NH Tournament: Rising Stars beat Experience Grandmasters 26½-23½

9/3/2007 – After ten tough rounds of top-level chess it was the younger players – Karjakin, Cheparinov, Smeets, Stellwagen and Negi – who were victorious. The veterans battled to within a single point, but a 1½-3½ disaster in the last round spoiled it for them. The best player was Sergey Karjakin (score: 7/10, performance: 2759), who earned a ticket to the Amber tournament next year. Final report.

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From Wednesday, August 22 to Saturday, September 1, the legendary Hotel Krasnapolsky in the very heart of Amsterdam, is the venue of the NH Chess Tournament. It’s a Scheveningen team tournament in which a team of five "Rising Stars" crosses swords with a team of five "Experienced Grandmasters". The best youngster will get an invitation to the 2008 Amber Rapid and Blindfold spectacle.

First half report

 
6th round – Tuesday August 28th
Parimarjan Negi
0-1
Alexander Beliavsky
Jan Smeets
½-½
Pedrag Nikolic
Daniel Stellwagen
0-1
Alexander Khalifman
Ivan Cheparinov
1-0
Artur Jussupow
Sergey Karjakin
1-0
Ljubomir Ljubojevic
7th round – Wednesday August 29th
Alexander Beliavsky
½-½
Jan Smeets
Pedrag Nikolic
1-0
Daniel Stellwagen
Alexander Khalifman
0-1
Ivan Cheparinov
Artur Jussupow
0-1
Sergey Karjakin
Ljubomir Ljubojevic
½-½
Parimarjan Negi
8th round – Thursday August 30th
Daniel Stellwagen
½-½
Alexander Beliavsky
Ivan Cheparinov
0-1
Pedrag Nikolic
Sergey Karjakin
½-½
Alexander Khalifman
Parimarjan Negi
½-½
Artur Jussupow
Jan Smeets
1-0
Ljubomir Ljubojevic
9th round – Friday August 31st
Alexander Beliavsky
0-1
Ivan Cheparinov
Pedrag Nikolic
½-½
Sergey Karjakin
Alexander Khalifman
½-½
Parimarjan Negi
Artur Jussupow
1-0
Jan Smeets
Ljubomir Ljubojevic
1-0
Daniel Stellwagen
10th round – Saturday September 1st
Sergey Karjakin
1-0
Alexander Beliavsky
Parimarjan Negi
½-½
Pedrag Nikolic
Jan Smeets
½-½
Alexander Khalifman
Daniel Stellwagen
1-0
Artur Jussupow
Ivan Cheparinov
½-½
Ljubomir Ljubojevic


The setup at the NH Tournament in Amsterdam

Round six: Four decided games and one that easily could have gone either way. When the dust had settled the sixth match between the Rising Stars and the Experience team had ended in a 2½-2½ tie. The overall score was now 15½-14½ in favour of the Rising Stars. In the individual standings Sergey Karjakin joined Artur Jussupow in the lead. With four rounds to go the Ukrainian top-seed seemed to be on course to win the invitation to the 2008 Amber tournament in Monaco.


What's going on here? Just Dutch photographer Fred Lucas at work

Round seven: Thanks to a 3-2 win the Rising Stars increased their lead over the Experience team to two points. With three rounds to go the overall score was 18½-16½ in favour of the youngsters. The fight for the coveted ticket to Monaco seemed to have narrowed down to a direct duel between Sergey Karjakin and Ivan Cheparinov (although Jan Smeets could not yet be counted out). They both impressed in round seven with black wins over Artur Jussupow and Alexander Khalifman respectively.


Indian super-talent Parimarjan Negi, 14, held former FIDE world champion Alexander Khalifman to a draw in round eight

Round eight: With a 2½-2½ tie the Rising Stars maintained their two-point lead over the Experience team. With two rounds to go the overall score was 21-19 in favour of the youngsters. The fight for the invitation to the 2008 Amber tournament took a dramatic turn when Ivan Cheparinov lost his white game against Predrag Nikolic. With 5½ points from 8 games Sergey Karjakin kept the best chances to play Amber, but Jan Smeets was only half a point behind after his victory over Ljubomir Ljubojevic.


Tough battle: Ivan Cheparinov (right) defeats Alexander Beliavsky to stay in contention

Round nine: With a 3-2 win the Experience team reduced the advantage of the Rising Stars to a single point, 23-22. With one round to go the race looked open again, although the youngsters had a considerable advantage on the final day when they defend their lead playing with the white pieces in all games. Sergey Karjakin continued to lead in the fight for the invitation to the 2008 Amber tournament. His only real challenger in the last round would be Ivan Cheparinov, who was trailing by half a point after a hard-fought win over Alexander Beliavsky.If two members of the Rising Stars team finished on top with the same number of points the ticket to Amber 2008 was to be decided in a blitz play-off.


