Chess: How does White win?

HISTORY could well record 1990 as a vintage year for chess players: it was when Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin were born – and the two have become the strongest teenage players of all time, and look set to be rivals for years to come.

We all know the Carlsen story, but we have almost forgotten about Karjakin, who was the youngest – at 12 years and seven months – to become a grandmaster.

Karjakin first came to everyone's attention at the age of 11, when he was chosen by Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine to be his second at the 2002 FIDE KO World Championship final. When asked why, Ponomariov said Karjakin was "a tactical genius." Everyone scoffed at the thought of a pre-pubescent teenager playing such a prominent role in a crucial match, but it was an inspired pick because Ponomariov won.

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Yet Karjakin has had less success than Carlsen. Things have started to change, though, with a switch of federations from Ukraine to Russia. Karjakin now lives in Moscow and is coached by Yuri Dokhoyan, the famed former trainer to Garry Kasparov.

Karjakin proved the one bright spot at the recent Olympiad for the Russians with a phenomenal performance. And at the World Chess Blitz in Moscow, he came ahead of Vladmir Kramnik on tiebreak scores to take the Russian Blitz Championship title.

S Karjakin - V Kramnik

VI World Blitz Ch., (25)

Pirc Defence, Austrian Attack

1 e4 g6 2 d4 Bg7 3 Nc3 d6 4 f4 Nf6 5 Nf3 0–0 6 Bd3 Na6 7 0–0 c5 8 d5 Rb8 9 h3 Nc7 10 a4 a6 11 a5 e6 12 dxe6 fxe6 13 e5 Nh5 14 Ng5 c4 15 Bxc4 dxe5 16 Qxd8 Rxd8 17 fxe5 Bxe5 18 Nce4 Bd4+ 19 Kh1 Bd7 20 g4 Bc6 21 gxh5 h6 22 Bd3 hxg5 23 Bxg5 Rd5 24 h4 gxh5 25 Kh2 Bxb2 26 Nf6+ Kh8 27 Nxd5 Nxd5 28 Rab1 Be5+ 29 Kh3 Kg7 30 Rbe1 Bd6 31 c4 Nb4 32 Bf6+ Kh6 33 Be4 Bd7 34 Rg1 e5+ 35 Kh2 Bg4 36 Rgf1 Nc6 37 Rb1! Nd4 38 Rb6 Nc6 39 Bg5+ Kg7 40 Rf6 Bc7 41 Rb1 Rf8 42 Rg6+ Kh8 43 Rxb7 Nd4 44 Rxc7 1–0