Four-way tie for first in Odessa Rapid

6/3/2008 – Four players – Tregubov, Drozdovskij, Gelfand and Ponomariov – finished the double-round rapid chess Pivdenny Bank Chess Cup in Odessa, Ukraine, with 9.0/14 points. Pavel Tregubov took possession of the winner's cup on tiebreak points. The most poignant game of the tournament was between arch rivals Anatoly Karpov and Viktor Korchnoi. Big pictorial report.

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The 4th Pivdenny Bank Chess Cup took place in Odessa, Ukraine, from May 30th to June 2nd, 2008. It featured the unusual presence of both Anatoly Karpov and Viktor Korchnoi. The participants in this double-round rapid chess event were Boris Gelfand (ISR, 2723), Ruslan Ponomariov (UKR, 2719), Anatoly Karpov (RUS, 2655), Pavel Tregubov (RUS, 2629), Viktor Korchnoi (SUI, 2598), Yuri Drozdovskij (UKR, 2581), Valery Beim (AUT, 2523), Mikhail Golubev (UKR, 2474). Elo average = 2612, category = 15.

Naturally, at the center of attention at this tournament was the encounter between the two arch-rivals and erstwhile bitter enemies, Anatoly Karpov and Viktor Korchnoi. The two played three matches for the world championship title against each other: the first was a Candidates Final in 1974, when the winner, Karpov, went on to become World Champion by forfeit, when title-holder Fischer did not appear for the match. After that Karpov was challenged twice by Korchnoi, 1978 in Baguio City, Philippines and 1981 in Merano, Italy. Karpov won both these matches. A lot of ill-will was generated between the two.


Avoiding eye contact? Viktor Korchnoi and Anatoly Karpov at the start of the first game

Karpov,Ana (2655) - Korchnoi,V (2598) [E32]
4th Pivdenny Bank Chess Cup Odessa UKR (7), 31.05.2008
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 d6 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.Qxc3 c5 7.Nf3 0-0 8.dxc5 dxc5 9.b4 Nc6 10.Bb2 Qb6 11.b5 Nd4 12.Nxd4 Ne4 13.Qe3 Qa5+ 14.Kd1 Qa4+

A very daring tactical variation played in this game. Can Black survive his piece sacrifice? 15.Qb3? Qa5 (threatening 16...Qd2 mate) 16.Qe3 Qa4+. Draw by repetition? No, with the position on the board a second time Karpov sees the refutation: 17.Nb3 Nxf2+? 18.Ke1 Nxh1 19.Qc3

O horror, horror, horror – tongue nor heart cannot conceive nor name thee! Korchnoi is confronted with a mate-in-one threat himself (20.Qxg7#), and defending it for instance with 19...f6 allows 20.Nxc5 and the black queen is trapped. 1-0. [Click to replay]


Game over after just nineteen moves: Karpov and Korchnoi shake hands


The start of game two of their mini-match


What can I do against this man?


A Nimzo Rubinstein – which Viktor Korchnoi was unable to win

Korchnoi,V (2598) - Karpov,Ana (2655) [E40]
4th Pivdenny Bank Chess Cup Odessa UKR (14), 01.06.2008
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 d5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 c5 7.cxd5 exd5 8.Bd3 0-0 9.Ne2 b6 10.0-0 Ba6 11.dxc5 bxc5 12.Bxa6 Nxa6 13.Qa4 Nc7 14.c4 Qe8 15.Qa5 Qc6 16.Bb2 Qb6 17.Qxb6 axb6 18.Bxf6 gxf6 19.cxd5 Nxd5 20.Rfd1 Rfd8 21.Rab1 f5 22.g3 Kf8 23.Rd3 Ke7 24.Nc3 Nxc3 25.Rxc3 Rd6 26.Kg2 Ke6 27.Kf3 Ke5 28.Ke2 Ra4 29.Rcb3 Ra6 30.Rc3 Ke6 31.Kf3 Ke5 32.Ke2 Rh6 33.h4 Rd6 34.Rb2 ½-½. [Click to replay]


Karpov has won the mini-match against his old rival 1.5:0.5


What's going on here? Korchnoi, Karpov and Tregubov as kibitzers


Anatoly Karpov, 57, twelfth World Champion, and his three-time challenger Viktor Korchnoi, 77


Viktor Korchnoi receives a medal from Sergey Kivalov, President of the Odessa National Judicial Academy


Talking to journalists...


... and autographing postcards and posters


Karpov signing an autograph for a young fan outside the playing venue


Brain teaser: Boris Gelfand trying to solve a study, given to him by Odessa study composer Sergey Tkachenko, on a chess set we haven't seen for decades


And the winner is (on Sonneborn-Berger tiebreak point): GM Pavel Tregubov

Final standings

The drawing average in this rapid chess tournament has been a very low 39%, with 41% of the games being won by White and 20% by Black.

Links

Official tournament web site


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