Karpov Poikovsky: No draws in round one

by Aditya Pai
5/28/2018 – The Karpov Poikovsky tournament went off to a flying start on Sunday as a decisive game was witnessed on every board: Vidit Gujrathi won in Karpovian style in his very first appearance in Poikovsky; Emil Sutovsky ground down Vladislav Kovalev in an 80 move marathon; Ian Nepomniachtchi and Dmitry Jakovenko won after winning a pawn a piece out of the opening; while Anton Korobov crushed Fedoseev's dubious opening. Here's an illustrated report with analysis. | Pictured: Anatoly Karpov | Photo: Georgios Souleidis

Master Class Vol.6: Anatoly Karpov Master Class Vol.6: Anatoly Karpov

On this DVD a team of experts looks closely at the secrets of Karpov's games. In more than 7 hours of video, the authors examine four essential aspects of Karpov's superb play.


Round 1

The 19th Karpov Poikovsky International kicked off on Sunday in Poikovsky, a small Siberian town in Russia. The 10 player round robin has a time control of 100 minutes for 40 moves, followed by 50 minutes for 20 moves and then 15 minutes until the end of the game, with a 30-second increment from move 1. The Russian star, GM Ian Nepomniachtchi headlines the field which includes a strong line-up of players like Dmitry Jakovenko, Vidit Gujrathi, Boris Gelfand etc.

Full list of Participants

Sr No.







Ian Nepomniachtchi





Dmitry Jakovenko





Vidit Santosh Gujrathi





Vladimir Fedoseev





Vladislav Artemiev





Boris Gelfand





Anton Korobov





Vladislav Kovalev





Emil Sutovsky





Victor Bologan



Vidit Gujrathi 1 – 0 Victor Bologan

Vidit Gujrathi’s game against Victor Bologan was the first one to finish. By rating, Vidit was the favourite, with almost 100 points over the Moldovan GM.  But while Vidit is playing the tournament for the first time, Bologan is no newcomer to Poikovsky; he has played and won this event more than once.

The game began as a Queen’s Indian where Vidit, after a slight misplay in the opening by Bologan, began mounting pressure on black’s position. Planting a knight deep into enemy lines on c6, Vidit conjured up an elegant kingside attack. The highlight of the game was Vidit’s exchange sac on move 25 which was very reminiscent of the positional sacrifices of the twelfth world champion in whose honour the tournament is conducted.


Bologan resigned five moves later. It seemed at first that the resignation might have come too early. But a closer look at the final position reveals that black is utterly paralyzed and playing on would only delay the inevitable.

Vidit Gujrathi and Victor Bologan during their first round game at the Karpov Poikovsky Tournament

Vidit kicked off with a fine win that featured a Karpovian exchange sac | Photo: ruchess.ru


IM Sagar Shah analyzes Vidit's game against Bologan | ChessBase India Youtube

Beat the Queen's Indian: The modern Fianchetto Line

This DVD is packed full of new, exciting and novel ideas; based on a repertoire starting with the moves 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 with g3! to follow.

Anton Korobov 1 – 0 Vladimir Fedoseev

An unusual version of the Torre Attack was seen in the game between Anton Korobov and Vladimir Fedoseev wherein the latter moved his queen’s pawn first to d6 and then to d5 on his fifth and sixth moves. Consequently, Fedoseev ended up in a difficult position right out of the opening.

Korobov tried generating play through the open f-file, offering a pawn on move 13. Fedoseev rejected the offered pawn, but this turned out to be a case of the cure being worse than the disease. Soon he found his pieces entangled and by the time he did manage to untangle his pieces and get his king castled, he had dropped an exchange.

Anton Korobov and Vladimir Fedoseev during their first round game at the Karpov Poikovsky Tournament

Korobov benefitted from his opponent's strange opening and went on to win a fine game | Photo: ruchess.ru


Torre Attack

The Torre Attack offers White a good opportunity to create lively, unbalanced play and to set Black problems from the very start.

