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Loek van Wely vs Sergey Karjakin
Corus Group A (2006), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 6, Jan-20
Queen's Indian Defense: Fianchetto. Check Variation Intermezzo Line (E15)  ·  1/2-1/2

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-20-06  Caissanist: Karjakin does not seem to have the breadth of opening knowledge that you normally need to compete at this level, but aside from that his play at Corus has been very impressive--perhaps the best of anyone in the tournament. Here he gets caught in what looks like a prepared variation (10.Bh3!?) and gets the worst of it out of the opening, but convincingly outplays Van Wely the rest of the way. I really like the combination leading up to 29...Nc3!, which forces a dead drawn ending.
Jan-20-06  Assassinater: <perhaps the best of anyone in the tournament>

Even compared to the likes of Ivanchuk, Topalov and Anand? I like the kid too, but saying that he's played the best chess of everyone else in the tournament is going a bit far, IMO.

Jan-21-06  Caissanist: Well, he's even with Ivanchuk, and only half a point behind Topalov and Anand. I don't think it's farfetched to say that, if he knew as much opening theory as they did, he would be at least 1/2 point of where he is now, and it wouldn't be a fluke. I haven't seen him get any cheap half-points yet, he's scored this well by playing that well.

This isn't to say that he's yet as good as the names you mention. You can't pass judgment based on six games, and opening theory *is* an important part of the game. But I've been truly amazed by the level of his play.

Jan-21-06  sharkbenjamin: Well said Caissanist.
Jan-21-06  Caissanist: Typo: for "at least 1/2 point of" read "at least 1/2 point ahead of", sorry about that.

<sharkbenjamin> - thanks.

Apr-28-06  babakova: Karjakin got a better game out of the opening than Carlsen did today.

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