18-year-old Andrei Volokitin Ukraine champion

by ChessBase
9/4/2004 – The 73rd Ukrainian Championship has ended with an upset victory by Andrei Volokitin 18, who beat his one year older compatriot Anton Korobov in the final. 24-year-old Alexander Moiseenko came in third. Top seed Vassily Ivanchuk was eliminated by veteran Oleg Romanishin in round two. Illustrated report.

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It was the strongest championship in the history of Ukraine, with 32 participants (including 20 GMs, 7 IM, 3 WGM). The venue was Kharkiv in Ukraine, and the tournament ran from August 23 to September 2, 2004.

The winners: Anton Korobov (2nd), Andrei Volokitin (1st) and Alexander Moiseenko (3rd)

Below is the full knockout table. The main upsets took place in the first two rounds, when 14-year-old star Sergey Karjakin (2591) lost to his club mate Yuriy Kuzubov (same age, 2467), and while veteran Oleg Romanishin (2541) defeated Vassily Ivanchuk (2715) to knock the top seed out of the tournament.

Picture Gallery

The tournament hall in the Student’s Palace building of National Law Academy

Efimenko vs Volokitin (right) and Korobov-Oleksienko (background) in the quarterfinals

17-year-old Michailo Oleksienko

24-year-old Alexander Moiseenko

The finals between Anton Korobov and Andrei Volokitin

Photos by Alexander Martynkov

An hour at the Ukrainian Chess Championship

By Olena Boytsun

So, what was going on with this 73rd Ukrainian Chess Championship? New stars appear, the favorite Ivanchuk is out after Round 2., the average age of the final Round 5 participants is 22 years. I decided to go to Kharkiv, where the championship was held from the 24th of August till the 2nd of September, to see everything with my own eyes and through the lens of my camera.

Between my native Dnipropetrovsk and Kharkiv it is 220 km


Kharkiv is one of the biggest cities of Ukraine, having the population more than 1.2 million people. In August the city celebrated its 350-year jubilee. Traditionally it is stated that Kharkiv began its history from 1654.

During decades the city was the Cossack regiment center. In 1805 the first University in Ukraine was established here. Now Kharkiv is a modern industrial city.

Kharkiv, a modern bustling industrial city

This year Chess Championship was held in the Student’s Palace building of National Law Academy. You are asking yourself, why it is so many good players in Ukraine? When I told to the taxi driver, who brought me there, why I am in Kharkiv, he immediately told back some story about his cousin, who plays chess, participated in some tournament, married and moved from Moscow to Kharkiv. Then he remembered all tournaments he played by himself, his trainer at school and the chess teacher of his children. We spoke about chess all the way. Then, looking for the playing hall, I asked some young policemen in front of the building for the help. He smiled, pointed to the stairs, said: “I think Korobov will be a champion” and gave a wink. I am proud that such situations are possible in Ukraine; it shows that chess is really popular among population.

A Ukrainian policeman predicting the outcome of the tournament for visitors

Pictures from the previous round on the bulletin board

On the stairs I met Alexander Moiseenko, who has the second highest rating after Vassily Ivanchuk. “I am not confused with the result, I am not really happy. I played for the first place”, he said. For the last 2.5 months he played five different tournaments all over the world and won among others the open championship of Canada for the second time, and took second place on the 12th category round tournament in Montreal. He is from Kharkiv and has already graduated from the National Law Academy.

New and old technology in the playing hall: a human-updated demo board on the screen, video projection of the position on a giant screen

It is men championship, but young ladies are also here. IM Inna Gaponenko (Elo 2448) and WGM Natalia Zhukova (2475).

Among spectators the youngest grandmaster (final norm at 12) Sergey Karjakin and the youngest FIDE world champion (won the title at 18) Ruslan Ponomariov.

GM Korobov Anton (2565) is a student of Kharkiv National Law Academy. In the past he studied chess at famous Ukrainian chess school in Kramatorsk. In April 2004 Anton was in the list of Top 20 Juniors. He is 19 and what is interesting: his birthday is 25 of June, so Anton is exactly 10 years younger than Vladimir Kramnik.

GM Andrey Volokitin is from Lviv, which is situated in the Western part of Ukraine. With Elo 2638 he is now the forth in top 20 Juniors and posses place number 56 in the world. Andrey has been playing chess since he was nine years old and completed GM-norm at the age of 15. Now Andrey Volokitin is the champion of Ukraine, at the ripe old age of 18.

While I was going out of the building, I saw Femida staying next to the exit. With such a protection everything must be normal.

So now I can drive back to Dnipropetrovsk and to the Ukrainian Cremia, where the view from my hotel so incredibly beautiful

Sincerely yours, Olena Boytsun

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