Boris Gelfand 0 – 1 Ian Nepomniachtchi

Another opening debacle was seen in the game between Boris Gelfand and Ian Nepomniachtchi. Gelfand sacrificed a pawn in a symmetrical English but failed to follow up with the required energy. As a result, ‘Nepo’ succeeded in getting his pieces organized. Gelfand, in the meantime, had been spending an inordinate amount of time on his moves and by move 30 was a full hour behind on the clock. But these long thinks did not do much good to his position and on move 33 he dropped a full piece. He resigned after reaching the first time control.

Boris Gelfand during his first round game against Ian Nepomniachtchi at the Karpov Poikovsky Tournament

Gelfand had a bad day against Nepomniachtchi | Photo: ruchess.ru


English 1.c4 c5 for Black

When White doesn’t want to get involved into tons of theory, when he thinks that he is better than his opponent and can outplay him in a long game, then he uses 1.c4, the opening called English. 14 years ago Bologan started to play 1...c5 and until now he likes this move thanks to the rich type of positions arising after it, thanks to the aggressive and comfortable setups Black can get against the English Opening. “1...c5 is the best for Black!”

Dmitry Jakovenko 1 – 0 Vladislav Artemiev

The game between Dmitry Jakovenko and Vladislav Artemiev finished with a win for the former. Artemiev had essayed the Kan variation of the Sicilian and had remained with an isolated queen’s pawn out of the opening. Around move 20, Jakovenko was able to encircle and execute the isolani.


Make the moves on the live diagram

Artemiev could have kept things under control had he found the resource 20…Qc7, after which 21.Nxd4 could have been answered with 21…Nxd4 22.Rxd4 Rxd4 23.Qxd4 and now both 23…Nxf4 and 23…Rd8 24.Qe3 Qc5 25.Qxc5 bxc5 win back the pawn as after 26.Rf1, black has Rd2. But this did not happen and Jakovenko went on to convert his extra pawn into a full point.


The Sicilian Kan Variation

This dynamic and flexible opening starts with moves 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6. Through carefully selected games and analysis made for that system, the author will help you understand the opening without the need to memorize tons of moves.

Emil Sutovsky 1 – 0 Vladislav Kovalev

Tournament’s defending champion, Emil Sutovsky also won his inaugural game against Vladislav Kovalev after an 80 move marathon.  In the middle of a closed Ruy Lopez, Sutovsky was able to cement his knight on the c6 square and get a pleasant position.  By move 33 he was an exchange up and looked completely winning. But he seemed to be in no hurry to finish the game. Keeping his advantage, he inched slowly but surely towards victory. The finish was interesting because Kovalev had one pawn too many to hold on to a draw.

Emil Sutovsky playing against Vladislav Kovalev at the Karpov Poikovsky Tournament

Emil Sutovsky played an 80 move marathon but ended up winning against Vladislav Kovalev | Photo: ruchess.ru


Realizing an Advantage

It’s a problem every player encounters when he stands better in a game: how to convert his plus into a full point? In this DVD the author answers this difficult question of chess strategy, considering both the psychological aspects of the realisation of an advantage and the technical methods.




Rg. Title Name Country ELO 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Pts.
1 GM Ian Nepomniachtchi
2751               1     1.0
2 GM Dmitrij Jakovenko
2735             1       1.0
3 GM Santosh Gujrathi Vidit
2707                   1 1.0
4 GM Anton Korobov
2678           1         1.0
5 GM Emil Sutovsky
2647                 1   1.0
6 GM Vladimir Fedoseev
2706       0             0.0
7 GM Vladislav Artemiev
2704   0                 0.0
8 GM Boris Gelfand
2695 0                   0.0
9 GM Vladislav Kovalev
2650         0           0.0
10 GM Viktor Bologan
2610     0               0.0


Aditya Pai is an ardent chess fan, avid reader, and a film lover. He holds a Master's in English Literature and used to work as an advertising copywriter before joining the ChessBase India team.


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