Rus Team Champ: SHSM wins Women's section

by Alejandro Ramirez
5/8/2015 – The Open section of the Russian Team Champion had an unexciting last round: Novisibirsk squashed their opponents and easily won the event with a perfect score. Saint Petersburg and Univeristy of Belorechensk split the plit and finished third and second respectively. The Women's section, however, was far more exciting. SHSM was the favorite, but needed a miracle to win the event.

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The incredibly strong Russian Team Championship is under way in Sochi, Russia. The single round robin tournament features the strongest Russian squads. The matches are 6v6, with each team having six player in their line-up plus two reserves.

Siberia Novisibirsk had no problems wrapping up the tournament. They rested their top two players, Aronian and Kramnik, and still had no issue winning 4.5-1.5 against the relatively weak team of Yamal, who finished in last place.

Meanwhile the exciting race for second place proved to be somewhat disappointing. Six draws in games that did not seem particularly hard fought gave University of Belorechensk second place while Bronze Horsemen from Saint Petersburg clinched third.

All darws in Saint Petersburg vs. University of Belorechensk

Ian Nepomniachtchi scored a slightly disappointing 3.0/7

Alexander Grischuk only played four games, but scored three points

Peter Svidler for Saint Petersburg

If there was a brilliancy prize, it was probably this very game pictured above. Najer playing black against Motylev. This was the pretty ending to this attacking miniature:

[Event "TCh-RUS Men 2015"] [Site "Sochi RUS"] [Date "2015.05.06"] [Round "6.3"] [White "Motylev, Alexander"] [Black "Najer, Evgeniy"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B11"] [WhiteElo "2653"] [BlackElo "2634"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "2kr1b1r/pp1n1pp1/1qn1p3/2p1P2p/2PpQP2/3P2PP/PP1BN3/2KR1B1R b - - 0 14"] [PlyCount "31"] [EventDate "2015.05.01"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] [WhiteTeam "Malachite (Sverdlovsk region)"] [BlackTeam "SHSM-Our Heritage (Moscow)"] 14... f5 $5 {In this complicated Caro-Kann, Najer decides to sacrifice his e6 pawn to gain activity.} 15. exf6 Nxf6 16. Qxe6+ Kb8 17. Ng1 {The retreat seems forced. White could not play Bg2 due to Re8 and a skewer.} Re8 18. Qf5 Nb4 19. Bxb4 cxb4 20. Nf3 b3 21. axb3 Re3 22. Ne5 (22. Bg2 {was perhaps a better move, retaining the option of going to d2.}) 22... Qxb3 23. Ng6 $2 {too greedy.} (23. Rh2 $1 $13) 23... Bb4 $1 24. Rh2 (24. Nxh8 {gets mated!} Bd2+ $1 25. Rxd2 (25. Kxd2 Qxb2#) 25... Re1+) 24... Rc8 $1 25. Ne5 {The barking dog (horsey?) retreats with the tail between his legs. But now it is too late, Najer finishes it off with style.} a6 $6 {unnecessary, but safe.} 26. Nd7+ Nxd7 27. Qxd7 Rxc4+ $1 28. dxc4 Rc3+ $1 29. bxc3 Ba3+ {and White gets mated.} (29... Ba3+ 30. Kd2 Qxc3+ 31. Ke2 Qe3#) 0-1

Goryachkina scored 3.5/7 playing third board for Yamal

Final Standings

Rk. Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  TB1   TB2   TB3 
1 Sibir (Novosibirsk)  *  4 14 28.0 0
2 University (Belorechensk) 2  *  3 4 4 11 24.5 0
3 Bronze Horseman (St. Petersburg) 3  *  4 6 9 25.0 0
4 SHSM-Our Heritage (Moscow)  *  8 20.5 0
5 Malachite (Sverdlovsk region)  *  4 4 6 21.5 0
6 Lada (Samara region) 2 2  *  4 4 19.0 0
7 Rook (Kazan) 2 2 2  *  3 3 16.5 0
8 Yamal (YaNAO) 0 2 3  *  1 13.0 0

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Women's Section

Meanwhile in the Women's section things were a little more interesting. The matches were 4v4 instead of 6v6. In this section SHSM was the clear favorite, basically fielding the Russian Women's Olympic team:

