The Dark Side of Chess: When Is a Grandmaster Not Great?


Malinin, who died in November, always refused to pay for the consequences. But in a letter Published in Russian On an unknown chess website, Sudak admitted to playing an unusual role in the tournament.

He said the most notable game was the one he agreed to lose.

Malinin told the story in his letter:

As Karjakin’s title as the world’s youngest grandmaster slipped after an unexpected draw with Semyonova, Karjakin’s father Aleksandr approached several players whose son had lost points and offered them money to play their game again. Your firm said you were among those who received a cash offer for a regulated lottery.

Malinin, who had spare points, agreed to play his game again with Karjakin. He said he did it for free so he didn’t think of cheating. The duo replayed a game that would normally take up to six hours; again Malinin said it was played “in a blitz” – high speed variant chess. Karjakin won.

A few minutes later, according to Areshchenko, who was present, the newly crowned grandmaster rushed into the main hall of the tournament, shining like a “peacock” and proud.

Asked about the episode in an interview with The New York Times, Karjakin said he would ask his father. He later said that he did not meet with his father and did not know more about the tournament. Phone calls and text messages sent to Karjakin’s parents went unanswered.

But the fruits of Karjakin’s victory came quickly. The following year he played in the tournament in Wijk aan Zee in the Netherlands, known as the Wimbledon of chess. He joined the prestigious NAO chess club in Paris. Just a few months ago, Karjakin had traveled by bus to tournaments in Europe. Now, as the youngest grandmaster in the world, he is greeted by the president of Mexico.

“I was just filled with invitations,” Karjakin said in an interview, talking about the aftermath. “I’ve become very popular.”


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