Karjakin to Play for Russia
Ukrainian chess has great strength in depth at the top levels of chess, with four players rated over 2700 Elo (Ponomariov, Karjakin, Eljanov and Ivanchuk), and another 12 over 2600 Elo.
However, 19 year-old Sergey Karjakin will henceforth be playing for Russia, after adopting Russian citizenship on July 25th.
Karjakin recently married 20 year-old WGM Kateryna Dolzhikova (both pictured), also from Ukraine in a ceremony in Kiev. Congratulations to the happy couple!
Losing Karjakin will be a blow for the Ukranian team, who were pipped to the bronze medal at the 2008 Olympiad in Dresden last December by the USA.
Karjakin won the 2009 Corus A group earlier this year - his first super-tournament success.
It remains to be seen whether or not marriage will be good for Karjakin's chess, or prove a distraction!