Strong and fast: The Russian Blitz and Rapid Championships

by André Schulz
10/6/2017 – From October 3rd to 5th, Sochi hosted the Russian Blitz and Rapid Championships. With individual and team events (both open and for women) in blitz and rapid it was a real chess festival that attracted a lot of strong players for a week of fast and exciting games. | Pictured: Gata Kamsky and Alexander Motylev | Photo: Vladimir Barsky, Russian Chess Federation

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Blitz and rapid chess in Sochi

The event started with the individual championships in rapid and in blitz. In both disciplines there was an open tournament, in which men and women could compete, and a women's tournament.

The open tournament attracted 185 participants who played 11 rounds swiss with a time limit of 15+10. The venue of the event was the spacious hotel Zhemchuzhina.

Top seed in the rapid tournament was Sanan Sjugirov who started with a rapid Elo of 2765. However, in the current FIDE list from October, Sjugirov is not among the top 100, apparently because he has not played an official rapid event for more than a year. Behind Sjugirov followed Ernesto Inarkiev, Dmitry Andreikin, Vladimir Fedoseev, Dmitry Jakovenko, Vladislav Artemiev and Daniil Dubov who all started with rapid ratings over 2700.

A few years ago, FIDE was pressured to list not only "normal" Elo-ratings but also rapid and blitz ratings. It was argued that these were, after all, different disciplines, similar to long and short distances in athletics. Some players who are not among the top players in classical chess now make it to the very top in rapid or blitz chess.

But all in all the various rating lists for classical, rapid and blitz chess have the potential to be more confusing than useful, when mixed within a single event. Sometimes it is hard to find out which rating is given at the various tournaments. The ratings themselves do not show whether they are based on classical, rapid or blitz chess. Perhaps every rating should now indicate what kind of rating it is, e.g. 2750c for the "classical" rating, 2750r for rapid rating and 2750b for the blitz.

But currently the system is less than clear. And the fact the Grand Chess Tour tries to introduce a "Universal Rating System" (URS™) of its own, combining all disciplines, does not really help to reduce the confusion.

Alexander Motylev

Moreover, the ratings seem to drift apart. The top player in all three disciplines in Magnus Carlsen. His "classical" Elo rating is currently 2829, his rapid Elo is 2909, and in blitz he has an Elo of 2948. The ratings of other top players show a similar pattern. It seems as if the inflation inherent to the Elo formula has an impact here and that disciplines with the greater number of games lead to higher ratings.

But no matter his rating, it was Alexander Motylev [Right] who had the best start in the rapid tournament: he won his first five games. But Evgeny Tomashevsky kept pace and in the seventh round he won against Motylev to take the lead himself. But then Tomashevsky achieved just three draws in the next three rounds and the tournament had to be decided in the eleventh and final round. Motylev beat Inarkiev while Tomashevsky drew again. This helped Alexander Motylev to win the tournament with 9.0/11 and to become Russian Rapid Champion 2017.

Final Standings Open Rapid (Top 20)

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Motylev Alexander 9,0 75,5
2 Tomashevsky Evgeny 8,5 78,0
3 Savchenko Boris 8,5 71,5
4 Yuffa Daniil 8,5 70,5
5 Inarkiev Ernesto 8,0 79,5
6 Khismatullin Denis 8,0 79,5
7 Alekseev Evgeny 8,0 77,0
8 Grachev Boris 8,0 76,0
9 Rublevsky Sergei 8,0 72,5
10 Popov Ivan 8,0 72,5
11 Kobalia Mikhail 8,0 72,0
12 Sjugirov Sanan 8,0 71,5
13 Novikov Maxim 8,0 70,5
14 Andreikin Dmitry 7,5 78,0
15 Potkin Vladimir 7,5 76,0
16 Levin Evgeny A. 7,5 75,5
17 Sakaev Konstantin 7,5 75,5
18 Alekseenko Kirill 7,5 75,5
19 Bocharov Dmitry 7,5 72,5
20 Rakhmanov Aleksandr 7,5 72,5

Games Individual Rapid Open

 

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Women's Rapid Championship

In the women's tournament Natalia Pogonina was top seed, but it was Alina Kashlinskaya who took an early lead by scoring 5.0/5 from her first five games. In round six Kashlinskaya lost against Anastasia Bodnaruk, who took over the lead and kept it till the end. She won with 8½/11, half a point ahead of Aleksandra Goryachkina, Karina Ambartumova and Marina Nechaeva who all finished with 8.0/11.

Bodnaruk and Ambartsumova | Photo: Vladimir Barsky

Final standings Women's Rapid Championship

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Bodnaruk Anastasia 8,5 73,0
2 Goryachkina Aleksandra 8,0 74,5
3 Ambartsumova Karina 8,0 71,5
4 Nechaeva Marina 8,0 71,0
5 Gritsayeva Oksana 7,5 76,0
6 Pogonina Natalija 7,5 71,0
7 Charochkina Daria 7,5 69,0
8 Vasilevich Tatjana 7,5 64,5
9 Kashlinskaya Alina 7,0 80,0
10 Bivol Alina 7,0 69,0
11 Shaydullina Sandugach 7,0 68,5
12 Bykova Anastasia 7,0 60,5
13 Belenkaya Dina 7,0 60,0
14 Maltsevskaya Aleksandra 6,5 74,0
15 Ubiennykh Ekaterina 6,5 74,0
16 Drozdova Dina 6,5 73,0
17 Tomilova Elena 6,5 68,5
18 Potapova Margarita 6,5 66,0
19 Voit Daria 6,0 70,5
20 Girya Olga 6,0 69,5

Games Women's Rapid Championship

 

Blitz

Vladislav Artemiev won the open blitz tournament with 15½/20. In the women's event Anastasia Bodnaruk won again and thus secured her second title. 

