Reports | June 08, 2013 1:58

Karjakin wins Sberbank rapid

Karjakin wins Sberbank rapid

Sergey Karjakin won the Sberbank rapid tournament in Kiev, Ukraine on Friday. The Russian grandmaster finished strongly with 2.5/3 and surpassed Veselin Topalov, who lost to Pavel Eljanov in the eighth round. Anatoly Karpov finished in 9th place with 3/9.

Photo Yury Kolomytseva, more here

The Sberbank International Chess Festival finished on Friday in Kiev, Ukraine with rounds 7, 8 and 9. Veselin Topalov was leading with 4.5/6, but he was chased by three players with a half point less: Peter Leko, Sergey Karjakin and Sergey Zhigalko.

The seventh round was crucial, as it saw the top pairings Topalov-Leko and Zhigalko-Karjakin. Topalov-Leko was an uneventful draw in a Queen's Indian, which gave Karjakin the opportunity to catch Topalov in first place. The Russian grandmaster was in fact outplayed by Zhigalko in a Two Knights Defence, but the grandmaster from Belarus spoilt it completely (32.Qxd5!? or 37.Qe3!? look strong) and even lost.

Karjakin continued with a draw against Tomashevsky, which enough to grab sole lead as Topalov went down against Eljanov. In the final round Karjakin and Topalov both won, and so it was Karjakin who took the trophy. Instead of defending his World Rapid title in Khanty-Mansiysk, he got himself another prize instead!

Anatoly Karpov finished on a for his stature disappointing 3/9. He stuck to his 3...Qd6 Scandinavian on the final day as well, even though this gave his opponents the opportunity to prepare a little. We get the feeling that his is what happened, as both Areschenko (round 7) and Karjakin (round 9) got very promising positions right out of the opening.

Pavel Eljanov was one of the players to finish on 4.5/9, but he can be quite satisfied as he beat both the winner and the runner-up of the tournament!

It seems that this new festival in Kiev has been quite successful. During the press conference, Alexander Areschenko praised the organizers. He really liked it that the famous chess players were in the same hall as a children's tournament, which was attended by about 180 children under the age of 16.

Young children running around, watching us play – it's great.

The time control in Kiev was 25 minutes + 10 seconds increment. The total prize fund was 50,000 Euros. Below you can replay all games of day 3.

Games rounds 7-9

PGN file

Sberbank rapid 2013 | Results

Round 1 05.06.13 14:30 CET   Round 2 05.06.13 16:00 CET
Karpov ½-½ Tomashevsky   Tomashevsky 1-0 Naiditsch
Korobov 0-1 Karjakin   Areshchenko 0-1 Topalov
Leko ½-½ Zhigalko   Zhigalko 1-0 Eljanov
Eljanov ½-½ Areshchenko   Karjakin ½-½ Leko
Topalov 1-0 Naiditsch   Karpov 0-1 Korobov
Round 3 05.06.13 17:30 CET   Round 4 06.06.13 14:30 CET
Korobov 0-1 Tomashevsky   Tomashevsky ½-½ Areshchenko
Leko ½-½ Karpov   Zhigalko 1-0 Naiditsch
Eljanov 1-0 Karjakin   Karjakin 1-0 Topalov
Topalov 1-0 Zhigalko   Karpov 1-0 Eljanov
Naiditsch 0-1 Areshchenko   Korobov ½-½ Leko
Round 5 06.06.13 16:00 CET   Round 6 06.06.13 17:30 CET
Leko 1-0 Tomashevsky   Tomashevsky ½-½ Zhigalko
Eljanov ½-½ Korobov   Karjakin ½-½ Areshchenko
Topalov ½-½ Karpov   Karpov 0-1 Naiditsch
Naiditsch 0-1 Karjakin   Korobov 0-1 Topalov
Areshchenko 0-1 Zhigalko   Leko 1-0 Eljanov
Round 7 07.06.13 14:30 CET   Round 8 07.06.13 16:00 CET
Eljanov ½-½ Tomashevsky   Tomashevsky ½-½ Karjakin
Topalov ½-½ Leko   Karpov ½-½ Zhigalko
Naiditsch 0-1 Korobov   Korobov 1-0 Areshchenko
Areshchenko 1-0 Karpov   Leko 0-1 Naiditsch
Zhigalko 0-1 Karjakin   Eljanov 1-0 Topalov
Round 9 07.06.13 18:30 CET        
Topalov 1-0 Tomashevsky        
Naiditsch 0-1 Eljanov        
Areshchenko ½-½ Leko        
Zhigalko ½-½ Korobov        
Karjakin 1-0 Karpov        

Sberbank rapid 2013 | Final 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.


gaunilomonk's picture

some fine form from Karjakin of recent,, most impressive.

NN's picture

I think he did not show his best chess but he still won, and this is perhaps even more impressive.
By the way this is a lot of money for a rapid tournament lasting three days

Fishy's picture

Kariakin is sure one of the future greats of chess! (he's already great but i mean a top 3 player for a long time to come! The new generation)

gaunilomonk 's picture

the youngest grand master ever is destined to compete for the world title some day

Thomas Oliver's picture

"Karpov finished on a for his stature disappointing 3/9."
Maybe 'for his stature', but - as they say in the financial world - past results (in his case mostly decades ago) offer no guarantee for the future. Karpov finished about where he belongs in the field based on his current rating, actually one place higher. So did everyone else with two exceptions: Naiditsch had a terrible event, and Zhigalko a great one by his standards - it could have been even better (shared first?) if he had converted his advantage against Karjakin.

achja's picture

Karpov is playing a bad line in the Qd6 Scandinavian. See here :
"1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qd6 4.d4 c6?! is dubious because of the game Bologan - Tiviakov in which White played 5.Ne4! Thats why, we will play 4...Nf6."

Apart from that the setup with c6 is kind of slow. Better is a7-a6 or g7-g6 after 4..Nf6.

Anonymous's picture

The c6 continuation is the most solid in the Qd6 scandinavian..

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