Russian Superfinal: Closing ceremony

1/2/2010 – After missing a number of Championships Alexander Grischuk returned to the Superfinal in style, winning the event with a 2851 performance. GM Alisa Galliamova won the women's section with a TPR of 2715. At the closing ceremony the organiser Alexander Bakh was awarded the Order of Friendship for his work by the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Final photo report.

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The Russian Championship Super Final for men and women took place from December 19th to 30th in the Moscow Central Chess Club in the Gogolevsky Boulevard. Participants were the top players by rating and qualifiers from the higher league competitions. The rate of play was 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 could not offer draws directly to their opponents but had to do so through an arbiter. The total prize fund was close to two million rubles = US $100,000 for the men and 1.2 million rubles = US $40,000 for the women.

Closing ceremony

Report by Misha Savinov

The closing ceremony of the Russian Superfinals was rather brief. The Russian Chess Federation executive director and temporary president Alexander Bakh announced the results of both championships. He said that everyone is especially pleased with Alexander Grischuk’s long-awaited victory.


Alexander Grischuk and Alexander Bakh at the closing ceremony

Grischuk, who finished second behind Kasparov in the first Superfinal, did not participate in the next couple of tournaments, being unhappy about the decreased amount of the first prize. However when he took part Grischuk came second in 2007 (a point behind Morozevich), missed the event in 2008, and now came first – very decent results, to sat the least!


Both winners: Alisa Galliamova, Alexander Grischuk


Gold and Silver for Grischuk and Peter Svidler

Peter Svidler, who finished second, is a five-time Russian champion, so this year’s second place is hardly a blow for the Petersburger’s morale. In the last round Peter defeated Evgeny Tomashevsky, thus gaining some Elo points as well as solidifying his second place. He has every reason to be happy about his performance, with the exception of the game against Sjugirov. As Peter himself says, in every tournament he plays there is one game that is better forgotten...


Bronze medal for Nikita Vitiugov

Nikita Vitiugov took the bronze medal in the men’s section. He also represents St. Petersburg, and will cross the 2700 mark very soon. A very uncompromising and creative player, he managed to get the medal despite a few setbacks along the way, namely drawing a winning position against Svidler and losing to the outsider Riazantsev in a crushing manner in the penultimate round.


Gold medal winner Alisa Galliamova at the closing ceremony

Alisa Galliamova’s gold medal came after a voluntary two-year break. Alisa said she didn’t play her best chess in this tournament, but surprisingly it was enough to win gold. The Kosintseva sisters decided not to fight in their last round individual encounter, despite both having decent chances to move up the tournament ladder in case of a victory: Tatiana could catch up with Valentina Gunina for the bronze, while Nadezhda had a chance to get to the tiebreak for gold. Yet the peaceful tradition in the sisters’ games prevailed, and the tournament fate was settled: 1st Galliamova, 2nd N. Kosintseva, 3rd Gunina.


Galliamova, Kosintseva, Gunina – Gold, Silver and Bronze

In conclusion I would like to mention that on December 28 Alexander Bakh was awarded the Order of Friendship for his sports work by the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Other people similarly honored include tennis superstars Marat Safin and Anastasia Myskina. It must be a pleasure to be recognized, and especially to be in such a nice company.

All in all the 2009 Superfinals were among the most uncompromising in history and brought some very exciting results. Hopefully the next year the lineups will become even stronger, with Kosteniuk, Kramnik and Karjakin all joining the field. We are already looking forward to that!

Final standings men

Final standings women


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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