May 28, 2014 17:04

Morozevich Edges Jakovenko at Poikovsky


A last-round draw completed an undefeated nine rounds for GM Alexander Morozevich at the 15th Karpov Tournament in Poikovsky, Russia. The split point turned out to be enough as pre-round co-leader GM Dmitry Jakovenko lost to GM Ian Nepomniachtchi, dropping him to second. The event took place from May 11-20, 2014.

Morozevich had shared the lead with Jakovenko since the conclusion of round five, but the former ended on 6/9, a half-point ahead at the wire.

GM Alexander Morozevich climbed back into the world's top 25 (photo: Russian Chess Federation)

The winner's final round draw was not your average early handshake affair (as opposed to round 8, when he drew with Nepomniachtchi as White in 16 moves). All results were possible with open lines everywhere:

Meanwhile, co-leader Jakovenko suffered the same fate as GM Alex Lenderman. Just a few days previously, Lenderman led the U.S. Championship but lost to GM Gata Kamsky on the Black side of a King's Indian Attack. 

Nepomniachtchi played in almost the exact same way as Kamsky - advancing his pawn to h6 and eventually creating constant problems on the dark squares. In the end, Jakovenko couldn't stop the c-pawn (for Lenderman, the a-pawn led to his eventual downfall, even though it never moved).

GMs Etienne Bacrot and Alexei Shirov also finished undefeated; they both garnered a lone win with eight draws for 5/9. GM Ivan Saric, the tournament leader early on, tripped in the second half. He only scored 0.5/4 and fell to even and a tie for fifth.

15th Karpov Tournament Final Crosstable



Mike Klein's picture
Author: Mike Klein


Vhomas Topalov's picture

in the end here it is!! Thanks Mike, the Moro is back!

RG13's picture

Yeah he is MUCH better than his current rating. I don't know why he had such a slump.

NN's picture

It was not the first time this happened to him

RS's picture

Look at the top four player's results. They managed to draw 30 out of their 36 games. This is a meagre 25% result for win/losses against 75% draws.

Compare this to the St Petersburg Tournament held a hundred years back in 1914.

The top 4 players drew 28 games out of 72 played by them. This is just 38% for draws and a whopping 62% for wins/losses.

If I had a time machine I would love to go back in time just to follow those tournaments instead of watching a spate of draws. No wonder chess was a game of romantics back then and of machines today

Anonymous's picture

"bla bla bla bla"

Would you be happier if players resigned in drawn positions?

 Anon's picture

Something is wrong with your math...

RG13's picture

Opening theory has advanced to the point of many positions being completely memorized well into the middlegame. That's why a player like Leko can practically draw at will against anyone. If you make such players play 40 moves (or more) then they can just aimlessly shuffle pieces in a dead position in order to defeat the rule. The solution is for people to organize more 960 tournaments with great prizes.

AAR's picture

Chess engines teach the opening moves to arrive at a solid middle game. Unless players are enterprising or take undue risk, most of the games among top players eventually end in a draw.

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