17-year-old Sergey leads Aerosvit Super-GM

6/26/2007 – Magnus the Magnificent has been in the news recently, but remember Sergey Karjakin? The child prodigy, youngest grandmaster in history (at twelve!)? He has been quitely doing his thing in the Second Aerosvit Super-GM, where he leads after seven rounds, ahead of Ivanchuk, Shirov and Svidler, with a 2856 performance.

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Karjakin leads in Second Aerosvit tournament

The event is taking place in the scenic surroundings of the Ukrainian town of Foros, near its more famous neighbour Yalta. In an illustrious 12-player field of super-GMs, with an average rating of  2694, includes Svidler, Ivanchuk, Jakovenko, Rublevsky and Shirov, the last two being finalists of the Elista Candidates Matches.

But it is the young Ukrainian star Sergey Karjakin who is stealing the show. With three wins and no losses he leads with 5.0 points after seven rounds. Vassily Ivanchuk is half a point behind him, with two wins and no losses.

Sergey the Young faced the his experienced compatriot Ivanchuk in the first round (picture). The latter chose a Sicilian Dragon and sacrificed an exchange. The game ended after a sharp fight in a perpetual 23 moves.

In round two Karjakin defeated Pavel Eljanov (picture above) with an interesting piece sacrifice on the black side of a Chebanenko Slav: 12...Nxf2!? 13.Kxf2 Bd6. Eljanov collapsed after just 28 moves.

In round three world championship candidate Sergei Rublevsky used his usual Sicilian Taimanov system against the lad, but only managed to draw in 27 moves. In round four Lenier Dominguez Perez of Cuba opted for a rare line of the Sicilian Najdorf (11.Nd5), to which Karjakin replied with a novelty (15...Bd8!?). A draw was agreed in a complex position three moves later.

In round five Karjakin met Alexei Shirov (picture), who got a perfectly acceptable position in a Neo-Archangelsk Variation of the Ruy Lopez.

Karjakin,Sergey (2686) - Shirov,A (2699) [C78]
Aerosvit Foros UKR (5), 22.06.2007
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Bc5 6.c3 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.a4 Bg4 9.h3 Bxf3 10.Qxf3 Na5 11.Bc2 b4 12.Qd1 Qb8 13.d4 b3 14.dxc5 bxc2 15.Qxc2 Nb3 16.Ra3 Nxc5 17.Re1 0-0 18.Nd2 a5 19.Nb3 Ne6 20.Be3 c6 21.f3 Re8 22.Bf2 Qc7 23.Nd2 d5 24.Rb3 Nf4 25.exd5 N6xd5 26.Kh2 Re6 27.Bg3 Rg6 28.Nf1 h5 29.c4 Nb4 30.Qf5 h4 31.Bxf4 exf4 32.Nd2 Rd8 33.Ne4 Re6 34.Qg5 f6 35.Qg4 Qf7 36.Qxh4

After some tense moments Karjakin has consolidated his position. The great fighter Shirov was probably unable to resign himself to a draw and continued over-optimistically: 36...Nc2?! 37.Re2 Nd4 38.Rd2 Rxe4 39.fxe4 Qxc4 40.Rdd3! Now Black is losing. In the game his position falls apart in five more moves: 40...Re8 41.Qh5 Rf8 42.Rbc3 Qxa4 43.Qc5 Ne2 44.Rd7 Re8 45.Qh5 with mate to follow – 1-0. Quite devastating for Shirov.

In round six the encounter Svidler-Karjakin (picture) ended in a fighting 29-move draw. In round seven Karjakin finished off top Dutch grandmaster Loek van Wely in a crowd-pleasing fashion.

Karjakin,Sergey (2686) - Van Wely,L (2674) [B90]
Aerosvit Foros UKR (7), 25.06.2007
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nf3 Be7 8.Bc4 0-0 9.0-0 Nc6 10.Re1 b5 11.Bf1 Rb8 12.Bg5 Ng4 13.Bc1 Qb6 14.Qd2 Nf6 15.h3 Re8 16.Qd1 h6 17.b3 Bf8 18.a4 b4 19.Nd5 Nxd5 20.exd5 Na5 21.Be3 Qc7 22.Nd2 f5 23.Nc4 Be7 24.Qh5 Rf8 25.Nxa5 Qxa5

26.Bxh6! gxh6 27.Qg6+ Kh8 28.Qxh6+ Kg8 29.Qg6+ Kh8 30.Re3 f4

You can probably see the best continuation here. Sergey finished off his opponent in five more moves.


The city of Foros on the beautiful Crimean coastline in Ukraine


The famous Foros Church of Christ Resurrection ("Church On The Rock")


The players visit this very impressive building, which was built in 1892


The interior with marbel arches, brass candle stands and gold plated icons


Hindu Krishnan Sasikiran admiring the beauty of a Russian Orthodox church

All pictures by courtesy of the official web site

The Karjakin-van Wely game ended 31.Rxe5 dxe5 32.Qh6+ Kg8 33.d6 Rf7 34.Bc4 Bf5 35.dxe7 1-0.


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