From Kiev life it's – Nigel Short vs Sergey Karjakin

7/3/2008 – The event is taking place in the Academic Puppet Theatre, lasts five days and encompasses ten rapid chess games between the former world championship challenger and a former record-breaking child prodigy. After an evening of press conferences and wild festivities it was the younger player who started with a clearer head. Karjakin won both games.

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From 3rd to 7th of July, 2008 British Grandmaster Nigel Short, former World Championship challenger, and Sergey Karyakin, who at twelve became the youngest grandmaster in history, are playing a ten-game rapid chess match in Kiev (Kyiv). The venue is the Kyiv Academic Puppet Theatre, Grushevskogo Str., 1a, Kyiv. It is the oldest puppet theatre in Ukraine, established in 1927, and today pays host to puppet theatres from Belgium, Austria, Canada, Slovakia, Finland, Japan, China, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, Russia, Moldova, Turkey and other countries.


Press conference before the match, with Nigel Short, Tansu Yegen, the General Manager of the sponsor "life:)", Sergey Karjakin, arbiter Oleg Tovchiga, commentators Vladimir Tukmakov and Genna Sosonko


Nigel Short speaks to the journalists and spectators: Sergey Karjakin is the favourite


You really think so, Nigel? Yes, of course, especially since it is a rapid chess match


Two great players and chess thinkers: Vladimir Tukmakov and Genna Sosonko


At the reception Nigel Short with former FIDE world champion Ruslan Ponomariov, against whom Nigel once played a secret training match (on the left is Ruslan's sister Ljudmila)

The above pictures were thankfully provided by Anatoliy Yavorskiy, press officer of the Ukrainian Chess Federation and Chief Editor of the sport website SportOboz.


Sergey Karjakin, reading a chess magazine at the inaugural party


Ruslan Ponomariov and sis Ljudmila at the party


Local glamour at the life:) chess event


Male as well as female


Cool dudes Ukrainian style – shades are in, in all shapes and colours


And fine musical entertainment, with Tina Karol, a very popular Ukrainian singer

The second batch of pictures was provided by the leading TV programm Svitske zhittya (High society Life).

The first day

Karjakin,Sergey (2727) - Short,N (2655) [B12]
Rapid Match Kiev UKR (1), 03.05.2008
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.Nf3 cxd4 5.Nxd4 e6 6.Bd3 Nc6 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.0-0 Ne7 9.c4 Ng6 10.Qe2 Be7 11.f4 0-0 12.Nd2 a5 13.Nf3 Ba6 14.Be3 a4 15.Rac1 Qb8 16.Rc2 Rd8 17.Rfc1 c5 18.h4 Nf8 19.cxd5 Bxd3 20.Qxd3 Rxd5 21.Qe4 Nd7 22.h5 Ra7 23.Nd2 Ra6 24.Qf3 f6 25.exf6 Nxf6 26.h6 gxh6 27.Bxc5 Bxc5+ 28.Rxc5 Rxc5 29.Rxc5 Qb6 30.Qf2 Ng4 31.Qd4 Qd6 32.Rc8+ Kf7 33.Qh8 Nf6 34.Nf3

Black has been under constant pressure but has survived so far. Now comes a fatal error: 34...Kg6? This ignores the threat of the knight check on e5. The best defence was 34...Ra5, after which 35.Ne5+ is met by 35...Rxe5 36.fxe5 Qd4+ and draw by perpetual. But now it is Black's turn to err: 35.Rf8? White had a clear win with 35.Ne5+ Kf5 36.g4+ Ke4 37.Rc4+ (37.Qxf6? Qd1+ and perpetual check) 37...Ke3 38.Rc3+ Ke4 39.Qxf6+–. 35...Qxf4 36.Rg8+. Now 36...Nxg8 37.Qxg8+ Kf5 is probably a draw. But Nigel is hit by a fit of nerves and zeitnot...

36...Kh5?? Oops, a deadly mistake that loses instantaneously. The refutation, however, is so simple we do not need to give it here. 1-0. [Click to replay]

The second game was another tragedy for Nigel Short:

Short,N (2655) - Karjakin,Sergey (2727) [B23]
Rapid Match Kiev UKR (2), 03.05.2008
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.f4 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bc4 Nc6 6.d3 e6 7.0-0 Nge7 8.a3 0-0 9.Ba2 Nd4 10.Kh1 Bd7 11.Bd2 Nec6 12.Ng5 h6 13.Nh3 b5 14.Rc1 a5 15.Nb1 b4 16.c3 b3 17.Bxb3 Nxb3 18.Qxb3 Rb8 19.Qa2 e5 20.f5 gxf5 21.exf5 Qf6 22.g4 Qh4 23.Nf2 c4 24.Rce1 Ne7 25.Re3 Bc6+ 26.Kg1 Nd5 27.Rh3 Qd8 28.dxc4 Nf4 29.Bxf4 exf4 30.b4 Re8 31.Qd2 Re3 32.Rxe3 fxe3 33.Qxe3 Qf6 34.Re1 h5 35.b5 Ba8 36.Qe7 Rc8 37.Qxf6 Bxf6 38.gxh5 Kh7 39.Ng4 Bh4 40.Rd1 Bf3 41.Rd4 Re8 42.Nd2 Re1+ 43.Nf1 Rc1 44.Nge3 Be1 45.Rxd6 Rxc3 46.a4 Rb3

The experienced British grandmaster has completely outplayed his talented young opponent. He is now nominally four pawns up (count them) and has an easy win with almost any move – best of all 47.Nc2. 47.Rd2? We have no idea how this came about – on the server one would assume it was a mouse slip. 47...Bxd2 48.Nxd2 Rxe3 49.Kf2 Rc3 50.Nxf3 Rxc4.

White has ended up with a knight and three pawns for a rook, but his a-pawn is doomed and his position looks grim. Perhaps he was betting on a kingside attack: 51.Ng5+ Kg7 52.h6+ Kxh6 53.Nxf7+ Kg7 54.Nd8 Rxa4 55.Nc6 Ra2+ 56.Ke3 a4 57.Kd4 Rb2 58.Kc4 a3 59.Nb4

It's hopeless, Serge Karjakin finishes the game with 59...Rxb4+ 60.Kxb4 a2 0-1. [Click to replay]

The final move in the first game was 37.Qxf6 and White cannot retake because of 37...Qxf6 38.g4 mate. In fact he will be mated anyway: 37...Qc1+ 38.Kh2 Qc7+ 39.Kh3 and mate to follow.

Current standing

Name
Rtng
G1
G2
G3
G4
G5
G6
G7
G8
G9
G10
Total
Sergey Karjakin
2741
1
1
2.0
Nigel Short
2655
0
0
0.0

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