Kiev Life Rapid: Karjakin beat Short 7.5:2.5

by ChessBase
7/8/2008 – They worked together in Nigel's home in Greece, and almost got themselves killed in a traffic accident. But Sergey Karjakin, 25 years younger than Nigel Short, completely outmatched him in the rapid chess match in the Academic Puppet Theatre in Kiev, Ukraine. On the final day the youngster won both games to finish with a five-point lead. Illustrated report.

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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, played a ten-game rapid chess match in Kiev (Kyiv). The venue was the Kyiv Academic Puppet Theatre, Grushevskogo Str., 1a, Kyiv. this is the oldest puppet theatre in Ukraine, established in 1927, and today pays host to puppet theatres from all over the world.

Day five – final

Karjakin,Sergey (2727) - Short,N (2655) [D37]
Rapid Match Kiev UKR (9), 07.06.2008
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.c4 e6 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bf4 0-0 6.e3 c5 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.Qc2 Nc6 9.a3 Be7 10.cxd5 exd5 11.Be2 Be6 12.0-0 Rc8 13.Rfd1 a6 14.Ne5 Qb6 15.Nxc6 Rxc6 16.Be5 Ne4 17.Qb1 Nxc3 18.Bxc3 Rd8 19.Bf3 h6 20.h3 Qc7 21.Qd3 Bd6 22.Rd2 f6 23.Rad1 Bh2+ 24.Kh1 Be5 25.Bd4 Rc4 26.Qb3 b5 27.Be2 Rc6 28.a4 bxa4 29.Qxa4 Rb8 30.f4 Bxd4 31.Qxd4 a5 32.Bf3 Rb4 33.Qd3 Rc5 34.Qb1 Qb7 35.Rc1 Qb6 36.Rcd1 Qb7 37.Kh2 Qb5 38.Qg6 Bf7 39.Qf5 Rxb2 40.Rxb2 Qxb2 41.Rb1

Black should be able to hold this position, if only he finds the drawing move: 41...g6! In this rapid chess game Nigel Short doesn't: 41...d4?? 42.Rxb2 (42.Bd5 was an interesting alternative: 42...Qxb1 43.Bxf7+ Kxf7 44.Qxb1) 42...Rxf5 43.Rb8+ Kh7 44.Be4 (the skewer) 44...Bg6 45.Bxf5 Bxf5 46.exd4 a4 47.Ra8 Bd7 48.d5 Kg6 49.Ra7 1-0.

One of the match commentators: GM Genna Sosonko, writer and chess analyst

The other was GM Vladimir Tukmakov from Odessa, Ukraine

Short,N (2655) - Karjakin,Sergey (2727) [C78]
Rapid Match Kiev UKR (10), 07.06.2008
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Bc5 6.c3 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.d4 Bb6 9.Be3 Bg4 10.d5 Bxe3 11.fxe3 Ne7 12.Nbd2 0-0 13.Qe1 c6 14.dxc6 Nxc6 15.Nh4 Na5 16.Qg3 Nxb3 17.axb3 Bh5 18.b4 Bg6 19.Nxg6 hxg6 20.Qh4 d5 21.exd5 Nxd5 22.Qf2 a5 23.bxa5 Rxa5 24.Rad1 Qa8 25.Ne4 Ra6 26.Qf3 Nf6 27.Nxf6+ gxf6 28.e4 Qc6 29.h4 Qb6+ 30.Rf2 Rd8 31.Rdf1 Kg7 32.g4 Rd2 33.Kg2 Rxf2+ 34.Rxf2 Qe6 35.g5 fxg5 36.hxg5 b4 37.Qh3 Qc4 38.Qf3 bxc3 39.bxc3 Rc6 40.Kh2 Qb3 41.Kg2 Kg8 42.Rd2 Rxc3 43.Qf2 Qe6 44.Qh4 Rc8 45.Qg3 Kg7 46.Rd5 Rc2+ 47.Kh1 Qb6 48.Rd1 Qb2 49.Qh3 Rc1 50.Qf1 Rxd1 51.Qxd1 Qf2 52.Qg4 Qf4 53.Qg2 Kf8 54.Kg1 Ke7 55.Kh1 Kd6 56.Kg1 Kc5 57.Kh1 Kd4 58.Qb2+ Kxe4 59.Qc2+ Kd5 60.Qb3+ Kd6 61.Qb6+ Ke7 62.Qc5+ Ke6 63.Qc8+ Kd6 64.Qd8+ Kc5 65.Qa5+ Kc4 66.Qa4+ Kd5 67.Qa8+ Kd4 68.Qa4+ Ke3 69.Qb3+ Kf2 70.Qc2+ Kg3 71.Qf2+ Kg4 72.Qg2+ Kf5 73.Qh3+ Kxg5 74.Qg3+ Kf6 0-1.

The path of the white queen, and how the black king managed to escape its checks

Outclassed by a kid 25 years his junior: Nigel Short in Kiev

The winner, by a big margin: 18-year-old Sergey Karjakin, who at the age of twelve years and seven months became the youngest grandmaster in history. On the current FIDE ranking list he is rated 2727, making him number 15 in the world, number two in the category of boys up to 20 years old, and number two in the Ukraine.

During the opening press conference Sergey Karjakin had been asked whether the fact that Nigel was 25 years older than him would influence his strategy in this match. Sergey answered: "Nigel may be 25 years older then me, but that also means he is much more experienced. And experience is very important in matches. Nigel beat Anatoly Karpov in a Candidates match and played for the World Championship against Garry Kasparov. But I hope that youth and quick reaction will be on my side..."

Nigel Short with his Ukrainian interpreter

Nigel chats with Tansu Yegen, the General Director of Life :)

All photos by Nikolai Gavljuk, provided by Olena Boytsun

In the press conference Nigel Short spoke about the time, three years ago, when Sergey and his mother Tatiana had been guests at his home in Greece, and when Sergey's career had almost been abruptly ended: "We were involved in car accident, and I think it`s very significant that the sponsor of the match is 'Life', because we are still alive. And we very thankful that we are alive. I think after the experience like that everything else should be a little bit easier." You can read the whole story in our 2005 ChessBase report.

The wrecked car, minutes after the accident (Photo: Tatiana Karjakina)

Final standings

Sergey Karjakin
Nigel Short


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