2016 Russian Team Championship Rd1-5 (2/2)

by Albert Silver
5/7/2016 – While the Premier League in the Russian Team Championship with its roster of big names is the largest draw for most fans, they would be seriously remiss to not look at all the other competitions involved. Notably the Women's Team Championship with several former world champions, the Higher League, the Senior's with legends from yesteryear still strutting their stuff.

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Photos by Vladimir Barsky

Women's Team Championship

The Women's competition is as tough as nails as can be and surprises were revealed in the very first round. At the very top of the Elo ladder is Alexandra Kosteniuk, whose recent spate of good results have taken her rating to over 2550 throughout the year, a personal best. The problem is that when it was shown she was listed, the first question that sprung to mind was whether this was a mistake or a marketing ploy, after all she was currently playing in Batumi in the Women's Grand Prix (where she came in second) and the Team event would already be well underway. Not a problem as the Russian in high demand was flow straight from Batumi to Sochi without a minute to spare in order to bolster her team. Very impressive considering she had just played an eleven-round event.

Talk about stamina! Alexandra Kosteniuk had just fought her way to clear second in the FIDE
Grand Prix in Batumi, and without a single day of rest she flew to Sochi to help her team. She
arrived in time to play the fourth round..... which she won.

Her teammate Kateryna Lagno is of course no lightweight and the second highest rating of the competition, but she ran into an unexpected brick wall in the very first round when she faced 17-year-old Aleksandra Goryachkina. Goryachkina had been the subject of considerable speculation since after peaking at 2509 just a couple of months ago, she had suffered an unpleasant setback in the Russian Boy's under-21 losing 18 Elo and was now down to 2485. She showed this was all it was: a temporary glitch.

Kateryna Lagno chatting with her childhood friend Sergey Karjakin

Alexandra Goryachkina was anxious to show she was back with a vengeance

Kateryna Lagno - Alexandra Goryachkina

[Event "TCh-RUS Women 2016"] [Site "Sochi RUS"] [Date "2016.05.01"] [Round "1.1"] [White "Lagno, Kateryna"] [Black "Goryachkina, Aleksandra"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B10"] [WhiteElo "2529"] [BlackElo "2485"] [Annotator "Silver,Albert"] [PlyCount "58"] [EventDate "2016.05.01"] [WhiteTeam "SSM Legacy Square Capital Moscow"] [BlackTeam "University Belorechensk, Krasnodar"] 1. c4 c6 2. e4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. cxd5 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nxd5 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Bb5 g6 8. Qa4 Qd6 9. Ne4 Qe6 10. Nfg5 Qd7 11. Nc5 Qc7 12. O-O Bg7 13. Bc4 Qd8 14. Nxb7 Bxb7 15. Qb5 O-O 16. Qxb7 Ndb4 17. Qb5 Rb8 18. Qa4 Ne5 19. Be2 Ned3 20. Nf3 e5 {Black's knights are strangling White, who tries to free herself from thier hold with} 21. a3 $6 Nf4 {Forced and could hardly be a surprise.} 22. Bd1 Nbd3 23. g3 Nc5 (23... e4 24. gxf4 exf3 {would let Black whip up a deadly attack} 25. Qe4 (25. Bxf3 {Changes nothing.} Bh6 $1 26. Qc6 Bxf4 $19) 25... Re8 26. Qxf3 Bh6 {and White has no way to free herself and bring her pieces to her king's rescue.}) 24. Qc4 Nfd3 25. Bc2 e4 26. Bxd3 Nxd3 27. Qxe4 Re8 28. Qa4 Qd5 29. Nh4 Nxf2 0-1

A brutal performance by the teenager. After five rounds she has 3.0/5 and a 2554 performance. That said, in spite of this excellent result, her team "University" from Krasnodar lost its match against the Muscovite "Legacy Square Capital". It should be noted that the Muscovites are not only the top seed of the event with a 60 Elo average edge over the nearest rivals, but are untouched with five wins in five matches. Their secret weapon has been IM Alina Kashlinskaya on board four who has 4.5/5 and a 2588 performance. Here is a sample of her handiwork:

Dina Belenkaya - Alina Kashlinskaya

Elementary my dear Watson! Black to play and win.

[Event "TCh-RUS Women 2016"] [Site "Sochi RUS"] [Date "2016.05.02"] [Round "2.3"] [White "Belenkaya, Dina"] [Black "Kashlinskaya, Alina"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C07"] [WhiteElo "2289"] [BlackElo "2466"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "3rr1k1/1bq2ppp/pp6/2n1p3/2P3n1/1PQ5/PB1N1PPP/R2R1BK1 w - - 0 21"] [PlyCount "20"] [EventDate "2016.05.01"] [WhiteTeam "SDYUSSHOR SHSH Saint-Petersburg"] [BlackTeam "SSM Legacy Square Capital Moscow"] 21. h3 Nxf2 $1 {and the pawn is gone.} 22. Re1 (22. Kxf2 {is unplayable because of} Rxd2+ {and any recapture would lose the queen after Ne4+}) 22... Ncd3 23. Ba3 Qc6 24. Re3 Qg6 25. Kh2 Qg5 26. Re2 Qf4+ 27. g3 Qh6 28. Bc1 Qc6 29. Ne4 Nxe4 30. Qc2 Nef2 0-1

GM Natalia Zhukova is on second board at "University", right behind Goryachkina. She was
doing fine until round five when she lost to...

