Throwback Thursday: Ivanchuk wins the 2016 World Rapid Championship – Chessbase News

Grandmaster Chess

Few players are as universally appreciated as VasylMykhaylovych Ivanchuk. At 52, the man fromKopychyntsi still belongs to the top 100 in the world ranking, while few doubtthat, on a good day, he could still beat any player from the elite. The Ukrainian genius has won super-tournaments inLinares andWijk aan Zee, the Tal Memorial, the Gibraltar Masters and the M-Tel Masters, just to name a few of his numerous achievements.

Already in July 1991, at 22, Chuky reached the second spot in the ranking, while he repeated the same feat no fewer than 16 years later, in October 2007. During the 1990s, Garry Kasparov mentioned that Ivanchuk was one of the players he feared the most. After all, in a memorable edition of the Linares tournament, a 21-year-old Ivanchuk had defeated the then world champion on his way to tournament victory. Kasparov told Business Insider in 2017,explainingwhat separates a good chess player from a great one:

And then you go to the very top, and the difference is so minimal, but it does exist. So even a few players who never became world champion, like Vassily Ivanchuk, for instance, I think they belong to the same category.

Not only is Ivanchuk respected by his colleagues for his remarkable results but also for his commitment to creativity and innovation on the chessboard. Anand said of him:

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His playing style is unpredictable and highly original, making him more dangerous, but sometimes leading to quick losses as well.

In 2016, the Ukrainian won the World Rapid Championship in Doha, the capital of Qatar. With a score of 11/15, Ivanchuk edged Alexander Grischuk and Magnus Carlsen on tiebreak criteria. The event lasted three days with each game being played witha time control of 15 minutes plus 10-second increments.

A fan of poetry, it is apparent that Ivanchuk is not one to restrict himself from exploring areas of life other than chess that spark his curiosity. Not surprisingly, he has been attracted by the game of draughts: with a 1983 rating, he is currently the 52nd highest-rated Ukrainian player in the world.

At the closing ceremony of the World Championship in Doha, in typical Chuky style, the recently crowned rapid champion interrupted a game of draughts against another creative star, Baadur Jobava to receive his prize. And he did not stop calculating variations while on the podium which served him well, as he went on to win the game:

With 8/10 Ivanchuk started day 3 as sole leader, but at first had trouble to find his form. He started with a loss against Ian Nepomniachtchi and then played two draws in rounds 12 and 13.

After winning a topsy-turvy game in round 14 against Vishy Anand, he was sharing the lead with Alexander Grischuk, Shakriyar Mamedyarov, Nepomniachtchi and Magnus Carlsen. But Ivanchuk had the best tiebreak score and therefore onlyneeded a win in the last round to become the new world rapid champion.

In round 15 Ivanchuk played Hrant Melkumyan and, though the game had been balanced for a long time, Melkumyan finally went astray in an opposite-coloured bishop ending and Ivanchuk pounced to win the game and the title.

Second place went to Alexander Grischuk, world blitz champion in2006, 2012 and 2015, who had a strong finish. He started day 3 with two draws, but then won his last three games against Farrukh Amonatov, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Nepomniachtchi.

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Alexander Grischuk

Magnus Carlsen finished third.He started day 3 by losing a short and violent game with white against Anton Korobov shortly after the opening Carlsen miscalculated in a sharp position, and that was all Korobov needed to win in a devastating attack.

Carlsen resigns

Carlsen recovered and won his last four games. Particularly crucial was his game against Ian Nepomniachtchi in round 14. With 10/13 Nepomniachtchi led the field after 13 rounds, but Carlsen slowly outplayed him with the black pieces.

...106 players

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Garry Kasparov's rise to the top was meteoric and at his very first attempt he managed to become World Champion, the youngest of all time. In over six hours of video, he gives a first hand account of crucial events from recent chess history, you can improve your chess understanding and enjoy explanations and comments from a unique and outstanding personality on and off the chess board.

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Throwback Thursday: Ivanchuk wins the 2016 World Rapid Championship - Chessbase News

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