Reports | October 30, 2012 14:03

Ivanchuk and Karpov lead Cap d'Agde rapid after 8 rounds

Cap d'Agde Echecs

In yet another rapid event in France, Vassily Ivanchuk and Anatoly Karpov are sharing the lead in the preliminary phase of the Cap d'Agde "Trophée Anatoly Karpov". Both scored 6.5/8 in a field with Christian Bauer, Romain Edouard, Marie Sebag, Ju Wenjun, Sophie Milliet and Aleksandra Goryachkina. Six more rounds will be played on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The 1/2 finals and final are scheduled for Friday and Saturday.

Event Trophée Anatoly Karpov | PGN
Dates October 26th-November 3rd, 2012
Location Cap d'Agde, France
System Round robin & knockout
Players Ivanchuk, Bauer, Edouard, Karpov, Sebag, Ju Wenjun, Milliet, Goryachkina
Rate of play

25 minutes + 10 seconds increment per move

Extra Draw offers are not allowed


This year the annual rapid event Rencontres Nationales & Internationales d’Echecs du Cap d’Agde celebrates its 10th edition. On this occasion the top group has been called the "Trophée Anatoly Karpov", in honor of the 12th World Chess Champion, who since 1994 has participated in all editions in Cap d'Agde.

The "Trophée Anatoly Karpov" is a closed tournament with the following eight players: GM Vasily Ivanchuk (2771), GM Christian Bauer (2664), GM Romain Edouard (2664), GM Anatoly Karpov (2616), GM Marie Sebag (2521), WGM Ju Wenjun (2498), IM Sophie Milliet (2421) and WGM Aleksandra Goryachkina (2384).

These players initially meet in a double round robin tournament and then there will be a knockout. The round robin runs from Friday, October 26th till Thursday, November 1st and the top 4 will qualify for the semi-finals on Friday the 2nd. The final will be played on Saturday the 3rd. The time control for the whole tournament is 25 minutes + 10 seconds increment per move.

At the moment the first eight rounds of the preliminary round robin have been played. It's not surprising to see Ivanchuk at the top of the leaderboard in this field, but Karpov is there as well! The Russian chess legend showed excellent form recently in Potsdam, and now he also started strongly in yet another tournament bearing his name (besides the one in Poikovsky).

Below you can replay all games from the first eight rounds.

PGN file

Here's a video report produced by Europe-Echecs:

Cap d'Agde 2012 | Le Trophée Anatoly Karpov | Round 8 standings


Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


Creemer's picture

"with rebersed colors"- I love it!

Anonymous's picture

Nice overscore of Ju, and Karpov, as always, great. Hope the event is not too long for him.

Thomas's picture

Also remarkable that Marie Sebag is currently ahead of and won against both Edouard and Bauer - while Sophie Milliet has a rather disappointing event.

strana's picture

Young Karpov ( 25 -30 year old ) = best player ever.

redivivo's picture

What does that make old Korchnoi (45-50 years)? The second best player ever for being 15.5-15.5 against the best player ever with one game to go of the title match?

strana's picture

Do not be upset. I know that Karpov´s image in the West is not very nice. Is it because Tolya was supported by the Comunist party in former Soviet Union?? Is it because he had (has ) a "boring" style? Both explanations seems very interesting because almost all the players also had their help by the Comunist Party, including Kasparov, and our hero, Magnus Carlsen, has a very similar playing style but is considered a "fascinating" player.
Korchnoi was very strong. In my opinion, stronger than both Spassky and Petrossian. Viktor including has a positive score against both of them and also a 2-2 against our other chess hero, Bobby Fischer. And many ( to be sincere, almost all of them ) Korchnoi´s wins over Karpov happened only when Karpov´s fatigue was something to consider.
If a 35-40 year old Karpov had an almost equall score against a 12 year old younger, more prepared and with more endurance Kasparov, what a young Karpov would be able to do??

