Kramnik, Zvjaginsev strike in round two

12/20/2005 – After his shock defeat in round one, the first classical chess loss to friend Peter Svidler ever, Vladimir Kramnik rebounded with a fine win against Sergey Volkov. Replacement Vadim Svjaginsev played the cheeky 1.e4 c5 2.Na3?! against former world champion Khalifman – and scored a full point. Illustrated report.

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58th Russian Championship Superfinal

The final stage of the Russian Championship is taking place from December 19-30, 2005, in Moscow, with rounds starting each day at 15:00h local time. It is a 12 player round robin, with time controls of 100/40, then 50/20, 10/rest, with a 30 seconds increment from move one. The total prize fund is US $130,000, with $40,000 going to the winner

Round two report

Round 2: Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Svidler, Peter
½-½
Motylev, Alexander
Zvjaginsev, Vadim
1-0
Khalifman, Alexander
Morozevich, Alexander
½-½
Rublevsky, Sergei
Dreev, Alexey
½-½
EvgenyTomashevsky,
Kramnik, Vladimir
1-0
Volkov, Sergey
Bareev, Evgeny
½-½
Jakovenko, Dmitry
GamesReport

Peter Svidler did not go for an unfought draw against his friend and second Alexander Motylev, but the two did agree to peace when the first dust had settled, at move 26. Much scrappier was the next game on our list, which started with a bit of an insult.


Peter Svidler in high spirits in round two

Zvjaginsev,V (2659) - Khalifman,A (2653) [B20]
ch-RUS Superfinal Moscow RUS (2), 20.12.2005
1.e4 c5 2.Na3. No, this is not the first time this move has been seen in tournament chess. We located 21 games, of which Black won 17 and White two. So the score for Black is 86%. 2...Nc6 3.Bb5 Qc7 4.Nf3 g6 5.c3 a6 6.Bxc6 Qxc6 7.0-0 Bg7 8.d4 d6 9.d5 Qc7 10.h3 Nf6 11.Bf4 0-0 12.Re1 b5 13.Qd2 Bb7 14.Rad1 Rfe8 15.c4 Qb6 16.Bh6 Bh8 17.b3 e6 18.Ng5 exd5 19.cxd5 Re7 20.Re3 Rae8 21.Rde1 a5 22.Nb1 b4 23.Qc2 Nd7 24.Nd2 Ba6 25.Ngf3 Ne5 26.Bg5 Nxf3+ 27.Nxf3 Rd7 28.e5 dxe5 29.Nxe5 Rxd5

White goes on the attack with a piece sacrifice: 30.Nxf7 Rxe3 31.Rxe3 Kxf7 32.Re7+ Kf8 33.Qe4.

Black is under pressure, but there is no dead certain win in sight. 33...Qd6 was an obvious defence, with 34.Bh6+ Bg7 (34...Kg8?? leads to instant disaster) 35.Bxg7+ Kg8 36.f4 and Black is hanging on. But former FIDE world champion Khalifman blunders: 33...Rd1+?? This move opens the diagonal for a fatal white queen check on a8: 34.Kh2 Qd6+ 35.f4 Bf6 36.Bh6+ Kg8 37.Qa8+ 1-0.


Alexander Khalifman stymied by Zvjaginsev 2.Na3

Vladimir Kramnik seems to have overcome his shock defeat, the first in a classical game, at the hands of his old friend Peter Svidler in round one. Today Kramnik was already dominating at move 15, and after that he outplayed his opponent Sergey Volkov like a master a student. Watch White's knight go from b1 to c3 to e2 to g3 to e2 to g1 to f3 e5 on move 34, at which point Black is already lost. We predict a big comeback for Kramnik in this tournament.


The start of Kramnik vs Volkov. In the background we see Dreev facing Tomashevsky and Morozevich on the right. Standing are the arbiter and Vadim (2.Na3) Zvjaginsev.

Morozevich-Rublevsky saw White attacking in an English Opening throughout the game, but Black cooly defending until draw was agreed on move 53. Virtually the same can be said about Dreev-Tomashevsky, a Queen's Indian/Nimzo hybrid, which ended when White could not find a way through in 56 moves. Bareev-Javovenko was a D15 Slav and more equally balanced, and it also ended on move 53 in a peace accord.


Alexander Morozevich with a mischievous look

Previous Results

Round 1: Monday, December 19, 2005
Rublevsky, Sergei
1-0
Bareev, Evgeny
Svidler, Peter
1-0
Kramnik, Vladimir
Jakovenko, Dmitry
½-½
Zvjaginsev, Vadim
Khalifman, Alexander
½-½
Volkov, Sergey
Motylev, Alexander
½-½
Dreev, Alexey
Tomashevsky, Evgeny
½-½
Morozevich, Alexander

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