Russian Championship Superfinal starts in Moscow

12/22/2009 – Top seeds Peter Svidler and Alexander Grischuk lead after two rounds with 1.5 points each. The ten-player round robin is a category 18, missing only Kramnik and Morozevich. There is also a also a Women's Championship, with the top-rated Kosintseva sisters. Number one seed Tatiana lost her first game and drew the second, while sister Nadezhda started with 2.0/2 points. First report.

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The Russian Championship Super Final for men and women is taking place from December 19th to 30th in the Moscow Central Chess Club in the Gogolevsky Boulevard. Participants are the top players by rating and qualifiers from the higher league competitions. The rate of play is 100 minutes for 40 moves, then 50 minutes for 20 moves, and then 15 minutes and a 30 second increment per move to end the game. Players cannot offer draws directly to their opponents but have to do so through an arbiter. Play starts at 15:00h local Moscow time (13:00 CET, 07:00 New York). The prize fund is US $100,000 for the men and US $40,000 for the women.

The participants

GM Peter Svidler 2754   GM Nikita Vitiugov 2694
GM Alexander Grischuk 2736   GM Alexander Riazantsev 2661
GM Dmitry Jakovenko 2736   GM Artyom Timofeev 2651
GM Evgeny Alekseev 2715   GM Denis Khismatullin 2640
GM Evgeny Tomashevsky 2708   GM Sanan Sjugirov 2612

Peter Svidler, who is top seed in this year's tournament, won the 2008 Superfinal in the tiebreaks ahead of Dmitry Jakovenko and Evgeny Alekseev. Fifth seed Evgeny Tomashevsky is the reigning European Champion. Sanan Sjugirov from Elista, Kalmykia, is 16 years old and qualified from the Russian Higher League.


Top seed and defending champion Peter Svidler


Started with a win in round one: Alexander Grischuk


Youngster: 16-year-old GM Sanan Sjugirov from Kalmykia

The superfinal started with first-round wins by Alexander Grischuk over Evgeny Tomashevsky and by Denis Khismatullin over Alexander Riazantsev. In the second round Peter Svidler beat Khismatullin with the black pieces, while Evgeny Tomashevsky defeated the youngest player in the field, Sanan Sjugirov.

Standings after two rounds

Women

GM Tatiana Kosintseva 2522   IM Marina Romanko 2449
IM Nadezhda Kosintseva 2518   IM Elena Zaiatz 2390
WGM Natalija Pogonina 2501   WGM Tatiana Stepovaia 2384
IM Alisa Galliamova 2460   WGM Anastasia Bodnaruk 2372
WFM Valentina Gunina 2446   WGM Maria Manakova 2344

The first round of the women's event saw all games decided, with one notable upset: ninth seed Anastasia Bodnaruk beat top seed Tatiana Kosintseva, who is rated 150 Elo points above her. In the second round there was a single draw, with Tatiana Kosintseva conceeding ti to sixth seed Marina Romanko. We once again see a 10% draw rate in the women's section, while the men have drawn 60% of the games in the first two rounds (actually not bad for a category 18 tournament).


WGM Anastasia Bodnaruk with a round one win over...


... top seed GM Tatiana Kosintseva


Sister Nadezhda, second seed, won both games

Standings after two rounds

Photos by Mark Glukhovski and Mikhail Savinov for the Russian Chess Federation


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 the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse PGN games. New and enhanced: CB Light 2009!


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