SIMPLECHESS

Karjakin wins the ACP rapid

Twenty-year-old Sergei Karjakin was the youngest player in this year's Association of Chess Professionals World Rapid Cup in Odessa. He won his games, and the tournament, with his blitz skills after a string of tight matches.

Karjakin came out top after a tough final against Jakovenko who blundered in their sudden-death blitz decider. Here is a summary of what took place in the 'Pivdenny' (the main sponsor, an important bank) rapid.

The players and their official world ranking:

SeedingNameCountryOfficial ratingWorld ranking
01. Grischuk Alexander Russia 2760 7
02. Eljanov Pavel Ukraine 2751 9
03. Shirov Alexei Spain 2742 10
04. Ivanchuk Vassily Ukraine 2741 12
05. Karjakin Sergei Russia 2739 14
06. Gashimov Vugar Azerbaijan 2734 17
07. Jakovenko Dmitry Russia 2725 21
08. Movsesian Sergei Slovakia 2717 25
09. Bacrot Etienne France 2710 29
10. Motylev Alexander Russia 2704 33
11. Naiditsch Arkadij Germany 2686 47
12. Inarkiev Ernesto Russia 2669 61
13. Moiseenko Alexander Ukraine 2669 62
14. Drozdovskij Yuri Russia 2625 133
15. Tregubov Pavel Russia 2622 139
16. Gurevich Mikhail Turkey 2614 165

Rapid and Blitz games are not quite the same as classical chess, but the higher 'classically rated' players tended to still come out on top. This was the case in the top half of the draw in the first round, with Shirov having the toughest match only overcoming Bacrot in their Armaggedon Blitz decider.

First round: Top half

Grischuk AlexanderRUS 2760 2
Motylev AlexanderRUS 2704 0
Movsesian SergeiSVK 2717 1.5
Naiditsch ArkadijGER 2686 0.5
Shirov AlexeiESP 2742 3
Bacrot EtienneFRA 2710 2
Karjakin SergeiRUS 2739 3
Drozdovskij YuriRUS 2625 1

Note however that the eventual winner Sergei Karjakin also had his work cut out against Drozdovskij.

First Round: Bottom half

Eljanov PavelUKR 2751 1.5
Moiseenko AlexanderUKR 2669 0.5
Jakovenko DmitryRUS 2725 2
Inarkiev ErnestoRUS 2669 0
Ivanchuk VassilyUKR 2741 0.5
Gurevich MikhailTUR 2614 1.5
Gashimov VugarAZE 2734 3
Tregubov PavelRUS 2622 2

Gashimov had his work cut out to beat Tregubov but the big surprise of the first round was Gurevich's victory over Ivanchuk. He was the only sub-2700 survivor after the first round.

Remember that Ivanchuk didn't lose a single game during the whole of the Melody Amber rapid and blindfold games earlier this year.

Second round:

Grischuk AlexanderRUS 2760 1.5
Movsesian SergeiSVK 2717 0.5
Shirov AlexeiESP 2742 2
Karjakin SergeiRUS 2739 3

Grischuk won in the rapids, Karjakin on the other hand won (not for the last time!) in the Armaggedon blitz.

Eljanov PavelUKR 2751 0.5
Jakovenko DmitryRUS 27251.5
Gurevich MikhailTUR 2614 1.5
Gashimov VugarAZE 2734 0.5

Veteran Mihail Gurevich continued his surprising run.

Semi-finals:

Grischuk AlexanderRUS 2760 1.5
Karjakin SergeiRUS 2739 2.5
Jakovenko DmitryRUS 27251.5
Gurevich MikhailTUR 2614 0.5

Dmitry Jakovenko won in the rapids whereas Sergei Karjakin again required 'extra-time'.

Final:

Karjakin SergeiRUS 2739 4
Jakovenko DmitryRUS 27253

In the Final, four rapid games were played, all of which were drawn as were two blitz games which led to the Armaggedon Blitz game (where Black has draw odds) which Karjakin won after a blunder by Jakovenko in a drawish endgame.

You can find additional information (in Russian!) on the official tournament site.

2010 champion @ official site

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