Essent Wraps with Polgar and Shak on top.
By Macauley Peterson
October 30, 2006
From Essent to Corus - Macauley blogs from Holland
The Essent tournament culminated Saturday with two more wins by the
co-leaders and ultimate winnners, Judit Polgar and Shakhryar
Mamedyarov. Both turned in performance ratings solidly over 2900 to
finish with 4.5/6 in the double round robin, besting third place
Topalov by two full points.
Essent 2006 goes into the history books with an exceptional percentage
of decisive games. Just two of the twelve games ended in draws. Polgar
beat the soon-to-be-ex-2800 rated Topalov twice, including a wild last
round win with black.
Contrary to her first win last week ( see
Schaak, Awe & Poetry) in which she chased Topalov's king half way
across the board to its A-file demise, Saturday's final round featured
a successful king evacuation. Judit fled over nine squares before
reaching safe harbor on a6.
On the other glass-piece-adorned board, Ivan Sokolov mysteriously
simplified into a losing king and pawn ending against Mamedyarov, to
finish at a miserable 0.5/6, which allowed Mamedyarov a share of first
place. "Shak" had earlier beaten Polgar impressively, and edged her on
tiebreaks. A few minutes of video is available on the
Dutch Doggers-Schaak site.
Topalov will have a chace to reassert his position atop the rating
list back in Holland in January, at Corus. He may also avenge his world
championship loss to Kramnik, as the later has decided to play in Wijk
aan Zee after skipping 2006.
While the top grandmaster boards will be absent stars and stripes (no
Americans are playing this year), the field will be the strongest in
2007 with 6 of the world's top 10 participating.
Macauley Peterson is a writer and filmmaker from New York exploring
Holland and can be reached at Macauley Peterson.com