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Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz) Tournament

Magnus Carlsen19/27(+13 -2 =12)[games]
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave17.5/27(+14 -6 =7)[games]
Hikaru Nakamura17/27(+11 -4 =12)[games]
Wesley So14/27(+5 -4 =18)[games]
Ding Liren13.5/27(+7 -7 =13)[games]
Ian Nepomniachtchi13/27(+7 -8 =12)[games]
Sergey Karjakin12.5/27(+6 -8 =13)[games]
Wei Yi12/27(+5 -8 =14)[games]
Veselin Topalov8.5/27(+2 -12 =13)[games]
Bassem Amin8/27(+5 -16 =6)[games] Chess Event Description
Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz) (2019)

The Côte d’Ivoire Rapid & Blitz was the first stage of the 2019 Grand Chess Tour, with World Champion Magnus Carlsen heading a 10-player field that featured seven tour regulars and wild cards Wei Yi, Veselin Topalov and Bassem Amin. The event took place in the Pullman Abidjan Hotel in Abidjan, Ivory Coast from May 8-12 and had a $150,000 prize fund. The rapid section was a single round-robin with three rounds each day on the first three days (May 8-10). The time control was 25 minutes for all moves and a 10-second delay from move 1. The final two days (May 11-12) was a blitz double round-robin with 18 rounds of 5 minutes + 3-second delay. Rapid games counted double, with 2 points for a win and 1 for a draw. (1) The tournament had been made possible by a partnership between Vivendi SA, Canal+ Group and the Pullman Abidjan Hotel. It was the first tournament on the African continent to ever feature the participation of a reigning world chess champion.

Magnus Carlsen won with 26.5/27 and collected 13 Grand Chess Tour points (GP):

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts GP 1 Carlsen *** 1½1 200 2½½ 1½½ 2½1 2½½ 211 111 2½1 26½ 13 =2 Nakamura 1½0 *** 201 111 21½ 1½1 2½1 1½½ 2½1 00½ 23 9 =2 Vachier-Lagrave 011 010 *** 110 1½½ 211 2½1 1½0 201 211 23 9 4 So 0½½ 100 101 *** 1½1 1½½ 2½½ 2½½ 1½½ 2½½ 19½ 7 5 Ding Liren 1½½ 00½ 1½½ 1½0 *** 0½½ 200 211 11½ 210 18½ 6 6 Wei Yi 0½0 1½0 000 1½½ 2½½ *** 10½ 1½0 11½ 211 16½ 5 =7 Nepomniachtchi 0½½ 0½0 0½0 0½½ 011 11½ *** 10½ 1½1 211 15½ 3½ =7 Karjakin 000 1½½ 1½1 0½½ 000 1½1 11½ *** 101 111 15½ 3½ 9 Topalov 100 0½0 010 1½½ 10½ 10½ 1½0 110 *** 00½ 11½ 2 10 Amin 0½0 21½ 000 0½½ 001 000 000 100 21½ *** 10½ 1

Official site: ChessBase: TWIC:


 page 6 of 6; games 126-135 of 135  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
126. Nakamura vs Topalov  1-0552019Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz)A06 Reti Opening
127. Karjakin vs W So  ½-½712019Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz)A06 Reti Opening
128. I Nepomniachtchi vs Wei Yi  ½-½782019Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz)C42 Petrov Defense
129. Ding Liren vs Nakamura  ½-½222019Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz)E06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
130. M Vachier-Lagrave vs B Amin  1-0372019Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz)E11 Bogo-Indian Defense
131. Topalov vs Carlsen 0-1282019Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz)B33 Sicilian
132. I Nepomniachtchi vs Karjakin  ½-½322019Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz)C67 Ruy Lopez
133. Wei Yi vs B Amin  1-0572019Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz)A04 Reti Opening
134. Carlsen vs Ding Liren ½-½362019Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz)D02 Queen's Pawn Game
135. Carlsen vs B Amin 1-0382019Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz)C95 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Breyer
 page 6 of 6; games 126-135 of 135  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

I have a wee flutter on the horses every now ans then but only if it has chess name. Don't think it's a fixation, more like something I'm expected to do.

