Reports | October 06, 2012 8:00

Poikovsky: Jakovenko still a point clear, Short in last place

The game Bruzon-Jakovenko from round 7

In rounds 6 and 7 he drew both of his games, but Dmitry Jakovenko is still a full point ahead of his rivals at the Karpov Tournamemnt in Poikovsky. With two rounds to go Ruslan Ponomariov, Radek Wojtaszek and Alexander Motylev are sharing second place with 4/7.

The game Bruzon-Jakovenko from round 7 | Photo courtesy of the Russian Chess Federation

Event 13th Karpov tournament | PGN via TWIC
Dates September 28-October 7, 2012
Location Poikovsky, Russia
System 10-player round robin
Players Ruslan Ponomariov, Dmitry Jakovenko, Radoslaw Wojtaszek, Lazaro Bruzon, Viktor Bologan, Nigel Short, Sergei Rublevsky, Wang Yue, Alexander Onischuk and Alexander Motylev

Jakovenko seems to be cruising to victory at the Karpov tournament. After his good start (4 out of 5) basically all he needed was a few more draws and he'd finish clear first. In round 7 the Russian grandmaster played top seed Ruslan Ponomariov with White, and went for the hyper-solid 7.dxc5 line of the Queen's Gambit Accepted. This line involves an early trade of queens and in fact it's not something that should worry a player of Ponomariov's calibre. No wonder the games was over after a mere 20 moves.

In the next round Jakovenko played Lazaro Bruzon, Cuba's number two behind Leinier Dominguez, who participated in the London Grand Prix. Although the opening was an Exchange Slav, this game lasted almost twice as long, but the result was the same: ½-½.

On Thursday Wojtaszek won against Bologan. The game went a bit up and down, but in the end the Polish GM calculated just a bit better.

PGN string

He's playing entertaining openings, but Nigel Short is not having a great tournament. On Friday the Englishman, who is in last place, drew comfortably against Wojtaszek by playing the Budapest Gambit (!) but the previous day his Evans Gambit went less well. Actually it wasn't about the opening at all, because White was close to winning around move 36...

PGN string

In Friday's 7th round Motylev beat Rublevsky, despite missing a nice little tactic.

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The last game we'll show is this one between Wang Yue and Bologan, a fantastic fight!

PGN string

Karpov Tournament (Poikovsky) 2012 | Schedule & results

Round 1 28.09.12 11:00 CET   Round 2 29.09.12 11:00 CET
Short 1-0 Rublevsky   Rublevsky 1-0 Bruzon
Jakovenko 1-0 Bologan   Wojtaszek 0-1 Ponomariov
Onischuk ½-½ Wang Yue   Wang Yue 0-1 Motylev
Motylev 0-1 Wojtaszek   Bologan ½-½ Onischuk
Ponomariov ½-½ Bruzon   Short 0-1 Jakovenko
Round 3 30.09.12 11:00 CET   Round 4 01.10.12 11:00 CET
Jakovenko ½-½ Rublevsky   Rublevsky ½-½ Wojtaszek
Onischuk ½-½ Short   Wang Yue ½-½ Bruzon
Motylev ½-½ Bologan   Bologan 1-0 Ponomariov
Ponomariov ½-½ Wang Yue   Short ½-½ Motylev
Bruzon ½-½ Wojtaszek   Jakovenko 1-0 Onischuk
Round 5 02.10.12 11:00 CET   Round 6 04.10.12 11:00 CET
Onischuk ½-½ Rublevsky   Rublevsky ½-½ Wang Yue
Motylev ½-½ Jakovenko   Bologan 0-1 Wojtaszek
Ponomariov 1-0 Short   Short 0-1 Bruzon
Bruzon 0-1 Bologan   Jakovenko ½-½ Ponomariov
Wojtaszek ½-½ Wang Yue   Onischuk ½-½ Motylev
Round 7 05.10.12 11:00 CET   Round 8 06.10.12 11:00 CET
Motylev 1-0 Rublevsky   Rublevsky - Bologan
Ponomariov ½-½ Onischuk   Short - Wang Yue
Bruzon ½-½ Jakovenko   Jakovenko - Wojtaszek
Wojtaszek ½-½ Short   Onischuk - Bruzon
Wang Yue ½-½ Bologan   Motylev - Ponomariov
Round 9 07.10.12 11:00 CET        
Ponomariov - Rublevsky        
Bruzon - Motylev        
Wojtaszek - Onischuk        
Wang Yue - Jakovenko        
Bologan - Short        

Karpov Tournament (Poikovsky) 2012 | Round 7 standings


Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


noyb's picture

Sorry to see Nigel fade down the stretch. He was looking good in the top 40 just a week or so ago! I hope he picks himself up, dusts himself off, and rises to 2700+ again.

sulutas's picture

I guess, exactly for this reason Kasparov retired from the chess scene (well, he would do better of course than Short); once a super star, now just an interesting player with interesting openings: Nigel Short. I like to see Gawain Jones (or even Sadler) instead of him in the upcoming London Chess Classic, (although I will never understand why the half of the players should be British in that tournament)

juanefren's picture

Maybe to promote their English players?

sulutas's picture

That is what I was thinking, but having seen Short participate in the earlier three editions, I couldn't see what to promote about Short. I would love to see Hou Yifan for instance, as it would draw a huge media interest (at least in China).

