SIMPLECHESS

Ivanchuk wraps up the Final!

Vassily Ivanchuk won convincingly against Hikaru Nakamura 1.5-0.5 in the two rapid games, thus gaining revenge on the American for the 2008 final.

In a repeat of last year's final, when the American won 1.5-0.5, Nakamura and Ivanchuk met to decide the title. This time Ivanchuk's technique in the first game was convincing whereas the American made some indifferent positional moves and was badly outplayed.

In the second game a wild opening choice led very quickly to perpetual check and Nakamura had to concede the title.

The amazing thing is that both games were King's Gambits! Who would have predicted that?

Hikaru Nakamura: a bad day by his standards (chessanytime)
Vassily Ivanchuk: imperial throughout (chessanytime)
Hikaru Nakamura: a bad day by his standards (chessanytime)
Vassily Ivanchuk: imperial throughout (chessanytime)
World rankFinalistCountryEloR1R2
15Hikaru NakamuraUSA27330B0.5W
9Vassily IvanchukUKR27541W0.5B

Going into the final the two players had an identical percentage from their earlier rapid games:

FinalistCountryEloR+R=R-%B+B=B-
Hikaru NakamuraUSA273391186200
Vassily IvanchukUKR275483086---

Here are our selection of videos from Cap d'Agde:

Here were their respective paths to the final. First of all Nakamura...

RankNameCountryRatingPoints
1Hikaru NakamuraUSA27336.5
2Bu XiangzhiCHN26955.5
3Nguyen Ngoc Truong SonVIE26334
4Judit PolgarHUN26823.5
5Romain EdouardFRA26363
6=Anatoly KarpovRUS26192.5
6=Nadezhda KosintsevaRUS25652.5
8Sophie MillietFRA23880.5

Quarter-Final:

Jon Ludvig HammerNOR26330-1Hikaru NakamuraUSA2733Sicilian b3Bad blunder from Hammer in the rook and knight pseudo-endgame
Hikaru NakamuraUSA27331-0Jon Ludvig HammerNOR2633Spanish Delayed ExchangeHammer was forced to take risks to try and win and Nakamura refuted Hammer's activity with a strong exchange sacrifice

Semi-Final:

Le Quang LiemVIE26941-0Hikaru Nakamura2733USACatalan/BogoindianBlack obtained a big advantage, but Nakamura was frustrated by Le Quang's resistance and the American over-pressed with time running low
Hikaru Nakamura2733USA1-0Le Quang LiemVIE2694Slav/GrünfeldLe Quang obtained a pleasant advantage but Nakamura cleverly confused matters, whereupon the Vietnamese player lost a drawn endgame when in time pressure

Blitz play-off:

NameCountryRatingBlitz 1Blitz 2
Le Quang LiemVIE26940B0W
Hikaru NakamuraUSA27331W1B

Here is Ivanchuk's route to the 2010 final:

RankNameCountryRatingPoints
1=Vassily IvanchukUKR27545.5
1=Le Quang LiemVIE26945.5
3=Jon Ludvig HammerNOR26334
3=Yannick PelletierSUI25924
5=Tigran GharamianFRA26583
5=Kateryna LahnoUKR25393
7Zhu ChenQAT24802
8Tatiana KosintsevaRUS25731

Quarter-Final:

Vassily IvanchukUKR27541-0Judit PolgarHUN2682Sicilian RossolimoJudit lost her way in the opening and had to sacrifice her queen for two pieces. She resisted for a long time but the result was not really in doubt
Judit PolgarHUN26820-1Vassily IvanchukUKR2754Reti OpeningWhite made no progress whatsoever on the kingside whereas Ivanchuk carved up Polgar's queenside and won a couple of pawns.

Semi-Final:

Vassily IvanchukUKR27541-0Xiangzhi Bu2695CHNSlav/GrünfeldBlack's early counterplay was met by a strong two pieces for rook and pawns combination. Ivanchuk ground out a win in the endgame
Xiangzhi Bu2695CHN0-1Vassily IvanchukUKR2754Semi-Slav MoscowWhite's attempted activity on the kingside rebounded on him as Ivanchuk seized the initiative on the dark squares

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