Russian Championship Superfinal Takes Off This Sunday

Russian Championship Superfinal Takes Off This Sunday

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
Aug 7, 2015, 10:13 AM |
2 | Chess Event Coverage

The Superfinal of the Russian Championship is just around the corner with the first round scheduled for this Sunday. GMs Dmitry Jakovenko, Sergey Karjakin, Evgeny Tomashevsky and Peter Svidler are the top seeds.

This month will be dominated by two top events. We have to wait a bit for the big one: the Sinquefield Cup, which starts August 22 (Chess.com will be on-site with daily reports and exclusive video interviews).

Meanwhile, chess fans can enjoy some more high-level chess starting this Sunday: the Superfinals of the Russian Championship and Russian Women's Championship.

Chess.com will also be streaming the official live commentary of all rounds at www.chess.com/tv.

The games themselves will be played at the Megapolis-Sport Youth Palace and will begin daily at 15:00 local time (10:00 Moscow, 08:00 London, 03:00 New York, midnight Los Angeles). The last round will begin two hours earlier. Games will be played August 9-21 with the lone rest day on Aug. 15.

Unfortunately the men's tournament will see neither Vladimir Kramnik nor Alexander Grischuk, and familiar names such as Dmitry Andreikin, Alexander Morozevich or Ian Nepomniachtchi aren't there either.

The participants are Dmitry Jakovenko (2759), Sergey Karjakin (2753), Evgeny Tomashevsky (2747), Peter Svidler (2739), Nikita Vitiugov (2719), Igor Lysyj (2673), Vladislav Artemiev (2671), Ildar Khairullin (2662), Alexander Motylev (2658), Ivan Bukavshin (2655), Daniil Dubov (2654) and Denis Khismatullin (2642). Even the bottom seed is dangerous -- look no further than 44. Kg1!! earlier this year.

Peter Svidler will try to win his eighth(!) national title in a field scattered with young talents as well as more experienced players — who are nonetheless still looking for their first title. One exception is Igor Lysyj, who is in fact the defending champion

Jakovenko tied for first place nine years ago, when he lost the playoff to Evgney Alekseev. The same happened to Sergey Karjakin, who lost a playoff to Nepomniachtchi in 2010. Former European champion and Tbilisi Grand Prix winner Tomashevsky will go for his first title as well.

Dubov, Artemiev, Khairullin, Motylev and Bukavshin qualified from the tough Higher League tournament that was held June 22- July 1 in Kaliningrad. This event was won by 17-year-old Artemiev, one of Russia's biggest talents today.

Artemiev edged out Motylev (to his right) and Bukavshin
(in yellow) on tiebreak. | Photo Ekaterina Shermazanova.

Artemiev won three games as Black against lower-rated players and drew five. Here's his only White win, but against a strong 2600-opponent: GM Mikhail Kobalia, who has served as Artemiev's coach for many years. At some point White completely dominated the board. 

From the final standings you can see how tough the tournament was. Many big names failed to qualify:

2015 Higher League | Final Standings (Top 30)

Rk. SNo Title Name Rtg Pts. TB1 TB2
1 8 GM Artemiev Vladislav 2660 6,5 46,5 43
2 16 GM Motylev Alexander 2643 6,5 45,5 42
3 14 GM Bukavshin Ivan 2647 6,5 45,5 41,5
4 11 GM Khairullin Ildar 2653 6 48,5 44,5
5 6 GM Dubov Daniil 2661 6 47 43
6 15 GM Popov Ivan 2647 6 46 43,5
7 3 GM Fedoseev Vladimir 2674 6 46 42
8 13 GM Zvjaginsev Vadim 2648 6 44 41
9 5 GM Sjugirov Sanan 2662 6 43 39
10 19 GM Kobalia Mikhail 2623 5,5 49 45,5
11 22 GM Ponkratov Pavel 2610 5,5 45,5 43
12 9 GM Riazantsev Alexander 2658 5,5 43 39
13 4 GM Inarkiev Ernesto 2668 5,5 42 38
14 7 GM Najer Evgeniy 2661 5,5 40 36,5
15 17 GM Kokarev Dmitry 2639 5,5 37,5 34,5
16 27 GM Frolyanov Dmitry 2566 5 48 46
17 25 GM Demchenko Anton 2589 5 46 43,5
18 31   Predke Alexandr 2543 5 43,5 40,5
19 38 FM Gordievsky Dmitry 2491 5 43 40
20 1 GM Malakhov Vladimir 2699 5 43 39
21 10 GM Grachev Boris 2657 5 40,5 36,5
22 2 GM Matlakov Maxim 2696 5 39 36
23 18 GM Landa Konstantin 2627 5 37 34
24 39 WGM Girya Olga 2486 5 36,5 34
25 24 GM Volkov Sergey 2599 5 32,5 30,5
26 21 GM Khalifman Alexander 2623 4,5 45 41,5
27 41 IM Chekhov Sergei 2476 4,5 43,5 41
28 29 GM Lintchevski Daniil 2557 4,5 43 40
29 37 IM Matsenko Sergei 2505 4,5 43 39,5
30 12 GM Alekseev Evgeny 2651 4,5 42,5 39

(Full final standings here.)

After the Higher League, Artemiev played in the Lake Sevan tournament. He scored a modest plus one, which was a performance rating very close to his current rating. Let's see what he's capable of in the Superfinal!

Women's Championship

Unlike the men's group, the Women's Championship will see Russia's current top three, who are very tightly bunched: GMs Valentina Gunina (2531), Kateryna Lagno (2530) and Alexandra Kosteniuk (2526). Lagno, who recently had her second baby, returns to the chess arena to play her first Russian Championship after switching federations from the Ukraine. 

The other participants are WGM Olga Girya (2487), WGM Alexandra Goryachkina (2474), WGM Natalia Pogonina (2460), IM Ekaterina Kovalevskaya (2453), IM Alina Kashlinskaya (2441), IM Anastasia Bodnaruk (2431), IM Marina Guseva (2431), IM Anastasia Savina (2429) and IM Evgenija Ovod (2327).

Kovalevskaya replaces Alisa Galliamova, who withdrew a few weeks ago. It seems that the relations between Nadezhda and Tatiana Kosintseva and the federation are still not great, as both declined to take Galliamova's place.

The players await a long plane flight. The location of the Superfinal this year is Chita, a city in Zabaykalsky Krai that is 900 kilometers east of Irkutsk. It might be better to point out that it's 4,750 km southeast of Moscow, just 230 km north of Mongolia and about 340 km away from the Chinese border!

The tournament is sponsored by the Russian Chess Federation, the Timchenko Charitable Foundation, the Zabaykalsky Krai government and chess federation, and Norilsk Nikel.

The total prize fund for both events is 8 million Russian Rubles ($125,000 USD).

There will be daily video commentary in English and Russian, which you can watch at www.chess.com/tv.

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