Dmitry Jakovenko Wins Poikovsky
Poikovsky loves chess and the players return the love. | Photo: Vasily Papin/PapinChess.

Dmitry Jakovenko Wins Poikovsky

| 11 | Chess Event Coverage

Dmitry Jakovenko scored 6.5/9 and took the first place at the 19th Karpov tournament in Poikovsky, adding another trophy to his victories in 2007 and 2012. Ian Nepomniachtchi came second (6/9) and Boris Gelfand was third (5.5/6).  

nullAnatoly Karpov's speech at the opening. | Photo: Vasily Papin/PapinChess.

The chess tournament is the main hallmark of Poikovsky, a settlement in Khanty-Mansiysk autonomous okrug (also called Yugra). Many players come at the place every year, for example, Victor Bologan missed the tournament only once, in 2011. The tournaments are remarkable for their friendly, almost family ambiance, which sometimes produces too many draws.

This year the ex-champion Anatoly Karpov made a request in his opening speech:

"I wish our tournament this year to become the most combative in its history. I wish that all players could show their creativity and fighting spirit, delighting the fans and making our game attractive for the young!"

It is unknown whether the players obeyed or if it was a coincidence, but more than 50 percent decisive games can hardly be seen in a GM tournament nowadays.


Ian Nepomniachtchi at play. | Photo: Vasily Papin/PapinChess.

At the star, Nepomniachtchi took the lead by winning three games in the first four rounds. He was extremely efficient against Poikovsky ex-winners. In the only decisive game of the second round, he knocked down Emil Sutovsky, last year's winner and the President of the Association of Chess Professionals (ACP).


This tournament was a disaster for Sutovsky, but he enjoyed the karaoke at the closing party. | Photo: Vasily Papin/PapinChess.

In the fourth round, Nepomniachtchi defeated Anton Korobov, who triumphed in Poikovsky in 2015 and 2016.


Korobov vs Nepomniachtchi. | Photo: Vasily Papin/PapinChess.

In the fifth round, Nepo was beaten by Vladimir Fedoseev, one of the most promising young Russian GMs. He started with a loss to Korobov but then won three games in a row.

nullVladimir Fedoseev usually plays fascinating chess. | Photo: Vasily Papin/PapinChess.

Halfway through the tournament, Vladimir Fedoseev shared the lead with Nepomniachtchi and Jakovenko, but it did not last long. The decisive game was played right after the day-off in round six. Jakovenko scored his trademark victory versus Fedoseev: solid opening, positional pressure, material advantage and mesmerizing endgame technique.

nullThe decisive game: Jakovenko vs Fedoseev. | Photo: Vasily Papin/PapinChess.

Jakovenko, who represents the Khanty-Mansiysk region and its Yugra team, came to the tournament for the 10th time and played with home ground confidence. Here is another example of his positional skill.


Dmitry Jakovenko played with a great confidence. | Photo: Vasily Papin/PapinChess.

Back to the race. The loss to Jakovenko shot Fedoseev in flight, and he ended the tournament with a series of draws. However, Nepomniachtchi kept the tempo by neatly checkmating Bologan in the same round.

On the next day, Jakovenko won again when Bologan blundered in a pawn endgame, while Nepomniachtchi drew with Vladislav Kovalev. In round eight, Nepo tried to catch the leader, but risked too much and avoided the defeat by Vladislav Artemiev only by the skin of his teeth.

Typical for Vladislav Artemiev at this tournament: interesting ideas, but too many missed chances. | Photo: Vasily Papin/PapinChess.

Nepomniachtchi and Jakovenko met face to face in the last round, but the tournament winner put the fires down with a particular calm.

In the final position, Black possesses a long-term advantage because of his active bishop.


Dmitry Jakovenko at the opening ceremony. | Photo: Vasily Papin/PapinChess.

Gelfand started the tournament with a devastating loss to Nepomniachtchi, but he scored four wins later and took the third place. One of his wins was against Korobov, who succumbed to a combination on f7 in a way that reminds of Korobov's loss to Nepo. The Siberian-born Ukrainian maintained resistance for almost 100 moves before accepting his fate.


Anton Korobov greets Boris Gelfand. | Photo: Vasily Papin/PapinChess.

Vidit Santosh Gujrathi did not suffer a single defeat and took the fourth place. In the first round he delivered a classic attack on Bologan's king.

Vidit also showed a remarkable prowess in bowling, dominating the fellow chess players.


Vidit Santosh Gujrati, the bowling king of Yugra. | Photo: Vasily Papin/PapinChess. 

Karpov, the guest, organizer and talisman of his own tournament, was interviewed by Vasily Papin, giving his opinion on several topical issues. This is what he said about the news that the Russian Chess Federation (RCF) supports Kirsan Ilyumzhinov's run for FIDE President:

"There was no other candidate: that is why such decision was taken. In general, I believe that Kirsan has find to himself another occupation. He has many problems. First of all, with his own team. (...)  Eight years ago, I was up in arms fighting for the FIDE presidency. At that time the decision to support me, taken by the RCF Supervisory Board, was cancelled by force and Kirsan was imposed upon us. That was a disgrace. Russia suffered a terrible reputational damage in chess. The world could not understand how it was possible. (...) Today, if Russia needs me, I can submit my candidature, however, I personally do not need this. People keep telling me: 'You have sought for this position; you should go for it now.' And I answer that I stand up only if they need."

Then, the ex-champion described FIDE officials and the situation in this organization:

"Some people grab from all tables and claim that these tables are theirs, but in reality, theirs is only a seat by the table. (...) I see the problems, but I do not see the solution. However, the problems are immense. I believe that it is simpler to create a new international chess federation than to repair the existing organization."


RCF executive manager Mark Glukhovsky and Anatoly Karpov. | Photo: Vasily Papin/PapinChess.

Poikovsky 2018 | Final Standings

Name Rtg Fed 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Pts SB
1 Jakovenko, Dmitry 2735 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 6,5 25,5
2 Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2751 ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 6 24
3 Gelfand, Boris 2695 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 6 22,25
4 Vidit Santosh, Gujrathi 2707 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 5,5 22,5
5 Fedoseev, Vladimir 2706 0 1 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ ½ 1 5 20,75
6 Kovalev, Vladislav 2650 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 0 1 4,5 19
7 Korobov, Anton 2678 ½ 0 0 0 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 4 15,5
8 Artemiev, Vladislav 2704 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 3,5 13
9 Sutovsky, Emil 2647 0 0 0 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 0 2,5 11,5
10 Bologan, Victor 2610 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 1 1,5 4,5

Games via TWIC.

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