When we left off yesterday in our Cap d'Agde recap, Anatoly Karpov had drawn the first game of his semi-final with Mariya Muzychuk while Etienne Bacrot had defeated Vassily Ivanchuk. After that, Karpov defeated Muzychuk in a long and eventful ending to make it to the final. First it was a knight vs. bishop ending, then a fascinating pawn ending, and then a queen ending Karpov pulled out after more than 100 moves. Bacrot then defeated Ivanchuk a second time, and Saturday's final was set.
Karpov and Bacrot drew both rapid games (25' + 10"), and so the match moved on to a blitz phase (), and only here did Karpov taste defeat for the first time in the entire tournament. Unfortunately for Karpov, he lost both games - and despite having won positions in both. In the first, blunders near the end cost the game, while in the latter he was still winning in the final position and so presumably lost on time. Alas - but that's blitz. Despite his tremendous success in the preliminary stage Karpov still came in second overall, but even so it was a fantastic result. Of course a very good result for Bacrot as well, and congratulations to both players are in order.