Kramnik wins President's Cup Baku on tiebreak

by ChessBase
5/2/2010 – After a number of tough battles the rapid chess event in the capital of Azerbaijan finised with three players with 5.0/7 points – each with four wins and one loss. On tiebreak points Vladimir Kramnik came in first and picked up the trophy. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov came second and Gata Kamsky of the US was third. The draw average was a low 35%. Illustrated report.

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President's Cup Baku 2010

This eight-player round robin event took place in Baku, Azerbaijan, from 29th April to 2nd May 2010. The time controls were 25 minutes per side per game, with two or three games per day on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. On Sunday there is blitz tournament. All games are being broadcast live on the official site and on Playchess.

The "President's Cup" is dedicated to the memorial of the national leader Haydar Aliyev and is being held in the Park Inn hotel. Half of the players are from Azerbaijan and half from abroad. The Azeris are Shakhriyar Mamadyarov, Teimour Rajabov, Rauf Mamadov and Gadir Guseinov (or Qədir Hüsynov in Azerbaijani), the foreign players are Vladimir Kramnik (Russia), Gata Kamsky (USA), Judit Polgar (Hungary) and Emil Sutovsky (Israel).

Second half of the tournament

The set-up of the President's Cup on the stage in Baku, Azerbaijan

In the fourth round the leaders of the tournament so far clashed: Shahriyar Mamadyarov lost the game and lead to Gata Kamsky.

The key game in round five – Kramnik mated Kamsky in 49 moves of a Trompowsky

In the fifth round it was Kamsky who succumbed former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik, who had the black pieces. Gadir Guseinov lost in 30 moves to the only female player in the event, Judit Polgar.

Kramnik vs Radjabov in round six – in front of a micro-audience typical of chess event these days

In the sixth round Gata Kamsky beat Gadir Guseinov with the black pieces to maintain his lead. Kramnik and Mamedyarov won their games – against Teimour Radjabov and Judit Polgar respectively. Both GMs trailed Kamsky by half a point.

In the final round Kamsky drew Polgar, whild Kramnik and Mamedyarov won their games again, this time against Emil Sutovsky and Rauf Mamadov. This meant that three GMs finished with 5.0/7. The tiebreak system left Kramnik in first place, Mamedyarov in second and Kamsky in third.

Final standings

The draw average in this event was just 35% (ten out of 28 games). White won ten games and Black eight games.The longest game – Kramnik vs Polgar in round three – lasted 67 moves and ended in a draw. The shortest was Guseinov vs Mamedyarov in round three – it was over after just 13 moves.

The crystal trophy that the winner – Vladimir Kramnik – received


The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and, with friendly support of the organisers, on the chess server If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse PGN games. New and enhanced: CB Light 2009!

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