Korobov Repeats Triumph In Poikovsky

Korobov Repeats Triumph In Poikovsky

| 5 | Chess Event Coverage

On Sunday, GM Anton Korobov achieved his second victory in a row at the Karpov Tournament in Poikovsky, Siberia. Like last year, he scored 6.0/9. This time it was enough for clear first.

The Karpov Tournament is still going strong! This year was already the 17th edition of what is a peculiar annual round robin. Each year, many of the same names play, all the way in Poikovsky, 2000 kilometers northeast of Moscow. Yes, that's Siberia, or more specifically, the Nefteyugansk region of the autonomous area, Khanty-Mansiysk.

Photos © Evgenya Vashenyaka courtesy of the Russian Chess Federation.

The city is named after the nearby river Poyka. The population is close to 30,000, and the main economic driver is the extraction of oil and gas. The tournament is named after the 12th world champion, Anatoly Karpov.

The 17th edition was held July 23-August 1 and featured GMs Dmitry Andreikin (Russia, 2733), Radoslav Wojtaszek (Poland, 2733), Dmitry Jakovenko (Russia, 2712), Maxim Matlakov (Russia, 2684), Ilia Smirin (Israel, 2676), Igor Kovalenko ( Latvia, 2667), Alexander Motylev (Russia, 2660), Anton Korobov (Ukraine, 2656), Victor Bologan (Moldova, 2654) and Emil Sutovsky (Israel, 2622).

In the previous 16 editions, between 2000 and 2015, a total of 65 players from 33 countries have participated. 14 have won. In this edition, only Andreikin, Kovalev and Matlakov hadn't played in Poikovsky before.

Like every year, Karpov paid a visit to “his” tournament.

Last year, Korobov edged out Bologan on tiebreak after both finished on 6.0/9. This year was both the same and very different. Whereas Korobov again scored 6.0/9, Bologan played badly and ended in last place with 3.0/9. In fact, nobody else in the field scored more than plus two so Korobov was the clear winner this time.

The game between Bologan and Korobov was played as early as round two and might have been of some influence. Moldavia's number-one grandmaster was playing a tremendous game, but just when he could deliver the final blow, he moved his rook one square too far. This was the difference between 1-0 and 0-1 — a tragedy for Bologan and the customary winner's luck for Korobov. 

Check out IM Danny Rensch and GM Robert Hess covering this blunder in this week's "Blunder of the Week" segment on ChessCenter. The segment is linked directly just below.

Want to see more blunders by grandmasters — perhaps to soften the pain of your own mistakes? You can join Rensch and Hess on ChessCenter each week for a fresh dose!

Returning to Poikovsky, Korobov had drawn with Wojtaszek in the first round and split the point with Motylev and Matlakov in rounds three and four. Those were three draws with white against solid players. It was in the games with players like Smirin, Sutovsky, and Kovalenko, who tend to take more risks, where Korobov excelled. Especially his win versus Sutovsky was pretty.

Three players remained undefeated, but not Korobov. The Ukrainian lost in instructive fashion to Andreikin, a regular Titled Tuesday participant here on The game saw a basic rook endgame where the defending king was actually not one, but two files removed from a theoretical draw. The position would still be winning with the black king on c4 or c5. but he could draw with his king on c7. The reason of course was that White could use a basic technique: cutting of the enemy king along a file.

Andreikin was the only player to beat Korobov.

Despite this loss, Korobov was a half-point ahead of Andreikin, Wojtaszek, Jakovenko and Matlakov with one round to go. Of the four chasing players, only Wojtaszek won his game, but Korobov won as well to stay ahead and win his second tournament in a row in Poikovsky.

An attractive, tournament-deciding game!

17th Karpov Tournament | Final Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts SB
1 Korobov, Anton 2656 2802 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 6.0/9
2 Wojtaszek, Radoslaw 2733 2752 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 5.5/9
3 Andreikin, Dmitry 2733 2713 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 5.0/9 23.00
4 Matlakov, Maxim 2684 2717 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 5.0/9 21.50
5 Jakovenko, Dmitry 2712 2714 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 1 5.0/9 21.25
6 Smirin, Ilia 2676 2680 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 1 4.5/9 19.50
7 Motylev, Alexander 2660 2681 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ 4.5/9 19.50
8 Sutovsky, Emil 2622 2608 0 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 0 3.5/9
9 Kovalenko, Igor 2667 2561 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 1 0 ½ 0 3.0/9 14.00
10 Bologan, Victor 2654 2563 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 ½ 1 1 3.0/9 11.25
Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

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