May 25, 2010 3:26

Eljanov wins final FIDE GP, Radjabov qualifies for Candidates

Eljanov wins final FIDE GP, Gashimov qualifies for CandidatesPavel Eljanov today won the sixth and final FIDE Grand Prix tournament in Astrakhan, Russia. The Ukrainian finished with a score of 8/13, a full point ahead of a group of five GMs. One of them was Teimour Radjabov, who finished second in the final GP standings and qualified for the FIDE Candidates matches.

The 6th FIDE Grand Prix took place May 10-24 in Astrakhan, Russia. Akopian (2694), Alekseev (2700), Gashimov (2734), Gelfand (2741), Eljanov (2751), Inarkiev (2669), Ivanchuk (2741), Jakovenko (2725), Leko (2735), Mamedyarov (2763), Ponomariov (2733), Rajabov (2740), Svidler (2735) and Wang Yue (2752) played. More details can be found in our first report.

Round 10

Would Pavel Eljanov be able to finish the tournament as strongly as he had played so far? How would he fare after the second and last rest day? Well, on Friday the Ukrainian had a crystal clear answer to this question. He defeated Hungarian top GM Peter Leko in 43 moves, perhaps not in the most convincing way, but the result is what counts.

Leko was more than fine after the opening (Eljanov didn't like his 10.Ng3) and even rejected a draw offer on the 20th move. However, in the subsequent game the Hungarian made a few mistakes, and White obtained an advantage in the ending due to a strong passed pawn on the queenside. From that point Eljanov played very energetically. He did not allow Black to bring his king into the center, which would save the game for Leko. On the 43rd move White’s passed pawn became unstoppable, and Leko resigned.


Gashimov stayed half a point behind the leader after beating Inarkiev in a strong Ruy Lopez game. "I found an interesting plan with 15.Bd3 and 16.Re2," he said afterwards. "My pawn sacrifice led to a curious position: White is a pawn down, Black pieces seem to be active, but actually White can play for a win at no risk. Soon I regained the material, keeping all the advantages of my position, then won an exchange and converted the advantage without much trouble." Inarkiev: "I admit that Vugar played very energetically and deserved his win."


Radjabov slowly but surely outplayed Akopian with Black in a Sveshnikov. "Maybe trading the queens was wrong," said Akopian, "and I should have preferred 24.Qh6. I also don’t like my next moves – 26.Ndf4 and 28.f4. White’s position became very cramped, and Teimour showed good technique, not giving me any chances to survive." 26.Ndf4 was a "serious inaccuracy" according to Radjabov.


Round 11

This round saw another Azeri derby: Radjabov versus Mamedyarov. It was an important game, since Radjabov's win regained his chances to qualify for the Candidates matches. In the Exchange Variation of the Ruy Lopez White got a small advantage and then developed a strong initiative following Black’s unsuccessful queen maneuver on the 19th move. The game transposed to a queen ending with a remote passed pawn for White. Black was short on time and committed the decisive error on the 38th move. Mamedyarov resigned immediately due to inevitable loss of the kingside pawns.

Radjabov: "I think after 20.Qf4 White may already be winning. Not sure if 28.d6 was necessary, but I thought I needed to force the issues. In any case, after this move it becomes extremely difficult for Black to hold." Mamedyarov didn't agree with Radjabov's assessment of the opening: "In my opinion, White didn’t get any advantage. He started to take the upper hand only when I made a mistake by 19...Qd4 – this move is overambitious."


Also relevant for the Candidates spot was Gashimov's loss against Ponomariov. He couldn't adopt his Benoni as the Ukrainian went for other schemes. Ponomariov about Gashimov only playing the Benoni: "The disadvantage is that he knows other lines superficially. Thus I decided to transpose to the Nimzo-Indian Defense. In my opinion, I got a very comfortable position. Perhaps in the middlegame I could play better. For example, on the 17th move I could take on g3 with the queen, making Black’s defensive task tougher. Yet, defending was unpleasant enough for such an active player as Vugar. He started to make reckless moves such as 26...h5, which helped me to win the game."

Round 12

Five-time Russian champion Peter Svidler finally won his first game in Astrakhan. He successfully avoided Gelfand's Petroff and used the Four Knights to beat the Israeli in 31 moves. Gelfand’s sharp f-pawn push on the 21st move proved to be a big mistake. Svidler delivered a nice tactical blow, and Black’s position collapsed.


