Russian Team Championship Under Way in Loo, Sochi

Russian Team Championship Under Way in Loo, Sochi

| 11 | Chess Event Coverage

The 21st Russian Team Championship and the 15th Russian Team Championship for Women are under way in Loo, Sochi. As always, lots of 2700 players are participating and so many high-level games are played every day! Some big names who are active in Sochi: Leinier Dominguez, Alexander Grischuk, Dmitry Jakovenko, Baadur Jobava, Gata Kamsky, Sergey Karjakin, Peter Leko, Vladimir Malakhov, Alexander Morozevich, Alexander Motylev, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Alexei Shirov, Peter Svidler, Evgeny Tomashevsky and Nikita Vitiugov. 

Photos © Vladimir Barsky courtesy of the Russian Chess Federation

The first stage of this event, the championship of the federal districts Moscow and St. Petersburg, took place in November 2013 and January 2014. The top 3 finishing teams in both districts were entitled to play in the overall championshop.

The second stage is currently under way; it is held 6-14 April in Loo, Sochi. Loo is a microdistrict of the Lazarevsky City District of the city of Sochi, Krasnodar Krai, Russia, located 18 kilometers from the city center. Two months ago the Winter Olympics were held in Sochi.

The tournament has 13 teams (originally 14, but shortly before the start the team of Rostov withdrew) in the open section, who play a 7-round Swiss. Below this article the full line-ups can be found. The women's section only has 4 teams - they play a double round robin with one rest day.

The time control is 90 minutes for 40 moves, then 30 minutes to end the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move one. The top 4 teams in the open section are eligible to participate in the European Club Cup which will be held in September in Bilbao. 

The venue in Loo, Sochi

In the open section the teams consist of six players (with two substitutes); the women's teams have four players (and two substitutes a well). The winning team in the open section gets 300,000 rubles, with 30,000 going to the best performer on board one. The winning ladies receive 200,000 rubles, with 20,000 going to the best performer on board one.

In this report we focus on the open section, where after three rounds only two teams are left with a perfect score: the favorites Malachite (with Karjakin, Grischuk, Leko and Shirov as top players) and University (with e.g. Jobava, Tomahevsky, Khismatullin and Rublevsky).

In the first round the favorites of Malachite faced some stiff resistance from the team of Samara, but in the end the score was 6-0. At some point it seemed that nobody wanted to be the one who dropped half a point, as many games were decided deeply into the endgame. Leko, for example, won this rook ending:

43 moves later the former World Championship contender had managed to reach the infamous f+h rook ending, which, as we know, is often a draw, but always hard to defend. Frolyanov defended perfectly for many moves, but eventually erred:

Malachite vs Samara

Not all the top GMs could win their game in the first round. Sometimes the opponent is simply not giving up, and not making any big mistakes. Here's a good effort from Artem Chernobay against an opponent more than 200 points stronger:

More top-level games were seen in the second round match Malachite vs Moscow. Sergey Karjakin and Ian Nepomniachtchi drew quickly in a Pirc where the runner-up of the Candidates’ Tournaments avoided theory with a c3-system. Alexander Morozevich did the same against Alexander Grischuk, but his London System didn't get him much:

Moscow's Vladimir Potkin, Boris Grachev and Ian Nepomniachtchi

Leko won another rook ending against Daniil Dubov after playing a very nice middlegame full of small tactical nuances:

Evgeny Najer played a wonderful game against the European Champion. From the Black side of a Ruy Lopez he gave up an Exchange to spoil White's structure on the kingside, and indeed White didn't manage to get his king into safety.

Malachite vs Moscow

In the match St Petersburg-Kazan Leinier Dominguez of Cuba nicely outplayed Alexei Dreev in a Caro-Kann:

Today's top match between Malachite and St Petersburg, the numbers 1 and 2 on the starting list, saw four draws and two decisive games - both in favor of Malachite. Grischuk defeated Vitiugov, and Bologan was too strong for Shimanov. That game was an impressive game from the white side, showing that an active king and two passed pawns in the center can be stronger than a piece.

It's hard to avoid including a game by Baadur Jobava in this report. Ever seen the move 3.Be2 after the opening moves 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6? The Georgian GM has played it a few time already, and on Wednesday it was good enough to beat Gata Kamsky:

