Chess - The Scotsman 11/07/2012
THE E50,000 Russia paid Ukraine in 2009 to secure Sergey Karjakin’s allegiance is looking like a brilliant investment and is still the largest transfer fee ever paid for a Grandmaster.
On Sunday, Karjakin, now 22, secured a world title for Russia, as he stormed to victory ahead of the hot favourite and world No 1, Magnus Carlsen, in a strong field, to capture the inaugural World Rapid Championship title in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Carlsen initially looked to be cruising to the title, going into the last day of the tournament with a 1.5 point lead over Karjakin, whom he beat in their individual game.
But disaster struck the Norwegian, with back-to-back loses in rounds 12 and 13 to Vassily Ivanchuk and Alexander Grischuk respectively.
Karjakin took full advantage by setting a relentless pace on the final day with 4.5 points from a possible five to overtake Carlsen, as he took his final winning tally to 11.5/15 to be crowned the first official Fide World Rapid Champion.
Carlsen had to be content with second place on 10.5 points, with Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria staging a comeback by taking third place on tiebreak ahead of Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan, as both finished tied on 9.5 points.
Immediately following the World Rapid Championship, there’s yet another speed-play world title up for grabs, as (more or less) the same star-studded field will do battle for the Fide World Blitz Championship, also in Astana – more of which later in the week.
S Karjakin - A Grischuk
World Rapid Ch., (4)
Caro-Kann Defence, Advanced
1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 Bf5 4 Nf3 e6 5 Be2 Ne7 6 0–0 h6 7 Nbd2 Nd7 8 Nb3 Bg6 9 a4 Nf5 10 a5 Rc8 11 c4 Be7 12 cxd5 cxd5 13 Bd3 0–0 14 g4 Nh4 15 Nxh4 Bxd3 16 Qxd3 Bxh4 17 Bd2 f5 18 h3 Qe7 19 f4 a6 20 Kh2 Qf7 21 Rf3 Rc4 22 Rg1 Rfc8 23 Bc3 Kh8 24 Nd2 R4c6 25 Nf1 g6 26 Ne3 Nf8 27 Ng2 Be7 28 Rg3 b5 29 axb6 Rxb6 30 gxf5 exf5 31 Ne3 Rb5 32 Nxf5! gxf5 33 Qxf5 1–0
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