Akopian defeated Ivanchuk in just 23 moves. The Ukrainian handled the Ragozin Variation of the Queen’s Gambit too passively. Akopian comfortably arranged his pieces and launched a kingside attack. On the 21st move the Armenian sacrificed an exchange, which turned out to be a very unpleasant surprise for Black. In two more moves Ivanchuk abandoned his resistance.

Akopian, after the game: "I'm surprised that the victory came so easily – I have a bad score against Vassily. The plan that I employed in this game is not new: White ignores the d4-pawn and concentrates on a kingside attack. Vassily played without confidence; his 14...g6 only provokes my attack. And on the next move he should have played 15...h5. After he missed this opportunity, my only problem was to choose correctly from several good continuations. The final position is so ugly for Black that Vassily just resigned. Well, this probably just wasn’t his day..."

Mamedyarov improved upon his first round game against Jakovenko, to which Leko couldn't find a good answer. Perhaps White didn't find all the best moves, but nevertheless Mamadyarov managed to transpose to an ending with a big advantage, which he effectively converted to the full point.

Leko: "This was a strange game. Losing to Eljanov killed my chances to qualify for the candidates matches, which obviously affected my motivation today. Of course, this is not a good excuse for my poor play against Shakhriyar..."


Alekseev-Inarkiev was the longest game of the 12th round. After interesting complications in the Slav Defense the players arrived at a very original position, in which White had three minor pieces against a rook and three pawns. White slowly but surely consolidated his pieces and launched the attack on the king. He then won a pawn and advanced to a winning ending. Despite Black’s stubborn resistance, Alekseev won the game on the 88th move.


Round 13

Eljanov needed a draw to secure sole first, and he did so with the black pieces against Gelfand. The two have worked together in the past years, but with White Gelfand did press for while. In a Nimzo he sacrificed a pawn to open up the position, but Eljanov gave back the material and after the exchange of the minor pieces the position remained balanced.

After winning the Bosna tournament in 2009, Eljanov now has a new 'best tournament of his career'. Winning this Grand Prix, one of the strongest tournaments on average rating and of this scale ever held, is a fantastic result for the 27-year-old, who proved that his new status of Ukraine's number one player wasn't a coincidence.


Report based on the tournament website

Photo courtesy of FIDE, more here

Games rounds 10-13

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Astrakhan Grand Prix 2010 | Round 13 (Final) Standings

Astrakhan Grand Prix 2010

Astrakhan Grand Prix 2010 | Schedule & results

After the 12th round, Ivanchuk, Leko, Mamedyarov and Alekseev were eliminated from qualifying for the runner-up position. Grischuk was also eliminated, because Radjabov scored well enough to ensure that even if he'd lose his final round, he'd gain enough GP points to surpass Grischuk.

In the final round of Astrakhan, Jakovenko was eliminated with his draw and Gashimov has been eliminated with his loss. The winner of the Radjabov-Wang Yue game decided matters: a win for the Chinese would have meant qualification, but Radjabov with White held a Petroff ending a pawn down to a draw and this was enough to end second in the overall Grand Prix. Thanks to ebutaljib for providing this table:

FIDE Grand Prix Series 2008-2009 | Overall Final Standings

FIDE Grand Prix Series 2008-2009 | Overall Final Standings

Source used: Wikipedia page on the GP

And so an end has come to a long series of six super tournaments which had its ups and downs. Positive were the tournament websites, with extensive reports (disclaimer: which were written by yours truly in Baku and Sochi), sometimes videos (by the Turkish Chess Federation in Baku, Europe-Echecs in Sochi and - another disclaimer - by me in Nalchik) and sometimes game analysis by GM Sergey Shipov.

More importantly, a big number of players had the opportunity to play in big, strong events and make good money.

But of course many more things went wrong. Three host cities (Doha, Karlovy Vary and Montreux) withdrew when it became clear that the money wasn't there. Their nominated players had to leave the series and Yannick Pelletier was hit the most, as he couldn't play a single event. The Czech organizers were very disappointed when Adams and Carlsen had good reason to leave the series: because of the sudden change of the World Championship cycle, during the cycle.