...WIM Elena Tomilova (2305 FIDE) who has been on a roll and has scored 4.0/5 with a 2603 performance!

Marina Baraeva's credentials include clear second in the Russian Girls Under-18 in 2012

Former world champion Anna Ushenina

11-year-old prodigy Bibisara Assaubayeva is playing the Women's Team championship (not
the Girl's) and after five rounds has a 2235 performance

Standings after five rounds

Rk SNo Team Games   +    =    -   TB1   TB2   TB3 
1 5 «ШСМ Legacy Square Capital» (г. Москва) 5 5 0 0 10 13.0 0
2 3 "Yugra" (Khanty-Ugra) 4 3 1 0 7 12.5 0
3 9 "Boavista" (Moscow) 5 2 2 1 6 11.5 0
4 4 "Donchanka" (Rostov-on-Don) 5 2 2 1 6 10.5 0
5 7 "SDYUSSHOR SHSH" (Saint-Petersburg) 4 2 0 2 4 10.0 0
6 1 "Rook" (Republic of Tatarstan) 4 1 1 2 3 6.5 0
7 6 "University" (Belorechensk, Krasnodar 4 1 0 3 2 6.5 0
8 8 "Bukavushki" (Tolyatti) 5 0 1 4 1 5.0 0
9 2 SSHOR "Youth of Moscow" (Moscow) 4 0 1 3 1 4.5 0

Tie Break1: Matchpoints (2 for wins, 1 for Draws, 0 for Losses)
Tie Break2: points (game-points)
Tie Break3: The results of the teams in then same point group according to Matchpoints

Senior Team Championship

The Senior Team Championship is hitly contended and offers a great opportunity for players past their prime to not only compete with their peers and colleagues, but show they teeth are still more than sharp enough to warrant lot of care. Consider the example below.

83-year-old GM Vasiukov (left) is still as feisty as ever and quite active with an average of 3-4 tournaments
per year even now. Here he faced legendary theoretician GM Evgeny Sveshnikov, the second seed.

Evgeny Vasiukov - Evgeny Sveshnikov

[Event "TCh-RUS Sen 2016"] [Site "Sochi RUS"] [Date "2016.05.03"] [Round "3"] [White "Vasiukov, Evgeny"] [Black "Sveshnikov, Evgeny"] [Result "0-1"] [Annotator "Silver,Albert"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "r1bq1rk1/pp2bppp/8/1Pp1N3/3np3/P6P/B1PP1PP1/R1BQK2R w KQ - 0 12"] [PlyCount "14"] [EventDate "2016.05.01"] [SourceDate "2016.05.05"] 12. c3 Be6 $1 13. Bxe6 (13. cxd4 Qxd4 14. Bxe6 fxe6 15. Qg4 $1 Qxe5 $1 $18 ( 15... Qxa1 $2 16. Qxe6+ Kh8 17. O-O {and the position is not clear anymore since White's threat on e7 and Nf7+ mean material will be coming back.} Bf6)) 13... Nxe6 14. Qb3 Nf4 15. O-O Bd6 16. d4 Ne2+ 17. Kh1 cxd4 18. cxd4 Nxd4 { and Black converted his material advantage.} 0-1

Standings after five rounds

Rk SNo Team Games   +    =    -   TB1   TB2   TB3 
1 8 'Malachite' (G. Yekaterinburg) 5 3 2 0 8 13.5 0
2 7 "University" (Belorechensk, Krasnodar 4 3 1 0 7 12.5 0
3 2 "The Bronze Horseman" (Saint-Petersburg) 4 3 0 1 6 11.0 0
4 3 "Good Heart" (Sochi) 4 3 0 1 6 9.0 0
5 6 "Our Heritage" (Moscow) 4 2 1 1 5 9.5 0
6 9 "Zhiguli" (Samara region) 5 2 0 3 4 10.5 0
7 1 "Rook" (Republic of Tatarstan) 4 2 0 2 4 9.0 0
8 5 "Yugra" (Khanty-Ugra) 5 0 0 5 0 3.5 0
9 4 "On a visit to us" (Sochi) 5 0 0 5 0 1.5 0

Tie Break1: Matchpoints (2 for wins, 1 for Draws, 0 for Losses)
Tie Break2: points (game-points)
Tie Break3: The results of the teams in then same point group according to Matchpoints

One of the boards where the crosstables are posted

The event also has a Russian Team event for Boys and another for Girls

Also, the Russian Chess Federation decided to institute a new event in parallel: the All-Russian
Orphanage and Boarding School Championship.


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Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications, and the content creator of the YouTube channel, Chess & Tech.


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