Tactics Festival - Part III

Tactics Festival - Part III

| 43 | Tactics

In Part I and Part II we were discussing the first four rounds of the Russian Team Chess Championship ’12. A few important clashes have happened already, but the most critical rounds are usually the final ones. The teams were competing not only for medals, but for qualification spots to the Eurocup.  

In Loo (ironically, the name of the place we were playing) rainy days were replaced by sunny weather, this drawing an invisible line between the first and the second parts of the tournament.

In round 5 the following matches were played: St. Petersburg – Economist; Navigator – Chigorin Chess Club; SHSM-64 – Universitet; Ugra – Tomsk-400. Our team, Rakita, had to face Politechnik on board 5.

The Saratov team Economist was leading with a perfect score (8/8) and had huge chances to win the title. The crazy top game between Svidler and Morozevich ended in a draw, but it will still probably made it to the all-April chess hit lists. Four more encounters ended in a draw. Movsesian scored for St. Petersburg against Eljanov, thus granting a match victory for his team. Movsesian started with 0.5/2, but then pulled himself together and won 4 games in a row, including beating Motylev and Leko, with a final performance of 2814.


Photo by Mariya Fominykh,

On board 2 Navigator drew Chigorin Chess Club; SHSM-64 crushed Universitet 5-1. The confrontation between Ugra and Tomsk was a matter of life and death in the sense that the winner had a chance to push for the medals, while the loser was out of contention and struggling to qualify for the Eurocup. Tomsk won with a minimal advantage: Sergey Karjakin defeated the European Chess Champion Dmitry Jakovenko with Black.

All the games in our match ended in a draw, except for my teammate Boris Savchenko’s time trouble loss against Dmitry Bocharov.

Try to find the best continuations in these positions without looking at the answers and then check your solutions:

Closer to the finish the atmosphere was heating up. In round 6 Economist was challenged by Tomsk-400. Both teams needed a win pretty badly. The team from Saratov didn’t manage to recover from the painful loss in round 5 and succumbed again. Nepomniatchi defeated Inarkiev, but Bologan vs Eljanov and Kournosov vs Andreikin ended in Tomsk’s favor (i.e., Bologan and Kournosov won).


Alexei Vetrov (Economist) and Boris Shaidullin (Tomsk-400): the handshake of the captains

Photo by Mariya Fominykh,

Two other potential contenders for gold, St. Petersburg Chess Federation and SHSM-64 defeated Navigator and Chigorin Chess Club correspondingly. The team from Moscow actually delivered a knock-out: 6-0! On the next few boards people were fighting for the qualification spots. Politechnik prevailed over EGU-Perspectiva 4.5-1.5; Ugra won against Nezhmetdinov Chess School 4-2; Universitet demolished Rakita 5-1. This was the harshest of our losses at this event. I drew GM Poluljhahov, IM Oparin drew GM Burmakin, and our other teammates lost. We were actually hoping to finish in the top-10, but after this round the chances had virtually evaporated.

Two more brain-crackers for you to handle:

Before the decisive 7th round the rankings table of the top-10 looked as follows:

1. St. Petersburg Chess Federation - 10/12

2-3. SHSM-64, Tomsk- 400 – 9/12

4-5. Economist-SGSU; Politechnik – 8/12

6-9. Ugra, Navigator, Chigorin Chess Club, Universitet – 7/12

10. EGU-Perspektiva – 6/12

The pairings:

  1. St. Petersburg Chess Federation vs SHSM-64
  2. Tomsk-400 vs Politechnik
  3. Universitet vs Economist-SGSU
  4. Ugra vs Navigator
  5. EGU-Perspektiva vs Chigorin Chess Club

Only three teams had a shot at gold: St. Petersburg, SHSM-64 and Tomsk-400. St. Petersburg was on the verge of succeeding: with an even score on the other five boards, Zvyagintsev had a great chance to bring the decisive point to his team. However, his opponent, Boris Grachev, managed to save a tough rook endgame, and the match was drawn. Meanwhile, Tomsk defeated Politechnik and got 11 team points. St. Petersburg had the same number of team points, but a lower tie-break (individual points).

Tomsk-400 won the Russian Team Chess Championship for a record 5th time!


Photo by Eteri Kublashvili,

In a tough and nerve-racking match Economist defeated Universitet 3.5-2.5 (with just one draw). Alas for the winner, they had a worse tie-break score than SHSM-64 and ended up being only 4th.

Ugra won a crucial match against Navigator and qualified for the Eurocup: Sergei Rublevsky defeated Mikhail Demidov. Chigorin Chess Club came out on top against EGU-Perspektiva and shared 5-6th places, but had a worse tie-break score than Ugra.

We won our final match 5-1 and finished at 13th place. My personal score was 2.5/6. For various reasons I had a hard time there, but at least got an interesting experience playing in the men’s league.

The first five places were occupied by the top 5 highest-rated teams. Nonetheless, the competition was rather intense, and the results might just as well have been different. Ugra was at risk most of all, but in the end managed to succeed.

The first board is usually watched most carefully since the very best players are competing there. Sergey Karjakin won the 1st board gold with an amazing result of 5.5/7 and a 2900+ performance!


Photo by Mariya Fominykh,

The final standings (board points in brackets):

  1. Tomsk-400 - 11 (27)
  2. St. Petersburg Chess Federation - 11 (25,5)
  3. SHSM-64 - 10 (28)
  4. Economist-SGSU - 10 (24,5)
  5. Ugra - 9 (24,5)
  6. Chigorin Chess Club - 9 (20)
  7. Politechnik - 8
  8. Navigator - 7 (23)
  9. Universitet - 7 (22,5)
  10. Orienta - 7 (20,5)
  11. EGU-Perspektiva - 6 (22)
  12. Zhiguli - 6 (20)
  13. Rakita - 6 (20)
  14. Atom - 6 (18,5)
  15. Nezhmetdinov’s Chess School - 5
  16. DFU - 4 (16,5)
  17. Kemerovo - 4 (16,5)
  18. Belogorie - 0

The tournament was very interesting with the plot being alive until the very last minutes. The short distance (7 rounds) offered non-super clubs a chance to take a shot at the medals. In the Eurocup the Russian teams will be the main contenders for gold once again.

A few more brain-teasers:

P.S. This is the final article about the Russian Team Chess Championship! Stay tuned for the Anand-Gelfand World Chess Championship match! Wink

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