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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 1 of 6; games 1-25 of 135  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Carlsen vs W So 1-0402019Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz)D35 Queen's Gambit Declined
2. Ding Liren vs Wei Yi 0-1682019Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz)D85 Grunfeld
3. Topalov vs I Nepomniachtchi  ½-½422019Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz)C55 Two Knights Defense
4. B Amin vs W So 0-1452019Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz)B51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
5. Karjakin vs M Vachier-Lagrave ½-½372019Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz)B90 Sicilian, Najdorf
6. Carlsen vs Nakamura ½-½322019Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz)A18 English, Mikenas-Carls
7. W So vs Topalov  ½-½452019Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz)C65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
8. Wei Yi vs B Amin  1-0352019Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz)E00 Queen's Pawn Game
9. I Nepomniachtchi vs Carlsen 0-1472019Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz)B32 Sicilian
10. Nakamura vs M Vachier-Lagrave 1-0522019Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz)B23 Sicilian, Closed
11. B Amin vs Ding Liren  0-1772019Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz)C84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
12. Karjakin vs I Nepomniachtchi ½-½302019Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz)B98 Sicilian, Najdorf
13. Topalov vs Wei Yi  ½-½332019Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz)C42 Petrov Defense
14. M Vachier-Lagrave vs Ding Liren  ½-½362019Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz)A07 King's Indian Attack
15. Nakamura vs Karjakin  ½-½1032019Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz)C65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
16. Topalov vs Karjakin  ½-½302019Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz)D38 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation
17. Ding Liren vs I Nepomniachtchi 1-0512019Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz)D70 Neo-Grunfeld Defense
18. Nakamura vs Ding Liren 1-0382019Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz)C84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
19. Carlsen vs Topalov ½-½412019Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz)C47 Four Knights
20. M Vachier-Lagrave vs W So  ½-½352019Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz)C65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
21. I Nepomniachtchi vs Wei Yi  ½-½442019Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz)C42 Petrov Defense
22. Karjakin vs B Amin  ½-½502019Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz)C78 Ruy Lopez
23. Wei Yi vs W So  ½-½582019Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz)E04 Catalan, Open, 5.Nf3
24. B Amin vs Nakamura 1-0852019Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz)A07 King's Indian Attack
25. M Vachier-Lagrave vs Wei Yi 1-0432019Grand Chess Tour Cote d’Ivoire (Rapid & Blitz)C42 Petrov Defense
 page 1 of 6; games 1-25 of 135  PGN Download
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 10 OF 12 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-12-19  csmath: In traditional Chinese characters for his name (no pronunciation in English which could be anything) it would mean "great" but it depends on context.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Sokrates> My apologies. I meant to post this link for a while but I got tied up with other things.

Since you indicated that you had a complete ignorance of race horses, here's a summary. The most important series of thoroughbred horse races is the Triple Crown consisting of the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Belmont Stakes. The 3 races have been held since 1875 and since that time only 13 horses have won all 3 races and been labeled the Triple Crown winner although they haven't been named that officially since 1950.

So winning all 3 races is clearly a rarity, and the last winner since (spoiler alert! Secretariat) was Citation, 25 years earlier. The longest and hardest to win of the 3 races is the last one, the Belmont Stakes, and many a 2-race winner has faltered in the Belmont Stakes and failed to win the Triple Crown; just too long of a race after a strenuous racing season.

So this was Secretariat's performance in the Belmont Stakes: Keep in mind that winning a horse race by 2 or 3 lengths is considered decisive. So I will let you decide what adjective is proper for the margin of Secretariat's win in the 1973 Belmont Stakes.

Hint: to keep this post somewhat on-topic, in comparison Fischer's 11-0 and 3.5 point victory margin in the 1963/64 US Championship could be considered "close" or, in horse racing terms, a photo finish.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: Apologies not needed at all, <AylerKupp>. I am, on the other hand, grateful for your enlightenment on the horse wonder. Thank you!

One iota on horses I did notice in my life was the famous horses (Alexander's Bucephalos and the likes). Horses, as a sort of symbolic enhancement of its famous owner. Equestrian statues are a chapter in themselves in the genre of sculpture and heroic depictions.

