Morozevich wins Higher League

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Morozevich wins Higher LeagueAlexander Morozevich yesterday won the Higher League of the Russian Championship. The former world's number 2 finished clear first with 8/11, half a point more than Artyom Timofeev and Alexander Galkin, who also qualified for the main championship later this year.

General info

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

Rounds 9-11

In our previous report we noted that in round 8 Morozevich grabbed the lead in Taganrog, refuting a piece sacrifice by Artyom Timofeev. The next round saw a great fight between Morozevich and Sjugirov.

Morozevich-Sjugirov Taganrog 2011

Diagram 3

50... Qh2+ 51. Nh4 Qe2 52. Nf5 Qh2+ 53. Kg5!? Morozevich decides to go for more than a draw, and walks his king up the board. 53... Rg8+ 54. Kf6

Diagram 4

54... Qb2+?! 54... h5 seems enough for a draw: 55. Ne7 (55. Qe5 hxg4 56. Ke6+ Kh7 57. Qc7+ Kh8) 55... hxg4 56. Nxg8 Qh4+! 57. Kf7 (57. Ke6 Kxg8) 57... Qh7+ 58. Kf6 Qg7+ 59. Kf5 Qxg8. 55. Ke6 Re8+ 56. Kf7! Qe5 57. Qxc4!

Diagram 5

Amazingly, not only doesn't Black have a check, but he cannot even seriously threaten one!

57... Ra8 57... Rb8 58. Qe4! or 57... Rd8 58. Qc6. 58. Qd4! Qxd4 59. Nxd4 Rxa4 60. Ne6 and White won the ending.

morozevich-sjugirov

Timofeev kept his chances to win the tournament. He remained half a point behind Morozevich by beating Inarkiev in a theoretical line of the 6.h3 King's Indian where Black sacrifices a piece.

The next day Morozevich was under pressure against Rublevsky, who could safely play for a win holding the bishop pair in an ending. Eventually the game was drawn with only pawns and opposite-coloured bishops. Timofeev, also playing the black pieces, drew with Zvjaginsev. By then Alexander Galkin, the 1999 World Junior Champion, had joined Timofeev in second place.

In the last round Morozevich, and probably also Galkin, needed a draw to secure the qualification for the Super Final - they did so in 15 moves. As Timofeev also drew his game with Tomashevsky, Morozevich finished in clear first place. It was an excellent return to the chess scene after six months of inactivity, and many chess fans eagerly await his participation in Biel next month.

Playing hall

Selection of games rounds 9-11



Game viewer by ChessTempo


Russian Championship 2011 | Higher League | Round 11 (Final) Standings (top 40)
Rk Name Ti FED Rtg Pts TB1 TB2 TB3
1 Morozevich Alexander GM RUS 2694 8.0 63.0 47.5 5
2 Timofeev Artyom GM RUS 2665 7.5 66.5 47.0 5
3 Galkin Alexander GM RUS 2598 7.5 66.0 47.0 4
4 Tomashevsky Evgeny GM RUS 2707 7.0 65.5 43.5 3
5 Sjugirov Sanan GM RUS 2629 7.0 65.0 48.0 5
6 Matlakov Maxim GM RUS 2632 7.0 63.5 43.5 3
7 Inarkiev Ernesto GM RUS 2679 7.0 63.5 41.0 5
8 Volkov Sergey GM RUS 2615 7.0 63.0 44.5 3
9 Zvjaginsev Vadim GM RUS 2659 7.0 62.0 44.5 3
10 Grachev Boris GM RUS 2669 7.0 61.0 41.0 3
11 Rublevsky Sergei GM RUS 2682 7.0 60.0 39.5 4
12 Fedoseev Vladimir GM RUS 2506 7.0 55.0 35.5 6
13 Vitiugov Nikita GM RUS 2733 6.5 62.5 41.5 2
14 Alekseev Evgeny GM RUS 2673 6.5 61.5 41.5 3
15 Kornev Alexei GM RUS 2511 6.5 59.0 36.0 4
16 Khairullin Ildar GM RUS 2649 6.5 57.5 35.0 3
17 Najer Evgeniy GM RUS 2643 6.0 66.0 42.5 3
18 Savchenko Boris GM RUS 2630 6.0 64.0 41.0 5
19 Lysyj Igor GM RUS 2629 6.0 63.5 38.0 2
20 Romanov Evgeny GM RUS 2624 6.0 61.0 36.0 3
21 Lintchevski Daniil GM RUS 2543 6.0 60.5 35.0 3
22 Potkin Vladimir GM RUS 2682 6.0 59.0 37.0 2
23 Kobalia Mikhail GM RUS 2679 6.0 58.0 34.0 4
24 Kryakvin Dmitry GM RUS 2551 6.0 57.0 36.5 4
25 Shomoev Anton GM RUS 2566 6.0 57.0 32.5 4
26 Kurnosov Igor GM RUS 2633 5.5 62.0 39.5 3
27 Reshetnikov Alexey IM RUS 2487 5.5 61.5 34.0 2
28 Jakovenko Dmitry GM RUS 2732 5.5 61.0 38.5 3
29 Landa Konstantin GM RUS 2613 5.5 60.0 37.0 3
30 Bukavshin Ivan IM RUS 2502 5.5 59.5 36.5 4
31 Evdokimov Alexander A GM RUS 2561 5.5 59.0 33.0 3
32 Papin Vasily GM RUS 2565 5.5 57.0 34.0 3
33 Bocharov Dmitry GM RUS 2580 5.5 57.0 31.0 3
34 Grigoriants Sergey GM RUS 2562 5.5 56.0 32.5 2
35 Danin Alexandre GM RUS 2534 5.5 54.0 31.5 3
36 Kosintseva Tatiana GM RUS 2559 5.5 52.0 29.5 4
37 Khismatullin Denis GM RUS 2656 5.0 63.0 36.0 3
38 Ponkratov Pavel GM RUS 2582 5.0 60.5 34.0 2
39 Chadaev Nikolai GM RUS 2577 5.0 59.5 29.0 2
40 Vorobiov Evgeny E GM RUS 2570 5.0 56.0 29.0 2



Tatiana Kosintseva played in the men's section and finished 36th. The women's tournament was won by IM Elena Zaiatz, who qualified for the Women's Super Final together with Baira Kovanova, Valentina Gunina, Daria Charochkina and Tatiana Shadrina.

Photos © Anna Burtasova for the Russian Chess Federation



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