2011 Russian Team Championship has started

4/16/2011 – An ever intriguing affair, the Russian Team Championship is underway with an impressive array of players and teams. It is a round-robin event with twelve teams, ranging from the ultra-strong CHF-St. Petersburg with a 2719 average Elo and Ivanchuk and Svidler, to MHS-64 bringing in Caruana and Giri. A real treat for chess fans this weekend. Here is a pictorial report after four rounds.

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Tournament: The Russian Club Championship is being held in the village of Olginka (Krasnodar Territory), Russia, from April 11 to 23.The men's tournament is a round-robin with twelve clubs participating. Each team consists of six players with two reserves.
Time Control: 40 moves in 90 minutes followed by 30 minutes KO and a 30-second increment as of the first move.
Time: All rounds at 6:30 AM New York / 12:30 PM Paris
Rest day: April 18

The Russian Club championship are underway with the Premiere league among the strongest in the world. It is an extremely strong round-robin event with twelve teams participating. Though the elo-favorites are CHF - St. Petersburg with an average 2719 Elo including Ivanchuk (2779) on first board and Efimenko (2708) on fifth, not all teams are super teams such as Yamal which doesn't have a single grandmaster in its lineup, and their lowest board is rated under 2200. Still, all teams are there by merit, so no one is to be dismissed lightly. One interesting team is MHS-64, with Gelfand, who has played only one game, followed by young guns Caruana, Giri, Potkin (fresh from his win at the European Championship), and fourth board GM Evgeny Najer, deserving a special mention as he is the only player with 4.0/4 at this juncture.


MHS-64 decided to invest in the young guns, seen here with Anish Giri overlooking
his teammate Fabiano Caruana.

Top twenty players

Rk
Tit.
Name
Rtg
Fed
1
GM
Ivanchuk Vassily
2779
UKR
2
GM
Ponomariov Ruslan
2743
UKR
3
GM
Gelfand Boris
2733
ISR
4
GM
Svidler Peter
2730
RUS
5
GM
Nepomniachtchi Ian
2729
RUS
6
GM
Wang Hao
2728
CHN
7
GM
Eljanov Pavel
2724
UKR
8
GM
Vitiugov Nikita
2720
RUS
9
GM
Jakovenko Dmitry
2718
RUS
10
GM
Caruana Fabiano
2716
ITA
11
GM
Movsesian Sergei
2716
ARM
12
GM
Malakhov Vladimir
2714
RUS
13
GM
Efimenko Zahar
2708
UKR
14
GM
Tomashevsky Evgeny
2707
RUS
15
GM
Dreev Aleksey
2697
RUS
16
GM
Giri Anish
2690
NED
17
GM
Alekseev Evgeny
2688
RUS
18
GM
Areshchenko Alexander
2687
UKR
19
GM
Andreikin Dmitry
2686
RUS
20
GM
Zhigalko Sergei
2680
BLR


The ever-solid Economist with Moiseenko, Andreikin, and Alekseev


Pavel Eljanov, playing for the Economist, won his first round against Popov

In the second round, second-seed Svidler placed his opponent in a bind and slowly strangled the life out of him.

Svidler,Peter (2730) - Grishchenko,Sergey (2475) [D35]
TCh-RUS Premier Olginka RUS (2), 13.04.2011

1.c4 Nf6 2.d4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Bf4 Be7 5.e3 0-0 6.Rc1 a6 7.c5. 7.Nf3 would transpose to usual lines. 7...Nc6 8.a3 b6 9.b4 Bb7 10.Bd3 Nd7 11.Nf3 Bf6 12.Bb1 bxc5 13.bxc5 g6 14.0-0 Bg7 15.Bg3








15...Ne7. Naturally Black would love to get in the 15...e5? break, but it continues unplayable. 16.Ba2! e4 (16...exd4 17.Nxd5 dxe3 18.Bxc7) 17.Nxd5 exf3 18.Bxc7 Qg5 19.Qxf3 16.Qa4 h6 17.Bd3 Ra7 18.Na2 Nf5 19.Bxf5 exf5 20.Rb1 Nf6 21.c6!








Black is strategicaly lost. The c-pawn has driven a wedge in the position and Black's pieces are running around like headless chickens. 21...Bc8 22.Nc3 Ne4 23.Nb5 Nxg3 24.hxg3 Ra8 25.Qa5








25...Be6? Athough it might appear to fly in the face of good sense, Black's best move to protect c7 is 25...Re8! It may seem to invite 26.Nxc7 but the pawn is untouchable due to 26...Ra7 26.Nxc7 Rc8 27.Rb7 Re8 28.Qb6 Re7








29.Nxd5 Qxd5. 29...Qxb6? 30.Nxe7+ Kf8 31.Nxg6+ fxg6 32.Rxb6 30.Rxe7 Rxc6 31.Qb8+ Kh7 32.Ne5 Rc3 33.Rb1 Rxa3 34.Qb7 Bxe5 35.Qxd5 Bxd5 36.Rxe5 Be6 37.d5 Ra5 38.Rd1 Kg7 39.Rxe6 1-0. [Click to replay]


In the second round, Eljanov lost to Caruana, who is on 3.0/4,
helping his team take an early lead.