When it all started, the idea was that the winner of the GP would play against the World Champ. (We would have had a Aronian-Anand match in 2012.) winner of the World Cup. (We would have a Gelfand-Aronian match and the winner would play Anand.) But during the Olympiad in Dresden, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov suddenly announced the Candidates 'tournament' (which would later be rephrased to 'matches'), for which the numbers one and two of the GP Series would qualify.

Another point of criticism FIDE received by many (e.g. more than once by Kasparov) was about the locations of the events. The whole series never managed to leave the greater Caucasus region, and so no single event was organized in a bigger, Western city, which didn't really help to attract corporate sponsorship either.

In general the idea wasn't so bad. But the execution could have been much better.

Update: according to Harish in the comments, the pairings for the Candidates matches are:

1. Topalovs vs Kamsky ( 1 vs 8 )
2. Carlsen vs Radjabov ( 2 vs 7 )
3. Kramnik vs Nominee ( 3 vs 6 )
4. Aronian vs Gelfand ( 4 vs 5 )


Previous reports

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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers


TM's picture

>> When it all started, the idea was that the winner of the GP would play against the World Champ. (We would have had a Aronian-Anand match in 2012.)

This is not correct. The original idea was that the winner of the GP would play the winner of the World Cup in a candidates final match. So, we would have a Gelfand-Aronian candidate match in 2011, the winner of which would then challenge Anand.

Harish Srinivasan's picture

So here are the pairings for the candidate matches --- as per


1. Topalov (loser of Wch is seeded as 1)
2. Carlsen ( rest are seeded according to January 2010 rating )
3. Kramnik
4. Aronian
5. Gelfand
6. Nominee ( either Gashimov or Mamedyarov )
7. Radjabov
8. Kamsky

So the quarter final pairings are

1. Topalovs vs Kamsky ( 1 vs 8 )
2. Carlsen vs Radjabov ( 2 vs 7 )
3. Kramnik vs Nominee ( 3 vs 6 )
4. Aronian vs Gelfand ( 4 vs 5 )

And semi-finals

1. Winner of (Topalov vs Kamsky) vs Winner of (Aronian vs Gelfand)
2. Winner of (Carlsen vs Radjabov) vs Winner of (Kramnik vs Nominee)

Aronian will probably never have to play in Baku as he will never face a Azeri unless Aronian and an Azeri get to the final.

ebutaljib's picture

Some points in your table are wrong (Gelfand, Svidler). This is the correct table

gg's picture

"So, we would have a Gelfand-Aronian candidate match in 2011"

If FIDE hadn't changed their cycle halfway through the top players would have had to play the World Cup, and then Gelfand wouldn't have won, so Aronian-Kramnik or Aronian-Carlsen would have been much more probable than Aronian-Gelfand.

Peter Doggers's picture

Aha yes, I forgot that. Updated the article. Thx for the table, ebutaljib. Thx for the info, Harish. Hm... so another Topalov-Kamsky!

ebutaljib's picture

I don't know if these regulations still hold. They were isued before the last GP was postponed, and they are still talking about candidates being played in 2010, with world championship match in 2011.
But since then the dates have been moved for one year - candidates in 2011 and world championship match in 2012.

ChessGirl's picture

Very good tournament by Eljanov

ebutaljib's picture

Assuming that regulations are valid, this is how the Candidates matches look in graphic then like this

By the way, what tags do I have to use for hyperlink (instead of posting the whole adress)?

Peter Doggers's picture

Regular HTML. You can check the source code of the page to see how I changed them.

ebutaljib's picture


Lets see if it works: test

Jost's picture

when are the candidates being played?

Thomas's picture

On the concluding paragraphs (after the GP final standings table): You provide a balanced view of the entire GP series - some other sources are much more negative.

Changes _during_ an ongoing cycle: no excuses for this, even if chess fans will now be treated to quite a few more interesting (mini-)matches besides Gelfand-Aronian which should still happen [not entirely certain because Aronian refuses to play in Baku]. But for the Karlovy Vary organizers, this (and Carlsen + Adams dropping out) was a convenient explanation or excuse for cancelling the event, not the actual reason.