RG13's picture

It means Korchnoi was a world class player but Karpov is considered better because he managed to accomplish a whole lot more in his career than Korchnoi; like 160 career 1st place tournament finishes. Or as you said in another thread "Lasker was stronger than Schlechter in spite of their drawn match." So the head-to-head matters but the overall results must also be taken into account. Also I personally think that if Korchnoi was the official challenger in 1975 then Fischer would have played. Yes, Karpov believes that Fischer was still stronger than him in 1975 but it would have been more of a fight than if Fischer had to face Korchnoi - and Fischer wasn't willing to take that chance.

strana's picture

Do not try to convince Redivivo; I think he believes Karpov was a mediocre champion and Korchnoi would not be among the 50 best players today.
I totally agree with you that Fischer would have played against Korchnoi ( or Spassky, Larsen, Petrossian, Portisch,etc ) in 75. I believe that Karpov had all chances to beat the american already in 75, but if not, than certainly in 78. Fischer had the merit to be the first to recognize how strong Karpov really was and, then, decided to quit.

redivivo's picture

Yes, if someone considers Kasparov to have been better than Karpov he can only be a Cold War supporting Communist hater seeing Karpov as a mediocre champion. Come to think of it, it's strange that anyone can be so deluded as to rank Kasparov ahead of Karpov.

Anonymous's picture

Didn't Gary defeat Toyla in five straight WC matches?

RG13's picture

No he didn't. The first match was voided by a corrupt FIDE president with Karpov leading 5 wins to 3. And another match (Seville) was tied by Kasparov in the last round. Kasparov won 3 of the 5 matches by close margins. In their five world championship matches, Karpov scored 19 wins, 21 losses, and 104 draws in 144 games.
And for the score to even be that close Karpov blundered more than one winning position.

Anonymous's picture

not someone, but the ever-arguing clown redivivo. perhaps he should get a life.

R.Mutt's picture

I disagree. Karpov wouldn't have had a chance in 75. Maybe later, but not then. If you look at Karpov's wins from the seventies, they were all very positional, technical games. Fischer never ever lost technical games. He was only vulnerable in double-edged attacking games (e.g Fischer - Geller Skopje 1967, Petrosian - Fischer, Buenos Aires, second game, Spassky - Fischer Siegen 1970, Spassky - Fischer 11th match game...). Name me one game in which Fischer was positionally, technically outplayed.

redivivo's picture

Yeah, even if I'm getting bored with the argument that Karpov was better than Kasparov because the latter was 12 years younger in their matches (or that ranking Kasparov ahead of Karpov is based on political, west supporting reasons, and not connected to chess results). The same argument could be used against Karpov vs Korchnoi in 1974 and 1978, and Korchnoi was 20 years older. Kasparov being 21-23 years in most of his matches against Karpov wasn't some kind of big advantage. Karpov was at his peak while Kasparov wasn't. Karpov was of course better than Korchnoi overall and no one disputes that even if their first matches were quite equal and little separated them when Karpov was 25-30 years old.

Anonymous's picture

What matters is who won the match, not by what score. Karpov was never in danger that match.

Matt's picture

Tolia still got it! My favourite player of all time, learnt a lot trying to imitate his play (of course didn't manage to play like him :( )

Niima's picture

Does Invanchuk ever stop playing? The guy baffles me.

noyb's picture

Go Anatoly Yevgenyevich! I hope he makes a BIG comeback, would be great to see.

Anonymous's picture

Karpov's performance is very impressive. It seems that he wins every endgame he plays in this tournament.

Septimus's picture

Had to smile when the first game he wan was against the Caro Kann. :)

Septimus's picture


Anonymous's picture

Poor girls. What they must go through seeing Karpov and Ivanchuk running around in the buff.

/when in Rome...

Jambow's picture

Yes Karpov is probably underated and yet best player ever certainly equally overates him. His games and his style are interesting but I think Magnus plays more like Capablanca than Karpov in that both Capa and Magnus seem to always be moving incementally forward, while often Anatoly appears to be waiting for his opponent to give some room then takes it. Subtle but different imho.

