Kharkiv: Rebellion of the Youngsters

by ChessBase
3/13/2008 – This year the international tournament “Rector Cup”, staged in Kharkiv, Ukraine, celebrated its tenth anniversary. During that time participants from more then 20 countries have taken part. This year it was won by 16-year-old IM Vladimir Onishuk – for the second time in a row! And the women's section by a 15-year-old, Irene Kharisma Sukandar of Indonesia. Big pictorial report (with video).

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The Rebellion of the Youngsters

WIM Karlovich Anastasiya on the 10th Rector Cup in Kharkiv, Ukraine!

Pictures: Anastasiya Karlovich, Kristianus Liem, Alexandr Semenets

This year the international tournament “Rector Cup” celebrated its tenth anniversary. The Rector of the National Law Academy of Ukraine, named after Yaroslav the Wise, started with this good tradition and since 1999 the Academy has opened its doors to players from all over the World. During that time participants from more then 20 countries have taken part in different tournaments, which were arranged in the nice building of the Academy.

This year the format of the competition included two Round Robin tournaments for men and women separately, with GM and WGM norms and a match between two strongest Ukrainian clubs “Law Academy” and “Kievchess”.

The opening of the tournament

In Men`s GM competition ten players from four countries tried their luck. The average Elo of 2460 is attractive for young players with the ambition of achieving the highest title.

Gevorg Harutjunyan from Armenia, “the dark horse” of the tournament

Gevorg was only one untitled player and in the beginning was placed in the last ranks of the tournament table. However, this was only a "mirage”. The Armenian guest played aggressively and well, and only the current Ukrainian Champion, GM Valeriy Aveskulov, was able to stop him in the last game. Unfortunately, the possible triumph was prevented since another youngster, 16-year-old IM Vladimir Onischuk and experienced Ukrainian GM Mikhail Brodsky also scored 6 out of 9, and cruel tiebreak placed Gevorg only on the third stair of the pedestal.

The drawing average was just 40%, with 33% white and 27% black wins. A testimonial to fighting chess.

16-year-old IM Vladimir Onishuk, Ukraine, 2474, second time winner of the Rector Cup

IM Nazar Firman, 2501, seventh place, playing GM Mikhail Brodskiy, 2572, second place

Permanent participant and connoisseur of Ukrainian women’s beauty Hrair Simonian from Armenia, rated 2435, who ended in sixth place

When the wandering spectator could get bored of the “academical” style of the men, he could thank the organizers for providing him with another tournament next to the mentioned above.

GM Aleksandr Moiseenko wanders off to watch the games on woman section

As usual the struggle in the women section was more uncompromising. The girls were fighting till the end and your humble reporter was the only one who didn't lose any game and made seven draws.

Rating Average = 2198.9 Time limit: 90 min. per player + 30 seconds per move from move 1.

The drawing average was a remarkable 33%, with 36% white and 31% black wins. But even with such fantastic scoring only the last round cleared the situation and the prize winning places.

WFM Galina Breslavska, who led for eight rounds and was very close to WGM norm, but in the last game the fortune tricked her and the Ukrainian had to be satisfied only with second place

15-year-old Irene Kharisma Sukandar of Indonesia became the winner of the tournament

It was her very first time in Ukraine. Like the hospitable organizers we naturally had to show Kharisma the sights of the city, amongst them...

The "Monument of Sweethearts"...

at the monument of Harkov ...

Ukrainian snowfall...

WGM Anastasiya Karlovich (the author), 2198, third place

WGM Oksana Vozovic, 2327, champion of Ukraine 2006, 4th place in the Rector Cup

WGM Evgeniya Dolukhanova, 2223, Ukraine, fifth place

WIM Olena Dvoretska, Ukraine, 2164, waiting for her opponent

Irene Kharisma Sukandar giving interview to the State Ukrainian TV channel

During the tournament more then 15 Indonesian newspapers published the results of Irene and information about the event. But she did not mind – the young girl is already Indonesian Women Champion and used to have a lot of attention from mass media.

Match of the Champions

The "Match of the Champions" was devoted to the tenth anniversary of the Rector Cup and was meant to show which club is the strongest in Ukraine. The match was organized on the one day, one game, two hours plus 30 sec per move. According to the Sofia rules players couldn’t offer draw until move 30.


Eljanov Pavel




Ponomariov Ruslan




Moiseenko Alexander 




Efimenko Zahar




Aveskulov Valeriy




Baklan Vladimir




Brodsky Mikhail




Beliavsky Alexander




Kovchan Alexander




Areshchenko Alexander 




Firman Nazar




Vysochin Spartak



“Law Academy” Kharkiv 

The club “Law Academy”, which is the three times winner of Ukrainian Club Championship, was created in 1998. The participants of the team are mostly students of the National law academy.

GMs Alexander Kovchan, Valeriy Aveskulov, Mikhail Brodsky, Alexandr Moiseenko, Pavel Eljanov, Nazar Firman make a “stone wall” line up of the Law Academy team

The club “Kievchess” is a current champion of Ukrainian club championship and is rather young, it was created only one year ago.

GMs Vladimir Baklan, Alexander Areshchenko, Spartak Vysochin, Ruslan Ponomariov, Zahar Efimenko, Alexander Beliavsky worth making the new club to gather them in one team!

The games have started on the big stage…

Spectators could watch the games without on giant screens in the hall. Apart from that, it was possible to watch the games online.

Ruslan Ponomariov vs Pavel Eljanov – a short game...

… but long analyse, with Ponomariov, Eljanov and otheres

Former FIDE world champion Ruslan Ponomariov talks to Ukraine TV

The Rector gives the cup to the Vladimir Baklan, captain of “Kievchess”

The Rector said: “Next time our team will prepare more, fight more and… make a draw, because we will never forget to show hospitality to our guests!”

No closing ceremony in the Law Academy passes without a concert

Video of the tournament on YouTube

Anastasiya (Nastja) Karlovich was Ukrainian champion and vice-champion among girls under 16, 18 and 20. She was European Champion with the Ukrainian team in the Youth Team Championships. She is also

  • a candidate officer in the National Law Academy “Yaroslav the Wise”,
  • a member of the chess club “Law Academy”
  • a member of the German club Grosslehna
  • one of the organisers of WGM and GM closed tournaments “Cup of Rector”.
  • a Woman Grandmaster since 2003


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