17th Russian Team Championship starts

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Russian Team ChToday the 17th Russian Team Championship takes off. In the mens' section ten teams play a round-robin of nine rounds; the women's section has seven teams. Favourites in the men's section are Economist (with Wang Yue and Eljanov on top boards), 64 (with Gelfand and Karjakin), St Petersburg (with Ivanchuk and Svidler) and reigning champs Tomsk-400 (with Ponomariov and Motylev).

The Russian Team Championship takes place from April 1st to 10th with a rest day on the 6th. The men's section has a "Major League" and a "Premier League"; the women's section is called "Major League" as well. The Premier League has been put back from seven rounds last year to nine rounds this year.

The championship takes place in Sochi, Russia - the city where the 2nd FIDE Grand Prix tournament was held, and which has been selected to be the host of the XXII Olympic Winter Games in 2014. It's a resort city situated in Krasnodar Krai, Russia, just north of the northern Republic of Georgia border and the southern Russian border fronting the Black Sea.




The championship is held in hotel complex "Dagomys". Dagomys is a microraion of Sochi, located about 18 km north of the city centre. It's known for its resorts, vacation spots and tea plantations. It was developed as a resort since before the Russian Revolution, when a botanical garden was founded by order of Nicholas II. The hotel complex was opened there in 1982.

Russian Team Ch In the Premier League no less than three of the nine teams have an average rating of 2700 or higher. The lineups:

1. Economist-SGSEU - 1 (2704) - Wang Yue, Eljanov, Tomashevsky, Alekseev, Ni Hua, Moiseenko, Roiz, Andreikin 2. SPb Chess Fed (2700) - Ivanchuk, Svidler, Vitiugov, Movsesian, Zvjaginsev, Efimenko, Sakaev, Yemelin 3. ShSM-64 (2700) - Gelfand, Karjakin, Wang Hao, Caruana, Grachev, Riazantsev, Najer, Savchenko 4. Yugra (2689) - Grischuk, Jakovenko, Malakhov, Rublevsky, Landa, Sjugirov, Pridorozhni, Kabanov 5. Tomsk-400 (2687) - Ponomariov, Motylev, Bologan, Kurnosov, Inarkiev, Khismatullin, Timofeev, Amonatov 6. Ural (2618) - Nepomniachtchi, Belov, Kobalia, Lysyj, Ponkratov, Deviatkin, Shariyazdanov, Rashkovsky 7. M.Chigorin Chess Club (2584) - Khairullin, Matlakov, Romanov, Popov, Ionov, Shimanov, Anisimov, Levin 8. Etude-Contact (2555) - Khenkin, Rakhmanov, Chadaev, Papin, Krylov, Gabrielian, Chernobay, Orlinkov 9. Economist-SGSEU - 2 (2548) - Kovchan, Evdokimov, Novikov, Dyachkov, Iljushin, Lushenkov, Shukh, Sharafiev 10. BelGU (2493) - Ivanov, Potkin, Gasanov, Panarin, Bryzgalin, Uzhva, Fomichenko, Khoroshilov

The women’s section has seven teams this year. The strongest teams are SPb Chess Fed (with Cmilyte, Socko and Arakhamia-Grant), Economist-SGSEU (Zhao Xue, Ushenina), AVS (Stefanova, Muzychuk) and ShSM (Kosteniuk, Kovalevskaya). Apparently the Kosintseva sisters don't participate.

Play starts 15:00 local time which is 13:00 CET (GMT/UTC +3). The rate of play is 100 minutes for the first 40 moves, then 50 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 10 minutes to end the game with 30 seconds increment for each move.

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