Rublevsky beats Jakovenko, takes one-point lead

12/28/2005 – The two rivals at the top of the scoreboard of the Russian Championship Superfinal clashed today. Sergei Rublevsky beat his younger opponent Dmitry Jakovenko convincingly to take a full point lead with three rounds to go. Alexey Dreev stopped Evgeny Bareev's thrust for the top, and Alexander Motylev kept Sergey Volkov at the bottom of the table. Report, games and pictures.

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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 eight report

Round 8: Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Rublevsky, Sergei
1-0
Jakovenko, Dmitry
Svidler, Peter
½-½
Zvjaginsev, Vadim
Kramnik, Vladimir
½-½
Morozevich, Alexander
Tomashevsky, Evgeny
½-½
Khalifman, Alexander
Dreev, Alexey
1-0
Bareev, Evgeny
Motylev, Alexander
1-0
Volkov, Sergey
GamesReport

Rublevsky-Jakovenko: His round seven draw against Kramnik's Petroff must have left Sergei Rublevsky feeling somewhat discouraged, and given his main rival in this tournament, Dmitry Jakovenko, every reason to pick exactly that opening.


Sergei Rublevsky

Rublevsky,S (2652) - Jakovenko,D (2644) [C42]
ch-RUS Superfinal Moscow RUS (8), 27.12.2005
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d3 Nf6 6.d4 Be7 7.Bd3 Bg4 8.h3 Bh5 9.Nc3 c6N. 9...Nc6 and 9...Nbd7 have been played here, the first in 1992 and the second in 1967. Rublevsky has avoided the main lines of the Petroff and is relying purely on his playing skills. 10.g4 Bg6 11.g5 Nfd7 12.Bxg6 hxg6 13.Qe2 d5 14.Bd2 Nf8 15.0-0-0 Qd6 16.Rde1 Nbd7 17.h4 Ne6 18.h5 0-0-0 19.hxg6 Nf4 20.Bxf4 Qxf4+ 21.Qe3 Qxe3+ 22.fxe3 Rxh1 23.Rxh1 fxg6 24.Ne2 Rf8 25.Nf4 Bd6 26.Rh4 Rf7 27.Kd2 Nf8 28.Ke2 Kd7 29.b3 Rf5 30.Rg4 Be7 31.Nh3 Bd6 32.Nh4 Rf7 33.c4 b6 34.Nf2 dxc4 35.bxc4.

So far the younger Jakovenko has been somehow holding up to the manoeuverings of his experienced opponent. But now he loses the thread. 35...b5? 36.c5. White now has the position he needs to clinch the game. 36...Bc7 37.Nd3 a5 38.Nf3 Re7 39.Rh4 Ne6 40.Rh8 Nf4+ 41.Kd2 Nxd3 42.Kxd3 Rf7 43.Nh4 Bg3 44.Nxg6 Rf5 45.Ra8 Ke6 46.Ra7 Rf7.

The game has been strategically won for White for a while now. Here's how Rublevsky finished it off: 47.d5+ cxd5 48.Nf4+ Bxf4 49.Rxf7 Bxe3 50.c6 and if 50...Kxf7 then 51.c7 and 52.c8Q. 1-0.


Dmitry Jakovenko

Morozevich-Kramnik: This much-anticipated game saw 18 moves of Slav theory, with the two players following a recent game between Illescas and Dominguez (Dos Hermanas 2005). Morozevich had prepared a novelty over the game that Illescas had won, and after a number of exchanges Kramnik decided he could not get more than a draw.


Vladimir Kramnik vs Alexander Morozevich in round eight

Motylev-Volkov: Sergey Volkov has been having a bad tournament, as has Svidler second Alexander Motylev. The latter was out to pick up a point against his companion at the end of the table, but after a good start things started to drift and soon the most likely outcome was a draw. But then the apparently jinxed Volkov faltered.

Motylev,A (2632) - Volkov,Sergey (2614) [C11]
ch-RUS Superfinal Moscow RUS (8), 27.12.2005
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Be3 a6 8.Qd2 b5 9.a3 g5 10.fxg5 cxd4 11.Nxd4 Ncxe5 12.Bd3 Bb7 13.0-0 Qc7 14.Kh1 Bg7 15.Rae1 0-0 16.Nce2 Nc4 17.Bxc4 dxc4 18.Ng3 c3 19.bxc3 Rac8 20.Nh5 Qxc3 21.Qxc3 Rxc3 22.Nxg7 Rxe3 23.Rxe3 Kxg7 24.Rc3 Bd5 25.Rc7 Nb6 26.Rf6 Kg8 27.Ra7 Nc4 28.Rxa6 Rd8 29.Kg1 Be4 30.c3 e5 31.Nf3 Rd1+ 32.Kf2 Bd5 33.a4 e4 34.axb5 exf3 35.gxf3 Rb1 36.b6 Rb2+ 37.Kg3 Kg7 38.Rf4.

