Morozevich grabs the lead at the Russian Championship, Higher League

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Morozevich grabs the lead at the Russian Championship, Higher LeagueAlexander Morozevich yesterday grabbed the lead at the Higher League of the Russian Championship. The former world's number 2 defeated Artyom Timofeev in round 8 to reach 6 points. The first three players will qualify for the main championship later this year.

General info

The Higher League of the Russian Championships for Men and Women takes place June 15-26, 2001 in Taganrog, Russia (live here). It's basically a qualifier for the Russian Championships that will be held in August. Top participants include Vitiugov (2733), Jakovenko (2732), Tomashevsky (2707), Morozevich (2694), Potkin (2682), Rublevsky (2682), Kobalia (2679) and Inarkiev (2679). More info here.

Rounds 7-8

After six rounds, 18-year-old Sanan Sjugirov was leading with five points, but then he lost to Timofeev in a 9.0-0-0 d5 Dragon. His exchange sacrifice didn't work out as expected, but the ending should have ended in a draw.

Sjugirov-Timofeev Taganrog 2011

Diagram 1

The game continued 47. Ne3+? Ke1 48. b4 Rc8 49. Kb3?! Rd2! and Black won. Instead 47. Nc3! draws instantly - White can give perpetual check due to the awkward position of the black king and rook on h2. For instance 47... Re5 48. a5! Rxa5 49. Rd1+ Kg2 50. Rd2+ = with the idea 50... Kg3? 51. Ne4+.

Sjugirov-Timofeev

Sjugirov-Timofeev: White misses a nice drawing line in the ending



And so the lead went to Timofeev, with 5.5/7, and he was followed by Sjugirov and Morozevich, who had beaten Denis Khismatullin. In yesterday's round Morozevich took over the lead from Timofeev, winning a French game with the black pieces.

Timofeev-Morozevich Taganrog 2011

Diagram 2

In an equal position Timofeev decided to go for complications with 15. b4 and Morozevich answered this with 15... Rc8. In the diagram position, the best seems 16. bxc5 Qxc5 17. Nd2! Qe5 (17... b5 18. Nce4 Bxh2+ 19. Kxh2 Qe5+ 20. Kg1 Nxe4 21. Rb1! bxc4 22. Qxe4) 18. Qxe5 Bxe5 19. Bb2 b5 20. Nxb5 axb5 21. Bxe5 bxc4 22. a4 and the ending looks slightly better for White. In the game, Timofeev decided to sacrifice a piece with 16. Bb2?! Na4 17. Bxe6? (17.Nxa4 Qxc4 cannot be the idea of 16.Bb2) but Black calmly responded with 17... Nxc3 18. Bxd7+ Kxd7 19. Qd3 Rhe8! and White didn't have enough compensation.

Timofeev-Morozevich

Timofeev-Morozevich: an incorrect piece sac refuted by healthy development



Selection of games rounds 7-8



Game viewer by ChessTempo


Russian Championship 2011 | Higher League | Round 8 Standings (top 40)
Rk. Naam FED Rtg Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3
1 GM Morozevich Alexander RUS 2694 6.0 30.0 25.0 4
2 GM Timofeev Artyom RUS 2665 5.5 35.0 26.0 4
3 GM Galkin Alexander RUS 2598 5.5 34.5 26.5 3
4 GM Sjugirov Sanan RUS 2629 5.5 34.0 29.0 4
5 GM Inarkiev Ernesto RUS 2679 5.5 30.5 22.5 4
6 GM Najer Evgeniy RUS 2643 5.0 35.0 26.0 3
7 GM Matlakov Maxim RUS 2632 5.0 34.5 24.0 2
8 GM Volkov Sergey RUS 2615 5.0 33.5 25.0 2
9 GM Tomashevsky Evgeny RUS 2707 5.0 33.5 24.5 2
10 GM Savchenko Boris RUS 2630 5.0 32.5 23.0 4
11 GM Zvjaginsev Vadim RUS 2659 5.0 32.0 25.0 2
12 GM Grachev Boris RUS 2669 5.0 31.5 22.5 2
13 GM Vitiugov Nikita RUS 2733 5.0 30.5 23.5 2
14 GM Jakovenko Dmitry RUS 2732 5.0 30.5 22.5 3
15 IM Bukavshin Ivan RUS 2502 5.0 30.5 21.0 4
16 GM Kryakvin Dmitry RUS 2551 5.0 28.5 20.0 4
17 GM Rublevsky Sergei RUS 2682 5.0 27.5 20.0 3
18 GM Kurnosov Igor RUS 2633 4.5 34.5 24.5 3
19 GM Lysyj Igor RUS 2629 4.5 32.5 21.0 1
20 IM Reshetnikov Alexey RUS 2487 4.5 32.5 19.0 2
21 GM Alekseev Evgeny RUS 2673 4.5 31.5 23.5 2
22 GM Landa Konstantin RUS 2613 4.5 31.0 20.5 2
23 GM Potkin Vladimir RUS 2682 4.5 30.0 21.0 1
24 GM Khairullin Ildar RUS 2649 4.5 27.5 17.5 2
25 GM Kobalia Mikhail RUS 2679 4.5 27.0 17.0 3
26 GM Khismatullin Denis RUS 2656 4.0 35.0 22.5 3
27 GM Romanov Evgeny RUS 2624 4.0 34.5 21.0 1
28 GM Khalifman Alexander RUS 2627 4.0 34.0 21.0 1
29 GM Ponkratov Pavel RUS 2582 4.0 32.5 20.5 2
30 GM Papin Vasily RUS 2565 4.0 32.0 18.5 2
31 GM Lintchevski Daniil RUS 2543 4.0 32.0 18.5 2
32 GM Kornev Alexei RUS 2511 4.0 31.0 19.0 2
33 GM Evdokimov Alexander A RUS 2561 4.0 31.0 18.0 3
34 GM Fedoseev Vladimir RUS 2506 4.0 29.0 17.5 3
35 GM Vorobiov Evgeny E RUS 2570 4.0 28.5 15.5 2
36 GM Sakaev Konstantin RUS 2629 4.0 28.0 18.5 1
37 GM Danin Alexandre RUS 2534 4.0 27.5 17.0 2
38 GM Shomoev Anton RUS 2566 4.0 27.5 16.0 3
39 GM Kosintseva Tatiana RUS 2559 4.0 26.0 14.0 3
40 GM Grigoriants Sergey RUS 2562 3.5 30.5 17.5 1



Photos © Anna Burtasova for the Russian Chess Federation



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