Team Championships

After the individual tournaments followed the team tournaments. In the Open Championship 26 teams with four players each started and played a 9-round Swiss tournament. The team event was even stronger than the individual championships because players such as Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Alexander Morozevich, Gata Kamsky and Alexey Shirov supported their teams. In the end the team of Ladya, which had Gata Kamsky on board 1, won the event. The women's event was a round-robin and won by team Ugra.

Andreikin and Mamedyarov (light shirts) face Sjugirov and Fedoseev respectively  (dark shirts) | Photo: Vladimir Barsky

Alexander Morozevich | Photo: Vladimir Barsky

 

 

 

 

 

Final standings Rapid Open Team Championship

Rk SNo Team Gms + - = TB1 TB2 TB3
1 6 Ladya (Respublika Tatarstan) 9 6 1 2 14 21,5 0
2 1 Sima-Lend Ural (Sverdlovskaya oblast) 9 5 1 3 13 24,5 0
3 5 Yugra (KhMAO-Yugra) 9 6 2 1 13 24,0 0
4 3 Legendy Moskvy (g. Moskva) 9 5 2 2 12 22,5 0
5 7 SDYuSShOR ShSh (g. Sankt-Peterburg) 9 5 2 2 12 20,0 0
6 4 Bortsy za Ideyu (g. Moskva) 9 5 3 1 11 21,0 0
7 2 Druzya Ivana Bukavshina (Samarskaya oblast 9 5 3 1 11 20,5 0
8 11 AQ (Krasnodarskiy kray) 9 5 3 1 11 19,5 0
9 8 Lokomotiv (g. Moskva) 9 5 4 0 10 20,5 0
10 9 Komanda Vologodskoy oblasti 9 5 4 0 10 19,0 0
11 15 Krym (Respublika Krym) 9 5 4 0 10 18,5 0
12 17 Tula (Tulskaya oblast) 9 3 3 3 9 20,0 0
13 13 PShK Politekhnik (Sverdlovskaya oblast) 9 4 4 1 9 19,5 0
14 20 SSSR (Sverdlovskaya oblast) 9 4 4 1 9 18,0 0
15 14 Krym nash (Respublika Krym) 9 4 4 1 9 16,5 0
16 12 Gogol-Mogol (g. Moskva) 9 3 4 2 8 19,5 0
17 10 QMAL (QNAO) 9 4 5 0 8 19,0 0
18 19 IMBA (Moskovskaya oblast) 9 4 5 0 8 17,5 0
19 18 Stavropolskiy kray 9 3 4 2 8 17,5 0
20 21 Lev i gortsy (RSO-Alaniya) 9 4 5 0 8 17,0 0
21 16 Novosibirskiy gosudarstvennyy tekhnicheski 9 3 4 2 8 15,0 1
22 22 Kimmeriya (Respublika Krym) 9 3 4 2 8 15,0 1
23 23 SSh Shakhmatnaya shkola Anatoliya Karpova (g. 9 2 5 2 6 14,0 0
24 25 Krepost (Stavropolskiy kray) 9 2 7 0 4 11,0 0
25 24 Stavropolskiy kray (yunoshi) 9 1 6 2 4 10,0 0
26 26 Zhemchuzhina (Krasnodarskiy kray) 8 0 8 0 0 6,5 0

Line-up Ladya

1. Ладья (Республика Татарстан) (EloDS:2642, Wtg1: 14 / Wtg2: 21,5)
Br.   Name EloI FideID 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Pkt. Anz EloDS
1 GM Kamsky Gata 2750 2000024 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 5,5 9 2599
2 GM Artemiev Vladislav 2712 24101605 1 1 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 7,0 9 2573
3 GM Timofeev Artyom 2608 4140419 ½ ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 5,0 9 2508
4 GM Hasangatin Ramil 2499 4122160 1 ½ 0     ½   1 ½ 3,5 6 2518
5 IM Sharafiev Azat 2503 4186214       0 ½   0     0,5 3 2335

Games Rapid Open Team Championship

 

Women's Rapid Team Championship

Final Standings

Rk Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 TB1 TB2 TB3
1 Yugra (KhMAO-Yugra) * 4 4 4 12 19,5 0
2 SDYuSShOR ShSh (g. Sankt-Peterburg) * 3 4 10 17,0 0
3 Ladya (Respublika Tatarstan) 0 * 2 4 7 13,5 0
4 Kimmeriya (Respublika Krym) 1 2 * 2 4 6 14,0 0
5 DGTU (Rostovskaya oblast) 2 * 5 13,5 0
6 DYuSSh im. M.M.Botvinnika (g. Moskva) 0 0 ½ 0 ½ * 2 3,5 0
7 Basiki (Moskovskaya oblast) 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ * 0 3,0 0
7 teams

Games Women's Rapid Team Championship

 

In the open Blitz Team Championship Sima-Land Ural won the title, in the women's team tournament Ugra repeated the success in the rapid tournament and also won the blitz.

Translation from German: Johannes Fischer

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André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.
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