It's the wife who is the horse lover. She currently has shares in a race horse (cannot recall it's name - nothing chessy.). We had our own horse for about 10 years. Expensive things to keep horses, she rode it, I paid for it, but do not regret it.

Never been in a casino though there are two very near me. Agree with HeMateMe (and P.T.Barnum on that one.)


Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: <HeMateMe: "A sucker is born every minute..." P.T. Barnum.> - The similar saying in my country is: "The last idiot is yet to be born". :-)
May-15-19  john barleycorn: <Sokrates: ... The similar saying in my country is: "The last idiot is yet to be born". :-)>

Well, <HeMateMe> is the "last of the Moronicans". <Smørrebrød>, <Smørrebrød>, ram pam pam.

May-15-19  BOSTER: <AylerKupp>:<75%>. Kelly Criterion( a probability theory used by investors and gamblers) can give 94,8% Win Rate. It is human nature to want to be right. But in loss pos we have admit we were wrong with calculations.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<MrMelad> Thanks for the reference, I suppose you think it interests me because it references tensorflow. Is that right?>

Yes, that's right. And, frankly, I didn't even look at the article. Not because I wasn't interested but because I'm currently very busy doing other things. But I did download it and when I get a breather I'll teak a look at it, for curiosity if nothing else, but also hoping that I will learn something. After all, stranger things have happened.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Pedro Fernandez> By the way, Alydar defeated Affirmed in the Champagne Stakes, one out of the most important Gr.1 race for yearlings.>

Yes, Affirmed and Alydar competed against each other 10 times, and in each of those races one or the other horse finished first and the other one finished second. No doubt as to who were the two best horses in those races! That's one reason why the rivalry was so memorable, probably the best one in horse racing.

Of those 10 races Affirmed won 7 and Alydar won 3, with one of the Alydar victories due to a disqualification of Affirmed, who had finished first. But, to make it simpler and not to lose <Sokrates>, I decided to limit myself to the Triple Crown races.

Here is a nice article summarizing their 10 meetings: And here is a quote from the article which summarizes the difference between the two horses, both winners:

"As inseparable as the two horses might have been, there was one quality that best explains why Affirmed was able to prevail in 70 percent of the clashes.

Alydar oozed class, a strapping homebred from one of the sport’s most famous farms who had a devastating knockout punch – when he could deliver it. Affirmed, on the other hand, was more of a street fighter <whose will to win was unrivaled>. [Something that I think Fischer, Kasparov, and Carlsen have in common, and a necessary quality of a champion, even though sometimes it is taken to extremes]

There were nine times in Affirmed’s 29 career starts where his margin of victory or defeat was less than a length. He won all of them.

Alydar, meanwhile, was involved in seven races where he won or lost by less than a length. He lost all seven of them.

“I think Affirmed had a little edge over everybody,” said Cauthen, a 1994 Hall of Fame inductee who turned 56 on May 1. “He was a winner. He loved to win, he loved to fight. He was like that guy in a bar looking for a fight. He loved racing and he loved to fight horses off.

“Yet I have to hand it to Alydar. He never quit. He kept coming back, even in the Belmont. You can understand a horse giving up when he couldn’t get past a horse like Affirmed, but he never quit. That’s why I admired both horses.”

Since this will probably be my last post on this subject, I wanted to take the opportunity to mention Alberto Juantorena, probably the best Cuban runner of all time ( He was best in the world at the middle distances for several years, and is the only runner to win both the 400m and the 800m races in the same Olympics, 1n 1976.

Why am I mentioning this? His nickname was "El Caballo". :-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: Please, dear Chessgames,

What kind of score table is this? According to the official counting of points (rapid x 2, blitz x 1), it looks like this:

Carlsen: 26.5
Nakamura + MVL: 23
So: 19.5

... and so forth. That's why Naka & MVL shared the 2nd price. No?

