Karjakin Takes First Sberbank Trophy in Kiev
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Sergey Karjakin won the first edition of the Sberbank Rapid tournament, part of the Sberbank International Chess Festival in Kiev, Ukraine. The Russian grandmaster, who recently won the super strong Norway Chess tournament, continued his great form and finished on a score of 6.5/9. Veselin Topalov, who had been leading for most of the tournament, finished on 6/9 while 12th World Champion Anatoly Karpov scored 3/9.
As was reported earlier, Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria) was in first place after the second day of play. Peter Leko (Hungary), Sergey Karjakin (Russia) and Sergey Zhigalko (Belarus) were trailing by half a point.
On Friday the last three rounds were played, and the Bulgarian didn't manage to stay on top. First, he was held to a draw by the very solid Leko. In the same round, Karjakin won after surviving a very difficult position:
In the next round Topalov even lost, to Pavel Eljanov, who had beaten Karjakin earlier in the tournament! The Bulgarian blundered in an ending:
Karjakin drew his game with Evgeny Tomashevsky to take clear first, with one round to go. The situation at the top didn't change anymore, as both Karjakin and Topalov won their games in the final round.
The tournament was also special because of the participation of Anatoly Karpov, the 12th World Chess Champion. (The chess legend once said that he doesn't like the term "former World Champion", so let's not use it here!) Four years ago, in his quickplay match with Kasparov in Valencia, it was already clear that Karpov is simply not playing enough chess anymore to keep a decent level. However, there was one game which reminded of his best days. Enjoy that one!
Sberbank rapid 2013 | Final standings
This strong rapid tournament was played with 25 minutes and 10 seconds per move. The prize fund was 50,000 EUR. It was part of the first Sberbank International Chess Festival, which also included a big children's tournament and a tournament for Sberbank Group Employees.