A Rising Star Shares Superfinal Lead After 4

A Rising Star Shares Superfinal Lead After 4

| 11 | Chess Event Coverage

One experienced GM and one rising star top the field after four rounds at the 68th Russian Championship Superfinal in Chita, Russia. Evgeny Tomashevsky and Vladislav Artemiev are on 3.0/4.

It's high time to return to the Russian championships in far-away Chita, where Sergey Karjakin couldn't hold on to his sole lead. In round two he was joined by three players: Ildar Khairullin, Evgeny Tomashevsky and Nikita Vitiugov.

Karjakin: sole leader for just a day. | All photos by Eteri Kublashvili & Vladimir Barsky.

By developing his king's bishop before his king's knight, Vitiugov successfully provoked Ivan Bukavshin to play a somewhat dubious early pawn push in the center. Well, the first push was OK, but the second wasn't.

Bukavshin, the man of the double-piece sacrifice in the first round quickly found himself under attack this time.


Vitiugov showing his game to Sergey Shipov.

Tomashevsky defeated Denis Khismatullin, who suffered his second straight loss. It was a superb piece of opening preparation by The Professor:

Annotations by GM Dejan Bojkov

Khairullin beat Alexander Motylev.  His Open Ruy Lopez didn't exactly go according to plan, but then Khairullin was gifted the full point:


Motylev after the game...perhaps trying to explain his thinking to Khairullin? 
It was Tomashevsky, the winner of the Tbilisi Grand Prix back in February, who took the lead in round three. “The Professor,” as he's sometimes called, defeated reigning champion Igor Lysyj using deep preparation in a Semi-Tarrasch:


Tomashevsky before his game with Lysyj. 

In round four Tomashevsky was caught in first place by a player of the new generation: Vladislav Artemiev. The 17-year-old grandmaster from Omsk can't complain so far, with first two draws, and then two wins.

Especially his round three game was attractive and, like Bukavshin's in round one, the theoretical novelty was an (improvised!) piece sac:

Annotations by GM Dejan Bojkov


That was a quick win for Artemiev!

On Wednesday, Artemiev was somewhat lucky against Khairullin. White seemed to have the initiative for most of the game, but the advantage faded away around the time control. On move 47 Khairullin must have thought that his opponent was going for a repetition of moves.


And what about seven-time Russian champion Peter Svidler? Well, it certainly won't be easy to add an eighth title after his disappointing start of 1.5/4. In round four he lost to Khismatullin, where creative opening play was not the problem; Svidler simply missed too many things.

Annotations by GM Dejan Bojkov

Only 1.5/4 for the seven-time champion. 


2015 Superfinal | Round 4 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 Pts SB
1 Tomashevsky,E 2747 2889 phpfCo1l0.png   ½     ½   1   1     3.0/4 5.25
2 Artemiev,V 2671 2864   phpfCo1l0.png ½   ½   1         1 3.0/4 5.25
3 Vitiugov,N 2719 2795 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½             1   2.5/4 5.75
4 Karjakin,S 2753 2760     ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½     ½   1     2.5/4 4.50
5 Dubov,D 2654 2685   ½   ½ phpfCo1l0.png   ½       ½   2.0/4 4.50
6 Jakovenko,D 2759 2701 ½         phpfCo1l0.png   ½ ½ ½     2.0/4 3.75
7 Khairullin,I 2662 2680   0     ½   phpfCo1l0.png   ½     1 2.0/4 2.75
8 Lysyj,I 2673 2640 0     ½   ½   phpfCo1l0.png     ½   1.5/4 3.00
9 Svidler,P 2739 2592           ½ ½   phpfCo1l0.png 0   ½ 1.5/4 2.50
10 Khismatullin,D 2642 2660 0     0   ½     1 phpfCo1l0.png     1.5/4 2.50
11 Bukavshin,I 2655 2588     0   ½     ½     phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1.5/4 2.25
12 Motylev,A 2658 2491   0         0   ½   ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1.0/4  


In the women's section, 16-year-old prodigy Aleksandra Goryachkina is the sole leader with 3.5 points. After her win against reigning champ Valentina Gunina, she also beat Ekaterina Kovalevskaya and Anastasia Bodnaruk.


Aleksandra Goryachkina leads the women's section.

The rounds start at 15:00 local time (10:00 Moscow, 08:00 London, 03:00 New York, midnight Los Angeles). is streaming the official live commentary of all rounds at, with GM Evgenij Miroshnichenko and WGM Anna Burtasova. Photos by Eteri Kublashvili & Vladimir Barsky. Games via TWIC phpfCo1l0.png

Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

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