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?
Going into the final the two players had an identical percentage from their earlier rapid games:
Here are our selection of videos from Cap d'Agde:
Here were their respective paths to the final. First of all Nakamura...
|3||Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son||VIE||2633||4|
|Jon Ludvig Hammer||NOR||2633||0-1||Hikaru Nakamura||USA||2733||Sicilian b3||Bad blunder from Hammer in the rook and knight pseudo-endgame|
|Hikaru Nakamura||USA||2733||1-0||Jon Ludvig Hammer||NOR||2633||Spanish Delayed Exchange||Hammer was forced to take risks to try and win and Nakamura refuted Hammer's activity with a strong exchange sacrifice|
|Le Quang Liem||VIE||2694||1-0||Hikaru Nakamura||2733||USA||Catalan/Bogoindian||Black obtained a big advantage, but Nakamura was frustrated by Le Quang's resistance and the American over-pressed with time running low|
|Hikaru Nakamura||2733||USA||1-0||Le Quang Liem||VIE||2694||Slav/Grünfeld||Le Quang obtained a pleasant advantage but Nakamura cleverly confused matters, whereupon the Vietnamese player lost a drawn endgame when in time pressure|
|Name||Country||Rating||Blitz 1||Blitz 2|
|Le Quang Liem||VIE||2694||0B||0W|
Here is Ivanchuk's route to the 2010 final:
|1=||Le Quang Liem||VIE||2694||5.5|
|3=||Jon Ludvig Hammer||NOR||2633||4|
|Vassily Ivanchuk||UKR||2754||1-0||Judit Polgar||HUN||2682||Sicilian Rossolimo||Judit 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 Polgar||HUN||2682||0-1||Vassily Ivanchuk||UKR||2754||Reti Opening||White made no progress whatsoever on the kingside whereas Ivanchuk carved up Polgar's queenside and won a couple of pawns.|
|Vassily Ivanchuk||UKR||2754||1-0||Xiangzhi Bu||2695||CHN||Slav/Grünfeld||Black's early counterplay was met by a strong two pieces for rook and pawns combination. Ivanchuk ground out a win in the endgame|
|Xiangzhi Bu||2695||CHN||0-1||Vassily Ivanchuk||UKR||2754||Semi-Slav Moscow||White's attempted activity on the kingside rebounded on him as Ivanchuk seized the initiative on the dark squares|
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