Playing chess by the 'Corsica Rules'

3/14/2007 – In Calvi, a small town on the northwest coast of the island of Corsica, the Fourth International Chess Tournament was staged, with a special rule in force: players cannot offer a draw unless it is a dead drawn ending. The result: a sensationally low draw rate of just 12%! This year the event turned into a battle between Ukrainian and Chinese players. Illustrated report with videos.

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Calvi: a match between China and Ukraine in Corsica

By Christophe Leveque and Dejan Bojkov

The fourth International Chess Tournament of Balagna took place from the 26th of February to the 2nd of March in the hotel "La balagne" in Calvi, a Corsican little town with a very beautifull marina.

There were two tournaments: a special open for players under 15 years old and 1500 Elo, with nine games; and an International Open with 10,000 euro of guaranteed prices, with seven games (1h 30min for 40 moves + 10 min Fischer + 30s). Like the other tournaments organized in Corsica since 2004, the players cannot offer a draw unless it is a dead drawn ending (the "Corsica Rule"!).


The effect of the Corsica Draw Rule: only 12% draws

Calvi had allready seen some great players, like Hicham Hamdouchi, former Champion of Africa, or Simen Agdestein, former champion of Norway and coach of Magnus Carlsen. Some strong young players from Ukraine had played there two years ago and Yury Kryvorushko (2592) won the open that year (without playing the first round!).

They were back in Calvi this year: GM V. Malakhatko, GM Y. Kryvorushko, GM M. Oleksienko, W GM M. Grabinska, W. IM V. Chulivska, and their coach IM V. Grabinski.

But this year was the year of China: three young and strong Chinese GMs came to Calvi after having played the Aeroflot Open in Moscow. They are members of the Olympic team: Wang Yue (2644), Ni Hua (2632) and Wang Hao (2619), seen in the picture above with Leo Battesti, vice president of the French Chess Federation and myself, organizer of the tournament.

A lot of Corsican children learn chess at school (about 4000 each year), and some of them are becoming rather strong chess players in our clubs. Above are some in the youngsters tournament.

Some young Corsican players have showed that they can win against very strong players, like Gabriel Migheli (1740, and 13 years old) who beat MI Vladimir Grabinski in the first round!

Nine GM were engaged in this open: Wang Yue (2644), Ni Hua (2632), Wang Hao (2619), Vadim Malakhatko (2604), Yury Kryvorushko (2592), Mykhalo Oleksienko (2541), Nenad Sulava (2537), Eric Prie (2516), and Glenn Flear (2480).

The French player, Eric Prie, ended with 4.5 points at the tenth place behind the Champion of Corsica, Cyril Humeau. In the picture above they are watching a game on the computer!


Niklesh Jain Singhai, 23, who came in 11-14 in this event

A big surprise of this tournament came from India. No, it wasn't Vishy Anand nor Sasikirian, but the 23-year-old "ordinary" chess player Niklesh Jain Singhai with a rating of 1955. He came from India to Calvi by his own means to play this tournament and discover Corsica!

Final top standings

Pl

Rnk

Nom

Elo

Cat.

Fede

Pts

Cu.

Tr.

Perf.

1

GM

Ni Hua

2632

Sen

CHN

6,5

27

30

2893

2

GM

Wang Yue

2644

Jun

CHN

6

25

30,5

2801

3

GM

Malakhatko Vadim

2604

Sen

BEL

5,5

23

28,5

2622

4

GM

Oleksienko Mikhailo

2541

Sen

UKR

5

24

30

2580

5

GM

Sulava Nenad

2537

Sen

CRO

5

23

27,5

2514

6

GM

Kryvoruchko Yuriy

2592

Sen

UKR

5

22

29,5

2551

7

GM

Wang Hao

2619

Cad

CHN

5

21

27,5

2524

8

GM

Flear Glenn C.

2480

Sen

ENG

5

21

26,5

2419

9

Humeau Cyril

2162

Sen

FRA

5

21

24,5

2254

10

GM

Prie Eric

2516

Sen

FRA

4,5

20,5

29

2453

11

Massoni Michael

2055

Min

FRA

4,5

18,5

26,5

2214

12

IM

Grabinsky Vladimir

2281

Sen

UKR

4,5

18,5

23,5

2178

13

WGM

Hrabinska Myroslava

2294

Sen

UKR

4,5

17,5

23,5

2225

14

Niklesh Jain Singhai

1955

Sen

IND

4,5

15,5

21

1948

15

Farnault Eric

2074

Sen

FRA

4

18

26,5

2118

16

FM

Chulivska Vita

2208

Jun

UKR

4

18

23,5

2138

17

Baudson Charles

2065

Min

FRA

4

17

25,5

2059

18

Szymanski Piotr

1899

Sen

FRA

4

16,5

23

1911

19

Ouadi Wahbi

2033

Sen

FRA

4

16

26

2061

20

Poiron Nicolas

1899

Ben

FRA

4

15,5

18,5

1866

21

Campana Marc-Antoine

1791

Min

FRA

4

15

23,5

1986

22

Leibenguth Jean

1650

Sen

FRA

4

13

18

1825

23

Gil Ludovic

1848

Ben

FRA

4

12

21,5

1830

24

Kradolfer Georg

2159

Sen

SUI

3,5

18,5

26,5

2143

25

Autran Yann

1997

Sen

FRA

3,5

16,5

24,5

2001

26

FM

Dubois Martine

2064

Sen

FRA

3,5

16

25

2013

27

Boukobza Adrien

2192

Cad

FRA

3,5

16

23,5

1958

28

Kradolfer David

2034

Sen

SUI

3,5

16

22

2004

29

Migheli Gabriel

1740

Ben

FRA

3,5

13,5

23

1907

30

Sauvonnet Valery

1850

Sen

FRA

3,5

12

24

1849

31

Alliot Kevin

1770

Ben

FRA

3,5

11

21

1789

32

Bernardin Marc

1770

Sen

FRA

3,5

11

20

1741


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