Tactics Festival - Part I

  • WGM Natalia_Pogonina
  • | Apr 24, 2012

The traditional Russian Team Chess Championship (both men’s and women’s divisions) was held from April 8th to 16th in the Loo district of the resort city Sochi on the coast of the Black sea. From 2005 to 2011 I have been playing in the women’s tournament, but this year decided to try to compete among men. The reason for this was prosaic: the club I am playing for, AVS, has decided to skip the event this year and go straight for the Eurocup (we are the reigning Eurocup champions, so we don’t need to qualify there from the Russian Championship). Also, the ECU rules forbid players from competing for two clubs simultaneously in the same league. However, the men’s division is different. As a result, I joined the friendly and mostly young team “Rakita”. Our line-up looked like this: 1. GM Ivan Popov, 2605; 2. GM Boris Savchenko, 2580; 3. GM Alexandr Danin, 2539, 4. GM Alexandr Ivanov, 2433; 5. IM Grigory Oparin, 2487, 6. IM Mikhail Antipov, 2435; 7. WGM Natalia Pogonina 2449; 8. Vitaly Babynin 2021. In each match 6 players took part, while two took a rest. Our team was seeded 11th. The tournament itself was a Swiss event with 18 teams participating.

Previously nearly all the world’s top players have been competing in the Russian League, but lately the financial crisis has taken its toll, and some of the big names were missing. Nonetheless, about half the world’s top-rated grandmasters showed up. The rating favorite and reigning champion, SHSM-64 was equipped with six 2700+ grandmasters and led by the world’s #7 player Fabiano Caruana. Economist-SGSU had 5 2700+ players and was headed by the inimitable Alexander Morozevich. World Cup Champion Peter Svidler, Russia’s #1 young hope Sergei Karjakin, and European Champion Dmitry Jakovenko were the leaders of the teams Saint Petersburg Chess Federation, Tomsk-400. and Ugra respectively. The full team compositions can be viewed here.  It is worth noting that the St-Petersburg team is the reigning champion of the Eurocup, so this time we had 5 qualifying spots instead of the usual 4. The top-5 teams mentioned above were vastly superior as compared to the others, although the short 7-round distance offered the underdogs certain chances to qualify, or at least affect the final standings.

In the very first round my team Rakita had to face the super club Economist-SGSU which hails from my home city Saratov. The guys are my friends, and I have always been rooting for them. This case was an exception. The match was hard-fought, and we were quite close to drawing it. However, in the end our opponents clinched the victory: 4-2.

loo1.jpgEconomist SGSU vs Rakita. Photo by Mariya Fominykh, chesspro.ru

In the first round all the five super clubs won their matches. Especially merciless was Tomsk-400, which wiped out Zhiguli with a perfect 6-0 score.

Now that some of you are probably bored from reading about other players’ feats, I would like you to actually work on your own chess and solve a few nice puzzles from the 1st round’s games. First try to find the solution yourself, and then check out the annotations, by clicking on "move list":

In the second round two of the favorites clashed: Saratov-SGSU vs Ugra. ShSM-64 had to face the #6 club Polytechnik. The guys from Nizhni Tagil usually have a strong and interesting team, but so far they haven’t achieved anything significant. This year they were in contention for the qualifying spots. Nonetheless, SHSM-64 won with an impressive 4.5-1.5 score. In the main confrontation of the day Economist defeated Ugra: Morozevich beat Jakovenko and Eljanov scored against Malakhov. Alexander Morozevich is a true fighter! In round 1 he blundered terribly against our player Ivan Popov and lost, but in round two he came back and basically crushed the reigning European Champion Dmitry Jakovenko.


Economist-SGSU vs Ugra. Photo by Mariya Fominykh, chesspro.ru

The second round didn’t bring any real upsets as well. Our club drew the Kemerovo team. Before the round Alexandr Danin had been telling me stories about how two of his teammates drew their games against Kemerovo last year while both being a piece down. He even showed me the games. After the match we had a good laugh at the team meeting: I also drew Cheremnova being a piece down. As a result, Alexandr was asked to provide me with winning examples next time. Laughing

Here are three more challenges for you to try to deal with:

To be continued…


  • 3 years ago

    WGM Natalia_Pogonina

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  • 5 years ago


    thanks Natalia :) and ovaido :))) good games, good examples :)

  • 5 years ago



  • 5 years ago


    thank you Natalia

  • 5 years ago


    astonshing way of defining the strategies of game,  

  • 5 years ago


    i give you a game in sécilien to know how to play a game , this a game between garry kasparov and Anatoly Karpove tow grand master .

    here kasparov many time play 1e4 i think is the move of win the game 

    he plays many time the same position so to be a grand master is to trainig inthe same postion 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 c*d4 4 N*d4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6 so

    (this diagramme not played many time in chesscube ) here kasparov play 6 Be2 here pogonina also win chess.com with the 6 move Be2 iknow this and here karpov played e5 move this pawn control the center and the knight is placed in b3 so 7Nb3 Be7

