Tomashevsky, Goryachkina Are New Russian Champions

Tomashevsky, Goryachkina Are New Russian Champions

| 8 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Evgeny Tomashevsky and WGM Aleksandra Goryachkina are the new Russian champions, as the winners of the Russian Championship Superfinal in Chita, Russia.

Goryachkina's victory can be called sensational. The title of “best female player in Russia” is quite an achievement when you're only 16 years old! Her biggest rival in Chita, GM Alexandra Kosteniuk, scored a big success when she was 17: she reached the World Championship final.

With three rounds to go, Goryachkina was half a point ahead of Kosteniuk. They met each other in round nine for what was one of the crucial games of the championship.

In a Symmetrical English Kosteniuk won a pawn, but her structure was worse. She was better nonetheless, but Goryachkina passed the test and held the game rather comfortably.

Still a half point behind the leader, Kosteniuk then did something remarkable the next day: she drew her white game with GM Kateryna Lagno quickly, using the Nf3-g5-f3 repetition in the Zaitsev Ruy Lopez. Maybe she wanted Lagno to be as fresh as possible to face Goryachkina in the last round?

Kosteniuk-Lagno, a game that would last only a few minutes.

Well, part of that possible strategy included a last-round win for Kosteniuk — but that didn't happen. She lost instead, to IM Ekaterina Kovalevskaya, who employed the Scotch Four Knights.

At some point the position was equal, but Kosteniuk allowed an unfavorable liquidation to a rook ending and then underestimated the danger of a protected passed pawn:

Not the best endgame of Kosteniuk's career.

Goryachkina, who had won some nice games earlier in the tournament, showed what else it takes to become a champion: tough defense, and some luck.

The eventual winner survived lost positions in the last two rounds! First it was Natalija Pogonina who missed a win:

Goryachkina vs Pogonina in round 10.

Today Lagno seemed well up to the task to perform her “duties” towards Kosteniuk, but she missed a win as well:

16-year-old Goryachkina is Russian Champion! 

2015 Women's Superfinal | Final Standings

# Name Rtg Perf Pts SB
1 Goryachkina,A 2474 2629 8.0/11  
2 Kosteniuk,A 2526 2551 7.0/11 36.00
3 Bodnaruk,A 2431 2559 7.0/11 33.25
4 Kovalevskaya,E 2453 2524 6.5/11 34.00
5 Gunina,V 2531 2518 6.5/11 31.00
6 Lagno,K 2530 2486 6.0/11  
7 Savina,A 2429 2462 5.5/11 27.75
8 Girya,O 2487 2458 5.5/11 27.50
9 Pogonina,N 2460 2363 4.0/11  
10 Kashlinskaya,A 2441 2330 3.5/11 19.00
11 Ovod,E 2327 2339 3.5/11 18.25
12 Guseva,M 2431 2293 3.0/11  


Like Goryachkina, GM Evgeny Tomashevsky had a half-point lead (over Nikita Vitiugov and Sergey Karjakin) with three rounds to go. He made a big step towards his first national title by blowing away Ivan Bukavshin in round nine:

That was what you call a crushing win for Tomashevsky.

Vitiugov drew, but Karjakin stayed within shooting range. The world #13 defeated Peter Svidler in a line of the Archangelsk Ruy Lopez that is crucial for the whole variation.

Black's piece sacrifice had been played earlier, and should lead to equal play according to Karjakin. When Svidler lost the thread, he never got a second chance:

Annotations by GM Dejan Bojkov


Karjakin was in good shape versus Svidler.

In the last two rounds there was only one decisive game on each day, and neither of them had much influence on the (top of the) the standings. Here's the first, a crazy fight between young star Artemiev and Khismatullin, who drew only three of his games:


Khismatullin certainly entertained the crowd this year.

Poor Artemiev also lost his last-round game, but it seems likely that he will only grow stronger from that. The winner was Igor Lysyj, who lost his title but at least had the consolation of winning one game in this championship:

Annotations by GM Dejan Bojkov


Tomashevsky won the Tbilisi Grand Prix and now clinches his first Russian title.

2015 Superfinal | Final Standings

# Name Rtg Perf Pts SB
1 Tomashevsky,E 2747 2821 7.5/11  
2 Karjakin,S 2753 2786 7.0/11  
3 Vitiugov,N 2719 2755 6.5/11  
4 Jakovenko,D 2759 2689 5.5/11 30.25
5 Dubov,D 2654 2698 5.5/11 30.25
6 Artemiev,V 2671 2696 5.5/11 28.25
7 Khismatullin,D 2642 2699 5.5/11 26.25
8 Lysyj,I 2673 2665 5.0/11 27.00
9 Svidler,P 2739 2659 5.0/11 26.75
10 Bukavshin,I 2655 2666 5.0/11 25.50
11 Motylev,A 2658 2601 4.0/11 23.50
12 Khairullin,I 2662 2601 4.0/11 21.25


Photos by Eteri Kublashvili & Vladimir Barsky.  Games via TWIC phpfCo1l0.png

Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

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