Outing: Rising stars Negi, Karjakin, Stellwagen, accompanied by chaperone Yasser Seirawan (blue shirt), take a boat trip on Amsterdam's famous canals ("grachten")

Round ten: With a convincing 3½-1½ win against the Experience team the Rising Stars secured overall victory in the final round of the NH Chess Tournament. After ten rounds the youngsters triumphed 26½-23½. Sergey Karjakin finished first in the individual standings with a score of 7 out of 10. As the best player of the Rising Stars team the 17-year-old Ukrainian earned an invitation to the 2008 Amber Blindfold and Rapid Tournament.


17-year-old Sergey Karjakin in his impressive last-round win over veteral Alexander Beliavsky

Final table

In the final overall standings young (17 years old) Sergey Karjakin of Ukraine finished on top, clearing his nearest rival by a full point.

Sergey is rated 2678 and is ranked number 35 of all players in the world. On the Playchess server he is currently the second-highest rated player in blitz. Playchess has 215,000 registered members, with a total of 224 million (you better believe it) games played so far.


See you at the Amber tournament in Monaco: Sergey Karjakin

Full schedule and all results

1st round – Wednesday August 22nd
Alexander Beliavsky
½-½
Parimarjan Negi
Pedrag Nikolic
0-1
Jan Smeets
Alexander Khalifman
½-½
Daniel Stellwagen
Artur Jussupow
½-½
Ivan Cheparinov
Ljubomir Ljubojevic
½-½
Sergey Karjakin
2nd round – Thursday August 23rd
Jan Smeets
½-½
Alexander Beliavsky
Daniel Stellwagen
½-½
Pedrag Nikolic
Ivan Cheparinov
½-½
Alexander Khalifman
Sergey Karjakin
½-½
Artur Jussupow
Parimarjan Negi
½-½
Ljubomir Ljubojevic
3rd round – Friday August 24th
Alexander Beliavsky
0-1
Daniel Stellwagen
Pedrag Nikolic
½-½
Ivan Cheparinov
Alexander Khalifman
½-½
Sergey Karjakin
Artur Jussupow
1-0
Parimarjan Negi
Ljubomir Ljubojevic
0-1
Jan Smeets
4th round – Saturday August 25th
Ivan Cheparinov
½-½
Alexander Beliavsky
Sergey Karjakin
1-0
Pedrag Nikolic
Parimarjan Negi
½-½
Alexander Khalifman
Jan Smeets
0-1
Artur Jussupow
Daniel Stellwagen
1-0
Ljubomir Ljubojevic
5th round – Sunday August 26th
Alexander Beliavsky
½-½
Sergey Karjakin
Pedrag Nikolic
1-0
Parimarjan Negi
Alexander Khalifman
½-½
Jan Smeets
Artur Jussupow
1-0
Daniel Stellwagen
Ljubomir Ljubojevic
½-½
Ivan Cheparinov
6th round – Tuesday August 28th
Parimarjan Negi
0-1
Alexander Beliavsky
Jan Smeets
½-½
Pedrag Nikolic
Daniel Stellwagen
0-1
Alexander Khalifman
Ivan Cheparinov
1-0
Artur Jussupow
Sergey Karjakin
1-0
Ljubomir Ljubojevic
7th round – Wednesday August 29th
Alexander Beliavsky
½-½
Jan Smeets
Pedrag Nikolic
1-0
Daniel Stellwagen
Alexander Khalifman
0-1
Ivan Cheparinov
Artur Jussupow
0-1
Sergey Karjakin
Ljubomir Ljubojevic
½-½
Parimarjan Negi
8th round – Thursday August 30th
Daniel Stellwagen
½-½
Alexander Beliavsky
Ivan Cheparinov
0-1
Pedrag Nikolic
Sergey Karjakin
½-½
Alexander Khalifman
Parimarjan Negi
½-½
Artur Jussupow
Jan Smeets
1-0
Ljubomir Ljubojevic
9th round – Friday August 31st
Alexander Beliavsky
0-1
Ivan Cheparinov
Pedrag Nikolic
½-½
Sergey Karjakin
Alexander Khalifman
½-½
Parimarjan Negi
Artur Jussupow
1-0
Jan Smeets
Ljubomir Ljubojevic
1-0
Daniel Stellwagen
10th round – Saturday September 1st
Sergey Karjakin
1-0
Alexander Beliavsky
Parimarjan Negi
½-½
Pedrag Nikolic
Jan Smeets
½-½
Alexander Khalifman
Daniel Stellwagen
1-0
Artur Jussupow
Ivan Cheparinov
½-½
Ljubomir Ljubojevic

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