I find the part about the venues a bit unfair - from you as well as Kasparov.
"no single event was organized in a bigger, Western city, which didn’t really help to attract corporate sponsorship either." Wasn't it the other way around? No corporate Western sponsors means no GP event in western countries - or should FIDE first schedule an event in London, Paris or New York and then look for sponsors?
There may be various reasons for lack of sponsorship or sponsor interest. Having to deal with FIDE and Ilyumzhinov could be one reason, things _might_ change under a new FIDE president .... . But sponsors may still prefer to organize their own chess event, where they have full control over the field and can limit the number of ex-Soviet players to about half of the field and only familiar names. If FIDE is to be blamed, then primarily for the ambitious and premature announcement that the GP series would be held in major cities, striving for one event on each continent.

I also think that the Caucasian organizers deserve credit for making the events happen after all, often at short notice - and only the last event was substantially delayed, as far as I remember because the playing venue was built only recently. The locations may be a bit difficult to reach, but - with the exception of Elista - they are probably as attractive as Wijk aan Zee in January :) .

Sligunner's picture

Radjabov actually beat Akopian with a Kalashnikov (...e5 on 4th move, not 5th)

wolf gray's picture

Till now cannot understand why Ivanchuk resigned to Akopian.

Castro's picture

Go Gata! Go Timur! Go Nominee! :-) Go Boris!

(Underdog all the way here!)

I indeed like this format. Sure, no more changes to underway cycles, ever, but a very good concept it is, now.
I agree with Thomas. The Caucasus region was parheps where FIDE/Ilyumzinhov's influence was enough for things to happen, and good for them that they had all these nice tournaments there. Other (western and eastern) cities and sponsors are required and it's a shame it has not happened yet, but THAT is not something ISOLATEDELY criticizable on FIDE.

Kazzak's picture

I was hoping for a shot of Gelfand vs. Eljanov at the board in the final round, but one from the presser will do. Brothers in Chess:

Mike's picture

It's a very bad concept . The loser of the previous candidates match ,Kamsky, hasn't deserved a spot at all. Even the loser of the previous WC match shouldn't get a spot in the next candidates. It's unfair towards the other players. These players had their chance.
Nominee spot is total Nonsense, too. What if the candidates happen to be in Austria next time? Will Ragger then play in the candidates matches?

KingTal's picture

Lets see if Kamsky will become American chess champion, then maybe he deserved that place.

Yeah, the loser of WC match shouldn´t get automatically a place in the candidates, he should fight for it and Nominee thing is stupid, but this time it makes sense because Gashimov and Mamedyarov are top guys, though its unfair to the others.

Wouldn´t it be better to see more games in the matches, because now the luck factor is bigger, best of 4... we could see a final of kamsky against radjabov with that if they make a lucky shot. Best of 8 for quarters and semi finals and best of 10 for candodate finals would be nicer. :]

Radical Caveman's picture

Nominee ought to have a good chance. Nominee, after all, has won more chess games than anyone else in the past century. Before that, the leader was Anonymous.

SXL's picture

For a moment there, I thought Nominee was that famous player N.N. who has lost in spectacular fashion against some of the world's best players ever since the 1800s. That would have been something to look forward to - guaranteed brilliancies.

Castro's picture


That's why people can disagree.
Although I respect your opinion on the losers of previous candidates and WC, I must say it's completely abusive to call it "unfair towards the other players". They also had their (great) chances! And it's all part of what I think is a good concept.
Nominee is also something you should try to understand first, and criticize second. First, it's absolutely normal in what great events organization is concerned. It's like a completely undurstandable privilege to the city hosting the event, if you also know that:
a) You don't have to nominate a citizen from your country;
b) You can't nominate no one with 2700 or less ELO.
So there goes your "reasons". If Austria was to organize it, it should nominate a foreigner, but it was still an interesting privilege.


No, one could not have it as "Nominee thing is stupid, but this time it makes sense". THAT is what doesn't make sense.
I agree with you on having more games per match.
I completely disagree about your moking of a "kamsky against radjabov" final.
IF that should happen, it is not certain that it would be because of "luck"! That is something that CAN happen with 20 or more games per match, I think they have chess for ANY of the others, and indeed is one of the scenarios that would please me the most. ;-)

namesfamily's picture

go all Pablos!:)

why does not Pavel qualify for candidates???

he was the tournament winner !!

chess's picture

oh God. Aronian against Gelfand. only the better chess and chessplayer should win this.

Xin Xae's picture

Why Aronian does not agree to play in Azerbijan.??

