Tuesday, January 8, 2008

2nd ACP World Rapid Cup

This 16 player knock-out event took place January 4-7, 2008 - wedged in close to the start of Corus' super tournament. Perhaps the sentimental favorite of the event, former World Champion GM Anatoly Karpov, was knocked out in his first round, losing to GM Alexander Grischuk 1.5/2.5. The sole chess femme in the event, GM Judit Polgar, who will be playing in the "A" Event at Corus, was knocked out in the first round by one of the kid-wonders, GM Sergey Karjakin, 0/2. This is shocking to me because Polgar cut her eye-teeth playing rapid chess, speed chess, blitz, etc. for fun and games! Teimour Radjabov overcame Alexander Grischuk in a blitz playoff to win the final 2.5-1.5. Now - about the money. Unfortunately, the official website, although promising to provide an English translation, does not provide English on anything other than what appears to be the "news" page! Oh well. I know that the total purse was $136,000 USD - a VERY nice pay day for the players. Here's what I found in Russian (Cyrillic alphabet): Общий призовой фонд турнира составляет 136000 USD. Призы распределяются следующим образом: 4,000 USD каждому игроку, выбывшему в первом туре; 6,000 USD каждому игроку, выбывшему в четвертьфинале; 10,000 USD каждому игроку, выбывшему в полуфинале; 20,000 USD занявшему второе место; 40,000 USD победителю. It thus appears that Radjabov won $40,000 USD. Polgar (and the other players knocked out in the first round) took home $4,000 USD. Not mentioned if what appearance fee, if any, she (and the others) may have earned for participating in this event. Publishing AFs is a big TABOO in the chess world - for obvious reasons :) It could very well be that with this big of a pay-off for relatively small effort in a short tournament, the prize money was sufficient and no AFs were needed to lure any of the big-name players who participated. How will Polgar do at Corus? I am an admirer, and hope springs eternal, but I'm not expecting her to have outstanding results. I'm not saying JP's time has passed, but there are many MORE hungry players out there than JP is these days. I'm very interested to see how Hou Yifan and Koneru Humpy perform in the "B" event.

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