Inarkiev Reigns Supreme At Moscow Open

Inarkiev Reigns Supreme At Moscow Open

| 8 | Chess Event Coverage

It was one of the strongest opens of the year, and one man was in fantastic shape. GM Ernesto Inarkiev won the Moscow Open with a splendid 8.0/9 score.

Inarkiev won the main event of what was a huge festival in the Russian capital, held January 29-February 9. The official name is “the International RSSU Chess Cup,” and it was held for the 11th time this year.

The top group, simply called “tournament A,” consisted of 246 players including dozens of strong grandmasters. GM Ernesto Inarkiev was in fantastic shape and scored 8.0/9, good for a 2931 performance rating!

The 29-year-old Russian grandmaster, who was indeed named after Ernesto "Che" Guevara, finished a full point ahead of GM Anton Korobov (Ukraine), GM Francisco Vallejo Pons (Spain), GM Tigran Petrosian (Armenia) and GM Vladislav Artemiev (Russia). Korobov came second on tiebreak, Vallejo third.

Inarkiev started strongly: he was the only player to win his first four games. His third-round encounter saw a long-term exchange sacrifice — it looked like he lost it, but he had seen deeper:

The third round in action. | Photo courtesy of the Moscow Open.

Inarkiev even moved to 5.0/5 thanks to a Black win against the two-time Ukrainian champion GM Anton Korobov. The latter thought it was time to develop his last piece, and moved his queen's rook to the center just when Black was actually threatening something:

Korobov: not sharp enough in this game. | Photo courtesy of the Moscow Open.

In round six, things didn't go according to plan. Inarkiev escaped with a draw against GM Rauf Mamedov and could easily have lost.

The next day he was back, and in top shape again. GM Ian Nepomniachtchi sacrificed a pawn but didn't get enough play, and didn't have much chance against so many strong blows (24.c5!, 28.Qc6!, 30.Qd7!, 32.Rxe5!, 38.f4!):

The round eight draw with Tigran L. Petrosian should be included as well: a very exciting game:

This way, Inarkiev kept a half-point lead over Petrosian. A group of 14 grandmaster were half a point behind the Armenian GM.

In the all-decisive last round, Inarkiev won yet again. He displayed exemplary endgame technique against the reigning Russian champion, who missed a draw at the end:

Inarkiev in the last round. | Photo courtesy of the Moscow Open.

2015 Moscow Open | Final Standings (Top 20)

Rk SNo Name FED Rtg Pts TB1 TB2 TB3
1 7 Inarkiev Ernesto RUS 2675 8.0 53.5 49.0 7
2 4 Korobov Anton UKR 2687 7.0 52.5 48.0 6
3 2 Vallejo Pons Francisco ESP 2706 7.0 50.0 46.5 5
4 11 Petrosian Tigran L. ARM 2663 7.0 50.0 46.0 5
5 12 Artemiev Vladislav RUS 2659 7.0 49.0 46.0 5
6 1 Nepomniachtchi Ian RUS 2714 6.5 52.5 48.0 5
7 9 Grachev Boris RUS 2670 6.5 52.5 47.5 4
8 18 Volkov Sergey RUS 2618 6.5 52.0 48.0 5
9 14 Mamedov Rauf AZE 2642 6.5 52.0 48.0 4
10 27 Grigoriants Sergey RUS 2567 6.5 48.5 44.5 5
11 13 Kokarev Dmitry RUS 2645 6.5 48.5 44.0 4
12 56 Sanal Vahap TUR 2460 6.5 47.5 43.5 5
13 15 Khairullin Ildar RUS 2629 6.5 47.0 43.5 4
14 8 Khismatullin Denis RUS 2673 6.5 45.5 42.0 5
15 23 Shimanov Aleksandr RUS 2591 6.5 44.5 41.0 5
16 76 Usmanov Vasily RUS 2414 6.5 44.0 41.0 4
17 32 Megaranto Susanto INA 2548 6.5 43.0 39.5 4
18 34 Xiu Deshun CHN 2543 6.0 53.0 49.0 4
19 33 Pridorozhni Aleksei RUS 2545 6.0 52.0 48.0 4
20 42 Kharchenko Boris UKR 2483 6.0 51.5 47.5 5

(Full final standings here.)

 The podium includes Korobov, Inarkiev and Vallejo. | Photo courtesy of the Moscow Open.

The “B tournament” was an open tournament for female players only. The Chinese WGM Lei Tingjie also scored 8.0/9, and also finished a full point ahead of the rest.

IM Evgeni Dragomarezkij won the veterans tournament with 7.5/9, half a point more than GM Evgeny Sveshnikov

A 10-player round robin for students was won by GM Samvel Ter-Sahakyan, who scored 6.0/9 but finished clear first nonetheless. Second came GM Daniil Dubov.

The following nice attacking game was played in this tournament:

IM Irene Kharisma Sukandar won a similar round robin for female students; she finished two points ahead of IM Alina Kashlinskaya.

The festival was held at the Russian State Social University in Moscow. The eight tournaments combined had a total prize fund of 4 million roubles (US $60,780 or € 53,700).

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.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

Between 2007 and 2013 Peter was running ChessVibes, a major source for chess news and videos acquired by in October 2013.

As our Director News & Events, Peter writes many of our news reports. In the summer of 2022, The Guardian’s Leonard Barden described him as “widely regarded as the world’s best chess journalist.”

In October, Peter's first book The Chess Revolution will be published!

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