Video feast: Karjakin vs Nepomniachtchi Rapid Chess match

by ChessBase
1/11/2011 – In December Ian Nepomniachtchi caught the leading Sergey Karjakin in the last round of the Russian Superfinal and then won the playoff in an Armageddon blitz game. Now Karjakin had a chance to avenge the defeat – and avenge it he did. Yevgeny Potemkin captured the action in video, and we are able to offer you a special treat: watch the match from a front seat.

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In the Russian Men's Superfinal in December 20-year-old Sergey Karjakin, in the lead, was caught in the final round by Ian Nepomniachtchi, six months his junior. A tiebreak was required and when the two rapid games ended in draws. The ensuing Armageddon blitz was won by Nepomniachtchi. Now Karjakin, who turns 21 tomorrow, got a chance to avenge the defeat, in a rapid chess match staged by the Russian State Social University (RSCU).

Start of the grudge match Ian Nepomniachtchi vs Sergey Karjakin in Moscow

Sergey Karjakin, who celebrates his 21st birthday on January 12th

Arch-rival Ian Nepomniachtchi is exactly six months younger than Serge

The spectators of the RSCU match

The games are displayed on a projection screen for the press

... which can watch the action in a separate room

The two rapid chess games – and Exchange Grunfeld and a Scotch – were both drawn. The players proceeded to four blitz games, which our friend in Moscow, Yevgeny Potemkin captured as video and posted on YouTube.

Eugene (as we call him) is a statistician – well, a nuclear physicist turned taxi driver turned statistician. In Russia that's not a bad career path. The 54-year-old, who has dabbled in table tennis, kayaking, baseball, judo, yachting and handball, and who is striving to reform Olympic rankings, says of his home country. "I'm lucky – most of my colleagues ended up at Chernobyl." You can read more about him here.

For us he provides a valuable service. You can watch the tiebreak blitz games from close range, move by move, in Eugene's videos below. Or even better: we have constructed a JavaScript replay page where you can follow the games in the video and on the graphic chessboard at the same time. Instructions are given at the bottom of the page. Here are the five games as pure video.

The first game, a Najdorf, is won by Sergey Karjakin in 60 moves

In the second game Nepomniachtchi again plays the Scotch. In a drawing position
Karjakin blunders, allowing a knigh fork. The tiebreak score is now 1-1.

In the third game, a Najdorf Sicilian, Karjakin has a clear advantage, but Ian defends
well and able to hold his opponent to a draw.

Game four is YAS – yet another Scotch. Watch for Ian thinking long and hard about his 15th moves (with the nice little trap: 15.Nd4 and if 15...exd4?? 16.Qg4+ Qd7 17.Rxe8#). Sergey, who from tomorrow on will be able to drink a beer in the US, does not fall for it. The game ended in a mate-in-one threat by Karjakin, but Nepomniachtchi had a perpetual and the game was drawn.

The Armgeddon game has to decide: White gets a minute extra on the clock but has to win. It's YAS, but this time Serge blunders and Ian gets a huge advantage: it comes at around seven minutes into the video, when Black loses his queen for a rook and knight: 21...Nd7? 22.Rd1 Bxe5 23.Rxd6 cxd6 24.Bxe5 Nxe5 25.Qd1 and White should really win this one. Ian keeps his advantage until around 9'20" into the video, when 41.Qxd6 or 41.Qf6+ could have won him the game. Instead he played 41.f5? and after the knight fork 41...Ne3+ allowed Sergey back into the game, which ended in a draw.

That meant that Sergey Karjakin was the winner. Congratulations!

All photos from the Official website of the International Centre for Chess Education RSCU

After the game Eugene interviews Sergey – in Russian

Replay the games with video

On our JavaScript replay board you will find links at the end of the blitz games. These produce the Potemkin video to that game in a separate pop-up window. For optimum enjoyment you should arrange your desktop so that you can see both windows at the same time:

Now by clicking on the replay keys or the notation on the left you can follow the game on the right. When you move your mouse onto the video window the controls for that are visible, so you can pause easily to study the position.

Another interesting possibility is to download the PGN file below and load the games with ChessBase or Fritz – which has the advantage that you can have a chess engine running to analyse the position.

In this case you will need to load the YouTube pop-ups separately. Here are the links:



To read, replay and analyse the PGN games we adivse you to download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light. This program also gives you immediate access to the chess server

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