Peter Svidler wins Russian Championship

by ChessBase
9/16/2003 – The St. Petersburg grandmaster is 27 years old and has won the Russian Championship for the fourth time – an unprecedented achievement in post-Soviet Union chess history. The event was held in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, which lies in the heart of Russia. From there our correspondent Eugeny Atarov sent us games, results and a lot of wonderful pictures.

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The Russian Men's Individual Championships was held from September 3rd to 12th, 2003, in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia. It was a nine-round Swiss, with 80 players. These included 57 GMs and 15 IMs, while ratings ranges from 2606 to 2732. The stars (highest-rated players) were Alexander Grischuk, Peter Svidler, Alexei Dreev, Vladimir Malakhov, Alexander Morozevich, Alexander Khalifman and Sergei Rublevsky etc.

The 2003 Russian Champion: Peter Svidler

The tournament was won by Peter Svidler, 27, of St Peterburg. He and Alexander Morozevich, 26, both scored 7.0 points in nine games, but Svidler won on the Buchholz tiebreak system (he had won their personal game in round six). Their individual tournament performances were: Svidler – 2848, Morozevich – 2834. The third prize went to Vladimir Malakhov, sometime second of Vladimir Kramnik.

Final standings
 1. Svidler, Peter  2723   7.0 
 2. Morozevich, Alexander  2679  7.0
 3. Malakhov, Vladimir  2696  6.0
 4. Dvoirys, Semen  2555  6.0
 5. Zvjaginsev, Vadim  2653  6.0
 6. Motylev, Alexander  2634  6.0
 7. Grischuk, Alexander  2732  6.0
 8. Khalifman, Alexander   2678  6.0
 9. Volkov, Sergey  2620  6.0
10. Najer, Evgeniy  2608  6.0

Peter Svidler, who is the father of infant twins, first became Russian champion in 1994 at the age of 18. This is the fourth time that he has taken the title, a feat that is unprecedented in post-Soviet Union chess history.

At home he has real human twins: Peter with a gift from chess fans

Picture Gallery

By Eugene Atarov

Press conference before the start of the match

Valety Zubov, the organiser of the Russian Championship 2003, with two young talents from Siberia, Valeria Kirillova and Marija Fominykh

The drawing of colours, here with the final winner Peter Svidler

Let the games begin! Dignitaries and VIPs on the stage of the playing hall

Pomp and pageantry at the opening ceremony

A little dance number to entertain players and spectators

When's the last time you saw this kind of an opening for a chess tournament?

Living chess pieces in the courtyard outside the playing hall

Forget your Staunton – here's the human chess set up close

A press conference with Elena Akhmylovskaya-Donaldson

Elena was one of the top female players in the Soviet Union. In 1988, during the Chess Olympiad in Thessaloniki, she defected to the USA, after marrying the American team captain John Donaldson in the US consulate in Greece. This was sharply criticised by the Soviet and US chess officials. Now Elena was guest of honour at the Russian Championship.

Elena Akhmylovskaya gives a simultaneous exhibition for Russian children

The start of the 2003 Russian Championship with ceremonial first moves

The dancers are gone, the top GMs have the stage to themselves

Up close, the players and chief arbiter Vladimir Dvorkovich

Alexey Dreev, one of the top contenders

One of Russia's brightest stars: Alexander Grischuk

GM Alexej Kornev

Vladimir Malakhov kibitzing Alexander Morozevich

GM Artyom Timofeev

Svidler and Malakhov watching Alexander Khalifman vs Dimitry Jakovenko

Wood artisan Krasota displaying his work, including a picture of Wilhelm Steinitz

A soccer match with chess journalists vs chess players. No Peter Svidler here, after the St Petersburg GM fractured his foot in last year's soccer game.

The journalists won 7:0. The winners g0t a bottle of champagne each.

On their free day the participants planted 80 saplings. The motto: "Path to sporting glory". In the picture: GM Yakovich, Valery Zubov, GM Kiriakov, GM Glek und GM Tregubov


Krasnoyarsk is one of the earliest settlements of Siberia, founded as a fort in 1628 by the Cossacks. At the time it consisted of a wooden fortress with five towers. For a century it played the role of frontier advanced post. It was never conquered. When Siberia was finally joined to Russia in1690 the fortress officially received the status of a town.

Krasnoyarsk, the "Center of Russia", on the Yenisey River

Today Krasnoyarsk has a population of over three million and is one of the administrative centers in Siberia. It is also a cultural center, with eight theaters, five museums, a hundred public libraries and sixty seven clubs. The Krasnoyarsk Territory is very rich in raw material areas. There are plants producing chemicals, aluminium, wood products and synthetic rubber.

Krasnoyarsk City and Yenisey River (photos © A. Kuptsov)

The surrounding nature includes tundra, taiga and arctic desert. The fauna consists of great number spices of birds and mammals. The climate is not severe: during the summer the temperature rises up to +30C degree, but in the winter it drops to -30C degree.

The bridge and the water processing plant of Krasnoyarsk on the ten-Rubel note

Photos © Eugeny Atarov ("64" Magazine).
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