Karjakin Blunders, Also Loses 2nd Game In World Cup Final

Karjakin Blunders, Also Loses 2nd Game In World Cup Final

51 | Chess Event Coverage

Peter Svidler is a draw away from winning the 2015 FIDE World Cup. He also won the second game as Black today, after Sergey Karjakin was pressing, but blundered terribly in a Breyer Ruy Lopez. 

All photos courtesy of FIDE.

There is an old saying that goes more or less like this: when you want to become a strong player, you need to study the (Closed) Ruy Lopez. It maybe well have been Genna Sosonko who came up with it. It is very true.

The great thing about having the Closed Ruy Lopez in your repertoire is that you can vary between a number of decent variations. After a Zaitsev against Giri, today Svidler returned to the Breyer, which he played against Radjabov earlier in the tournament.

A Breyer Ruy Lopez in game two of the final.

Obviously Karjarkin was well prepared for that too. He went for the move 15.Qc2!? which was introduced into tournament practice in 1980 by Gennady Timoshchenko. The position caught the eye of Pavel Eljanov, Karjakin's opponent in the semi-final.

Eljanov didn't know yet what Svidler had prepared. On move 17, Svidler deviated from the game Karjakin-Carlsen, Stavanger 2013 with a very new and sharp idea.

“Skype is a wonderful invention and it's also good to have friends. I can't claim any credit for this idea; it's not mine,” said Svidler about the push of the c-pawn.

Svidler didn't want to reveal who had invented his opening idea.

He thought the move solves Black's problems immediately, contrary to the normal, slow play. “I lost a game like this [with slow play] to Sergey in a similar structure so I know how dangerous he is,” he said.

In the game Karjakin kept a small plus anyway (“I immediately started doing strange things” — Svidler) as he “won” the bishop pair and with it a better pawn structure. He was definitely pressing.

Karjakin had no reason to complain during the middlegame.

On move 33, Svidler wasn't happy with his position, and with eight minutes on the clock time trouble was looming. “I'm sure a computer would hold it but it's not a lot of fun to try and hold this position in practice.”

Karjakin continued to play for a win, took on f7 and then made a horrendous blunder — played with more than 16 minutes left on the clock. Svidler, who had only 3:25 (plus 30 seconds increment per move for both) for four moves, used 1:09 to refute it.

“I was about to play 37...Nf6, and then I suddenly realized I'm just winning,” said Svidler. “I almost missed it myself because you don't really expect Black to be winning.”

Annotations by GM Dejan Bojkov

Svidler didn't know how to explain this huge mistake by Karjakin. “People are tired. Normally Sergey would never play Rb5 even in a blitz game. I defended reasonably well and probably deserved not to lose this game, but I definitely didn't do anything to win it.”

Afterward the players discussed some earlier moments in the game.

At the press conference Goran Urosevic asked Svidler: “You said it's a long tournament but somehow you look even fresher than in the second or third round.” Svidler replied: “It's probably the jacket. I half expect myself to drop dead at any point.”

Svidler was full of great one-liners. Here's one more to finish the report: “It's definitely not over but I should be the favorite now!”

It's safe to say that Svidler is the favorite now. 


2015 World Cup | Round 7 Results

Name Name C1 C2 C3 C4 TB Score
Peter Svidler Sergey Karjakin 1-0  1-0       2.0-0.0

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