General Nov 8, 2020 | 12:45 PMby Colin McGourty

Sergey Karjakin plays the Skilling Open... & Banter Blitz

Sergey Karjakin is among the 16 stars to play the Skilling Open, the opening event of the $1.5 million Champions Chess Tour that starts on November 22nd. The record holder as the youngest grandmaster in chess history has won almost all there is to win in chess, and in 2016 fell just short of claiming the World Championship title against Magnus Carlsen. You now have a chance to take on Sergey as he plays chess24 Premium members in a Banter Blitz session starting today at 16:00 CET.


Crimean-born Sergey Karjakin was an uber-prodigy. He won the World U12 Championship in 2001 and claimed the grandmaster title in 2002 at the age of just 12 years and 7 months, a record that still stands despite an incredible boom in chess prodigies in recent years.

Although Sergey's haul of super-tournament victories is modest for a player of his stature (including Wijk aan Zee 2009 and Norway Chess 2013 and 2014), he's won almost all the major titles in chess. He claimed the World Rapid Championship in 2012, the World Blitz Championship in 2016 and the World Cup in 2015, but his most important victory came in the 2016 Candidates Tournament in Moscow.


That result earned Sergey Karjakin the chance to go down in chess history as he took on Magnus Carlsen in the 2016 World Championshp match in New York. Few gave Sergey chances of winning, but incredible resourcefulness in bad positions — he became known as the Minister of Defence — frustated Magnus, until after 7 draws it was Sergey who drew first blood. 

With just 4 games to go, Sergey was favourite to win the match and almost sealed the deal in Game 9, but instead it was Magnus who hit back to win Game 10 and ultimately retain his title in a rapid playoff. 

Sergey came close to forcing a rematch via the Berlin Candidates Tournament in 2018, but otherwise he seems to have struggled to regain the motivation to launch another grueling assault on the World Championship title. He was also one of the least active elite players when chess switched online in 2020, but that may now change as Sergey competes in the $1.5 million Champions Chess Tour.

The players announced so far for the 16-player Skilling Open are:

  1. Ding Liren
  2. Levon Aronian
  3. Teimour Radjabov
  4. David Anton
  5. Sergey Karjakin         

Banter Blitz with Sergey Karjakin

Before that, however, it’s your chance to take on the Russian star as he plays blitz against chess24 Premium members while talking about his moves. The session starts at 16:00 CET and you can challenge by clicking the link below, hovering over Sergey’s chess24 username SergeyKarjakin under the video and selecting “Challenge me!” (that button will be active when he’s online):

If you’re not yet Premium you can save 40% now if you Go Premium using the voucher code KARJAKIN40. Alternatively, check out the Early Bird offers for our Tour Pass.

We’ll be announcing a new participant for the Skilling Open each day and you can follow all the announcements on the Champions Chess Tour website or chess24’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.

See also:


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