Bo.   Name Rtg FED FideID Pts. Games
1 GM Kosteniuk Alexandra 2530 RUS 4128125 3.5 6.0
2 GM Gunina Valentina 2535 RUS 4167570 5.0 5.0
3 WGM Girya Olga 2479 RUS 4195752 4.5 6.0
4 IM Kovalevskaya Ekaterina 2450 RUS 4116704 5.0 6.0
5 IM Kashlinskaya Alina 2423 RUS 4198026 2.5 5.0

The second rated team was Yugra

 2. Югра (ХМАО) (RtgAvg:2448 / TB1: 10 / TB2: 19.5)
Bo.   Name Rtg FED FideID Pts. Games
1 GM Ushenina Anna 2467 UKR 14110911 4.0 6.0
2 WGM Pogonina Natalija 2474 RUS 4147855 3.5 6.0
3 IM Mkrtchian Lilit 2459 ARM 13300601 4.0 6.0
4 IM Guseva Marina 2391 RUS 4149351 3.5 5.0
5 WGM Kovanova Baira 2384 RUS 4164083 4.5 5.0

However the big surprise of the tournament was the team from Saint Petersburg:

4. СДЮСШОР ШШ (Санкт-Петербург) (RtgAvg:2297 / TB1: 11 / TB2: 18.5)
Bo.   Name Rtg FED FideID Pts. Games
1 IM Bodnaruk Anastasia 2402 RUS 4181751 5.5 7.0
2 IM Ovod Evgenija 2320 RUS 4131827 4.5 7.0
3 WFM Belenkaya Dina 2235 RUS 24142654 3.0 7.0
4 WIM Balaian Alina 2230 RUS 24115347 5.5 7.0

Amazing performances by Balaian and Bodnaruk, with 5.5/7 each, allowed the Saint Petersburg team to really fight for first place. They beat SHSM in round two and the top team had to play catch-up for the rest of the tournament. All the Saint Petersburg team needed in the last round was a 2.5-1.5 score against the weak team of Donchanka. However disaster struck, and they only managed a 2-2 draw.

SHSM took full advantage of their gift: they destroyed the University of Belorechensk 3.5-1.5, caught up to Saint Petersburg on match points and surpassed them with the better tie break (game points).

Perhaps a disappointing last round for the team from Saint Petersburg, but an excellent tournament nonetheless for them. Yugra took clear third with 10.0/14.

Natalia Pogonina playing for Yugra

Llit Mrktchian

Alexandra Kosteniuk had a rough showing, losing 10 rating points

Anastasia Bondaruk had a fantastic tournament

Karina Ambartsumova

Their getting used to winning when playing next to each other: Valentina Gunina and Olga Girya

Final Standings

Rk. Team 1.Rd 2.Rd 3.Rd 4.Rd 5.Rd 6.Rd 7.Rd  TB1   TB2 
1 SHSM-Our Heritage (Moscow) 8b3 2w1½ 3b3 4b2 5w4 9b3½ 6w3½ 11 20.5
2 SDYUSSHOR Hilti (St. Petersburg) 9w4 1b2½ 4W2 6b3 3W2 7b3 8w2 11 18.5
3 Yugra (Khanty) 5w3½ 6b2 1W1 9b4 2b2 4W3 10w4 10 19.5
4 Boavista (Moscow) 10b4 8w3 2b2 1w2s 6b3 3b1 7W2 9 17.0
5 Grozny (Chechnya) 3b½ 10w4 6in1 7b2½ 1b0 8w2½ 9w3 8 13.5
6 University (Belorechensk) 7b2½ 3W2 5b3 2in1 4in1 10b3 1b½ 7 13.0
7 Rook (Kazan) 6w1½ 9b2 8w2½ 5w1½ 10b4 2in1 4b2 6 14.5
8 Donchanka (Rostov region) 1W1 4b1 7b1½ 10w2½ 9w2 5b1½ 2b2 4 11.5
9 Academy Grandmaster IV Glek (Moscow 2b0 7W2 10b2½ 3w0 8b2 1w½ 5b1 4 8.0
10 Kuban (Krasnodar region) 4w0 5b0 9w1½ 8b1½ 7w0 6in1 3b0 0 4.0


Replay last round games

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All pictures in this report were taken by Maria Fominykh

The photographer with a beautiful background in Sochi

WIM Maria Fominykh is a former u16 European Champion and is
now, besides a strong chess player, a chess journalist


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Topics Russia

Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
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Kingpawnkid Kingpawnkid 5/12/2015 05:28
It's a pity there isn't a close up of Valentina's hair style...chess & beauty...
KandiRavi KandiRavi 5/9/2015 06:52
What a brilliant game by Najer Evgeniy. Hats off !!