64th Russian Championship – Morozevich defeats Svidler in last round

8/15/2011 – One wonders how the standings might look if Morozevich had not self-destructed against Nepomniachtchi. That said, he inflicted Svidler's only loss, beating him in the last round to take clear second, and marking his third consecutive 2800+ performance this year. Kramnik also played an uncompromising game with Black, and beat Galkin after the latter blundered in a difficult position. Final report.

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Prize fund: 90.000€ (24.000 - 17.500 - 12.500 - 11.000 - 9.000 - 7.500 - 4.000 - 2.500)
Tourney mode: round robin with 7 rounds
Time mode: 90 minutes/40 moves + 30 minutes + 30 seconds/move starting with the 1st move.
Game start: 13:00, last round 11:00
Rest day: 12th August

64th Russian Championship Super Final

This year's Russian Championship Super Final also marks a special edition: the 64th. Oddly though, instead of some mega event with more, the tournament has been cut down from last year's eleven-round edition with twelve players to a mere seven rounds and eight players. Still, don't think that makes it a lesser event by any means, as it also brings together a fantastic field with Kramnik, Karjakin, Grischuk, Morozevich, Svidler, Nepomniachtchi, and Galkin for a 2715 average rating. Once more the Russian Federation hosts the championship at a level that few can rival, with high resolution video broadcasting and of course grandmaster commentary. Round one through four will be commented by GM Sergey Makarichev, while rounds five through seven will be commented on by world-famous coach Mark Dvoretsky.

Round seven

Alexander Morozevich played a strong final round game to beat Svidler in the Gruenfeld Defence with white – a tad too late for the title, which his opponent had already picked up, but good enough for the runners up position.

Svidler seemed quite fidgety during the opening phase

Moro handled Svidler’s choice of 13….Ne5 in the Russian variation accurately and soon gained an endgame advantage (double bishops) which he converted in 31 moves. During the opening, Svidler appeared more fidgety than usual, and one wonders whether he hadn’t lost a bit of his focus, as the title was already a given.

Morozevich had the last word, and inflicted Svidler's only loss

Despite his second place finish, he scored a 2820 performance

[Event "64th ch-RUS"] [Site "Moscow RUS"] [Date "2011.08.15"] [Round "7"] [White "Morozevich, Alexander"] [Black "Svidler, Peter"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D97"] [WhiteElo "2694"] [BlackElo "2739"] [PlyCount "61"] [EventDate "2011.08.08"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Qb3 dxc4 6. Qxc4 O-O 7. e4 a6 8. e5 b5 9. Qb3 Nfd7 10. Be2 (10. e6 fxe6 11. Be3 Nf6 12. a4 bxa4 13. Rxa4 Nc6 14. Bc4 Rb8 15. Bxe6+ Kh8 16. Qc4 Bxe6 17. Qxe6 Qd6 18. Ng5 Nd8 19. Qc4 Rxb2 20. Rxa6 c6 21. O-O Ng4 22. g3 {1/2-1/2 (22) Morozevich,A (2715)-Kurnosov,I (2662)/ Pamplona 2010/CBM 138}) 10... c5 11. e6 {This idea is nothing new though in this line, though it is not usual to combine it with Be2.} fxe6 12. Qxe6+ Kh8 13. dxc5 Ne5 (13... Nxc5 {was better with} 14. Qe3 Nbd7 $14) 14. Qd5 Qxd5 15. Nxd5 Bb7 16. Nc7 Nxf3+ 17. gxf3 Bxf3 ({Svidler could have tried a different track with} 17... Ra7 {though White still has} 18. Ne6 Bxf3 (18... Rf6 19. Nxg7 Kxg7 20. h4 Bxf3 21. Bxf3 Rxf3 22. h5) 19. Nxf8 Bxh1 20. Ne6 Bd5 21. Nxg7 Kxg7 22. b4 Nc6 $14) 18. Bxf3 Ra7 19. Nxb5 axb5 20. Ke2 $16 {Now Black goes down without much fuss.} Ra6 21. Bb7 Re6+ 22. Be3 Bxb2 23. Rab1 Bd4 24. Rxb5 Na6 25. c6 Nc7 26. Rb3 Rf4 27. Rd1 Kg7 28. a4 Bc5 29. Rd7 Bd6 30. Rd3 Ne8 31. a5 1-0

Kramnik, back to his newly acquired uncompromising ways from the black side, beat Galkin with a positional piece sacrifice in a funny Pirc variant. The double-edged game was evenly fought until White blundered his queen with 30. Qb3

Kramnik continued his uncompromising play with only two draws

[Event "64th ch-RUS"] [Site "Moscow RUS"] [Date "2011.08.15"] [Round "7"] [White "Galkin, Alexander"] [Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B00"] [WhiteElo "2598"] [BlackElo "2781"] [PlyCount "70"] [EventDate "2011.08.08"] 1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. f3 c5 4. Ne2 e6 5. Be3 d5 6. dxc5 Nbd7 7. Nbc3 dxe4 8. b4 b6 9. c6 Bxb4 10. cxd7+ Bxd7 11. a3 Ba5 12. Qd4 Qe7 13. fxe4 e5 14. Qd3 O-O 15. Bg5 Rac8 16. Bxf6 Qxf6 17. O-O-O Be6 18. Nd5 Bxd5 19. exd5 e4 20. Qd4 Qd6 21. h4 Qxa3+ 22. Qb2 Qc5 23. Rh3 e3 24. Rg3 Bd2+ 25. Kb1 g6 26. h5 Rfe8 27. hxg6 hxg6 28. Rh3 Re5 29. Nc1 Bc3 30. Qb3 $4 ({Galkin had to try} 30. Qa2 {after which Black can still play the dangerous} Re4 $5 {though it is not clear it can be won after} 31. Nb3 Rb4 32. Rd3 a5 33. Rhxe3 Bd4 34. c3 (34. Rxd4 $4 Qxd4 ) 34... Rxb3+ 35. Qxb3 Bxe3 36. d6 {and Black will be hard pressed to show anything for his extra pawn.}) 30... Re4 $1 31. Na2 Qa5 32. Ba6 Rb4 33. Bxc8 Rxb3+ 34. cxb3 e2 35. Nxc3 Qxc3 0-1

This year is also the 100th anniversary of Mikhail Botvinnik

Timofeev-Grischuk and Nepomniachtchi-Karjakin, which were a Najdorf sideline and an English Four Knights respectively, were both drawn after restrained play by all the players.

Svidler is the tournament winner with 5 points from 7 rounds, followed by Morozevich as a clear second with 4.5/7. It is worth noting that this is Moro’s third consecutive 2800+ performance, which include his win at the Russian Higher League and a second place at Biel, half a point behind Carlsen. If his current rating is 2694, his next projected rating will be 2737, moving him up 31 places in the world rankings to 17th.

Photographs by the Russian Federation (Russiachess.org)

Final standings


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