We have yet to see, though, a present or former world champion in chess on a horse (alive or in a statue), even if horses have their destinctive role at the chess board. :-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: Carlsen still rated no. 1 in all three time formats. True, he's only 1.4 p. ahead of MVL in the blitz, but Carlsen is 63 p. ahead of no. 2 in rapid (Nakamura) and 56.7 ahead of no. 2 in classics (Caruana).

The difference between Carlsen and MVL in the other formats is:

Classic: 96.7
Rapid: 90.8

I think Carlsen can live with the blitz difference.

May-12-19  csmath: Ad Incitatus, Llamrei, Hengroen, Palomo, Veillantif, Genitor, Marengo, Othar, Strategos and Babieca to the list of famous horses.

I'll take Incitatus for my money as he was a horse hair away from being a SPQR Consul and did not die in a battle.

May-12-19  Atking: Of course Carlsen is the boss however MVL 2nd with Nakamura come as the wonderful surprise.
Premium Chessgames Member
  parmetd: Although it's just blitz Carlsen has two losses for the year.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: <csmath: Ad Incitatus, Llamrei, Hengroen, Palomo, Veillantif, Genitor, Marengo, Othar, Strategos and Babieca to the list of famous horses. ...>

Gee, what a wealth of fantasy in the namesgiving of horses. If only mankind would treat all animals like they treat their horses, dogs and other selected pet animals, who get a special privilege by given a name. What if we put names on the supermarket meat? Who would choose a hen named Theresa or a roastbeef saying "This was a part of Boris"? What a sacrilege, right? :-) And no, I am not a vegetarian at all - as all other meat-eaters I have a double standard. :-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Man of War's only loss was to Upset.
May-13-19  bamaexpert: One other horse with a noble, majestic name, who won 2 legs of the triple crown: Smarty Jones. (whose great great grandfather happened to be Secretariat).
May-13-19  LameJokes:

Seabiscuit was not considered a race horse. He was used to train the other horses. When he was unleashed on the race course, he created a magic of his own.

Who is the Seabiscuit from the chess world? He doesn't get too many tournament invites. Some chess fans believe Artemiev.

May-13-19  LameJokes:

Congratulations Carlsen!

He should pose on PAPER magazine with a goat. In the chess world, there is no Ronaldo to challenge him.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

Hi AlyerKupp,

"... to keep this post somewhat on-topic" I would not worry about it. Any subject off topic from rapid/blitz chess is welcome relief.

Famous pic of Fischer with a couple of Icelandic Ponies.


and Karpov with a horse.

There are also horses out there called Karpov, Kasparov and Korchnoi (quite possibly a Magnus Carlsen - if not it will happen.)

If I spot any race horse with a chess link, I put money on it no matter what the price. (Usually bet £1.00 e/way) result is bit a like my chess, sometimes I win...often I lose.

(How about doing something worth while - drop this chess computer stuff and program a horse winning predictor - you could give each horse a rating and use Prof Elo's calcualtions to get me winners.)


May-13-19  BOSTER: < csmath>:< in blitz you really do not have time to think properly>. But the intuition is more fast even horses in Kentuky.

click for larger view

In this pos Calsen played last move 49...Nd1, expecting stalemate if Kxd1.But MVL played in- between move 50.g4+ and then Kxd1.50.Nd7 was the best.

May-13-19  bamaexpert: Maybe Mr. Ed should be in the World Championship candidate's cycle:
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: LOL - great find! Thanks, <bamaexpert>. This, and the incredible knowledge of <Sally S> takes the horse-chess combo to unfathomable heights.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Another pair of titans from the Thoroughbred milieu who have gone unmentioned in all this: Affirmed and Alydar.
May-13-19  Pedro Fernandez: <<OhioChessFan>: Man of War's only loss was to Upset.> Yes my friend <OCF>. Didn't see you my yesterday reply? There the answer is encrypted.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Sokrates> Now for the flip side. Secretariat was far and away the dominant horse in the 1973 Triple Crown races; like Fischer in 1966 – 1972 (7 straight years ranked #1, once equal #1 with Spassky), Kasparov in 1983 – 2006 (23 straight years ranked #1, once equal #1 with Kramnik), and Carlsen since 2009 (10 years ranked #1 so far). In 1978 there were two equally dominant horses in the Triple Crown races, Affirmed and Alydar.

