Playoff needed to decide Russian Championship

PeterDoggers
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0 | Chess Event Coverage
After his terrible loss against Timofeev, Peter Svidler recovered well and eventually finished shared first with Jakovenko and Alekseev. In a playoff on October 28 it will be decided who of them will be the new Russian Champion.

At Moscow's Central Chess Club the 61st Russian Championship Superfinal took place from October 3 to 15, but things have not been decided yet. Alekseev, Jakovenko and Svidler all ended on 7 / 11 after Jakovenko beat Vitiugov in the last round, and Svidler defeated Alekseev to also catch him. Playoffs will be played on October 28 - the format will be 6 games (double-round robin) of 15 minutes plus ten second per move.


Round 10 results Lastin - Morozevich 1/2 Maslak - Inarkiev 1/2 Sakaev - Alekseev 0-1 Svidler - Jakovenko 1/2 Vitiugov - Timofeev 1-0 Tomashevsky - Riazantsev 1-0
Round 11 results Riazantsev - Lastin 1/2 Morozevich - Maslak 1-0 Inarkiev - Sakaev 1/2 Alekseev - Svidler 0-1 Jakovenko - Vitiugov 1-0 Timofeev - Tomashevsky 0-1


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Here are the games of rounds 10-11:





Svidler's last-round win was quite an impressive kingside attack, which, according to IM Merijn van Delft, illustrated that the Caro-Kann is actually much more a fighting opening than most of us think. It should be added that there were a few mistakes in what was probably mutual timetrouble.

White got some problems after 25.Kg2? where 25.Rg1 forces Black to exchange bishops on c1. Then Black erred with 28...Nxe3? where the computeresque 28...Rf7! (with the idea 29.Qxd3? Nxe3 and there's no check on f8) keeps an advantage for Black. The final error was 31.Rc1 where 31.Qc2! still holds (as given by Alexander Baburin in Chess Today).

Vitiugov played his last-round game in the style of Russia's highest rated player Morozevich, who couldn't play an important role in this event. Jakovenko reacted well to Vitiugov's 10...g5!? which, in this specific position, seems to be new. In the end, Black's 29..Bc7 can't really be called a blunder since 29...Qb6 30.Nxd5! exd5 31.Re1 should also win for White.

We can conclude that at this year's Russian Championship Final the Sofia Rule has worked out reasonably well. In rounds 4 and 6 all games ended in a draw but in general the tournament has seen many very interesting fights. The overall drawing percentage was as low as 54%. At the end of the month we'll return to the Superfinal in our report about the Playoff on October 28th.

Here's a video player with some Russian language video impressions by Evgeny Turov:



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