Cap d'Agde: Karpov and Fressinet in final

by Albert Silver
10/31/2015 – Although his fans certainly wished for it, it was quite unclear whether Anatoly Karpov would manage to overcome Romain Edouard, high-rated now, and well over 30 years his junior, but the former World Champion fought hard and made it to the final. Laurent Fressinet continued his strong play by beating Tigran Gharamian. It promises to be a great showdown.

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Although the event has always been graced with female players, this year there was a firm commitment to balance the field with four male players, and four female. This is not to suggest it is a Men vs Women event, as it is still very much every man (or woman) for himself. The eight players this year are:

  • Anatoly KARPOV (Russia) GM. (2628).
  • Marie SEBAG (France) GM. (2496).
  • Laurent FRESSINET (France) GM. (2702).
  • Marya MUZYCHUCK (Ukraine) GM. (2528).
  • Tigran GHARAMIAN (France) GM. (2654).
  • Anna MUZYCHUCK (Ukraine) GM. (2549).
  • Romain EDOUARD (France) GM. (2636).
  • Zhansaya ABDUMALIK (Kazakhstan) WGM. (2390).

Playing at a time control of 25 minutes plus 10 seconds increment, the eight players will meet each other twice, for a total of 14 rounds. Each day two round are played, and at the end of the seven days, the top four players will qualify for the semi-finals, and then the final.


Laurent Fressinet vs Tigran Gharamian

The start of the semi-final between Gharamian (left) and Fressinet (right)

Of all the players in the semifinals, Tigran Gharamian was the closest to not qualifying. Grit
and resourcefulness prevailed though.

[Event "4th Trophy Anatoly Karpov 2015"] [Site "Cap d'Agde"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "8.2"] [White "Fressinet, Laurent"] [Black "Gharamian, Tigran"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B91"] [WhiteElo "2702"] [BlackElo "2654"] [PlyCount "93"] [EventCountry "FRA"] [TimeControl "1500+10"] 1. Nf3 c5 2. e4 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. g3 e5 7. Nde2 Be7 8. Bg2 b5 9. Nd5 Nxd5 10. Qxd5 Ra7 11. Be3 Be6 12. Qd2 Rb7 13. Nc3 Nd7 14. Nd5 Nf6 15. Nxe7 Rxe7 16. Bg5 Rd7 17. f4 exf4 18. gxf4 h6 19. Bxf6 Qxf6 20. O-O-O O-O 21. Kb1 d5 22. e5 Qh4 23. Bf1 f6 24. Bd3 fxe5 25. fxe5 {[#]} Bf5 $2 {This ill-fated idea of fighting for the light squares turns out to be a very poor one. Black's bishop was doing double dute blockading the potentially dangerous e5 pawn, and protecting the d5 pawn. Though the move does not lose material outright, it is a positional blunder.} ({Komodo's suggestion of} 25... b4 $1 { is very solid, and would push forward some much needed counterplay for Black. If White takes the pawn with} 26. Bxa6 {Black would get play on the a-file and against the king, restoring a form of dynamic balance.} Ra7 27. Bb5 Rfa8 { and the position is about equal.}) 26. Rhf1 Bxd3 27. Rxf8+ Kxf8 28. Qxd3 Kg8 29. Qg6 Re7 30. Qd6 Kh7 31. a3 d4 32. e6 Qf6 33. Re1 Qf2 34. Qe5 Qf6 35. Qd5 Qg6 36. h4 Qg3 37. Re4 Qg6 38. Ka2 Qf6 39. h5 Qf3 40. Qe5 Qf6 41. Qd6 Qf5 42. Qxe7 Qxe4 43. Qf7 Qd5+ 44. b3 Qe4 45. Kb2 d3 46. e7 Qe5+ 47. Ka2 1-0

Laurent Fressinet was also the only player to defeat Anatoly Karpov in the qualifying phase

Romain Edouard vs Anatoly Karpov

There was no shortage of spectators and cameras to see the 12th World Champion in action

[Event "4th Trophy Anatoly Karpov 2015"] [Site "Cap d'Agde"] [Date "2015.10.30"] [Round "8.5"] [White "Karpov, Anatoly"] [Black "Edouard, Romain"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E35"] [WhiteElo "2628"] [BlackElo "2636"] [PlyCount "75"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [EventCountry "FRA"] [TimeControl "1500+10"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 d5 5. cxd5 exd5 6. Bg5 h6 7. Bxf6 Qxf6 8. a3 Bxc3+ 9. Qxc3 O-O 10. e3 Bf5 11. Nf3 Nd7 12. Rc1 Rfc8 13. b4 a5 14. Bd3 axb4 15. axb4 Be4 16. Bxe4 dxe4 17. Nd2 {[#]} {The position is about equal, but Black becomes enamoured for a tactic that is ultimately not good. Sometimes the appeal of such a move can be so strong that it leads a player to self-destruction, even a Top 100 player.} c5 $2 18. bxc5 Rxc5 {In for a penny, in for a Pound.} 19. dxc5 Qxc3 20. Rxc3 Ra1+ 21. Ke2 Rxh1 22. Nxe4 {As can be seen, Black is not only down a pawn for his efforts, but the rook on h1 is not exactly ideally placed artillery.} Rb1 23. Rd3 Ne5 24. Rd8+ Kh7 25. f4 Nc4 26. Rd4 Rb2+ 27. Kf3 Na5 28. Rd7 f5 29. Nd6 Rd2 30. Rc7 Rd5 31. g4 fxg4+ 32. Kxg4 Kg8 33. e4 Rd2 34. Kf5 Rxh2 35. Rc8+ Kh7 36. Nf7 Rh5+ 37. Ke6 Nc6 38. f5 1-0

It wasn't spotless, but as any great champion, Karpov weathered through the tough moments,
and maximized the opportunities that presented themselves

Video impressions

French chess magazine and site, Europe Echecs, has been providing excellent video impressions of the
rounds, from which the images above were extracted. Kudos to the great work.


The games are being 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 13 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications, and the content creator of the YouTube channel, Chess & Tech.


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