Round 9 - Final Report

As predicted, the players saved their best for last and treated us to a final round filled with high quality fighting chess.

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The top 3 boards

The first title contender to draw blood was Sargissian, who saw off the young GM-elect Rambaldi in convincing fashion, thus ending the Italian's excellent run. While the board 4 encounter between Movsesian and Adams was a rather uneventful draw, Fressinet took advantage of Naiditsch's overambitious play on board 2 to inflict a costly defeat on him with the black pieces. Howell's demolition of Kuzubov on board 5 was catching everyone's attention in the playing hall as the players faced off in a crazy time scramble. This game is well-worth replaying and this win also propelled England's number 2 into joint 4th place.

The board 1 clash between Nigel Short and Pentala Harikrishna was the last of the top encounters to finish, keeping everyone in suspense as to the outcome of not just the game but the tournament as a whole. The game first seemed to be heading to a rather balanced draw, but after a few inaccuracies Harikrishna suddenly found himself under a lot of pressure in the endgame. However, the Indian played defended tenaciously and eventually saved the much-coveted draw. With this result, Harikrishna joined Fressinet and Sargissian on 7/9 (since the prizes were shared, all three players won £6000), but he soon turned out to have the best tiebreak and was thus declared the winner of the 2015 PokerStars Isle of Man International Chess Tournament! Short meanwhile had to content himself with shared 4th place - alongside David Howell - which was still good enough for £1750 each.

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The last round in full swing

You can find both the details of all prize winners and the complete final standings on the official website. You will also find the final video report of the tournament (including interviews with Harikrishna, Fressinet, Houska and many others) on our YouTube Channel.

On a different note, a total of 7 norms were achieved during the tournament. Van Foreest, Swayams and Zumsande scored GM norms, while Merry, Basso and Koop earned IM norms, and Shvayger got a WGM norm.

Just like last year, the closing ceremony was a relaxed and informal affair, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all participants. After all the prizes had been awarded, Tournament Director Alan Ormsby earned himself another round of applause by announcing there would definitely be a 3rd edition of the tournament in 2016!

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Alan Ormsby getting a well-deserved round of applause

Below is just a selection of impressions from the prize giving, but you can find all the pictures from round 9 as well as of the closing ceremony on our online photo gallery.

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Winner of the Minor: Zahed Miah (Isle of Man)

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Winner of the Major: Valentin Gaudeau (France)

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Winner of the Ladies’ prize: Jovanka Houska (England)

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10 players in joint 6th place (Rambaldi is missing because he won a rating prize)

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In joint 4th place: Howell and Short (both from England)

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In joint first place: Sargissian (Armenia), Fressinet (France) and Harikrishna (India)

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Tournament winner Pentala Harikrishna

Many congratulations to all the winners and see you all next year! regular smile

Fiona Steil-Antoni

"I play and prepare on"
GM Hikaru Nakamura
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Latest News

Round 9 Report
Published: 29 Oct 2018

Round 9 Report

John Saunders reports: the 2018 Isle of Man International was won by Radoslaw Wojtaszek of Poland after a play-off match with Arkadij Naiditsch of Azerbaijan. The two players led going into the last round and drew their ninth round game to finish on 7/9 while none of the four players on 6/8 managed to win in order to tie with them. They each take home a cheque for £37,500 with Wojtaszek also receiving a further £500 for winning the blitz play-off. The initial two-game blitz was tied on 1-1 but Wojtaszek chose White in the Armageddon game and duly won. Seven players finished on 6½: Vladimir Kramnik, Alexander Grischuk (both Russia), Hikaru Nakamura, Jeffery Xiong (both USA), Wang Hao (China), Gawain Jones (England) and Baskaran Adhiban (India).

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Round 8 Report
Published: 28 Oct 2018

Round 8 Report

John Saunders reports: another pulsating day’s chess saw four 2700+ rated players bite the dust, all bar one beaten by players less highly rated than themselves, and in one case more than 200 points adrift. Two leaders emerge from the smoke of battle, Arkadij Naiditsch (Azerbaijan) and Radoslaw Wojtaszek (Poland), who now both have 6½/8, while four more players are half a point behind them and are still in with a chance of a share in the top prize – Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France), Wang Hao (China), Gawain Jones (England) and Jeffery Xiong (USA).

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Round 7 Report
Published: 27 Oct 2018

Round 7 Report

John Saunders reports: another remarkable round at the Villa Marina saw the number of leaders increase by one – the same names as per the round six leader board, plus England’s perennial numero uno, Mickey Adams. There was some fantastic chess played, which it gives me great pleasure to report upon. Before we move on, let’s just record the seven leaders’ names for the record: Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France), Hikaru Nakamura (USA), Radoslaw Wojtaszek (Poland), Wang Hao (China), Arkadij Naiditsch (Azerbaijan), Mickey Adams (England) and Jeffery Xiong (USA) all have 5½ out of 7.

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