Russian Team Championships: Ural leads, Tomsk slumps

4/13/2008 – The big news is that the team of Tomsk-400 a top favourite (having won the team championship last year, and a number of other events to boot) are in 12th place, in spite of being. But according to the Russian web site ChessPro the players have been spending too much time imbibing – and in fact received a stiff penalty for their transgressions. Oh, yes, and Alexander Grischuk has changed his hairstyle.

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Russian Team Championships 2008 in Sochi

The Russian Team Championships 2008 are taking place in Dagomys, Sochi, from April 1st-14th, 2008. A total of 91 grandmasters (and three IMs) are participating as members of twelve different teams. 61 GMs are rated higher than 2600, 16 are 2700 or higher.

Standings after nine rounds

Rnk Team
Pts
B.-pts
 1 Ural Yekaterinburg
13
33.5
 2 Economist 1 Saratov
13
31.0
3-5 TPS Saransk Saransk
11
30.5
3-5 Finek St Petersburg
11
29.0
3-5 Spasio-Swiss Moscow
11
29.0
6-7 Shatar Buryatia
10
27.5
6-7 64 Moscow
10
27.0
8 SHSM Moscow
8
27.5
9-10 Politekhnik Nizhny Tagil
6
24.0
9-10 Tomsk 400 Tomsk
6
23.0
11 South Ural Chelyabinsk
4
22.5
12 Economist 2 Saratov
3
19.5

Ural Ekaterinburg, with Radjabov, Shirov, Kamsky, Grischuk, Malakhov, Akopian, Dreev, and Motylev (rated 2644 and on the last board!) are in the lead, with 13 match points and 33.5 board points. They are followed Economist-SGSEU-1 Saratov, with Alekseev, Tomashevsky, Eljanov, Ni Hua, Roiz, Moiseenko, Galkin and Khairullin, who also scored 13 match points but 2.5 board points less than Ural Ekaterinburg.

The big disappointment is the top team Tomsk-400, which won the event last year – and the European Club Cup 2006, and the European Club Cup 2005. This time Tomsk fielded Morozevich, Karjakin, Jakovenko, van Wely, Timofeev, Kharlov and Belozerov. Average rating 2653. But after nine rounds they are languishing in 10th place. What is going on?

A partial explanation is offered by Ilya Odessky on the ChessPro web site: before starting the clocks in the seventh round at Dagomys, the chief arbiter announced a 1,000 rouble fine for Tomsk for "breaching sporting discipline" – the usual formula in Soviet times for drinking. Karyakin was the only one of the team to score half a point in the wipeout of the favourites by Saransk. Odessky comments that the penalty is on the low side (by our calculations €27 or $43) for a well-financed outfit. The top of the range penalty would have been disqualification. The rest day preceded the seventh round and there is not much to do, while the bars are open all hours.


Sergey Karjakin, the only player to get a draw for Tomsk 400 in round seven

Let us take a look at some of the games from this fateful round, which went as follows:

Tomsk 400
0.5-5.5
TPS Saransk Saransk
Alexander Morozevich
0-1
Vassily Ivanchuk
Sergey Karjakin
½-½
Konstantin Sakaev
Dimitry Jakovenko
0-1
Andrei Volotkin
Loek van Wely
0-1
Emil Sutovsky
Artyom Timofeev
0-1
Mikhail Kobalia
Andrei Belozerov
0-1
Evgeny Najer

Morozevich,A (2774) - Ivanchuk,V (2740) [B70]
TCh-RUS Dagomys RUS (7), 09.04.2008
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.Be2 Bg7 6.Nb3 d6 7.0-0 Nf6 8.Nc3 0-0 9.Bg5 Be6 10.f4 b5 11.a3 a5 12.Bf3 a4 13.Nc1 Nd7 14.Nd3 Nc5 15.Kh1 Nxd3 16.cxd3 Rb8 17.f5 Bb3 18.Qd2 b4 19.axb4 Rxb4 20.Bh6 Qb6 21.Bxg7 Kxg7 22.Bd1 Bxd1 23.Qxd1 Qd4 24.Nd5 Rb3 25.Qc1 Ne5 26.Qc7 Nxd3 27.Qxe7 Nf2+ 28.Rxf2 Qxf2 29.Qxd6 Rc8