Baadur Jobava vs Gata Kamsky

Russian Team Championship 2014 | Teams

Bd Title Malachite (Sverdlovsk region) 2728 Fed Bd Title Polytechnic (Nizhny Tagil) 2555 Fed
1 GM Karjakin Sergey 2772 RUS 1 GM Smirnov Pavel 2624 RUS
2 GM Grischuk Alexander 2777 RUS 2 GM Shomoev Anton 2587 RUS
3 GM Leko Peter 2730 HUN 3 GM Kokarev Dmitry 2621 RUS
4 GM Shirov Alexei 2702 LAT 4 GM Maletin Pavel 2582 RUS
5 GM Malakhov Vladimir 2701 RUS 5 GM Vokarev Sergey 2468 RUS
6 GM Motylev Alexander 2685 RUS 6 IM Pogromsky Mikhail 2418 RUS
7 GM Lysyj Igor 2662 RUS 7 Ozgibcev Anatoly 2373 RUS
8 GM Bologan Viktor 2649 MDA 8 FM Solonkov Dmitrij 2449 RUS
Bd Title St Petersburg 2713 Фед Bd Title Chigorin Club 2549 Fed
1 GM Svidler Peter 2756 RUS 1 GM Fedoseev Vladimir 2663 RUS
2 GM Vitiugov Nikita 2747 RUS 2 GM Goganov Aleksey 2587 RUS
3 GM Dominguez Perez Leinier 2757 CUB 3 IM Rozum Ivan 2532 RUS
4 GM Movsesian Sergei 2670 ARM 4 GM Makarov Marat 2511 RUS
5 GM Matlakov Maxim 2690 RUS 5 GM Ionov Sergey 2538 RUS
6 GM Efimenko Zahar 2657 UKR 6 FM Alekseenko Kirill 2462 RUS
7 GM Khairullin Ildar 2650 RUS 7 Usmanov Vasily 2416 RUS
8 GM Shimanov Aleksandr 2637 RUS 8 Palchun Grigory 2287 RUS
Bd Title Ugra 2698 Fed Bd Title Turbopump (Voronezh) 2478 Fed
1 GM Jakovenko Dmitry 2726 RUS 1 IM Chekhov Sergei 2477 RUS
2 GM Tomashevsky Evgeny 2697 RUS 2 GM Oparin Grigoriy 2542 RUS
3 GM Inarkiev Ernesto 2691 RUS 3 IM Sivuk Vitaly 2519 UKR
4 GM Khismatullin Denis 2681 RUS 4 IM Bortnyk Olexandr 2495 UKR
5 GM Rublevsky Sergei 2706 RUS 5 IM Demidov Mikhail 2498 RUS
6 GM Riazantsev Alexander 2688 RUS 6 IM Kostin Alexey 2283 RUS
7 GM Kabanov Nikolai 2514 RUS 7 FM Zhurikhin Alexander 2335 RUS
8 GM Pridorozhni Aleksei 2519 RUS 8 Aminov Andrey 2176 RUS
Bd Title SHSM Moscow 2673 Fed Bd Title Moscowskaya 2455 Fed
1 GM Nepomniachtchi Ian 2732 RUS 1 IM Prizant Jaroslav 2521 RUS
2 GM Morozevich Alexander 2722 RUS 2 GM Chernobay Artem 2501 RUS
3 GM Dubov Daniil 2619 RUS 3 IM Nozdrachev Vladislav 2491 RUS
4 GM Grachev Boris 2659 RUS 4 Iljiushenok Ilia 2429 RUS
5 GM Najer Evgeniy 2655 RUS 5 Sarana Alexey 2372 RUS
6 GM Popov Ivan 2651 RUS 6 FM Nozdrachev Leonid 2413 RUS
7 GM Potkin Vladimir 2617 RUS 7 Klyuev Alexander S. 2260 RUS
8 GM Mozharov Mikhail 2557 RUS 8 Ofitserian Boris 2109 RUS
Bd Title Rook (Kazan) 2640 Fed Bd Title Yamal 2417 Fed
1 GM Kamsky Gata 2714 USA 1 IM Potapov Pavel 2475 RUS
2 GM Dreev Aleksey 2670 RUS 2 IM Belyakov Bogdan 2444 RUS
3 IM Artemiev Vladislav 2636 RUS 3 WGM Goryachkina Aleksandra 2423 RUS
4 GM Volokitin Andrei 2647 UKR 4 FM Sergeyev Alexander 2403 RUS
5 GM Timofeev Artyom 2610 RUS 5 IM Okara Andrey 2347 RUS
6 FM Makhmutov Rail 2414 RUS 6 FM Savitskiy Sergey 2356 RUS
7 GM Kharlov Andrei 2496 RUS 7 Rozhkov Vecheslav 2337 RUS
8 GM Ibragimov Ildar 2563 USA 8 GM Potapov Alexander 2399 RUS
Bd Title University (Belorechensk) 2631 Fed Bd Title Atom 2337 Fed
1 GM Jobava Baadur 2706 GEO 1 FM Grishchenko Sergey 2436 RUS
2 GM Alekseev Evgeny 2678 RUS 2 IM Baghdasaryan Vahe 2359 ARM
3 GM Kobalia Mikhail 2633 RUS 3 IM Simonian Tigran 2427 ARM
4 GM Landa Konstantin 2608 RUS 4 FM Shahinyan David 2362 ARM
5 GM Tregubov Pavel V. 2620 RUS 5 FM Pogosian Georgy 2241 RUS
6 GM Aleksandrov Aleksej 2539 BLR 6 Parfenov Viktor N. 2194 RUS
7 GM Beshukov Sergei 2425 RUS 7 Dominov Zagir 2092 RUS
8 GM Cherniaev Alexander 2430 RUS
Bd Title Samara 2562 Fed
1 GM Sjugirov Sanan 2653 RUS
2 GM Bukavshin Ivan 2608 RUS
3 GM Frolyanov Dmitry 2578 RUS
4 GM Yakovich Yuri 2539 RUS
5 GM Geller Jakov 2504 RUS
6 Predke Alexandr 2491 RUS
7 FM Mokshanov Alexey 2428 RUS

Russian Team Championship 2014 | Round 3 Standings

# Team MP BP
1 Malachite 6 14
2 University 6 11
3 Ugra 4 11½
4-5 SHSM Moscow 4
4-5 Chigorin Club 4
6 St Petersburg 4 9
7 Polytechnic 2
8 Samara 2 9
9 Turbopump 2
10 Rook 2 5
11 Moscowskaya 0
12 Jamal 0 4
13 Atom 0 3
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