Karjakin beats Kramnik in third round Russian Championship

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Karjakin beats Kramnik in third round Russian ChampionshipBy tearing down his Berlin Wall, Sergey Karjakin defeated Vladimir Kramnik with White in the third round of the Russian Championship Super Final. As the other games ended in draws, Karjakin now shares the lead with Morozevich and Svidler.

General info

The Super Final of the 64th Russian Championship for men takes place August 7-15 (rest day on August 12) at the Botvinnik Central Chess Club in Moscow. It's an 8-player, single round-robin. The time control is 90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes to finish the game, with 30 seconds per move from move one. Vladimir Kramnik, Alexander Morozevich, Sergey Karjakin, Alexander Grischuk, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Peter Svidler, Artyom Timofeev and Alexander Galkin play.

Round 3

A very brief talk with his opponent, the signing of the score sheets, and then Vladimir Kramnik took his jacket and quickly stepped away from the playing hall. Sergey Karjakin took some more time, waiting for the arbiter to give him his score sheet, then also stood up, shook hands with one of the spectators who congratulated him with what was nothing less than a historical win.

Vladimir Kramnik famously used the Berlin Wall as his weapon in his black games to win his World Championship Match against Garry Kasparov in London 2000. After that match, only one player had managed to beat Kramnik in a classical game in this opening: The Boss himself, a year after the match in Astana.

Peter Leko had done it before actually, in a rapid game in Budapest in January 2001. The next player who beat Kramnik in the Berlin Wall was... Sergey Karjakin, in a blitz game in Dortmund 2004. The only other loss for Kramnik was again inflicted by Karjakin, in a blindfold game last March in the last Amber tournament.

On Wednesday, in the third round of the Russian Championship Super Final in Moscow, Karjakin repeated this success once more, in a "real" game.

Karjakin beats Kramnik in third round Russian Championship

Afterwards Karjakin showed his game in the press room, behind a laptop which was connected to a big screen. He joked: "Today I was playing against my pupil, if I can put it that way, as I seconded Kramnik at the Candidates Matches in Kazan. We know each other very well and therefore it was hard for us to find any opening which we hadn't looked at together. But Vladimir Borisovich managed to find such a variation." (Source WhyChess.)

It became a typical ending for the pawn structure, where White pushes his kingside majority and Black sets his hopes on his bishop pair and active king. Just when Black exchanged all rooks and seemed to have everything under control, the typical e5-e6 move still gave White some winning chances. Karjakin would always win one pawn back and end up with three against two on the kingside, and it wasn't clear whether Black would find any counterplay. Kramnik didn't manage, and lost in textbook fashion as his own majority was worthless. Afterwards it became clear how he should have drawn the game: by sacrificing a knight on f5, to activate his bishop and attack the white pawns on the queenside. See the game viewer for these variations.

All other games ended in draws. The most interesting was Timofeev-Nepomniachtchi, a Grünfeld where White managed to keep a slight edge. After a tactical phase, White ended up with the bishop pair in an open position but the way Black defended was instructive, steering the game to an ending where White had a passed a-pawn and an extra bishop of the wrong colour.

Games round 3

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Pictures © Russian Chess Federation

Russian Championship Super Final 2011 | Schedule & results

Round 1 08.08.11 13:00 CET Rest day 12.08.11 13:00 CET
Svidler 1-0 Kramnik
Karjakin ½-½ Morozevich
Grischuk ½-½ Nepomniachtchi
Galkin ½-½ Timofeev
Round 2 09.08.11 13:00 CET Round 5 13.08.11 13:00 CET
Kramnik 1-0 Timofeev Grischuk - Kramnik
Nepomniachtchi ½-½ Galkin Galkin - Karjakin
Morozevich 1-0 Grischuk Timofeev - Svidler
Svidler ½-½ Karjakin Nepomniachtchi - Morozevich
Round 3 10.08.11 13:00 CET Round 6 14.08.11 13:00 CET
Karjakin 1-0 Kramnik Kramnik - Morozevich
Grischuk ½-½ Svidler Svidler - Nepomniachtchi
Galkin ½-½ Morozevich Karjakin - Timofeev
Timofeev ½-½ Nepomniachtchi Grischuk - Galkin
Round 4 11.08.11 13:00 CET Round 7 15.08.11 11:00 CET
Kramnik - Nepomniachtchi Galkin - Kramnik
Morozevich - Timofeev Timofeev - Grischuk
Svidler - Galkin Nepomniachtchi - Karjakin
Karjakin - Grischuk Morozevich - Svidler

Russian Championship Super Final 2011 | Round 3 Standings


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