Superfinal: Tomashevsky Tops, Goryachkina Still Great

Superfinal: Tomashevsky Tops, Goryachkina Still Great

| 4 | Chess Event Coverage

Both sections in the Russian Championship Superfinal have two clear leaders with three rounds to go: GM Evgeny Tomashevsky and WGM Aleksandra Goryachkina. The latter will face GM Alexandra Kosteniuk on Tuesday.

Earlier this week it became clear that the players not only have to worry about their opponents in Chita. Chess-News reports that several participants are suffering from stomach issues as a result of bad food.

Sergey Karjakin tweeted about it on Sunday, and in another tweet he was a bit more specific:

“The food for us, the buffet, is sometimes satisfactory, but the food quality is, alas, lower than in the capital. I won't comment on further details.”

In round seven (for earlier rounds see the links below the article), just one of the three leaders won his game. GM Evgeny Tomashevsky returned to being the sole leader thanks to a good win over GM Ildar Khairullin.

He found a strong pawn sacrifice in what seemed like a quiet Grünfeld. Initially Khairullin reacted well, but in the long run the bishop was strong than the knight, as it helped Tomashevsky to play on both sides of the board. 

Tomashevsky at the start of round seven.

Another pawn sac was seen in the game below. GM Daniil Dubov played in the style of Garry Kasparov when he preferred to give up material in the opening, to prevent ending up in a passive position. Denis Khismatullin played his part too in what is a candidate for game of the tournament:

Annotations by GM Dejan Bojkov


Below you can watch a brief interview with Dubov, conducted by press chief Eteri Kublashvili. The young Russian star speaks about the tournament, and also about the recent suggestion by Magnus Carlsen about the world championship cycle:

In round eight it was Khismatullin's turn again to be victorious. Against Motylev he could use his Najdorf preparation, which he intended to use earlier against Karjakin. In doing so he provided many Black players with an almost new idea against 6.Bg5.

Black castled kingside after a bishop fianchetto, and responded to f4-f5 with g6-g5. That sounds like asking for trouble (isn't White's h2-h4 killing?), but Khismatullin showed that it's more than playable.

Annotations by GM Dejan Bojkov


An excellent Najdorf by Khismatullin.

All other games were drawn, and so it's Tomashevsky who leads, with three rounds to go. He won't have an easy life though: in the remaining rounds he faces Bukavshin, Karjakin and then Svidler. 

2015 Superfinal | Round 8 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf Pts SB
1 Tomashevsky,Evgeny 2747 2816 5.5/8  
2 Vitiugov,Nikita 2719 2793 5.0/8 20.25
3 Karjakin,Sergey 2753 2755 5.0/8 18.25
4 Jakovenko,Dmitry 2759 2731 4.5/8 17.00
5 Artemiev,Vladislav 2671 2742 4.5/8 16.75
6 Dubov,Daniil 2654 2695 4.0/8 15.50
7 Svidler,Peter 2739 2680 4.0/8 14.75
8 Bukavshin,Ivan 2655 2691 4.0/8 14.50
9 Lysyj,Igor 2673 2620 3.0/8 12.75
10 Khairullin,Ildar 2662 2616 3.0/8 11.25
11 Khismatullin,Denis 2642 2625 3.0/8 10.25
12 Motylev,Alexander 2658 2567 2.5/8  


Like Tomashevsky, WGM Aleksandra Goryachkina is back to being the sole leader among the women. The 16-year-old maintained her good form, winning both her games in rounds seven and eight. After grinding down Olga Girya in 120 moves in a queen ending, the next day she beat Marina Guseva:

We just have to mention Sergey Shipov's great description of Goryachkina during his commentary: “Petrosian in a skirt” (hat tip Chess24).

Goryachkina (here playing Girya): “Petrosian in a skirt.”

Alexandra Kosteniuk couldn't keep pace as she scored “only” 1.5/2. However, in the ninth round, on Tuesday, she'll play Goryachkina with the white pieces in what will be the crucial game of the tournament.  

2015 Women's Superfinal | Round 8 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf Pts SB
1 Goryachkina,Aleksandra 2474 2695 6.5/8  
2 Kosteniuk,Alexandra 2526 2632 6.0/8  
3 Lagno,Kateryna 2530 2527 5.0/8  
4 Gunina,Valentina 2531 2516 4.5/8 17.25
5 Bodnaruk,Anastasia 2431 2510 4.5/8 15.50
6 Kovalevskaya,Ekaterina 2453 2496 4.5/8 14.75
7 Savina,Anastasia 2429 2485 4.0/8  
8 Girya,Olga 2487 2409 3.5/8  
9 Pogonina,Natalija 2460 2365 3.0/8  
10 Kashlinskaya,Alina 2441 2350 2.5/8 11.00
11 Ovod,Evgenija 2327 2337 2.5/8 8.25
12 Guseva,Marina 2431 2203 1.5/8  


Three more rounds will be played, starting at 15:00 local time (10:00 Moscow, 08:00 London, 03:00 New York, midnight Los Angeles). is streaming the official live commentary of all rounds at, with GM Evgenij Miroshnichenko and WGM Anna Burtasova. Photos by Eteri Kublashvili & Vladimir Barsky. Games via TWIC phpfCo1l0.png

More from PeterDoggers
Gender Bias Research Shows Parents, Mentors Shortchange Girls’ Chess Potential

Gender Bias Research Shows Parents, Mentors Shortchange Girls’ Chess Potential

Nepomniachtchi Repeats Levitov Chess Week Victory

Nepomniachtchi Repeats Levitov Chess Week Victory