Oparin Wins Russian Championship's Higher League

Oparin Wins Russian Championship's Higher League

| 5 | Chess Event Coverage

Grigoriy Oparin won the Higher League of the Russian Championship, held in Kolomna, Russia. Together with Vladimir Fedoseev, Dmitry Kokarev, Alexander Riazantsev, and Aleksey Goganov he qualified for the Superfinal.

Photos Eteri Kublashvili.

The 2016 Higher League was the Russian Chess Federation's qualifier tournament for the 69th Russian Championship, the so-called Superfinal. That tournament is scheduled for October.

The Higher League was quite a strong event as well: A total of 60 players played, and only three were not titled! There were 35 GMs, 13 IMs, 1 WGM and 8 FMs. The top seeds were Maxim Matlakov (2691), Vadim Zvjaginsev (2677), Daniil Dubov (2666), Vladimir Fedoseev (2665), Sanan Sjugirov (2665) and Igor Lysyj (2663). The one WGM was Aleksandra Goryachkina (2482), who apparently preferred strong opposition over playing in the women's section. 

The tournament was held June 22-July1 in Kolomna, a city in the Moscow region that was founded in the 12th century and located about 140 km southeast of the capital. The venue was the local Speed Skating Center.

The time control was 90 minutes for 40 moves followed by 30 minutes to end the game, with a 30-second increment from the first move. No draw offers were allowed until after move 40.

The tournament was surprisingly won by 22nd seed Grigoriy Oparin, who was the only player to finish on 6.5/9. He earned 530,000 roubles (7,456/$8,304). A group of eight players scored 6.0/9 but only four of them will join Oparin in the Superfinal: Vladimir Fedoseev, Dmitry Kokarev, Alexander Riazantsev, and Aleksey Goganov.

Oparin had a remarkable tournament: he started with a draw, then won four games in a row, and then finished with four draws. His fourth win was against a stronger opponent, who eventually came second. With a knight on f5 and having played ...g5, Black knew he was in trouble. Oparin could have finished it quicker but remained in control.

Igor Lysyj won the 2014 Russian Championship Superfinal, and because of that he could participate last year as well. He won't be there this year, but did make it to this report. The following bishop maneuver was a beautiful “silent move.”


2016 Higher League | Final Standings (Top 20)

Rk. SNo Title Name FED Rtg TB1 TB2 TB3
1 22 GM Oparin Grigoriy RUS 2597 6,5 47,5 43,5
2 4 GM Fedoseev Vladimir RUS 2665 6 49,5 45,5
3 16 GM Kokarev Dmitry RUS 2624 6 46 42,5
4 9 GM Riazantsev Alexander RUS 2646 6 45,5 42
5 18 GM Goganov Aleksey RUS 2620 6 45 41,5
6 26 GM Ponkratov Pavel RUS 2573 6 44,5 42
7 2 GM Zvjaginsev Vadim RUS 2677 6 42,5 39,5
8 5 GM Sjugirov Sanan RUS 2665 6 39,5 36,5
9 20 GM Volkov Sergey RUS 2604 6 37,5 35
10 23 GM Timofeev Artyom RUS 2586 5,5 49 45
11 1 GM Matlakov Maxim RUS 2691 5,5 47 43
12 6 GM Lysyj Igor RUS 2663 5,5 43,5 40
13 25 GM Alekseenko Kirill RUS 2576 5,5 43 40
14 21 GM Eliseev Urii RUS 2602 5,5 41,5 38,5
15 14 GM Khairullin Ildar RUS 2629 5,5 38 34,5
16 17 GM Khismatullin Denis RUS 2623 5,5 36 33
17 27 GM Pridorozhni Aleksei RUS 2552 5,5 32 31
18 38 IM Vavulin Maksim RUS 2507 5 47,5 43
19 28 GM Predke Alexandr RUS 2550 5 47 43,5
20 30 GM Shaposhnikov Evgeny RUS 2545 5 45 42,5

(Full final standings here.)

The women's tournament was won by IM Evgenija Ovod, who qualified for the women's Superfinal together FM Daria Pustovoitova, IM Alina Kashlinskaya, WIM EkaterinaUbiennykh and IM Daria Charochkina. The winner had Caissa on her side in the last round.

IM Evgenija Ovod won the women's tournament.

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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