Svidler retains slim lead

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Russian Championship SuperfinalThe Russian Championship Superfinal has reached the seventh round and Peter Svidler is still leading with half a point. An exciting fifth round was followed by another drawish day yesterday and now Nikita Vitiugov is at second place.

Photo: Mark Gluhovsky

At Moscow's Central Chess Club the Russian Championship Superfinal takes place from October 3 to 15. Play starts daily at 15:00 hours Moscow time, which is 13:00 CET and 07:00 EST.

Tournament leader Svidler drew both of this games on Wednesday and Thursday but this didn't endanger his slim lead. Thanks to his victory against Lastin in round 5, Vitiugov took over the second place in the standings. Morozevich climbed a bit further up (third now) thanks to his Black win against Jakovenko, also in round 5.
Round 5 results Svidler - Maslak 1/2 Vitiugov - Lastin 1-0 Jakovenko - Morozevich 0-1 Timofeev - Lastin 1-0 Alekseev - Inarkiev 1-0 Sakaev - Tomashevsky 1/2
Round 6 results Sakaev - Svidler 1/2 Morozevich - Alekseev 1/2 Maslak - Vitiugov 1/2 Tomashevsky - Inarkiev 1/2 Riazantsev - Jakovenko 1/2 Lastin - Timofeev 1/2


Here are the games of rounds 5 and 6:

Although he was trying for a long time, Svidler couldn't break Maslak's resistence and so he saw Morozevich approaching him by half a point. The world's number two defeated Jakovenko in a complicated and quite original Taimanov/Scheveningen hybrid. The fireworks started with 14...Bh4!? after which Black allowed his king's bishop to get caught - or so it seemed. The cunning 16...Nc4! proved that Morozevich had calculated deeper: with the "save" 17.Bc1 White can never win the bishop because of Qg4, Qb6+ and Bh4-f2.

Jakovenko reacted much better but he should probably have played the immediate 21.Nd5! where White seems to be a bit better, although the position remains very sharp. The way he played, Black won a pawn which he eventually converted at move 57.

Vitiugov smashed Lastin after Black came up with the novelty 11...Qe7 where 11...Qe8 had led to a draw in I.Sokolov-M.Gurevich, Stockholm 1987. Perhaps Lasting couldn't remember his preparation, because Rybka thinks Black is doing OK after 14...Bxe2!? 15.axb4 Bxd1 16.Qxd1 Rad8.

Timofeev scored a nice win with the 3.f3 line versus Riazantsev's Caro-Kann - you could see the final combination coming! Inarkiev is still trying to find his form, and trying the Volga/Benk?ɬ? against Alekseev didn't help. White went for the rare g3/Nh3 set-up and it looked so easy how he dealt with Black's modern gambit! Truly a model game for 1.d4 players.

About sixth round I can only say that the games were much more interesting (this time they really were!) than the scores suggest.

Pairings Round 7, today: Inarkiev - Morozevich Svidler - Tomashevsky Jakovenko - Lastin Timofeev - Maslak Vitiugov - Sakaev Alekseev - Riazantsev

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