Russian Team Championship Under Way in Loo, Sochi
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.
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:
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:
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.
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:
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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
Russian Team Championship 2014 | Round 3 Standings