May-16-19  john barleycorn: <Sokrates: ... it looks like this:

Carlsen: 26.5
Nakamura + MVL: 23
So: 19.5 ...>

So, it is Wethley, the thirth and not the fourth.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: Sorry for my lack of precision. Naka and MVL didn't share the price money - they both got $ 22,500 but in the official score they shared 2nd place, while So, of course, is no. 4 and certainly not 3.
May-16-19  john barleycorn: <Sokrates: Sorry for my lack of precision. Naka and MVL didn't share the price money - they both got $ 22,500 but in the official score they shared 2nd place, while So, of course, is no. 4 and certainly not 3.>

Well, I do not get this either.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: Yes, you do and so do I. It's not a conundrum, unless you want to pretend it is. :-|
May-16-19  john barleycorn: <Sokrates> kindly, explain what you wrote :

<Naka and MVL didn't share the price money - they both got $ 22,500 but in the official score they shared 2nd place>

what language is this? Danglish?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: No Mr. <john barleycorn>, insult me like this and you're ignored.
May-16-19  john barleycorn: <sokrates> you are not much of the man your screen name implies. anyway, ignore me.I will survive.
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: Sokrates - john barleycorn


Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <wordfunph>
<Sokrates - john barleycorn 1/2> After a series of only 8 posts? Will <not not> give them some clever nicknames like "Drawkrates" and "drawn barleycorn"?
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: <beatgiant>

after 8 boring moves of a Ruy Lopez - Ignore Variation..

they shook hands, signed their scoresheets, and went to a nearby bar.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

Anyone else like me think this Rapid and Blitz Grand Chess Tour is a farce.

About 20% of the 135 games have a no comment. This main thread contains little about the tournament. The history pf South Africa, Football, Horses, how to cook paella and Socrates and Sloop (J.B.) falling out over a point of grammar.

This clip shows you how seriously the players are taking this Grand Tour event.


May-17-19  technical win: The dogs bark, but the caravan passes.
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <AylerKupp:

Humans (but not computers, at least not yet) seem to like to bet on almost anything.>

Wanna bet?

Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <Sally Simpson: ***

Anyone else like me think this Rapid and Blitz Grand Chess Tour is a farce.>

I'm starting to think top chess is a farce.

May-17-19  john barleycorn: <diceman: ...

I'm starting to think top chess is a farce.>

going the way wrestling, football (soccer), or other sports were taking.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<BOSTER> Kelly Criterion (a probability theory used by investors and gamblers) can give 94,8% Win Rate.>

Thanks for the info. I was completely unaware of the Kelly Criterion. Not surprising since I don't do any direct investing but instead rely on fund managers to determine which stocks and bonds to buy and how much to buy of any one stock or bond. But it didn't surprise me that someone would have tried to formulate an optimum strategy for maximizing your return when making a series of bets. Maybe my only surprise is that it took as long as 1956 for someone to publish a paper (which I have yet to read) that describes a way to do that.

But from perusing the information I was able to quickly find, it seems that the Kelly Criterion is exactly that, optimizing your series of bets (or investments, which amounts to the same thing) to maximize your expected gains. So it really has nothing to do with what I was trying to achieve, i.e. correctly predicting the outcome of a series of games, one game at a time. I had naively assumed that any gains I might make would depend solely on the predicted results being correct 75% of the time (if I were able to achieve that goal) without considering the effect that changing odds on a game-by-game basis would have.

And I don't see anywhere in the papers that I glanced over or the admittedly superficial research that I did that addressed a win rate, not what that win rate would mean in the context of the Kelly Criterion. What does a 94.8% Win Rate (or any other Win Rate) mean? It don't think that it means that you are correct on 94.8% of your choices.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<john barleycorn> So, it is Wethley, the thirth and not the fourth.>

FWIW the official Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz) (2019) sit ( lists the following as the top 4 finishers and their prize money:

1 Magnus Carlsen, $ 37,500
T-2 Hikaru Nakamura, $ 22,500
T-2 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, $ 22,500
4 Wesley So, $ 15,000

I would have thought that it would be more correct to indicate that Nakamura and Vachier-Lagrave tied for 2nd/3rd place rather than just 2nd place since they split the combined 2nd place prize ($ 25,000) and 3rd place prize ($ 20,000) but that's just a quibble on my part.

May-18-19  john barleycorn: < What does a 94.8% Win Rate (or any other Win Rate) mean? >

a 5,2% loss rate? Chances as in American Roulette.

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