Reports | February 27, 2009 23:14

Bacrot wins Aeroflot, Karjakin takes blitz

Bacrot and KarjakinFrench GM Etienne Bacrot has won the 2009 Aeroflot Open in Moscow. He finished on on 6.5/9 alongside Alexander Moiseenko but the Frenchman took first place because he played more games with the black pieces than Moiseenko. Corus winner Sergey Karjakin took first prize at the World Blitz Championship Preliminaries.

The 8th International Chess Festival “Aeroflot Open 2009" was held in Moscow from February 16th to 27th. It was open to chess players of different levels: from unrated to having a 2700 rating! As always, the big sponsor was the Russian airline Aeroflot.

For the fourth year running, the festival takes place in the major tourist complex “Izmailovo” - hotel “Gamma – Delta”. Four Open Tournaments (A1, A2, B and C), all 9-round Swisses, were made up according to the rating of the participants.

The prize fund for the A1 tournament (for chessplayers with a FIDE rating higher than 2549) was € 70,000. In the middle of the tournament the news was all about Shakhryiar Mamedyarov quitting the tournament after accusing his opponent of cheating, but we'll now return to the chess part of the event!

After eight rounds the surprising leader of the tournament was the Armenian player GM Arman Pashikian, who was the only one who had collected six points. He was defeated by French top GM Etienne Bacrot, who finished shared first with GM Alexander Moiseenko. Bacrot was declared the winner on tiebreak, having played more games with Black than Moiseenko. All of Bacrot's Aeroflot games can be replayed under the final standings.


All games by Etienne Bacrot

This time, within the festival the Qualification Tournament for the World Blitz Championship wasl be held in addition to the four open tournaments. The tournament was held yesterday and was won by by 19-year-old Sergey Karjakin, who also came first at the prestigeous Corus Chess Tournament last month.

The tournament was a nine-round Swiss with 165 participants, in which the opponents played mini-matches of two games. Karjakin finished on an terrific score of 15/18, but only half a point aheadof Gashimov. The third place was shared by Mamedyarov and good old Bareev. These players, together with Tkachiev and Zhou Jianchao (!) who finished fifth and sixth on tiebreak, qualified for the Blitz World Championship scheduled for November as a part of the Tal Memorial. Something that big guns like Jakovenko, Svidler, Ponomariov, Dreev and Bacrot didn't achieve!




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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.


Mike's picture

Congrats to the French GM for the outstanding result, and also to GM Kurnosov for sharing second with 6.0 points, 0,5 behind the winner, and performance rating 2758...shutting some bad loser's mouth...

gogomil's picture

Congrats to the French GM for the outstanding result, and also to GM Kurnosov for sharing second with 6.0 points, 0,5 behind the winner, and performance rating 2758…shutting some bad loser’s mouth…


Arne Moll's picture

@Anonymous: it works fine with me!

Arne Moll's picture

Pretty cool endgame against Pashikian in the last round!

Titu's picture

Does it mean that Bacrot plays in the Dortmund thhis year?

Thomas's picture

I agree with Mike and gogomil .... and one shouldn't forget or overlook the results of Sergei Zhigalko, Zhou Weiqi and Tatiana Kosintseva in the main tournament.

Zhou Weiqi?? I think I haven't heard or read that name before - well, the same applies to several Russian (or ex-Soviet) players.

patj's picture

i wonder if Mamedyarov accused karjakin of cheating since he won

randy mercado's picture

In no way shall GM Mamedyarov shall accuse GM Karjakin of cheating in any form or manner just because the latter just won the recently concluded 2009 Moscow Blitz Preliminaries. Otherwise, I will surely find it totally absurd and/or illogical. Besides in blitz games a player doesn't have enough time and space to cheat using any form of electronic devices and the like for winning moves given the time limits to be exacted in every speed chess game. In addition, what was really the issue about the complaint of GM Mamedyarov was principally based upn the suspicious behavior of his then opponent after every move made after GM Mamedyarov offered a draw to the said concerned opponent-GM. So, PATJ next time be logical enough even for the sake of projecting things or issues that are based on logical basis considering time, space and other factors based on the natural order of things. It is quite disturbing to read one's comments out of baseless conjectures that are seemingly based on other planets. Sometimes, I had personally observed that some commentators shared their respective comments in this website just for the sake of putting something that are not even worth of anybody's salt not because they are baseless but, rather, they were simply nonsense based on the natural order of things!!!! My apologies!!

randy mercado's picture

ERRATUM: the word "Shall" after the name of GM Mamedyarov was inadvertently inserted. My apologies.

lork's picture

randy mercado... ever heard of irony?

