Ponomariov and Muzychuk lead Ukrainian Ch

6/21/2013 – Although the Russian Championship can claim to have the strongest national championship in the world, the Ukrainian Championship is a close second. In this year’s twelve-player men's lineup there are no fewer than five players rated 2700 or higher, and two other players are regular members of that elite group. At the midway point, Ponomariov and Muzychuk lead.

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Ponomariov and Muzychuk lead Ukrainian Ch

The White Knight saving the lady in distress

Although the Russian Championship can claim to have the strongest national championship in the world, the Ukrainian Championship is a close second. In this year’s twelve-player lineup there are no fewer than five players rated 2700 or higher, and two other players are regular members of that elite group.

Ponomariov relishing his obligations

Pavel Eljanov draws his number in the pairings. "Pavel is spelled with a V."

The players wait for their turn while the organizer entertains them in the background

At the very top of the pecking order is Ruslan Ponomariov (2743), followed by Anton Korobov (2715), Alexander Moiseenko (2711), Alexander Areschenko (2708), Pavel Eljanov (2707), Andrei Volokitin, Yuri Kryvoruchko (2659), Zahar Efimenko (2651), Martyn Kravtsiv (2626), Stanisvlav Bogdanovich (2567), Andrey Baryshpolets (2547), and Valeriy Neverov (2515) for a 2651 average rating.

Anton Korobov plays some blitz after the round

With beautiful carpeting and bright lighting, the venue is a worthy one

The tournament has hit its midway mark and top-seed Ruslan Ponomariov is the leader with 4.5/6. In second is Yuri Kryvoruchko with 4.0/6 after which the crosstable becomes crowded indeed. The coverage of the event has been of a high standard, expected of today’s easy access to technology, and included live games, photo galleries, as well as live video commentary (in Ukrainian) by Spartak Vysochin.

Ponomariov won a good game against Eljanov with a new idea in the 9.d4 Ruy Lopez

[Event "Ukrainian Men - 2013"] [Site "http://ukrchess.org.ua/"] [Date "2013.06.16"] [Round "2.2"] [White "Ponomariov, Ruslan"] [Black "Eljanov, Pavel"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C91"] [WhiteElo "2743"] [BlackElo "2707"] [PlyCount "61"] [EventDate "2013.??.??"] [TimeControl "6000+30"] [WhiteClock "0:40:04"] [BlackClock "0:19:03"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 O-O 9. d4 {Obviously the mainline Ruy Lopez almost always involves 9.h3 in order to prevent} Bg4 {but there is nothing inherently wrong with this variation for White. It is just not considered his best way to fight for the initiative. Among the top 100 players Emil Sutovsky champions this line.} 10. Be3 exd4 (10... Bh5 11. Nbd2 (11. h3 exd4 12. cxd4 Na5 13. Bc2 Nc4 14. Bc1 d5 15. Nc3 dxe4 16. Nxe4 Bg6 17. Ng3 Re8 18. Nf5 Bb4 19. Rxe8+ Qxe8 20. a3 Bf8 21. Ne3 Nd6 22. Bb3 Rd8 23. Ng4 c5 24. Bg5 Nde4 25. Bxf6 gxf6 26. Qc1 h5 27. Ngh2 cxd4 {0-1 (42) Sutovsky,E (2700)-Morozevich,A (2765) Sochi 2012}) 11... d5 12. Bg5 dxe4 13. Nxe4 exd4 14. Ng3 Bg6 15. cxd4 Na5 16. Ne5 Bb4 17. Re2 Qd6 18. Bc2 Nc4 19. Bxf6 gxf6 20. Nxc4 bxc4 21. a3 Ba5 22. Bxg6 hxg6 23. Ne4 {1-0 (59) Sutovsky,E (2687)-Salgado Lopez,I (2638) Istanbul 2012}) 11. cxd4 d5 12. e5 Ne4 13. h3 (13. Nc3 {is the most common continuation here but Ponomariov, familiar with this line, chooses something else.}) 13... Bh5 14. Nbd2 ({Again,} 14. Nc3 {is the most popular continuation by far.}) 14... Nxd2 {This move has a handful of samples in the databases, but is unknown in GM practice.} 15. Qxd2 Bxf3 16. Qc3 $1 {An important zwischenzug that is underestimated by Eljanov.} Bxg2 $2 {Although a natural reflex, this is a serious mistake.} ({Best was} 16... Rb8 $1 17. Qxc6 Rb6 $1 18. Qc3 Rg6 19. g3 Qd7 {and Black is ok.}) 17. Kxg2 Nb8 18. Rac1 c6 19. Kh2 {Aside from the bishop pair, White enjoys the open g-file and an advance in development. White is considerably better now.} f5 {The biggest issue with this move is that it does nothing to sovle any of Black's problems.} 20. Rg1 Ra7 21. Rg2 Qd7 22. Rcg1 Rf7 23. Bd1 {Come join the party!} g6 24. Bh5 Bf8 25. Bf4 Qe8 {Although this loses, other queen moves would lose just as well to the same sacrifice.} ({For example, if} 25... Qc8 26. Bxg6 hxg6 27. Rxg6+ Rg7 28. Qf3 Rxg6 29. Rxg6+ Rg7 30. Qh5 Qc7 (30... Rxg6 31. Qxg6+ Bg7 32. e6 Qf8 33. Bg5 {and e7 decides it.}) 31. Rh6 Rh7 32. Qg5+ Rg7 33. Qh4 {Now protecting the Bf4.} Rh7 34. Rg6+ Rg7 35. e6 $18) ({Also} 25... Qd8 {is equally met by} 26. Bxg6 hxg6 27. Rxg6+ Rg7 28. Bg5 $1 Qe8 29. Rh6 { and Black's position is falling apart.}) 26. Rxg6+ hxg6 27. Rxg6+ Bg7 28. e6 Rf8 29. Qc5 Qe7 30. Bd6 Qh4 31. Qxa7 1-0

Spartak Vysochin is providing live commentary of the games

On day one he was joined by guest commentator Evgeniya Doluhanova

Current standings in Men's event after six rounds

In the women’s event four out of nine rounds have been played, with top-seed Mariya Muzychuk (2478) playing according to her rating with 3.0/4. The surprise second, by tiebreak, is Maria Tantsiura with 2.5/4, who is the tournament’s lowest rated player with 2195 FIDE, but is overperforming with a 2433 TPR. Joining her in 2nd-4th are Irina Andrenko and Natalia Zhukova.

The participants all received roses

Current standings in Women's event after four 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 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.


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