Announcement | October 03, 2011 12:44

Karjakin top seed in Poikovsky

Sergei Karjakin, who declined an invitation for this year's Grand Slam Masters Final, is the top seed at the 12th Karpov tournament in Poikovsky, Russia. The event takes place October 4-13, with a rest day on the 9th. In this strong 10-player, single round robin, the participants are:

  1. Sergey Karjakin (Russia, 2772)
  2. Dmitry Jakovenko (Russia, 2716)
  3. Fabiano Caruana (Italy, 2712)
  4. Etienne Bacrot (France, 2705)
  5. Zahar Efimenko (Ukraine, 2703)
  6. Viktor Laznicka (Czech Republic)
  7. Alexander Motylev (Russia, 2690)
  8. Lazaro Bruzon (Cuba, 2682)
  9. Sergei Rublevsky (Russia, 2681)
  10. Alexander Onischuk (USA, 2669)
Editors's picture
Author: Editors


bronkenstein's picture

After looking @ ratings briefly , it looks perfect for Sergey to boost his ELO and qualify for WCH Candidates over Kramnik . If not perfect , then at least as a decent chance.

Thomas's picture

It's a chance to gain _a few_ rating points, but not more than that and certainly not a risk-free easy ride. Poikovsky is for Karjakin what Biel was for Carlsen - well not quite as it doesn't have a "Pelletier" (no need to invite a sub-2600 player to have a local Russian player!). Carlsen won the event, scored 7/10 and gained TWO (2) rating points.

Still interesting that Karjakin declined the Bilbao invitation to play Poikovsky. Maybe he feels obliged to "Mother Russia" (and/or to defend his title from last year), or maybe - like Kramnik - he doesn't like intercontinental travel halfway through a supertournament.

S3's picture

According to what I heard it was because of Bilbao being to soon after the russian final and world cup (and Karjakin had probably high hopes for that event). And maybe -now I am speculating- he likes and supports the Poikovsky event as he's been there before and some of his friends do it as well.
Speaking of wich, I am a bit sad that Bologan isn't on the list.

S3's picture

Current ratings don't say much. Several players are still young,(others) have had much higher ratings before, and some have been improving lately (I hope and think Efimenko will do well). I think Onichuk is a likely tail ender but for the rest it's hard to predict. So a risky tournament for Karjakin, but fun for us.
At any rate he won't catch Kramnik on the rating qualifier.

ebutaljib's picture

When a really higher rated player plays in a tournament with "lower" rated players it is always a perfect opportunity to LOSE rating points, not to gain them! He can hardly gain anything, but can quickly lose 20 or even more.

redivivo's picture

Kramnik said that Carlsen picks events with weaker opponents to keep his rating since he couldn't do it against the highest rated players.

ebutaljib's picture

Yeah. And that is the reason why Kramnik never participates in "lower ranked" tournaments. It seems to me that Kramnik is more picky when chosing tournaments than Carlsen. Of course nobody from the top can compare with Ivanchuk who occasionally plays open tournaments too.

Thomas's picture

Incidentally, Kramnik will play a "weak event" starting next week: Unive in Hoogeveen with Vachier-Lagrave, Giri and Polgar. It seems that these organizers - like Poikovsky and unlike London - didn't send out big press releases months in advance? Also in the past, there is little if any evidence that "Kramnik is more picky when cho[o]sing tournaments than Carlsen": for example, both did and do play Corus/Tata and London. Now Carlsen had one event (Biel) where he was clear favorite and, as the tournament winner, hardly gained Elo (but could have lost many points if something had gone wrong).

I think Kramnik had in mind that
- he won ahead of Carlsen in the strongest events they played together (Tal Memorial 2009, Bilbao 2010), and
- Carlsen didn't risk his reputation playing the candidates event.
In any case, he can plausibly answer "no" to the question "Is Carlsen MUCH stronger than you are?" - Elo, at least differences of some 20-30 points, doesn't mean THAT much.

BTW, some other world top players also participated in opens or rather weak round robins: Kamsky, Mamedyarov, Shirov, ... anyone else?

ebutaljib's picture

Hoogeeven is not weak. It is a category 20 tournament!
I've never seen Kramnik participating in a tournament with an average rating lower than 2700 in the last 10 years.

Thomas's picture

Hoogeveen is category 20 thanks to Kramnik. Overall it's rather comparable to Biel and Poikovsky: one player is clear rating favorite and "if he delivers" the others can only fight for second place.

"I've never seen Kramnik participating in a tournament with an average rating lower than 2700 in the last 10 years."
True - but "huuh"? Did Anand, Topalov or Aronian play such events? Did Carlsen _after_ he reached 2750? Of course he used to play Corus C and B as long as he wasn't out of place in such a field - but you cannot blame Kramnik for being older and world top throughout the period you mention!
The top5 players simply don't have time for such events (after all, they get regular supertournament invitations), and/or these organizers cannot afford them. Another story is that Shirov and Morozevich played such events - at a time when their own rating wasn't much higher.

Overall: While you can criticize Kramnik, this Kramnik-bashing simply doesn't make sense at all.

ebutaljib's picture

Yes he did. Carlsen played in Biel 2008 with an average rating of 2680' something while being rated 2775.

I did not say that Carlsen doesn't choose his tournaments, and neither did I say this for Anand or others, but really Kramnik is the last person on this world who can criticise this. He is the elite tournaments only player. Who knows how they managed to get him to Hoogeeven. It is a strong tournament, but not what you would call elite. In last 10 years Kramnik played only in elite events. Exclusively. You can't find any "normal" tournaments for him. He is really the last person to say something about others choosing their events.

