HISTORY could well record 1990 as being a vintage year for chess players. It was when Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin were both born – and the two not only became the strongest teenage players of all time, they also now look set to be rivals for many years to come.
But with Carlsen’s phenomenal rise to superstar status, he’s all but overshadowed Karjakin, who holds the record of being the youngest player of all time – at 12 years, seven months – to become a grandmaster.
And for a brief couple of years back in the early 2000s, it was Karjakin and not Carlsen who was perceived of as being the next big thing in chess.
That rivalry was reignited at the Norway Supreme Masters in Stavanger, as Karjakin stole the show in Carlsen’s homeland with a sensational 4-0 start. But something had to give in round five, as they met in what proved a dramatic encounter.
With Carlsen on the ropes, Karjakin missed his golden chance with 29 Bb5! for a Fischeresque 5-0 start. But after that it was all Carlsen who, with a series of clever sacrifices, opened up all the lines to the Russian’s king.
Standings: 1. Karjakin, 4/5; 2-3. Carlsen, Nakamura, 3; 4-7. Aronian, Anand, Svidler, Radjabov, 2.5; 8. Topalov, 2; 9-10. Wang Hao, Hammer, 1.5.
S Karjakin - M Carlsen
Norway Supreme Masters, (5)
Ruy Lopez, Breyer variation
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 0–0 Be7 6 Re1 b5 7 Bb3 d6 8 c3 0–0 9 h3 Nb8 10 d4 Nbd7 11 Nbd2 Bb7 12 Bc2 Re8 13 a4 Bf8 14 Bd3 c6 15 Qc2 Rc8 16 axb5 axb5 17 b4 Qc7 18 Bb2 Ra8 19 Rad1 Nb6 20 c4 bxc4 21 Nxc4 Nxc4 22 Bxc4 h6 23 dxe5 dxe5 24 Bc3 Ba6 25 Bb3 c5 26 Qb2 c4 27 Ba4 Re6 28 Nxe5 Bb7 29 Bc2 Rae8 30 f4 Bd6 31 Kh2 Nh5 32 g3 f6 33 Ng6 Nxf4 34 Rxd6 Nxg6 35 Rxe6 Rxe6 36 Bd4 f5 37 e5 Nxe5! 38 Bxe5 Qc6 39 Rg1 Qd5 40 Bxf5 Rxe5 41 Bg4 h5 42 Bd1 c3 43 Qf2 Rf5 44 Qe3 Qf7 45 g4 Re5 46 Qd4 Qc7 0–1