The Dark Side of Chess: When Isn’t a Grandmaster So Great?
Malinin, who died in November, has always denied paying for the results. But in a letter published in russian on an obscure chess site, he admitted to having played an unusual role in the Sudak tournament.
The most notable game, he said, is the one he agreed to lose.
Malinin told the story this way in his letter:
With Karjakin’s title as the world’s youngest grandmaster slipping away from him after his unexpected draw with Semyonova, Karjakin’s father Aleksandr approached several players to whom his son had lost points and offered them money. to replay their matches. Firman said he was among those who received an offer of money for a raffle.
Malinin, who had points to spare, agreed to replay his match with Karjakin. He said he did it for free and therefore didn’t consider it a cheat. The two replayed a game that would normally have taken up to six hours; in the replay, said Malinin, it was played “in blitz” – a high speed variant failures. Karjakin won.
A few minutes later, the newly crowned grandmaster ran into the main tournament hall, beaming and proud as “a peacock,” according to Areshchenko, who was in attendance.
Asked about the episode in an interview with The New York Times, Karjakin said he would ask his father about it. He later said he was not in contact with his father and had no other information about the tournament. Phone calls and texts sent to Karjakin’s parents went unanswered.
The fruits of Karjakin’s victory, however, came quickly. The following year he competed in the Wijk aan Zee tournament in the Netherlands, a city known as Wimbledon chess. In Paris, he joined the prestigious NAO chess club. A few months earlier, Karjakin had traveled to tournaments in Europe by bus. Now, as the world’s youngest grandmaster, he has been greeted by the President of Mexico.
“I was just flooded with invitations,” Karjakin said in an interview, speaking of the aftermath. “I have become very popular.