Mike's picture


No way, most other players above 2700 didn't have great chances at all, let alone equal chances.

ups's picture

according to the live ratings list the pairings for the Candidates matches would be:

1. Carlsen-Shirov
2. Topalov-Grischuk
3. Kramnik-Mamedyarov
4. Aronian-Eljanov

and not:

1. Topalovs vs Kamsky ( 1 vs 8 )
2. Carlsen vs Radjabov ( 2 vs 7 )
3. Kramnik vs Nominee ( 3 vs 6 )
4. Aronian vs Gelfand ( 4 vs 5 )

ebutaljib's picture

ALL +2700 rated players had the opportunity to play in Grand Prix or World Cup.

Anand (at that time nobody knew if he is still going to be the reigning champion at the end of grand prix), Topalov, Kramnik, Shirov and Morozevich refused to participate in Grand Prix. They were the initital qualifiers.

After they refused, the reserves were called in. Among those reserves was Judit Polgar, who also refused. When Pelletier, Al-Modiahki were kicked out, and Carlsen and Adams withdrew, further reserves were called in. Among them was Ponomariov, who refused to take part in GP (he was playing the last GP tournament only as a one time replacement for Aronian who has already qualified). Everybody who had average rating above 2683 in the January 2007 and October 2007 rating list had a chance to play in Grand Prix.

So you obviously have no idea what you are talking about.

It's same with World Cup - Anand, Topalov, Carlsen, Kramnik, Aronian, Leko, Nakamura, Ni Hua were all eligible but refused to take part.

EVERYBODY who means something in chess had a chance. Everybody!

You can read about details how somebody got qualified here and here

Castro's picture

@wolf gray

"Till now cannot understand why Ivanchuk resigned to Akopian."

Surely because he felt he was undoubtly going to lose. And he was.
Now, is there a straightforward, concrete, obvious and forced variation leading to mate? No, but he also knows Akopian wouldn't allow any jokes, in a completely dominant and cramped position. "Game over" must have been the feeling both had.

ebutaljib's picture


Man, do you understand that you have to qualify fdor the world championship, one way or another? You don't get picked up from the rasting list, and certainly not from some unofficial privately published list. Do you understand how those 8 players qualified for the candidates?

ups's picture

this was no criticism from me, i looked only at the ratings list and compared.
some statistic.

sava's picture

Even if you have your wishlist of candidates based onELO rating.. Kamsky looks like a complete joke among the big guys. He is only 1 or 2 points bove 2700 and all in all does not desrve playing in the candidates. still do not understand why the loser of kamsky - Topalov match and the Loser of Anand - Topalov match get an automatic invitation for the next pretendent cycle.. should have been some trade-off from Ilyumzhinov for the chance to unite all chess titles.

ebutaljib's picture

Loser of the last World championship match was always seeded into the next candidates, so Topalov certainly deserves his place there. Why the loser of challenger match is there, thats a mystery for me too. But OK, he is there, and he is certainly not someone whom others could take lightly.

Mike's picture


Judging from you name, you don't come from a big western chess country like France, Germany or Spain.
Therefore I'm not surprised at all about your strange sense of fairness.

Yeah, all 2700+ had the chance to play, but their chances to qualify were negligible, while Nominee, loser of candidates final and loser of WC-match get a free pass to the candidates for having accomplished absolutely nothing.

Just because something was always done, doesn't mean it's right.
The WC match loser doesn't deserve another chance without a qualification.
Topalov would have been qualified for the next cycle by rating.

cip's picture

I suppose said losers did in fact accomplish something. Otherwise they would have had no opportunity to lose...

One can hardly make a 'fair' decision based on merits. Many players deserve a shot at this match. These two have played well in the past cycle, so one might expect that they will play well in the future.

bondegnasker's picture

One fair reason to include the loser of the last match is that he hasn't had much time to qualify, as he has been busy preparing for the championship. True, both Anand and Topalov (and Kramnik too) were offered a place in the Grand Prix, but this was at a time when they all hoped that they wouldn't need to qualify, because they might be reigning champions by now. If we (the chess public) want them to give it their best shot in the WC matches, we can't also expect them to interrupt their preparation to play in a qualification tournament at a time when they don't even know yet if they need to qualify. Maybe we need a shorter qualification process that only starts after the WC match is over.