I hope he does well he was not able to manage a slow decline like Korchnio did. I agree too that Korchnoi was very near the top in his day and truly a world class player probably similiar to what Ivanchuk is today.

redivivo's picture

Karpov was great but I think it is sometimes routinely proclaimed that he at 25-30 was better than Kasparov ever was without even looking at the actual performances. To cherry pick some (bad) results in those years we have:

Manila 1976: 1½ point behind Torre

Leningrad 1977: Behind Romanishin, Tal and Smyslov, equal with Vaganian

Buenos Aires 1980: Behind Larsen, Timman, Ljubojevic, Andersson, Najdorf and Hort, equal with Quinteros

Mar del Plata 1982: Behind Timman and Portisch, equal with Seirawan and Polugaevsky

There are also lots of shared tournament wins:

Bugojno 1978 (shared with Spassky)

Montreal 1979 (shared with Tal)

Linares 1981 (shared with Christiansen)

Turin 1982 (shared with Andersson)

There's of course also many sole firsts, but often not with a big margin or against the strongest possible fields, for example:

Tilburg 1979 (0.5 ahead of Romanishin)

Bugojno 1980 (0.5 ahead of Larsen)

Tilburg 1980 (0.5 ahead of Portisch)

Amsterdam 1981 (0.5 ahead of Portisch)

And some considerably more impressive results, and then of course also 16.5-15.5 in the match against Korchnoi. The results of a great player obviously, but to me not really "the greatest player ever at his peak"-results. As a comparison Kasparov didn't finish behind another player in one single event during a ten-year period.

brabo's picture

I fully agree. Karpov and Kasparov learned from each other in their matches and achieved their peaks (much) later than 1985. This means Karpov reached his peak not when he was 25-30 but later.

Guillaume's picture

You forgot Linares 1994. Terrible tournament for Karpov.

strana's picture

First: Karpov was not interested in winning a tournament by a big margin. If 0,5 was good enough, excellent. For example : if it was necessary 1 point in the last 2 games, than Karpov was usually satisfied with 2 short draws. This was his style. Linares 94 ( which u intentionally did not included in your text ) is an exception ( there are others, too). Kasparov or Fischer usually tried to win all his games, that is why they have wins by a bigger margin.
Second : Kasparov forced Karpov to study more, to dedicate himself more to the game. The problem was that he was not a 25-30 year old anymore. He had not the same energy, something that was always a problem to Karpov . If he was forced to dedicate himself more when he was young, than he should have beaten Garry.

Anonymous's picture

Thanks for the thoughtful post.

RG13's picture

You try to prove that Karpov is not so great because Korchnoi came close in match play but in FIVE matches, Kasparov was only 2 points away - and in all three matches that he lost, Karpov had winning chances up to the very last games. So yeah, I think at some point Karpov's game was stronger than Kasparov's peak with his sometimes unsound Tal-like chess which is hard to solve while the clock is ticking.

Anonymous's picture

Kasparov played half the amount of games of Karpov in those 10 years.

Geof's picture

Personally, I would put Kasparov, Karpov, and Fischer as the three greatest players of all time. You could argue about the order, but they were all amazing talents that dominated their contemporaries and did outstandingly well in tournament and match play.

Perhaps some of today's players will eventually deserve to join that triumvirate (Carlsen, Caruna, Aronian, etc.), but not yet.

RG13's picture

I agree with you as far as Carlsen. Caruana is an unknown as to how far he will climb. Aronian is clearly great but I don't know if he will continue to improve to get to the # 1 rating. He has had the misfortune of living in the age of Carlsen. However if Aronian is an official challenger to Anand he has a chance to take it from him. Heck Gelfand almost did so Aronian for sure has a chance to take it from him. Aronian is a wonderful artist and sometimes his over-the-board creations remind me of Alekhine.

RealityCheck's picture

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn. What a bore.

Anonymous's picture

As opposed to your very interesting reply.

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