ACP 01: No surprises

by ChessBase
9/14/2013 – The strongest knockout rapid tournament of the year has begun in Latvia and few surprises were seen. The rating favorites took their matches, although since rapid ratings are used it is hard to say that this means much. Wojtaszek, Nepomniatchi, Ponomariov, Grischuk, and the reigning World Champion Mamedyarov have advanced. Pictures and analysis.

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The ACP cup runs from the 13th of September to the 15th of September in Riga, Latvia. The tournament will be a rapid event with blitz tiebreaks in a knock out format. The pairings will be somewhat unusual, as the four highest rated players will be randomly paired against the four lowest rated players, consequently the players ranked fifth to eighth will be randomly paired against the players ranked ninth to twelfth. The tournament will follow FIDE rapid play rules and FIDE blitz play rules for the normal portion and the tiebreaks.

The matches will consist of 25 minutes per player at the start of the game with 10 seconds increment from move one. In case of a tiebreak the games will move to 3 minutes with 2 seconds increment. Finally, an Armageddon will be used where White starts with 5 minutes and must win against Black's 4 minutes; at the 61st move however players will begin to receive a 2 second increment.

We will leave what Grischuk is saying to Fressinet up to your imagination

This is the strongest rapid event of the year, and it is the traditional ACP Cup, which was staged in 2007-2010, then it stopped being organized and was renewed under the new ACP leadership, along with other events ACP organized in 2012-2013: ACP Women Cup (Tbilisi 2012) Women's World Rapid and Blitz Championships (Batumi (2012)and the ACP Golden Classic (Amsterdam 2012)

Day one report

Alexander Grischuk vs. Laurent Fressinet

This was the only series that went to overtime. In the first game of the series the players reached an uneventful rook endgame, and in the second it was a simple short draw. However Grischuk crushed in the tiebreakers and took the series 3-1.

Grischuk keeps practicing the "draw the normal games and win the tiebreaks" strategy he is so famous for

Shakhriyar Mamedyarovs vs. Igor Kovalenko

Mamedyarov was easily held with the white pieces, but he convincingly demonstrated his strength simply outplaying his opponent with black to take the series 1.5-0.5

A victorious Mamedyarov is a happy Mamedyarov

Ian Nepomniatchi vs. Alexander Moiseenko

Nepomniatchi crushed Moiseenko in the second game after holding a solid draw. That's all it takes in a knock out tournament. 1.5-0.5

[Event "ACP Cup 2013"] [Site "Riga"] [Date "2013.09.13"] [Round "1.2"] [White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Black "Moiseenko, Alexander"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B31"] [WhiteElo "2723"] [BlackElo "2699"] [PlyCount "115"] [EventDate "2013.??.??"] [EventCountry "LAT"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 g6 4. O-O Bg7 5. Bxc6 bxc6 6. Re1 Nh6 7. c3 O-O 8. d4 cxd4 9. cxd4 f6 10. Nc3 Nf7 11. Be3 d6 12. h3 Qa5 13. Qd2 Bd7 14. Rac1 Rfe8 {The opening has somewhat favored White. Although Black has the pair of bishops, many of his pieces are in awkward squares. He is relying on future pawn breaks to give activity to them and maybe even create outposts.} 15. b3 Rad8 16. Qb2 f5 $1 {This is the plan: White will have to give up d5, a perfect square for Black's queen or light squared bishop.} 17. Bd2 fxe4 18. Nxe4 Qd5 19. Qa3 (19. Nc3 Bxd4 $1 $13) 19... Ra8 20. Qa6 Nd8 21. Nc3 Qf5 22. Re4 Ne6 23. Rce1 d5 {Now normal people would just retreat the rook, some might even sacrificing on e6 and taking c6, but not Nepo.} 24. Re5 $5 {And suddenly this is a very scary sacrifice. Black will have to give up his dark squared bishop, but an exchange is an exchange after all.} Bxe5 25. Rxe5 Qf6 26. Qe2 Rf8 27. Bh6 Rf7 28. Qe3 {White has sufficient compensation, but it's hard to say it's more than that.} Ng7 29. Bg5 Qd6 30. Ne2 Re8 31. Bf4 Qa3 32. Qd2 Ref8 33. Kh2 Nh5 34. Rxh5 $5 {A second exchange sacrifice! This time black's king is exposed and it becomes somewhat dangerous. But is it enough?} gxh5 35. Be5 Bf5 36. Nh4 Bg6 37. Qg5 Rf6 38. f4 $1 {Very aggressive!} Qxa2 39. Ng3 Qd2 40. Nxh5 a5 $4 {The losing mistake. Black is trying to give up his material to ease the pressure but this doesn't work.} (40... Re6 41. Qg4 Rxe5 42. dxe5 $16 {but this is better than the game.}) 41. Nxf6+ $6 (41. Qg4 $1 { Would've finished the game immediately.}) 41... exf6 42. Bxf6 Rxf6 43. Qxf6 Be4 44. Qg5+ Kf7 {The queen endgame is winning because Black's king is just too exposed.} 45. Nf5 Bxf5 46. Qxf5+ Kg7 47. Qe5+ Kf7 48. f5 Qf2 49. Qe6+ Kf8 50. Qh6+ Kg8 51. f6 Kf7 52. Qg7+ Ke6 53. Qg8+ Kd7 54. Qxh7+ Kc8 55. Qh6 c5 56. Qf8+ Kb7 57. Qe7+ Ka6 58. Qd6+ {The series of checks was not the most exact, but White has taken all of Black's pawns and the game is over.} 1-0

Peter Svidler vs. Dmitry Jakovenko

Svidler used his toothless opening, the same one he used against Ushenina, to crush Jakovenko in the first game. He obtained a quick extra pawn and was able to convert it. A miscalculation in the second game quickly caused Jakovenko to resign and Svidler passes 2-0.

Teimour Radjabov vs. Alexei Shirov

After a draw in the first game a devastating incursion on the 7th rank of Radjabov's queen and rook destroyed Shirov's position. The Azerbaijani passes with a 1.5-0.5 score.

Vladimir Malakhov vs. Pavel Eljanov

Malakhov tried to win his first game in an extremely long endgame that lasted 86 moves. However it was in the second game with Black, also in an endgame, where he was finally able to puncture through Eljanov's defenses and take the win. Malakhov 1.5-0.5 Eljanov

Alexander Morozevich vs. Ruslan Ponomariov

Morozevich's new look didn't help him in the game

Morozevich was soundly outplayed in the first game. Ponomariov's Slav was powerful, and despite his exposed king position it was White that always had the initiative and was able to convert it to a win. In a complicated position Ponomariov was able to force a perpetual in the second game and secure his pass. Ponomariov 1.5-0.5 Morozevich.

Radoslaw Wojtaszek vs. Vassily Ivanchuk

After a first game that was close and a draw, Wojtaszek was able to consistently pull tactics on Ivanchuk which first netted him a pawn and then a piece. This was of course impossible to recover from and the Polish star moves to the next round, knocking out one of the potential winners. Wojtaszek 1.5-0.5 Ivanchuk

The matches tomorrow are the following:


September 14:
1/4 Finals, 1st set of games

14:00 game 1
15:15 game 2
16:30 Tiebreaks

1/4 Finals, 2nd set of games

18:00 game 1
19:15 game 2
20:30 Tiebreaks

September 15:
Semi Finals

12:00 game 1
13:15 game 2
14:30 Tiebreaks


14:30 game 1
14:45 game 2
19:00 Tiebreaks

The games will have live broadcast in Russian and English on the official tournament site

Round one games



The games will be broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server 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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