2012 Russian championship – Going through the motions

8/7/2012 – It is the strongest national championship in the world, and a win on a player’s resumé speaks volumes of their ability. And if that is not enough, aside from financial incentives and bragging rights, there is a potential spot on the national team at stake. Despite all this, the event has been plagued by a lack of fight leading to 80% draws. Instead, the women are giving the example. Illustrated report.

ChessBase 14 Download ChessBase 14 Download

Everyone uses ChessBase, from the World Champion to the amateur next door. Start your personal success story with ChessBase 14 and enjoy your chess even more!


Along with the ChessBase 14 program you can access the Live Database of 8 million games, and receive three months of free ChesssBase Account Premium membership and all of our online apps! Have a look today!

More...

2012 Russian championship – Going through the motions

It is the strongest national championship in the world. More than any other in the world, the title on a player’s resumé speaks volumes of their ability and competitiveness. And if that is not enough, aside from financial incentives and bragging rights, there is a potential spot on the national team at stake.


The start of the hostilities

The field is also far from boring, even if one might regret the absence of Vladimir Kramnik and Alexander Morozevich, but even with this ‘weakened’ field, six of the ten players are members of the 2700 club, notably top-seed Sergey Karjakin, Alexander Grischuk, Peter Svidler, 2012 European champion Dmitry Jakovenko, Dmitry Andreikin, and Nikita Vitiugov. Rounding it off are qualifiers Evgeny Alekseev, 2011 European champion Vladimir Potkin, 19-year-old Sanan Sjugirov and of course the star of the recent qualifiers, 16-year-old Daniil Dubov, the lowest rated with 2594. All in all, it would seem a recipe for exciting chess.


16-year-old Daniil Dubov is playing his first Russian final

Instead, it is the strangest thing, with a spell of lethargy and lack of fighting spirit cast over the field. The statistics alone speak louder than words, with five rounds played and 80 percent draws. That’s right: eighty. But for those who might argue about top-level chess preparation, or probabilistic flukes, sorry, they do not apply here. Far too many games are barely fought out and even the ones that drag out for several dozen moves seem to be more about pointing to fifty moves played than trying to actually find a way to trick the opponent.


Sanan Sjugirov and Vladimir Potkin analyze their game


Vladimir Barsky interviews leader Evgeny Alekseev

Still, there is a leader after five rounds, and that would be Evgeny Alekseev with 3.5/5. As to young Daniil Dubov, his primary goal is no doubt to show to himself and others that he can hold his own against the best, and in that he has been quite successful, including two draws with black against both Sergey Karjakin and Peter Svidler.


Daniil Dubov was tested by Peter Svidler to see what he and his trainer, Sergey Shipov,
had up their sleeves.

Note that his prestigious opponents did not simply let him off the hook, and made sure the rising talent earned his half-point.


Natalia Pogonina goes over her game with Eteri Kublashvili

Thank goodness for the women though, whose tournament may lack the Elo power their male counterparts bear, but whose competitiveness should serve as an example. If the men are going through the motions of a tournament with 80% draws, the women have an incisive 60% win-rate. The leader at the midway point is Natalia Pogonina with a great 4.0/5 start. Trailing by half a point are Olga Girya and Alisa Galliamova with 3.5/5.

Photos by Vladimir Barsky and Eteri Kublashvili

Men's standings after five rounds

Women's standings after five rounds


 

Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 11 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

Copyright ChessBase


Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


Discuss

Rules for reader comments

 
 

Not registered yet? Register