Video feast: Karjakin vs Nepomniachtchi Rapid Chess match
– 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.


Jan Gustafsson – Black repertoire against 1.e4 Vol. 2: Open games
The open games after 1.e4 e5 offer White a huge choice. Part 1 of this series covered the main line Spanish and recommended the Marshall Attack – but what to do against the Exchange Spanish, the Scotch or the Italian Game?

More information…

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
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

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
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
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