30.f6+? Kh6 31.Qd7? And now 31...Qxb2 wins instantly: 32.Rg1 (to avoid ...Qxa1#) 32...Rc1 33.Qa7 Qb1 after which 34...Rxg1+ 35.Qxg1 a3 ends the game. However Ivanchuk captures differently: 31...Rxb2? This allows White to defend with 32.Qh3+. But Morozevich plays 32.Qg4? allowing 32...Rcb8 with dire threats. 33...Rcc2? 33.Nf4 (33.Ne3 offered greater resistance. 33...a3 (33...Ra2 was better) 34.h4 Rb5 35.Rxa3 Qd4 36.Nd5? Allowing Black to mate: 36...Rb1+ 37.Kh2 Qg1+ and White is finished. 0-1. One wonders, are there errors in the bulletin notation?

Jakovenko,D (2711) - Volokitin,And (2684) [C42]
TCh-RUS Dagomys RUS (7), 09.04.2008
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.Nc3 Nxc3 6.dxc3 Be7 7.Be3 Nc6 8.Qd2 0-0 9.0-0-0 Ne5 10.h4 Bg4 11.Be2 Qc8 12.h5 h6 13.Kb1 Re8 14.Rde1 Bf6 15.Nh2 Bxe2 16.Qxe2 d5 17.Bc1 Qd7 18.f4 Nc4 19.Qd3 Qb5 20.Ka1 Rxe1 21.Rxe1 Re8 22.Rd1 Re3 23.Qxd5 Qxd5 24.Rxd5 Re2 25.Ng4 Be7 26.Ne5 Nxe5 27.Rxe5 Rxe5 28.fxe5 Bg5 29.Kb1 Kf8

0-1.

Sutovsky,E (2630) - Van Wely,L (2676) [B85]
TCh-RUS Dagomys RUS (7), 09.04.2008
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e6 7.f4 Be7 8.0-0 0-0 9.Be3 Nc6 10.Qe1 Nxd4 11.Bxd4 b5 12.a3 Bb7 13.Qg3 g6 14.Bf3 a5 15.Nxb5 Nxe4 16.Qe1 Qd7 17.c4 Nc5 18.Rd1 Rfc8 19.Qe3 Bxf3 20.Rxf3 Nb7 21.f5 Rxc4 22.fxg6 fxg6 23.Rdf1 Rxd4 24.Nxd4

24...e5?? Black was in trouble, but this is ends it immediately: 25.Qh6 and mate to follow. 1-0.

Najer,E (2627) - Belozerov,A (2521) [C43]
TCh-RUS Dagomys RUS (7), 09.04.2008
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 Nxe4 4.Bd3 d5 5.dxe5 Nc6 6.0-0 Be7 7.Nc3 Bf5 8.Re1 0-0 9.Bd2 Nxd2 10.Bxf5 Nxf3+ 11.Qxf3 g6 12.Rad1 gxf5 13.Nxd5 Qc8

Black is already lost, but he too goes down in style. 14.Qh5 Qe6 15.Rd3 Nxe5 16.Rh3 h6 17.Nxe7+ Qxe7 18.Qxh6 Nf3+ 19.gxf3 and it's mate in three. 1-0.


Picture gallery


Dagomys in the morning. The weather is warm but misty and without sunshine.


Peter Svidler analysing with Vassily Ivanchuk – diet and vigorous exercise, that's how!


Man in Black: Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (in round five against Andrei Volokitin)...


... and in a relaxed mood, in spite of playing
100 points below his 2752 rating (after 10 rounds)


Remember Alexander Grischuk? The man with the sweeping hairstyle, which at
one stage included Rastafarian dreadlocks? Well, look what's become of him...


Alex Grischuk in Dagomys. How times – and people – change!

Pictures from ChessPro

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