S3's picture

You really are stubborn aren't you:
This is not elite, and like I said before just one example. Now eat your words and don't bother with silly excuses like it isn't a tournament.

ebutaljib's picture

Yes, I will be stubborn. Give an example of an individual tournament not a team competition. You can't!

S3's picture

Haha. I already posted such a tournament fitting your own standards before you posted that. So now what?

S3's picture

On a second note, Biel 2008 had such a low average rating because of Pelletier. However, Kramnik has played in events with an even lower average rating, like the Rus. Superfinal of 2005 (2664). I am sure there are other events as well but since you made the false claim I leave it to you to find more examples.

Now I don't know about Carlsen chosing his tournaments, but it is true he hastily withdrew of several team events (one time causing the Norwegians to play a man short effectively) and he also doesn't participate in the Norwegian ch., as far as I know. Maybe because of rating risks, maybe 'cause he is just too good to be bothered by it. But don't spread lies about Kramnik 'cause of it will you.

ebutaljib's picture

This are ALL individual tournaments Kramnik has participated in last years

2011 Botvinnik Memorial
2011 Russian Championship
2011 Amber
2011 Wijk aan Zee
2010 London
2010 World Blitz Championship
2010 Tal Memorial
2010 Bilbao
2010 Shanghai
2010 Dortmund
2010 Presidents Cup
2010 Amber
2010 Wij aan Zee
2009 London
2009 World Blitz Championship
2009 Tal Memorial
2009 Champions rapid in Zuerich
2009 Dortmund
2009 Presidents Cup
2009 Amber
2008 Tal Memorial (blitz)
2008 Tal Memorial
2008 Dortmund
2008 Amber
2008 Wijk aan Zee
2007 World Blitz Championship
2007 Tal Memorial
2007 World Championship
2007 Dortmund
2007 Amber
2007 Wijk aan Zee
2006 Dortmund
2005 Russian Championship
2005 Dortmund
2005 Sofia M-Tel Masters
2005 Amber
2005 Wijk aan Zee

I see exclusively elite events on this list. Not even eone event that could be listed as "normal". The lesat elite was what you mentioned - 2005 Russian Championship.

So yes, you will have hard time to convince me that Kramnik is not an elite-tournament-only player. He is the last person who can talk about that.

S3's picture

So that Rus. Championship was an elite event but Biel, ratingwise stronger, is not?
This shows your hypocrisy nicely.
First you try to escape by asking for tournaments only but when they are produced you still ignore the truth. No sense in talking with you further.
The truth is obvious: Kramnik plays anyone that is worth playing and he is not afraid to face players who are weaker ratingwise.

ebutaljib's picture

You compare national championships with invitational tournaments? And yes, if all the best Russians compete then Russian championship has higher rating average than most tournaments. And yes 2005 Russian championship was weak so I was wrong. Kramnik did not play in elite tournaments exclusively in the last 10 years. He ONCE participated in a lower class tournament. Happy?

S3's picture

Always happy, and you are improving.

Thomas's picture

"Who knows how they managed to get him [Kramnik] to Hoogeeven"
Probably with an attractive offer - Kramnik, like other world top players, certainly knows and asks his market value. It must be more than a few Big Macs (the local McDonald's restaurant is subsponsor of the event!). Maybe old connections also helped - he once played for a club from nearby Groningen.

Carlsen and Biel is clearly a long-term story: They invited him long before he was eligible for events such as Linares. First time was in 2005 when he had Elo 2528 and predictably finished in last place. Biel 2007 was his first major tournament victory, maybe he immediately committed for the next edition? And this year he more or less invited himself - but obviously not for free: the organizers needed one sponsor for Carlsen, and another one for the remaining five players.

Kramnik has an even longer Dortmund connection. Maybe this year he also would have played if Ponomariov and Nakamura had declined the invitation (to play at the World Team Championship) and had been replaced by, say, Naiditsch and van Wely.

Altogether, your evidence that Kramnik is the only(!) elite tournaments only player is rather weak: While I appreciate your statistics, please don't use them selectively - below you list Kramnik's events, similar lists for other world top players will certainly look very similar.

ebutaljib's picture

And what exactly prevents you from posting it?

Besides I didn't bring Kramnik into the discussion. I also didn't defend Carlsen. Look how it got started - I said that if a player with high rating plays in lower ranked tournament than this is a perfect chance to lose rating points, not to gain them. And that is true. High rated players mostly lose their rating points in Olympiads and other team event when paired against "weaker" opposition. That is a fact. It has nothing to do with Carlsen, Kramnik or anyone else.

But when somenoe quotes Kramnik saying that some player chooses his tournaments based on rating then I have to respond. Same would happen if Anand said something like that. Kramnik IS an elite tournament only player, Anand too, and so are Carlsen, Aronian and almost all top players. And then someone tries to make a point that Kramnik plays anyone - phew - we had to go all the way back to 2005 to find ONE single event for Kramnik that couldn't be classified as elite and that should somehow disprove my statement that Kramnik plays in elite only events. Jesus!

RealityCheck's picture

Loek van Wely.

S3's picture

That's clearly not true. It may be that Kramniks current/previous style is less suited to beating "weaker" players but it hasn't stopped him of playing against them, let's say at the German and Dutch club-competitions or f.e. Corus where he used to lose rating points every year.
Ratingwise HE plays weaker and stronger players in about every format (except for open tournaments but that indeed is very for anyone rated top5).

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