Shakhriyar Mamedyarov Wins Corsica Masters

Report, photos and videos by IA Akkhavanh Vilaisarn

Corsica Logo2010

Corsica, famous for being the birthplace of Napoléon Bonaparte, is also famous for being the land of chess. L’île de beauté (Isle of beauty) was again a host to a powerful event. The 14th “Corsican Circuit” was held in Bastia and Aiacciu from October 24th to November 1st 2010.

In Corsica, since 2002, all tournaments are played under the “Corsican rule”, which the arbiter summed up in “a quick draw is a quick zero”. Draws by mutual agreement are entirely forbidden. So let’s fight!

The tournament organizer Léo Battesti, President of the Corsica Chess League and Deputy President of the French Chess Federation, stresses on the fact that Corsica has inspired the Sofia rule.

The Corsica Masters was played according to a Swiss system. 14 players qualified from this Open and were joined by Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Teimour Radjabov. Then, a Cup with those 16 players begun.

The rate of play of the Swiss Open was 1hour 30min with 30s increment per move. The rate of play of the Cup was 15 min with 3s increment per move. One game with white and one game with black. In case of a tie, then 2 blitz games in 3min + 2s. And if it’s still a draw, an Armaggedon blitz game.

The Swiss system was dominated by the Moldavian gentleman Viktor Bologan. It was a very strong tournament since the Grandmasters like Fedorchuk (2671) or Kurnosov (2659) didn’t manage to qualify in top 14. Full standings here.

Corsica Bologan

Viktor Bologan

The competition continued as Cup, in front of the 800 spectators crowding the Bastia theater, where Azerbaijan Grandmasters Mamedyarov and Radjabov crushed their opponents and earned the tickets for the final match.

The final was played in front of 400 spectators at the Aiacciu Palace of Congress, when after the initial tie in the Rapid, Mamedyarov finally outplayed Radjabov in the blitz games 3m + 2s.

Corsica spectators

The spectators following the final match

Corsica Radjabov Mamedyarov

Radjabov and Mamedyarov in deep concentration

Corsica semifinal

Semifinal matches

Corsica Balogh

Astonishing Csaba Balogh who reached the semi-final

In addition to the Corsica Masters, there were several other events:

- Two trophies “BNP Paribas”, one in Bastia and the other one in Aiaciu, for children U16 with 30 000 EUR in prices! About 500 children competed in those tournaments.

- A blitz tournament won (rather easily) by Mamedyarov with the perfect score of 9/9.

- A blindfold simultaneous exhibition by GM Loek van Wely against six Corsican chess club’s presidents (rated from 1700 to 2000 elo). The result is a merciless 6/6 for the Dutch Grandmaster.

- A simultaneous exhibition against 60 players, given by Mamedyarov, Radjabov, Fressinet and Bologan.

Corsica BNPtrophy

BNP Paribas Trophy

Corsica vanWelyblindfold

Loek van Wely during the blindfold simultaneous exhibition

More information on the official website

Videos / Photos

Report by IA Akkhavanh Vilaisarn