  • 5 years ago


    1d4 d6 is also an example im in blac my pseudo is Chicago 1d4 d6 2 e4 g6 3 Nc3 Bg7 4 Be2 Nd7 5 Be3 e5 and here i win in black but i win in 60% my game when my openent in less then 2000 raiting i win a 2200 raiting im in blac

  • 5 years ago


    i played in black the move 1...d6 it's to surprise my openent i prepared this move because all player in the chesscube play this move 

    [Event "ChessCube Game"]


    [Site "www.chesscube.com"]


    [Date "2012.04.29"]


    [Round "-"]


    [White "duka997@chesscube.com"]


    [Black "jerry_raval@chesscube.com"]


    [Result "*"]


    [WhiteElo "2508"]


    [BlackElo "2549"]


    [ECO "A53"]


    [Time "18:49:06"]


    [TimeControl "60"]



    1. d4  d6 2. c4  Nf6 3. Nc3  Bg4 4. h3  Bc8 5. f4  g6 6. e4  Bg7 7. Nf3  O-O 8. Be2  c5 9. d5  b5 10. cxb5  a6 11. bxa6  Bxa6 12. Bxa6  Nxa6 13. O-O  Qb6 14. Be3  Rfc8 15. Rb1  Rab8 16. a3  Qb3 17. Qxb3  Rxb3 18. e5  Nh5 19. g4  Ng3 20. Rfe1  dxe5 21. Kg2  exf4 22. Bxf4  Bxc3 23. bxc3  Rxb1 24. Rxb1  Ne2 25. Be3  Nxc3 26. Rb6  Nxd5 27. Rxa6  Nxe3+ 28. Kf2  Nd5 29. Ra7  Kf8 30. a4  c4 31. a5  c3 32. Ne1  Nb4 33. Rb7  c2 34. Nxc2  Nxc2 35. a6  Ra8 36. a7  Kg7 37. Rxe7  Nd4 38. Rd7  Nc6 39. Rc7  Nxa7 40. Rc2  Nb5 41. Rb2  Rb8 42. Kf1  Rb7 43. Rb3  Nd6 44. Rd3  Nc4 45. Rd1  Rc7 46. Rc1  Ne3+ 47. Ke2  Rxc1 48. Kxe3  Ra1 49. Kf4   *


  • 5 years ago


    the probleme that i want to see pogonina play vs a player in the internt because the style of pogonina is not the same in the internet in our day in the net 30 % player play 1e4  20% play 1d4  10% play 1c4  10% Play 1b3 10% Play 1Nf3 10% play 1g3 so it's very complicated player sould be preparate many opening. the style of game in the net is not the same in the FIDE I give you an example with my game in 1e4 d6 my raiting in chesscube is 2040 and my higest raiting in chesscube is 2266. may pseudo is chicou so let's see the game.

    [Event "Daily Warzone Final"]

    [Site "www.chesscube.com"]

    [Date "2012.04.29"]

    [Round "-1"]

    [White "acasenicic@chesscube.com"]

    [Black "chicou@chesscube.com"]

    [Result "0-1"]

    [WhiteElo "2214"]

    [BlackElo "1985"]

    [ECO "A41"]

    [Time "19:02:21"]

    [TimeControl "120"]


    1. d4  d6 2. e4  g6 3. Nc3  Bg7 4. Be2  Nd7 5. Be3  e5 6. Qd2  Rb8 7. O-O-O  a6 8. f4  b5 9. dxe5  dxe5 10. f5  b4 11. Nd5  c6 12. f6  Ngxf6 13. Nxf6+  Bxf6 14. Bc5  Qa5 15. Bd6  Rb6 16. Bc4  Nc5 17. Nf3  Nxe4 18. Qe2  Nc3 19. bxc3  bxc3 20. Nxe5  Be6 21. Nf3  Be7 22. Bxe6  Bxd6 23. Bb3+  Be7 24. a4  Qb4 25. Qxe7+  Kxe7 26. Rhe1+  Kf6 27. Kb1  Qa3 28. Rd6+  Kg7  0-1

  • 5 years ago


    a tactic game is when we play some positio like the lopez or the Najdorf for example here

    or other in sécilien like 

    this is an example to say that is not easy to play this with a grand master like levon aronian or kramnik or anand .

    i think that pogonia give us a game not very tatical

  • 5 years ago


    thank you Natalia and good game.

  • 5 years ago


    Nice and thank you!

  • 5 years ago


    the final game is interesting... Popov Play Chess As 


  • 5 years ago


    I love Natalia Pogonina!

  • 5 years ago


    You are always distinguished and unique in delivering your thorough ideas and wonderful articles. Be safe, peace-minded and prosperous, frorever.

  • 5 years ago


    I agree Aido....I think it makes absolutely no sense to differentiate male and female chess players. Chess is a mental activity, not a physical one. Women are no less endowed mentally than men. You would think that a game that prides itself on intelligence would have realized this basic truth a long time ago. 

  • 5 years ago


    Thanks for your chess journalism!

  • 5 years ago


    EXCELENT ! ! !

  • 5 years ago


    Bright MINDS ! Thanks-good job,Natalia!

  • 5 years ago


    In the game Antipov, M2. (2435) vs. Alekseev, Evgeny (2673)  why did white not  play R*f6 db. check.????

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