Traps, Tricks & Mistakes: Karjakin Trapped

This post is a collaboration with Mr Andrew Crosby who is an expert in chess gambits. He usually plays them in his games with great success. Andrew is a member of our virtual club taking active part in our online tournaments and matches.

The victim of the trap in today’s game is the brilliant Russian Grandmaster Sergey Alexandrovich Karjakin.
Karjakin was born in the Ukraine in 1990 but adopted the Russian citizenship in 2009. He was a child prodigy who learned to play chess at the age of 5. In 1999 he won the European U10 Chess Championship and was U12 World Chess Champion in 2001. At the age of 11 years 11 months he became an International Master. Then quickly followed on to become the youngest Grandmaster ever at 12 years 7 months. He held this distinction for 19 years until July-2021 when the American Abhimanyu Mishra achieved that title at the slightly earlier age of 12 years 4 months and 25 days.

In January 2002, the year he attained Grandmaster status, Karjakin was the official second of fellow Ukrainian Ruslan Ponomariov during the FIDE World Championship match. Ponomariov won and with his victory he became the first teenager and youngest ever person to become world champion.

2016 was a remarkable year for him. Having won the Candidates Tournament, he narrowly lost the World Championship match to Magnus Carlsen. He drew the classical 6-6 only to lose 3-1 in the rapid tiebreakers. Later that year he won the World Blitz Championship which leads into today’s featured game.

The game corresponds to the World Blitz Championship of the year 2010 where Karjakin played at the age of 20. Despite his impressive curriculum, he loses in this game in only 10 moves (!!) after falling into a trap in the English opening.

Today’s game is a blitz game. For those not familiar each player has only 5 minutes to play all their moves.
Nevertheless, falling into an early trap and losing in only 10 moves is unusual among top players.
Note that Grandmasters fall for traps like all of us but these are usually much more subtle tactical tricks.
Karjakin makes a seemingly natural move which leads him into the trap scenario.

Dear reader, be aware of today’s trap because is easy to catch players into it due to its unexpectedness.

The Nairobi Chess Club site remains closed until further notice due to the COVID pandemic.
Nevertheless, our virtual club regularly organizes online tournaments and matches. New tournaments will start soon and there is Blitz every Saturday.
More than 430 members enjoy that chance and new members join every week. Join now! Limited slots!.

Get updated about COVID-19. Check the website World Health Organization. It includes links to country-specific information. Stay safe!

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