, which looked promising but was punished in the end by Radjabov in this 97-move effort.

Sergey Karjakin had some unexpected problems against Chinese player Zhao Xue, who is rated more than 200 points below him. After dutifully winning the first game he lost to a horrible blunder in the second:

Zhao Xue (2467) - Karjakin,Sergey (2672) [D43]
KO Cap d'Agde FRA (1.2), 30.10.2006
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Be2 Bb7 10.h4 g4 11.Ne5 h5 12.0-0 Nbd7 13.Qc2 Nxe5 14.Bxe5 Bg7 15.Rad1 0-0 16.f3 Nh7 17.Bxg7 Kxg7 18.g3 Qc7 19.Kh2 f5 20.fxg4 fxg4 21.b3 Rxf1 22.Bxf1 cxb3 23.axb3 a6 24.e5 c5 25.dxc5 Nf8 26.Ne4 Qxe5 27.Ng5 Bd5 28.Bg2 Rc8 29.Bxd5 exd5 30.Rf1

30...Kg8?? 31.Rxf8+ 1-0 because of 31...Kxf8 (31...Rxf8 32.Qh7#) 32.Qf2+ Ke7/e8 33.Qf7+ Kd8 34.Ne6+ winning.

Magnus Carlsen, who turns 16 at the end of this month, won both games against 24-year-old Laurent Fressinet, the first on a back-rank weakness of the French GM.

Carlsen,M (2698) - Fressinet,L (2640) [C80]
KO Cap d'Agde FRA (1.1), 31.10.2006
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.Nbd2 Bc5 10.c3 0-0 11.Bc2 Bf5 12.Nb3 Bg6 13.Nfd4 Bxd4 14.cxd4 a5 15.Be3 a4 16.Nd2 f6 17.exf6 Qxf6 18.Rc1 Rae8 19.Nxe4 Bxe4 20.Bxe4 Rxe4 21.Qd3 Kh8 22.f3 Re6 23.Bf2 Qf4 24.Rfd1 Rb8 25.Rc5 Nb4 26.Rxb5 c6

Surely we don't need to spell out Carlsen's cruncher which immediately ended the game for his French opponent. In the second game Carlsen embedded a black knight on d3 and Fressinet came up short during the scruffy final moves of the encounter.

Andrei Volokitin vs Pentala Harikrishna was the cliff-hanger. The two rapid games were drawn, and then both players won their white games in the four 3+2 minute blitz tiebreak games. So it went to the armageddon (or sudden death, as some prefer to call it), where white gets an extra minute but has to win. The Ukraine GM Volokitin drew white and won, knocking India's Harikrishna out of the event.

Quarter Final results

                   
Player Nat. rating
G1
G2
TB1
TB2
TB3 TB4 SD
Tot.
Sergey Karjakin UKR 2672
1
0
1
½
     
2.5
Zhao Xue CHN 2467
0
1
0
½
     
1.5
Teimour Radjabov AZE 2729
1
1
         
2.0
Etienne Bacrot FRA 2705
0
0
         
0.0
Magnus Carlsen NOR 2698
1
1
         
2.0
Laurent Fressinet FRA 2640
0
0
         
0.0
Andrei Volokitin UKR 2645
½
½
1
0
1
0
1
4.0
Harikrishna Pentala IND 2674
½
½
0
1
0
1
0
3.0

Semi finals

Sergey Karjakin was held to a 71-move pawn up draw in his first game against Magnus Carlsen. In the second he simply outplayed his prodigy colleague to proceed to the final.


Karjakin vs Carlsen in the semi finals (all pictures by courtesy of Europe Echecs)

Teimour Radjabov convincingly won his first game on the black side of a Sveshnikov against Andrei Volokitin, and then went on to win the second one as well, quite effortlessly in 32 moves. Radjabov had won all his games in the quarter and semi finals of this tournament.


Andrei Volokitin vs Teimour Radjabov in the semi finals (picture Europe Echecs)

Semi Final results

         
Player Nat. rating
G1
G2
Tot.
Sergey Karjakin UKR 2672
½
1
1.5
Magnus Carlsen NOR 2698
½
0
0.5
Teimour Radjabov AZE 2729
1
1
2.0
Andrei Volokitin UKR 2645
0
0
0.0

Final

The first game of the final was Radjabov easily holding on to the black side of a Sveshnikov for a 42 move draw. The second game was a Poisoned Pawn Najdorf, which until move 12 followed the stem game Tal-Tolush, Leningrad 1956, and which is a sure-fire recipe for exciting chess.


Preparing for the final battle (picture Europe Echecs)

Radjabov,T (2729) - Karjakin,Sergey (2672) [B97]
KO Cap d'Agde FRA (3.2), 02.11.2006
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qb6 8.Qd2 Qxb2 9.Rb1 Qa3 10.e5 dxe5 11.fxe5 Nfd7 12.Ne4 h6 13.Bh4 Qxa2 14.Rd1 Qb2 15.Qe3 Bc5 16.Be2 Nc6 17.c3 Qa3 18.0-0 0-0

Here it comes, the thematic sacrifice: 19.Nf6+ Nxf6 20.Bxf6 Nxd4 21.Rxd4 Bxd4 22.Qxd4 gxf6 23.exf6. The fireworks are over and Black has a rook and a pawn for nothing – nothing material, that is. White has a deadly attack for the material invested. 23...Qa5 24.h4 Kh7 25.Bd3+ Qf5. Black is desperate and offers his queen in penance. The rest is pure entertainment: 26.Re1 Rg8 27.Kh2 a5 28.g4 Qxd3 29.Qxd3+ Kh8 30.Re5 Rxg4 31.Rh5 Rg6 32.Qd8+ Kh7 33.Qe7 1-0.


The winner with his sieze mille euros check (left Volokitin, Harikrishna, right Fressinet)

Final results

         
Player Nat. rating
G1
G2
Tot.
Sergey Karjakin UKR 2672
½
0
0 .5
Teimour Radjabov AZE 2729
½
1
1.5

Links

Videos provided by Europe Echecs:

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