Ponomariov won a very nice strategic game when he played an original approach in a rare line of the Nimzo-Indian Rubinstein.

Bocharov,Dmitry (2595) - Ponomariov,Ruslan (2743) [E47]
TCh-RUS Premier Olginka RUS (4), 15.04.2011

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 0-0 5.Bd3 c5 6.a3 cxd4 7.axb4 dxc3 8.bxc3








An extremely rare continuation of the Nimzo-Indian Rubinstein that has only seen GM practice a couple of times. A surprise weapon or athe beginning of its rehabiliation? 8...d6. The classic Nimzo is a fight for the e4-square, which is no doubt why the two previous GM forays involved d5. Ponomariov has something else planned. 8...d5 9.cxd5 exd5 10.h3 Ne4 11.Bb2 Qg5 12.Kf1 Bf5 13.Nf3 Qe7 14.Be2 Rd8 15.b5 Nd7 16.g4 Be6 17.Kg2 Ndc5 18.Ra3 Nd6 19.Nd4 Nc4 20.Ra2 Qf6 21.Bc1 Ne4 0-1 (49) Granda Zuniga,J (2630)-Beliavsky,A (2690)/Madrid 1998/CBM 065 (49) 9.Nf3 e5 10.e4 Be6 11.0-0 Qc7 12.Bg5 Nbd7 13.Nd2 h6 14.Bh4 a5 15.Qe2 Rfc8








With the center stabilized for the moment, Black has been pressuring White's queenside pawns notably c4, and after axb4, the b-pawn as well, and possibly the dark squares. 16.Rfd1 axb4 17.cxb4 Qb6 18.b5 Bg4! 19.Nf3 Nh5 20.Qe3 Qxe3 21.fxe3 Rxa1 22.Rxa1 Nc5 23.Bc2 g5 24.Be1 Nf6 25.Nd2 How does Ruslan increase the pressure? 25...Bh5! 26.Ra7 Bg6 27.Kf1








27...d5! 28.Bg3. White can actually take, and it is merely another possibility. 28.cxd5 Nxd5 29.exd5 Bxc2 30.Nf3 Bd3+ 31.Kg1 Bxb5 32.Nxe5 Ne4 33.Ra1 Rc5 34.Rd1 Be2 35.Rd4 f5 and Black is better.; 28.exd5?? Bxc2 28...Nfxe4 29.Nxe4 Nxe4 30.Bxe5 Nd2+ 31.Ke2 Nxc4 32.Bxg6 Nxe5! The former FIDE world champion has been in sizzling form and his positional play has been absolutely exemplary. 33.Bf5 Rc7 34.b6 Re7 35.Bc8 Nc4 36.Rxb7 Rxe3+ 37.Kf2 Rb3 38.Rd7 Rb2+ 39.Kg1 Nxb6 40.Rd8+ Kg7 41.Bf5 Nc4. If 42.Rxd5 Ne3 (42...Rxg2+ 43.Kxg2 Ne3+ 44.Kf3 Nxd5 is also winning.) 43.Ra5 Rxg2+ 44.Kh1 Rf2 45.Bh3 g4 46.Kg1 Re2 47.Bf1 Nxf1 48.Kxf1 Rxh2 0-1. [Click to replay]


Nepomniachtchi is seen chatting with his teammate Tomaschevsky, also playing
for the Economist.


Jakovenko focusing for his game with Ponomariov, but lost. The brown jacket was
provided by the club to all the team members.


Khalifman watches the game by Rublevsky

Pictures by Maria Bolshakova (Russiachess.org)

Crosstable after four rounds

Rk.
Team
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
TB1
TB2
TB3
1
Тomsk- 400
*
4
8
18
0
2
MHS – 64
*
4
5
8
17
0
3
Economist - SSSEU
*
4
5
6
17
0
4
"Ugra"
*
6
16
2
5
CHF St. Petersburg
*
4
5
6
16
0
6
UEE - Vista
2
½
*
4
12
0
7
Club Chigorin
2
2
*
4
4
12
0
8
Politechnique
*
4
10
0
9
NIU «BSU»
2
*
5
2
11
0
10
OSDYUSSHOR
½
1
*
0
6.5
0
11
Аtom
1
1
2
*
0
5.5
0
12
Yamal
½
1
½
*
0
4.5
0

Tie Break1: Matchpoints (2 for win, 1 for draw, 0 for loss)
Tie Break2: Game points
Tie Break3: The results of the teams in then same point group according to Matchpoints


Links

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