64th Russian Championship – Kramnik falls to Karjakin, three lead

by ChessBase
8/11/2011 – Vladimir Kramnik's fighting enthusiasm took a battering from a solid Sergey Karjakin in the only decisive game of the third round. After entering a difficult endgame, Kramnik missed a resource to liquidate into a draw, and instead strayed and lost. Of the three draws, Svidler-Grischuk was the most combative, in which Svidler pressed hard, though surgical precision saved Grischuk. Round three.

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Prize fund: 90.000€ (24.000 - 17.500 - 12.500 - 11.000 - 9.000 - 7.500 - 4.000 - 2.500)
Tourney mode: round robin with 7 rounds
Time mode: 90 minutes/40 moves + 30 minutes + 30 seconds/move starting with the 1st move.
Game start: 13:00, last round 11:00
Rest day: 12th August

64th Russian Championship Super Final

This year's Russian Championship Super Final also marks a special edition: the 64th. Oddly though, instead of some mega event with more, the tournament has been cut down from last year's eleven-round edition with twelve players to a mere seven rounds and eight players. Still, don't think that makes it a lesser event by any means, as it also brings together a fantastic field with Kramnik, Karjakin, Grischuk, Morozevich, Svidler, Nepomniachtchi, and Galkin for a 2715 average rating. Once more the Russian Federation hosts the championship at a level that few can rival, with high resolution video broadcasting and of course grandmaster commentary. Round one through four will be commented by GM Sergey Makarichev, while rounds five through seven will be commented on by world-famous coach Mark Dvoretsky.

Round three

One of the many banners at the venue displaying the sponsor logos

The Chigorinsky Hall is transformed into an impromptu television studio

A typical scene with Galkin the first to arrive and calmly waiting for the start

The press room empty prior to the start

Providing live commentary were journalist Mark Glukhovsky and GM Sergey Makarichev

Vladimir Kramnik's fighting enthusiasm took a battering from a solid Sergey Karjakin in the only decisive game of the third round. Kramnik, playing black in a Ruy Lopez Berlin, could have easily held his opponent but decided to experiment a bit. He came up with the inexplicable 39….c6 when he could have gone straight to a safe endgame with 39….fxg4 40. hxg4 Nf5+! 41. gxf5 Bf5 42. Nxg5 Bc2 – and Black cannot lose.

Kramnik is clearly not happy with his situation

Avid fans try to see what they would do in his shoes

Karjakin ignored the c6 pawn, snatched up the one on g5 and went on to win in another 19 moves. Rather a fortunate turn of events for Sergey!

[Event "64th ch-RUS"] [Site "Moscow RUS"] [Date "2011.08.10"] [Round "3"] [White "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Black "Kramnik, V."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C67"] [WhiteElo "2788"] [BlackElo "2781"] [PlyCount "117"] [EventDate "2011.08.08"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. Nc3 Bd7 10. h3 b6 11. a4 a5 12. g4 Ne7 13. Ng5 Be8 14. f4 h6 15. Nf3 g6 16. b3 Kc8 17. Bb2 Bg7 18. Ne4 c5 19. Ng3 Rg8 20. Kh2 Bd7 21. c4 Kb7 22. Rad1 Rad8 23. Rd3 Bc8 24. Rfd1 Rxd3 25. Rxd3 Re8 26. Ne4 Nc6 27. Kg3 Kb8 28. Bc3 Rd8 29. Rxd8 Nxd8 30. e6 Nxe6 31. Bxg7 Nxg7 32. Ne5 f5 33. Nf6 g5 34. Nc6+ Kb7 35. Nd8+ Kb8 36. Nc6+ Kb7 37. Nd8+ Kb8 38. fxg5 hxg5 39. Nh7 c6 $2 { An inexplicable choice.} ({Instead} 39... fxg4 40. hxg4 Nf5+ $3 {would lead to an easy draw after} 41. gxf5 (41. Kf2 Nd4) 41... Bxf5 42. Nxg5 Bc2 43. Nc6+ Kc8 44. Na7+ Kd7 45. Nb5 Bxb3 46. Nc3 Bxc4 $11) 40. Nxg5 Kc7 (40... fxg4 41. hxg4) 41. Ndf7 b5 $2 {The final mistake.} ({Black could still go for} 41... fxg4 42. hxg4 Nf5+ 43. gxf5 Bxf5 {though now after} 44. Nf3 Bc2 45. Nd2 b5 46. Kf3 bxa4 47. bxa4 Bxa4 48. Ke2 {it is much less clear though it probably offered the best practical chances.}) 42. Kf4 fxg4 43. hxg4 Ne6+ 44. Nxe6+ Bxe6 45. Ne5 Kd6 46. g5 bxa4 47. bxa4 Ke7 48. Nxc6+ Kd6 49. Nxa5 Kc7 50. Ke5 Bg8 51. Nb3 Bxc4 52. Nxc5 Kb6 53. Ne4 Bb3 54. Nc3 Bc2 55. Kf6 Kc5 56. g6 Kb4 57. g7 Bb3 58. Ne4 Bg8 59. Ke7 1-0

Sergei Karjakin provides post-game commentary for the audience

The other three games which ended in draws were mostly uneventful. Timofeev-Nepomniachtchi reached an even endgame after a flurry of exchanges in the Gruenfeld Defence where Artyom's double bishop pair failed to create any trouble on the board. Galkin-Morozevich's irregular opening was similarly fruitless.

The Slav between Grischuk-Svidler threw up a dynamic middlegame where white had a queen, bishop and knight for a queen and two bishops. Svidler played 34….Bd7 attacking White's weak a4 pawn to which Grischuk replied by tucking away his king to safety with 35. Kg1. Now 35….Qxa4 is met by 36. Qc7 and Bd6, while 35….Bxa4 runs into 36. Qc8 targetting the white squares. Nothing is very clear except that white seems to have a lot of play in return for the pawn. Svidler tried to put up a wall on the c-file with 35….Bc5 but Grischuk made all the right moves and split the point on move 41.

Svidler, Karjakin and Moro share the lead with two points each.

Photographs by Vladimir Barsky and Russian Federation (Russiachess.org)

Standings after three rounds


The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 11 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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