Karjakin Takes First Sberbank Trophy in Kiev

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  • on 6/7/13, 4:34 PM.

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

# Player Rating Points
1 Karjakin,Sergey 2782 6.5/9
2 Topalov,Veselin 2784 6.0/9
3 Leko,Peter 2737 5.0/9
4 Zhigalko,Sergei 2661 5.0/9
5 Eljanov,Pavel 2707 4.5/9
6 Tomashevsky,Evgeny 2709 4.5/9
7 Korobov,Anton 2715 4.5/9
8 Areshchenko,Alexander 2708 4.0/9
9 Karpov,Anatoly 2619 3.0/9
10 Naiditsch,Arkadij 2710 2.0/9

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.

Tournament website, games via TWIC.

5460 reads 10 comments
One Vote


  • 3 years ago


    i dont know why but i tend to compare Karjakin with young Smyslov

  • 3 years ago


    its about showing a little more respect to someone who earned the title of a world champion so its not being sensitive 

  • 3 years ago


    Karjakin will be a top favorite in the next WC cycle. Nice to see the great Karpov competing.

  • 3 years ago


    don't feed the trolls, you did a good job.

  • 3 years ago


    Perhaps 'decent' was not the best choice of words. Obviously the intention was to point out how incredibly strong Karpov was, and that his current level is not as high as it could be if he'd be more active as a chess player.

  • 3 years ago


    I would say Korchnoi takes the cake in that category. He may no longer be 2600+ but then he has kept up an incredible playing schedule. But the columnist certainly has a skewed understanding of the word "decent". I actually find it even more amazing that the old fox can still mingle with the young guys (almost all of them above 2700) at rapid speed where one would expect age to play an even bigger factor than during chess played at normal time controls.

  • 3 years ago


    "to keep a decent level..." Wink  Whoever wrote this doesn't know what decent means...

    Karpov is playing only a couple of times per year at mostly exhibition games and rapid/blitz games, and still is able to hold 2600+ FIDE at the age of 62.  Who else can you cite in that category?  No one, really.

  • 3 years ago


    good partai

  • 3 years ago


    Congrats, Vesko!!! You´re a great champ!!!

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