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Baku World Chess Cup ends with Karjakin's victory

6 October 2015 12:09 (UTC+04:00)
Baku World Chess Cup ends with Karjakin's victory

By Amina Nazarli

The 2015 FIDE World Chess Cup, an integral part of the 2014-2016 World Championship Cycle, came to an end in Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku on October 5.

Some 128 of the world’s best players, including five former world champions, participated in the Baku World Cup.

The final game at the Fairmont Flame Towers between Russian grandmasters Sergey Karjakin and Peter Svidler decided the winner in quick-play tiebreakers.

In blitz time control, chess-lovers were witness to a great opening preparation, wonderful tactical shots and, inevitably, blunders. Karjakin won both blitz games and emerged the winner of the competition.

Summarizing the final bout, Karjakin said that the match was any man’s game and that it could end with either player on top.

"Once it was time to tiebreak, me and Svidler were exhausted. Therefore, the game could go fast in any scenario. In the end, I won the World Cup and I think this is the best achievement of my career," he said.

Karjakin also stressed that he would like to dedicate his victory to Azerbaijan's late grand-master Vugar Gashimov.

Svidler, in turn, said he was disappointed by the final outcome. “I had the chance to finish everything good, but I did not take advantage of this opportunity. In the end I was very tired, and my concentration waned. We both committed double faults, but the one who made them less, won. Initially, I set a goal of getting into the tournament contenders and implemented it. It is a pity, of course, that I could not score the winning point in the final,” he noted.

On the same day, a closing ceremony was held at the Four Seasons Hotel and the winners were awarded. The prize fund for the tournament was $1.6 million. In addition, the finalists advanced to the 2016 Candidates Tournament in the U.S. to determine the World Chess Champion.

Karjakin, celebrating his victory earned $120,000, while Svidler received a check for $80,000 from the organizers.

Azerbaijan Youth and Sport Minister Azad Rahimov addressed the event, highlighting the international achievements of national athletes.

Stressing that the country has become a sports nation, the minister said that influential sports agencies decide – without hesitation – to hold international tournaments in Azerbaijan.

The first European Games was held at the level of the Olympic Games in Baku this summer. The Chess Olympiad next year, the Islamic Solidarity Games in 2017, and the quarterfinals and three group games of the UEFA EURO 2020 are also expected to take place in Azerbaijan.

Rahimov also said that up to 600 spectators observed each party during the World Chess Cup, and this encouraged interest in chess from young people.

FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, for his part, expressed his gratitude to Azerbaijan for the excellent organization of the World Cup. He added that the Baku World Cup would go down in the history of the sport.

Azerbaijan Chess Federation President Elman Rustamov highlighted the intensity of competition. "Games were uncompromising and the grandmasters pleased the fans. The World Cup has become a kind of warm-up before the World Chess Olympiad, which will be a new chapter in the history of Azerbaijani sports," Rustamov said.

Azerbaijan was represented at the tournament by chess players Teymur Rajabov, Shahriyar Mammadyarov, Rauf Mammadov, Gadir Huseynov, Altaj Safarli and Vasif Durarbeyli.

Azerbaijan’s chess hopes at the World Cup came to stop after Mammadyarov’s defeat after the game with Karjakin in the quarterfinals. However, Mammadyarov played an interesting and creative game and repeatedly put competitors in a stalemate.

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Amina Nazarli is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @amina_nazarli

Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz

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