Russian Superfinal: Grischuk and Galliomova win

12/30/2009 – There were chances of a late-round upset, but in the end the two leading players stayed in front, winning the men's and women's sections by half a point. Alexander Grischuk had a 2851 performance that will put him on place nine in the world on the next rating list. Alisa Galliamova won the women's title with a 2715 performance. The two picked up $25,000 and $11,700 respectively. Final 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.

Final report

After round seven Alexander Grischuk was leading by half a point ahead of Peter Svidler, so the final two rounds saw a last-ditch effort by the latter to catch up with the former. In round eight Grischuk beat Jakovenko while Svidler drew Alekseev, which meant that Grischuk was a full point ahead. In the last round Grischuk, with black, drew Alekseev in 19 moves, while Peter Svidler managed to outplay Tomashevsky on the black side of an English Four Knights in a game that lasted 57 moves. So Grischuk took first place and is the new Russian Champion and took home the unshared first prize of US $25,000.


Russian Champion 2009: Alexander Grischuk

Grischuk's performance was 2851, while Peter Svidler performed at a very commendable 2804 level. This means that Alexander Grischuk will appear on place nine in the January 1st FIDE list, with a 2750 rating, while Peter Svidler will be number 12 in the world, with a 2741 rating.

Final standings (after nine rounds)

The draw ratio in Moscow was respectably low: just 22 of the 45 games, 49%, were drawn. White won 17 = 38% of the games, Black won 6 = 13%. There were just three drawn games of 20 or less moves, while 17 lasted for more than 50 moves. The longest games were Sjugirov-Vitiugov, 1-0 in 83 moves and Vitiugov-Timofeev, 1-0 in 84.

Women's section

In the women's section Alisa Galliamova had been leading by a full point, with 6.5 points after seven rounds. But there was speculation that she might caught by the Kosintseva sisters. She had to face European Champion and top seed Tatiana in round eight, and in round nine the two sisters faced each other, with the possibility that Tatiana might play a risky line and lose to her older sister, who might then be able to catch up with the leader.


Tatiana vs Nadezhda Kosintseva in the final round

However the speculation remained speculation: Tatiana could not beat Alisa with black, while Nadezhda beat Anastasia Bodnaruk to narrow the lead to just half a point. In the final round the two sisters did what they always do when they face each other: play a quick draw (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bg5 e6 7.Qd2 a6 8.0-0-0 Bd7 9.f3 Be7 10.Kb1 Rc8 11.g4 Nxd4 12.Qxd4 0-0 13.Be3 ½-½). Alisa Galliamova played an even shorter draw against Valentina Gunina (1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bxf6 Qxf6 7.e3 Nd7 8.Bd3 Bd6 9.0-0 Qe7 10.h3 dxc4 11.Bxc4 0-0 12.e4 e5 ½-½) to take the title – and US $11,700 in prize money.


Russian Women's Champion 2009: Alisa Galliamova

Final standings (after nine rounds)

Natalia Pogonina had to withdraw from the tournament, due to health problems, and did not play against Stepovaia and Zaiatz. She has scored 3.5 out of 7, not 9. Alisa Galliamova showed a rating performance of 2715, but Nadezhda Kosintseva also had a fairly sensational score of 2647. The statistics were typically very good at this women's event: only 20% of the games were drawn; White won 21 of 45 games = 47%, and Black 14 games, = 31%.


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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