Thomas's picture

I agree with bondegnasker that it makes sense to include the loser in the WCh match in the candidates event - BTW he stilll needs to win three matches to get another shot at the title. Whether it makes sense to include Kamsky (based on winning the World Cup in 2007, but he didn't have comparable results ever since) is another story.

Regarding ups' comment: Live rating lists are just snapshots in time, so are the official FIDE lists, let's check who would have "qualified" based on the last three official ones. Such a candidates event would always include Carlsen, Topalov, Kramnik and Aronian (they are a class apart, no questions asked), #s 6-9 on the FIDE lists are:
May 2010 - Mamedyarov, Grischuk, Wang Yue, Eljanov
March 2010 - Mamedyarov, Grischuk, Svidler, Gelfand (Wang Yue 1 point behind, Ivanchuk 2 points behind)
January 2010 - Gelfand, Gashimov, Ivanchuk, Wang Yue

Two points I want to make:
- Those who did qualify (Gelfand), could have qualified via the GP (Gashimov, Ivanchuk, Wang Yue, Grischuk) or might get the wildcard (Mamedyarov, Gashimov) are also worthy candidates based on recent rating criteria. Radjabov fell out of the top 10 rather recently (#7 in September 2009, #11 in November 2009), and his GP result reflects the cumulative score over the entire period covered by the series.
- Eljanov made the top10 only recently. If he can confirm his status (as the Astrakhan result suggests, but it's only a start), he can or will play a role in the next WCh cycle.

ebutaljib's picture


You assume much too much from internet handles :)

Castro's picture

People tend to forget that the "candidates" are not people who we offer the world title, nor even privileged players who we put contesting it directely.
They all DID already great things in these few years, to classify themselves, and they have yet to pursue their classification, precisely called "candidates".

@Mike, ebutaljib
Mike indeed assume too much, and not only from from internet handles.
The most laughable thing is what looks like "Are you from Germany, France, Spain? Then, you must have a strange sense of fairness".
Which, all in all and looking at his own sense of fairness, could be the best compliment! :-)

Castro's picture

Sorry for my English. Maybe I should have said "qualification", rather then "classification".

CAL|Daniel's picture

Not including Kamsky would be downright CRIMINAL. Thats right I said it.

Remember when Kamsky won the World Cup the conditions were the Winner of the World Cup would Face the World Champion as the WCH CHALLENGER. This right was then destroyed by the sith (Danilov and Topalov) who managed to insert Topalov as challenger to Kamsky in a match for WCH Challenger. They did this under the retarded grounds that Topalov deserved this match cause he wasn't allowed at the Mexico 2007 tournament. He wasn't allowed at Mexico 2007 BECAUSE THEY insisted on the 2006 Elista match on inserting a clause that said the loser of the match (which they assumed would be Kramnik) could not participate in 2007 tournament. In other words they locked themselves out. So Kamsky lost the chance he EARNED for no reason? Therefore, they owe kamsky and now they are paying him.

hansie's picture

@ CAL|Daniel

Could not agree more!

Just wondering though.

When would the chess world repay Shirov his just dues!?

CAL|Daniel's picture

I don't know hansie but I would like to see Shirov repaid as well. I'm just tired of people looking at ELO as the end all be all. Kamsky earned his place and it was denied to him. I don't think any 'chess fans' can understand the kind of pressure and psychology junk that throws at a player.

Mike's picture


pl learn to understand English before you post a reply.

Castro's picture


Pls "learn to understand" the minimum English necessary to "understand" the simple inversion «Are/Aren't you from Germany, France, Spain (or other "big western chess country")? Then...».
By the way, it's something irrelevant, when you try to "learn to understand" MEANINGS and ESSENCES of questions. So, also pls do so.
By the way, also try to refer to things people say that refutes your ideas, instead of leaving those untouched, while adressing completely superficial/alien aspects.
I know, trying to distracting is a way to not recognising errors, but only works with... distracted people.
Thx in advance.

Radical Caveman's picture

"You don’t come from a big western chess country like France, Germany or Spain.
Therefore I’m not surprised at all about your strange sense of fairness."

This sounds like ethnic or racial bigotry to me.

Castro's picture


Although the main characteristic of it seems to be the plain "not having anything sensible to say" :-)

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