Tomsk-400 and 64 (Moscow) lead at Russian Team Championship

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Tomsk-400 and 64 (Moscow) lead at Russian Team ChampionshipWith three rounds to go, the fight for the Russian Team Championship is mostly fought between Tomsk-400 and 64 (Moscow). Both teams scored 15 match points out of 8 rounds, and St. Petersburg is 3 points behind.

Boris Gelfand strolling, Pavel Eljanov and Ian Nepomniachtchi (and Vassily Ivanchuk in the background) thinking | Photo © Maria Bolshakova

General info

The 18th Russian Team Championship takes place April 11-23 in Olginka (Krasnodar Territory), Russia. Each team consists of 6 players and 2 reserves. The rate of play is 90 minutes for the first 40 moves and then 30 minutes to end the game with 30 seconds increment from move one. Each day the rounds start at 14.30 local time (12.30 CET). More info, including the line-up of all teams, can be found in our previous report.

Russian Team Championship

The playing hall - the women's championship has started as well

Rounds 5-8

The teams Tomsk-400 and 64 (Moscow) both dropped only one match point so far. Tomsk players Ponomariov, Motylev, and Kurnosov all have 5.5/7. 64's hero is Evgeny Najer, the absolute top scorer in the league so far with a superb 7.5/8. The second best player in their team, Fabiano Caruana, 'only' scored 5/7.

The team from Moscow tied their only match in the classical fight with their rivals from St. Petersburg in round 5. All games ended in draws there.

Russian Team Championship: Anish Giri

Moscow, with Gelfand, Caruana and Giri on top boards - Svidler playing for the St. Petersburg team



In the same round, Tomsk-400 maintained their 100% score thanks to a narrow 3.5-2.5 win against Economist. The decisive game in that match was Motylev beating Eljanov with the black pieces.

Russian Team Championship: Eljanov vs Motylev

Eljanov vs Motylev



In round 6, both Tomsk-400 and 64 beat their opponent teams, YSU – VISTA and Club MI Chigorin respectively, easily. St. Petersburg kept the pace with a 6-0 sweep against Kemerovo. Then, on Monday, April 18th, the players enjoyed a rest day in Olginka.

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Alexander Areshchenko and Ruslan Ponomariov strolling in the sun



By then our new columnist Anish Giri was on an excellent +2 score (four draws, two wins) and on Tuesday, the 64 team captain gave him some rest. Nonetheless, the team continued strongly with a 4-2 win against Ugra - Caruana beat Rublevsky and Najer won against Sjugirov.

Tomsk-400 defeated Atom 4.5-1.5 to maintain their one-point lead, but yesterday they finally dropped their first match point. Their match with St. Petersburg ended 3-3. Zvjaginsev beat Khismatullin on board six and on the top board, Vassily Ivanchuk miscalculated against Ruslan Ponomariov and could resign after 26 moves.

Ivanchuk-Ponomariov Russian Team Championship 2011 Ivanchuk-Ponomariov

22. Qf5? White should play 22. exd6 Bxf3 23. dxc7

Ivanchuk-Ponomariov

23... Nh3+! (or 23... Qg5!? 24. g3 Bxd1 25. Qxd1) 24. Kf1 (if White goes 24. Kh1

Ivanchuk-Ponomariov

then Black can respond with the stunning 24... Qd5!!) 24... Bxg2+ 25. Kxg2 Qg5+

Ivanchuk-Ponomariov

26. Kh1 (26. Kxh3 Qh5+ 27. Kg2 Qg4+ ) 26... Rxe1+ 27. Rxe1 Qd5+ 28. Re4 Qg5 29. Re1 Qd5+ with perpetual. 22... Bxf3 23. gxf3 Qh4 24. Re4 dxe5 25. Rd7 Rg6+ 26. Kf1 Rg2

Ivanchuk-Ponomariov

and here Ivanchuk thought for about fifteen minutes and then resigned.

64 grabbed their chance to catch Tomsk in the lead with a 5-1 win against Kemerovo - wins for Wang Hao, Riazantsev, Potkin, Grachev and Najer but Giri lost his first game, with Black against IM Dmitrij Sitnikov. No more rest for these young talents, we say.

Russian Team Championship: Anish Giri

Anish Giri now on 4/7



Photos © Maria Bolshakova, more here



Selection of games rounds 5-8



Game viewer by ChessTempo


Russian Team Championship 2011 | Round 8 standings
# Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Pts TB1
1 SHSM-64 * 3 4 5 4 5 5 15 34.0
2 Tomsk-400 * 3 4 15 33.0
3 SPb Chess Fed 3 3 * 4 5 5 6 12 33.0
4 Ugra 2 * 3 4 4 11 29.0
5 Economist 3 * 4 5 3 5 10 30.5
6 Club MI Chigorin 1 2 2 2 * 4 5 8 23.0
7 YSU – VISTA 2 ½ 1 * 4 8 22.5
8 Polytechnic 2 3 * 7 21.0
9 NIU BSU 2 * 5 6 22.0
10 Atom 1 1 2 2 * 3 3 15.5
11 Yamal ½ 1 1 1 ½ 3 * 1 12.0
12 Kemerovo 1 0 ½ 1 * 0 12.5



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