Kryvoruchko and Muzychuk win Ukrainian Ch

6/28/2013 – They say that to win a tournament you need a bit of luck as well as skill, and this was the case for Yuri Kryvoruchko, the unexpected winner of the 2013 Ukrainian Championship, but his resilience and fighting spirit were the real clinchers. In the women's championship, Mariya Muzychuk stormed away and left her rivals 1.5 points behind. Illustrated report with games.

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Kryvoruchko and Muzychuk win Ukrainian Ch

They say that to win a tournament you need a bit of luck as well as skill, and this was the case for Yuri Kryvoruchko, the unexpected winner of the 2013 Ukrainian Championship, but his resilience and fighting spirit were the real clinchers. Although the event may have lacked Ukraine's greatest player, Vassily Ivanchuk, it was a who's who of Ukrainian chess, making Kryvoruchko's win all the more remarkable.

Ruslan Ponomariov thinking happy thoughts before the game's start

The objects of desire... though a check to go with them doesn't hurt either.

Although top seed Ruslan Ponomariov had a sizzling start with 3.0/3, he was unable to maintain the momentum and scored only one more win in the following eight rounds. This allowed his closest rivals Anton Korobov and Yuri Kryvoruchko to keep apace, and in round nine that is precisely what happened as he was caught up by Korobov.

[Event "82nd ch-UKR 2013"] [Site "Kiev UKR"] [Date "2013.06.24"] [Round "9.3"] [White "Korobov, Anton"] [Black "Baryshpolets, Andrey"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E92"] [WhiteElo "2715"] [BlackElo "2547"] [PlyCount "83"] [EventDate "2013.06.15"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. Be3 c6 8. d5 Ng4 9. Bg5 f6 10. Bh4 Na6 11. c5 Nxc5 $6 12. b4 Na6 13. Bxa6 bxa6 14. dxc6 g5 15. Bg3 {Black is still in the opening and already in a world of pain.} f5 16. exf5 Bxf5 ({As risky as it might appear, it was perhaps best to take energetic measures and go for broke with} 16... e4 17. Nxe4 Bxa1 18. O-O (18. Qxa1 Re8 $11) 18... Bg7 {and despite the engine evaluations, the situation is messy enough to allow for a win by either.}) 17. O-O Kh8 18. Rc1 h5 19. h3 Nh6 20. c7 Qf6 (20... Qxc7 21. Nxg5 Rac8 22. Qxh5 $16) 21. Nd5 Qg6 22. Rc6 Nf7 23. Ne7 Qf6 24. Nxf5 Qxf5 25. Qd5 Rac8 26. Rfc1 Bf6 27. Nd2 Be7 28. Nc4 g4 29. Ne3 Qd7 30. hxg4 hxg4 31. R1c4 Bg5 32. Nxg4 Qf5 33. Re4 Kg7 34. f3 Rfe8 35. Ne3 Bxe3+ 36. Rxe3 Qb1+ 37. Re1 Qxb4 38. Rc4 Qb5 39. Rg4+ Kf8 40. Qe4 Rxc7 41. Qh7 Qc5+ 42. Bf2 1-0

Unfortunately for Korobov, his moment to shine was shortlived as he drew in the next round while Yuri Kryvoruchko won a crucial game against Pavel Eljanov, that became the turning point in the tournament.

[Event "82nd ch-UKR 2013"] [Site "Kiev UKR"] [Date "2013.06.25"] [Round "10.1"] [White "Eljanov, Pavel"] [Black "Kryvoruchko, Yuriy"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D30"] [WhiteElo "2707"] [BlackElo "2659"] [PlyCount "76"] [EventDate "2013.06.15"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Bg5 Be7 5. e3 O-O 6. cxd5 exd5 7. Nc3 Nbd7 8. Bd3 c6 9. Qc2 Re8 10. h3 Ne4 11. Bf4 Ndf6 12. O-O Bd6 13. Bxd6 Nxd6 14. b4 Nfe4 15. Ne5 Nxc3 16. Qxc3 Bf5 17. Bxf5 Nxf5 18. b5 cxb5 19. Qb3 f6 20. Nd3 Qd7 21. Rfb1 Qf7 22. a4 Nd6 23. axb5 Nc4 24. Ra2 b6 25. Rc1 Rac8 26. Rac2 Rc7 27. Nb4 Rec8 28. Rc3 Qe6 29. Qa2 g5 30. Qe2 Qd6 31. Rb1 $4 {The only explanation for this is a momentary lapse of reason. A terrible blunder that does away with his excellent work.} (31. Nc6 a6 32. e4 $1 Re8 33. e5 {was good,}) ({Or} 31. Na6 Re7 32. Qg4 Rd8 33. h4 {with a nice advantage for White.}) 31... Na3 $1 { Exploiting the back rank weakness since the queen on d6 is covering White's escape route on h2.} 32. Rxa3 Rc1+ 33. Qf1 Rxf1+ 34. Kxf1 Rc4 35. Rab3 (35. Nd3 Qxa3) 35... Qh2 36. f3 Qh1+ 37. Kf2 Rc1 $1 38. Rxc1 (38. R1b2 Qe1#) 38... Qxc1 {and White is in zugzwang! If the knight leaves, then Qc2+ wins the rook, and if the rook goes to d3 then Qc4 wins the knight.} 0-1

As a result of this win, Kryvoruchko drew up with the leaders, but with the superior tiebreak. It all came down to the last round, and while Korobov was unable to beat Eljanov, Ponomariov beat Baryshpolets in a strong game. Unfortunately for him, the effort came too late as Kryvoruchko also showed himself up to the task as he outplayed Neverov, keeping abreast withg Ponomariov, and winning the title on tiebreak.

Natalia Zhukova with Anton Korobov. "...And when he came back his bishop
was safely in my pocket."

Yuri Kryvoruchko, the 2013 Ukrainian Champion

Final standings in Men's event

Natural beauty: Ukrainian style

In the women’s event, after four rounds have been played, top-seed Mariya Muzychuk (2478) had been playing according to her rating with 3.0/4, but that was only the prelude to an unstoppable 4.5/5 run that left her with 7.5/9 and a full 1.5 points ahead of her nearest rival, Natalia Zhukova with 6.0/9.

Maria Tantsuria, the lowest rated player with 2195 Elo, maintained her good form, and finished with 50% and 2345 performance.

Kateryna Dolzhykova

Mariya Muzychuk, the 2013 Ukrainian Women Champion

Final standings in Women's event

A group shot of all the participants and organizers


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