Riazentsev, Kosteniuk Lead Russian Champs

Riazentsev, Kosteniuk Lead Russian Champs

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
Oct 25, 2016, 8:34 AM |
9 | Chess Event Coverage

In a Superfinal that continues to see a huge number of draws, the 31-year-old grandmaster, Alexander Riazentsev, ended the Superfinals deadlock in round eight. Meanwhile, Alexandra Kosteniuk continues to dominate the women's tournament.

Alexander Riazantsev. | Photo Eteri Kublashvili.

The group of chess players that got together in Novosibirsk this year for the Superfinal is really closely matched. 54 games have now been played, and no less than 41 of these have ended in draws. White won 11 times, Black two.

For a number of rounds, a plus one score was enough to be in the leader's group. However, in the eighth round, one of these leaders decided to step away from the pack and end the deadlock.

His name: Alexander Riazantsev. He is among those Russian grandmasters who tend to spend more time coaching than playing, like e.g. Vladimir Potkin or Alexander Galkin.

It was the following—extremely theoretical—win that got Riazantsev to clear first. Another Harry the h-pawn example, and a deviation from a game Mamedyarov vs Giri from three years ago as late as move 25!

A theoretical debate that ended in Riazantsev's favor. | Photo Eteri Kublashvili.

The day before, all games in the sixth round had ended in draws. One of these was the top clash between Alexander Grischuk and Peter Svidler

It is worth including the game here, because we don't get to see the Marshall Gambit very often these days. Besides, Grischuk tried a remarkable knight move that had only been played once before, earlier this year. And Svidler's positional exchange sacrifice was nice too.

A Marshall in Grischuk vs Svidler. | Photo Eteri Kublashvili.

Today's game Bocharov vs Svidler saw an incredibly difficult endgame where the seven-time champion escaped twice. It would be harsh to criticize the players for the errors though!

Russian Championship Superfinal | Round 9 Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 Pts SB
1 Riazantsev, A 2651 2754 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 5.5/9
2 Fedoseev, V 2665 2739 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 5.0/9 23.50
3 Tomashevsky, E 2724 2723 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 5.0/9 22.75
4 Svidler, P 2745 2719 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 5.0/9 22.25
5 Grischuk, A 2752 2724 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 5.0/9 21.75
6 Jakovenko, D 2714 2718 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 5.0/9 20.25
7 Goganov, A 2635 2688 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ 4.5/9 21.25
8 Vitiugov, N 2721 2668 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 4.5/9 19.00
9 Oparin, G 2617 2647 ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ 0 ½ 4.0/9 17.75
10 Kokarev, D 2636 2647 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 4.0/9 17.50
11 Inarkiev, E 2732 2641 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 0 1 ½ 1 4.0/9 16.25
12 Bocharov, D 2611 2524 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 2.5/9

Alexandra Kosteniuk not winning the women tournament is a very unlikely scenario. With two rounds to go, she is leading by 1.5 points, ahead of Natalija Pogononia and Anastasia Bodnaruk.
The difference with their male colleagues is so striking that it's hard to refrain from mentioning the drawing percentage among the ladies: a low 31.5%. White has won 18 games, and after four black wins in today's round, the total number of black wins is now 19.

After six rounds, Kosteniuk was tied for first place with Pogonina, but in the next three, she stepped up half a point each time. First of all, Pogonina blundered terribly against the lowest rated player in the field.

An "oops" moment for Pogonina. | Photo Eteri Kublashvili.

But the high number of decisive games is not necessarily because more mistakes are made. Well, from a 2700's perspective, more mistakes are made, but the ladies also seem to take some more risks. Take Valentina Gunina, who hadn't drawn a single game yet in the first six rounds, and then put this on the board. (She still hasn't drawn yet, btw!) Another Harry-and-Garry alert.

What a tournament Gunina is playing so far! | Photo Eteri Kublashvili.

Kosteniuk defeated reigning champion Aleksandra Goryachkina in round eight. There were quicker wins, but this was nonetheless an excellent game from the former world champion.

Kosteniuk, in a commanding lead in Novosibirsk. | Photo Eteri Kublashvili.

Russian Championship Superfinal (Women) | Round 9 Standings

# Fed Name Rtng Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 Pts SB
1 Kosteniuk, A 2537 2665 0 1 ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 7.0/9
2 Pogonina, N 2484 2512 1 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 1 0 5.5/9 27.50
3 Bodnaruk, A 2463 2524 0 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 5.5/9 21.00
4 Girya, O 2446 2481 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 0 1 ½ 1 5.0/9 20.25
5 Pustovoitova, D 2386 2483 0 ½ 0 1 ½ 0 1 1 1 5.0/9 18.00
6 Charochkina, D 2366 2449 1 ½ 0 0 1 ½ 1 0 ½ 4.5/9 20.25
7 Ovod, E 2362 2437 ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 4.5/9 17.75
8 Goryachkina, A 2460 2444 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 1 4.5/9 17.00
9 Gunina, V 2535 2402 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 4.0/9 17.00
10 Galliamova, A 2450 2390 ½ 0 0 0 0 1 ½ 1 1 4.0/9 16.75
11 Kashlinskaya, A 2462 2268 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 2.5/9
12 Ubiennykh, E 2346 2233 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2.0/9

The Superfinal of the Russian Championship takes place October 15-27 at the Novosibirsk State Museum of Local History. The total prize fund is nine million rubles (roughly €130,000 or $143,000). This year, the winners of both tournaments will also receive a special prize: a Renault Kaptur. 


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