Two very different horses; Affirmed liked to get in front and stay there, and Alydar preferred to stay back and charge at the finish. Affirmed won all 3 races in the 1978 Triple Crown as shown below:

Kentucky Derby: Affirmed wins by 1½ lengths:

Preakness: Affirmed wins by 1 head:

Belmont Stakes: Afirmed wins by ½ head:

And here was the final margin of victory of Affirmed over Alydar at the Belmont Stakes

Similar to Karpov vs. Kasparov in their 1984 through 1990 WCC matches. Kasparov outscored Karpov by only 1 point, 73 to 72, or at least would have had draws counted in their 1984 match. Yet Kasparov didn't lose any of those matches, winning 3, tying 1 (and retaining his title), and not losing the 1984 match in spite of getting behind 5 – 0.

So the question is: What is more impressive; being clearly dominant in all your competitions and win each of them convincingly or be faced with an equal or nearly equal opponent and manage to always win at the end by virtue of wanting to win more than your opponent? That's entirely subjective without a right or a wrong opinion.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Sally Simpson> Thanks for the links to Fischer and Karpov with equine friends. I know I've posted this link before but it's the closest I have to a picture of myself with a porcine equivalent: Aylerkupp / Rybka.

And you should have figured out that in such a potentially profitable area as horse racing there have been attempts to apply the Elo rating system to try to predict the winners of horse races, at least for harness racing ( and And, no surprise, for human runners as well: But I didn't find anything worthwhile attempting to rate thoroughbred horses using an Elo-like system before I lost interest.

And, although it's not Elo related, the factors involved in trying to determine which horse has a higher rating (and therefore presumably a higher probability of victor) seem like good candidates for an equine evaluation function; see

Finally, I'm sure that <MrMelad> would be interested in this one:

So I'm afraid that I will have to stick with my attempts to try to predict the outcome of chess games using Elo ratings and TPRs. My goal is to reach an accuracy of 75% correct predictions.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <perfidious> Another pair of titans from the Thoroughbred milieu who have gone unmentioned in all this: Affirmed and Alydar.>

I had already planned to enhance <Sokrates>'s education with my post above but you beat me to it. So consider them mentioned. And hopefully you'll approve of my comparing the Affirmed vs. Alydar relationship to the Kasparov vs. Karpov WCC match relationship.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I liked the movie <Sea Biscuit> Toby Maguire (Peter Parker) played the jockey for the long shot horse. The horse's trainer: "Our jockey is too big and our horse is too small." I liked that assessment.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

Hi AylerKupp,

<"My goal is to reach an accuracy of 75% correct predictions.">

A 75% correct horse race prediction over a season will make us rich.

A lot richer than if you devote all your energy trying to predict the result of a game of chess between two humans for no apparent reason, certainly not for any financial gain.

I did look at but their system has more holes in it Blackburn Lancashire.

I've done some of my own calculating, it should not take you more than 4 weeks to get a viable program up and running...what are you waiting for.

(with my share I am going to buy C.G. and delete these posts so no one else will get the same idea.)


Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <AK>, your analogy is very definitely bang on.

If <Geoff> can make good on 75 per cent of his picks, he really should lay down 1000 quid a few times a week and thereby secure his retirement.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: To my learned fellows, <AylerKupp>, Geoff, <perfidious> et al. I thank you kindly for sharing your great knowledge on race horses, arming me with names and results should the issue ever occur in the company of my friends or family. Alas, it's not likely to happen (unless I bring it up myself!), since I have never traced the faintest interest on this issue among them.

Frankly, I am quite surprised that you and others here find horse racing such an attractive "sport", but others in my circles are equally surprised of (or rather: indifferent to) my interest in chess, mechanical watches, and Greek antiquity. Dare I ask you - as one last question on the issue - WHY you find horse racing so worth while of your attention? What is it? Is it the horses, their physics, their breed etc. Is it the exitement of the race, knowing about the competitors. Is it what Geoff names "financial gain"? Thanks in advance.

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