Thomas's picture

Irony or not ... I also think it was ironic. Another question is if Mamedyarov would accuse any of his 2700+ colleagues of cheating under any time control. I think after the game against Kurnosov he was quite frustrated, losing quickly despite having the white pieces AND a considerable rating advantage.

Ianys's picture

Congratulations to Bacrot and Kurnosov , i'm happy for Etienne , i agree that Kosintseva result is really encouraging as well , fair play to her , she did very well , like a few other GM i honestly didn't know about and who played good games and also achieved good results , regards ,

Mike's picture

@test: I think you are mixing and mystifying things and insisting with a new kind of indirect accusation without proof. As you should know, Blitz Chess rating is not necessarily the same as the one for Classical Chess for obvious reasons, like someone who trained heavily only for the time control and variant analysis in Classical Chess, or the other one who only play blitz very well, and then lose the Queen quickly when suddenly try to play a classical game...The 13th place in this "blitz preliminary tournament" belongs to a player with a classic rating some 200 points below most of the other strong GM present, and a player with rating 2074 is at the 94th position! Several other strong GM's are placed below 100th place: are they also cheaters? Gimme a break! Let's talk about ethics, good manners "a priori", and not about blitz vs. classical tournaments performance. I think that both cheating (under clear rules and unquestionable proof) and futile accusation shouldn't be stimulated. That's all...

Ianys's picture

Sorry i forgot Moiseenko , warm congratulations for him as well of course ;)

Rob Brown's picture

A disastrous tournament for Vadim Milov considering what we usually see from the strong Swiss GM. And watch Ray Robson, the USAmerican kid who gave a couple of GMs a rude shock and played some pretty exciting chess in amassing his three and a half points.

test's picture

>> "shutting some bad loser’s mouth"

He ended at place 147 in the blitz tournament though (where no cheating is possible).

Anonymous's picture

Does anyone know if the Free Internet Chess Server (FICS) @ has stopped running permanently? It has been off-line 24 hours now.

Mike's picture

@Anonimous: From here it's down too (...Connection to Failed...). Maybe they changed something, and the connection is depending on the way some particular Internet provider filters the network trafic (firewall..?), or maybe they have some problems with the users database (I experimented dificulties with login too..)

Thomas's picture

@test: Blitz and 'classical' time controls are quite different stories ... . One difference is that you cannot have a toilet or cigarette break during games, but that's not the only difference [modified from what I already posted at the Dailydirt site].
@Mike: For the fun of it, I tried to "quantify" your statement. I imported the blitz results into Excel, made a scatter plot of start number vs. final standing and then produced a trend line and regression coefficient. The r2 between both is 0.43 (for all players, so there is a certain relationship between ELO and blitz strength, but it merely explains 43% of the total variance. This is for all players (as published on Chessbase), for the top 60 given here one only gets a meaningless r2=0.08 !!?
In plain language, Kurnosov is by far not the only "outlier"! Just to give two examples: The winner Karjakin was 7th by rating (that's close), but the one with the highest rating (Jakovenko) finished in 55th place.

Yes, statistics (at least such simple ones) are also part of my "other (professional life) :)

Jan's picture

Ik mis coverage van de match De Eenhoorn - Kennemer Combinatie. Komt dat door het resultaat op bord 2? :-)

Peter Doggers's picture

:-) Goeie partij van mijn tegenstander, kan niet anders zeggen, behalve dat moment dat hij e2 voor d7 liet ruilen. En waarschijnlijk heb ik aan het eind remise maar met 30 seconden op de klok voor beiden ging bij mij het licht uit. Maar waar het echt om gaat: Eenhoorn opnieuw tegen HSG!!

James Nevill's picture

GM Mamedyarov shouldn´t have been permited to play until he explains and demonstrates his acusations. He is a shame to chess!!....bad looser...

me's picture

And you shouldn't make such statement about Mamedyarov until you prove and demonstrate it too.

Peter Doggers's picture

Wow James, take it easy. Humans make mistakes.

Thomas's picture

Yes humans can make mistakes, and the best thing Mamedyarov could (and IMO should) do is acknowledge his mistake and present excuses to Kurnosov. Concerning the post by James and "me's" reaction: "a shame to chess .... bad looser" is an opinion expressed with strong language, but clearly nothing that can be proven and demonstrated (or refuted).

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