Paul's picture

Short is not playing at the London Classic (unless you count his simuls) of his own choice. And unless my maths is out, 3 British players (Adams, Jones, McShane) in a field on 9, is 1/3, not "half of the players" you claim.

sulutas's picture

Thanks. I was not informed about the participants of this year's London Chess Classic. I thought that it had been some sort of a tradition to have the half of the participants as British as in the former three editions.

Thomas's picture

Maybe Kasparov indeed quit because he had achieved everything he could and didn't want to face a decline that might have come sooner or later. But if Short still enjoys chess (just not against the very strongest opposition - London or Wijk aan Zee A) and is "just an interesting player with interesting openings", why should he be 'trashed' after one bad event? For example, last January he won the Gibraltar Open (ahead of several strong GMs, with wins against Mamedyarov and Sasikiran).

sulutas's picture

I think it would be a great idea to have Short behind the scene, as a commentator. He is a very charming person, who has a super witty language. We need people like that. Nowadays, in order to achieve really good results, you need to be someone around his early 20s and dedicated to spending around 8 hours in front of your computer. The likes of Short do not have a chance to be at the top anymore.

Thomas's picture

I don't know what you mean with "top" and "really good results" - in every tournament some players have to score less than 50%, and one has to finish last. Moreover, the current live rating list has a couple of players who are past 40: Anand (on a slow decline?), Ivanchuk (still going strong), Gelfand (who just showed what he's still or again capable of), Shirov (a bit down, will he come back?), Adams (no longer absolute world top but not that weak either).

From the top 10 in January 2000, only Kasparov and Bareev have (more or less) quit - the other 8 are Anand, Kramnik, Shirov, Morozevich, Leko, Kamsky, Adams and Ivanchuk. From the top 10 in January 1990, at least four players are still (semi-)active, one (who?) is still world top.

sulutas's picture

Except for Anand and Kramnik, I don't think I can follow what you are saying. I talk about the likes of Carlsen, Aronian, Naka, Karjakin, Caruana, Radjabov etc. To tell the truth I totally lost my faith in Anand; I think Kasparov was right when he said Anand may have lost his enthusiasm after all, and Kramnik, in almost all of his interviews, supports what I am saying in that he also thinks it is really difficult to catch up with the youngsters since they have more energy that they can dedicate for their work. Do you really believe Nigel sits down every day and spends almost ten hours in front of this computer, looking here and there a slight advantage for white? Once I remember him saying "that is not how I play!" when someone suggested a computer move to him during the post-mortem analysis with audience. He is one of the last romantic players we have maybe, but his days are over.

Thomas's picture

What I am basically saying is: chess is more than the top 10 - after all, these players are "top" because a few hundred other GMs are weaker. And every tournament needs "losers" because else there would be no winners! So Short and comparable players (the closest matches by age, current and former peak rating might be Sokolov, Dreev and Georgiev) should still get invitations, including events where they are the underdog.

Regarding Short's postmortem, I don't know what kind of computer move you refer to (do you?). If it was an "inhuman" middlegame move (i.e. beyond home preparation), many other GMs could probably say something similar but might not be as frank and honest as Short ... Kramnik might say "looks interesting, needs to be checked with a computer" :)

valg321's picture

because noone in england will give a rats @rse if there arent any british players

Soviet School's picture

@valg I disagree, though I am Englsh when I go along to see the London chess classic I go to see the best players like Anand , Kramnik and Carlsen.
Personally it would be preferable for me if Ivanchuk and Gelfand etcetera were playing rather than the relatively weak English players. Though having weaker players in the tournament does help encourage decisive results and McShane and Short were worth their places.

Anon's picture

yeah! Adam Sandler would be a better choice.

Bartleby's picture

I had the pleasure to hear Nigel Short's giving a master class after a won game in Gibraltar. To me it is clear the guy likes the game too much to just be a commentator. He doesn't have any ambitious goals left to reach in his career, or Elo barriers to break. He loves to play chess. Getting torn up by a pack of young wolves is probably not a pleasant experience but I'm sure it won't leave any lasting damage.

Bronkenstein's picture

Indeed, it´s always a pleasure to watch Nigel´s entertaining (and sometimes quite offbeat - openingswise) games - Budapest, English Defence ... His Evance had much more spirit and ambition (and risk, also) than some ´precise´ Berlins or Petroffs. And he really seems to enjoy playing.

hess Fan's picture

I would like to see Nigel Short do better than a last, even come near the top, but to be fair, let everyone play their best and the best man win.

Chess Fan's picture

Is there any way to delete a comment, please?

Chess Fan's picture

I would like to see Nigel Short do better than a last, even come near the top, but to be fair, let everyone play their best and the best man win.

Anonymous's picture

Yes, it's just too bad that Nakamura didn't play in this one, at least then, Nigel would not have to be in last place.

Seriously though, if Nakamura has really decided on poker over chess, then he should consider either this one, or the Sigeman & Co. tournament.

Anonymous's picture

maybe short is feeling a bit isolated in such a 'russian' tournament - no mates to share a glass of rioja while waxing lyrical with his gargantuan vocabulary 8-)

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