Sergey Karjakin at eighteen – simply frightening

6/17/2008 – He began as the ultimate chess prodigy, an assistant to a world championship candidate at eleven, the youngest grandmaster in history at twelve and a half. On Wednesday night our Playchess lecturer Dennis Monokroussos shows us how today, at 18, Sergey Karjakin is able to combine positional and tactical motifs to match the best players in the world. The show is free.

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Sergey Karjakin, grandmaster
at the age of twelve

Dennis Monokroussos writes:

While he has been somewhat overshadowed by another youngster (some player from Norway, I believe), Sergey Karjakin's career and developing talent would be the envy of almost any other chessplayer on the planet. He still has the record for being the youngest GM ever, achieving the title at the age of 12 and a half. He was a world championship assistant (to Ponomariov) at 11 and a World Cup semi-finalist last year at the age of 17. Even now, still only 18 years old, his rating is well into the 2700s. Frightening!

We'll look at one of his comparatively recent performances on this week's show, a 2007 victory over Peter Svidler on the black side of a 6.Be3 Najdorf. Karjakin's play was quite smooth, combining positional and tactical motifs in what proved a decisive attack against Svidler's king. When we look at the game, it will all appear very smooth, but that's a byproduct of Karjakin's skill, not the simplicity of the position. Many of us are likely to have our mindset with an either/or "switch": either positional play or attacking mode. But part of the beauty of this game is the way Karjakin combines the two modes into a harmonious and attractive whole.

Ok, if that's too flowery, then just tune in to see two super-GMs fighting it out in a sharp, popular opening and to see one of them win with brilliant attacking play! The show is free and begins Wednesday night at 9 p.m. ET, and you can find directions for viewing this or any of the archived shows here.

Dennis Monokroussos' Radio ChessBase lectures begin on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST, which translates to 02:00h GMT, 03:00 Paris/Berlin, 13:00h Sydney (on Thursday). Other time zones can be found at the bottom of this page. You can use Fritz or any Fritz-compatible program (Shredder, Junior, Tiger, Hiarcs) to follow the lectures, or download a free trial client.

You can find the exact times for different locations in the world at World Time and Date. Exact times for most larger cities are here. And you can watch older lectures by Dennis Monokroussos offline in the Chess Media System room of Playchess:

Enter the above archive room and click on "Games" to see the lectures. The lectures, which can go for an hour or more, will cost you between one and two ducats. That is the equivalent of 10-20 Euro cents (14-28 US cents).



Monokroussos in Mexico: World Championship 2007
 

Dennis Monokroussos is 41, lives in South Bend, IN, where he teaches chess and occasionally works as an adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University-South Bend.

At one time he was one of the strongest juniors in the U.S. and has reached a peak rating of 2434 USCF, but several long breaks from tournament play have made him rusty. He is now resuming tournament chess in earnest, hoping to reach new heights.

Dennis has been working as a chess teacher for ten years now, giving lessons to adults and kids both in person and on the internet, worked for a number of years for New York’s Chess In The Schools program, where he was one of the coaches of the 1997-8 US K-8 championship team from the Bronx, and was very active in working with many of CITS’s most talented juniors.

When Dennis Monokroussos presents a game, there are usually two main areas of focus: the opening-to-middlegame transition and the key moments of the middlegame (or endgame, when applicable). With respect to the latter, he attempts to present some serious analysis culled from his best sources (both text and database), which he has checked with his own efforts and then double-checked with his chess software.



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