After struggling for much of the game Volkov is on the verge of saving it, e.g. by simply taking the pawn on b5 (with the rook), leaving him with two minor pieces for rook and two pawns, and a defendable endgame. However: 38...Be6?? We fail to see what prompted this move. 39.b7 Ne3 40.Rb4? It gets worse – White can now force the promotion of the b-pawn. 40...Rg2+ 41.Kf4 Nd5+ 42.Ke4 Nxb4 43.cxb4 Bc4 44.Ra8 1-0.

Dreev-Bareev: Things had been looking good for Evgeny Bareev, who had been leading the pack of followers in position three, with clear ambitions for more. He had achieved this by beating his Master and Commander Vladimir Kramnik in round six, and then the volatile Mr Morozevich in round seven. Today he was faced with an out-of-form Alexey Dreev, whose tournament performance so far had been 164 points below his 2694 level. Guess who took whom to the cleaners!


Alexey Dreev

Dreev,A (2694) - Bareev,E (2675) [D49]
ch-RUS Superfinal Moscow RUS (8), 27.12.2005
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 e6 5.Nf3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3 a6 9.e4 c5 10.e5 cxd4 11.Nxb5 axb5 12.exf6 gxf6 13.0-0 Qb6 14.Qe2 Ba6 15.a4 Bg7 16.a5 Qd6 17.Qe4 Rd8 18.Qg4 Kf8 19.Bf4 Ne5 20.Qh5 Rc8 21.Rae1 Rc5 22.b4 Rc3 23.Bxe5 fxe5 24.Ng5 Qe7 25.f4 e4 26.Bxe4 (26.Nxe4 Rxd3 27.Nc5 was an alternative) 26...h6 27.Nf3 Qxb4 28.Ne5 Qe7?

Bareev's last move, 28...Qb4-e7, was definitely a mistake. The tactical consequences are horrendous. 29.Bg6 b4 30.Bxf7 Bxf1 31.Ng6+ Kxf7 32.Nxe7+ Kxe7 33.Qg4

The threat is now 34.Rxe6+ and mate in seven more moves. But after 33...Kf8 34.Qxe6 (threatening Qe8#) Re3 35.Rxe3 dxe3 36.Kxf1 Black has rook and bishop for queen and pawn, with a hopelessly lost position. 1-0.

Pictures by courtesy of RussiaChess

Current standings

With his win today Sergei Rublevsky now leads the field with a full point, with three rounds to go. His performance is an awe inspiring 2865. Three players are within reach, one, Zvjaginsev, still faces him directly. Three players remain undefeated: Rublevsky, Svidler and Zvjaginsev.

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

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
Tomashevsky, Evgeny
Kramnik, Vladimir
1-0
Volkov, Sergey
Bareev, Evgeny
½-½
Jakovenko, Dmitry

Round 3: Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Tomashevsky, Evgeny
0-1
Svidler, Peter
Motylev, Alexander
½-½
Kramnik, Vladimir
Rublevsky, Sergei
1-0
Dreev, Alexey
Jakovenko, Dmitry
1-0
Morozevich, Alexander
Khalifman, Alexander
½-½
Bareev, Evgeny
Volkov, Sergey
0-1
Zvjaginsev, Vadim

Round 4: Thursday, December 22, 2005
Svidler, Peter
½-½
Rublevsky, Sergei
Motylev, Alexander
½-½
Tomashevsky, Evgeny
Jakovenko, Dmitry
½-½
Dreev, Alexey
Morozevich, Alexander
1-0
Khalifman, Alexander
Bareev, Evgeny
1-0
Volkov, Sergey
Kramnik, Vladimir
½-½
Zvjaginsev, Vadim

Round 5: Friday, December 23, 2005
Tomashevsky, Evgeny
0-1
Kramnik, Vladimir
Rublevsky, Sergei
1-0
Motylev, Alexander
Jakovenko, Dmitry
½-½
Svidler, Peter
Khalifman, Alexander
½-½
Dreev, Alexey
Volkov, Sergey
0-1
Morozevich, Alexander
Zvjaginsev, Vadim
½-½
Bareev, Evgeny

Round 6: Saturday, December 24, 2005
Kramnik, Vladimir
0-1
Bareev, Evgeny
Dreev, Alexey
0-1
Volkov, Sergey
Morozevich, Alexander
½-½
Zvjaginsev, Vadim
Svidler, Peter
½-½
Khalifman, Alexander
Motylev, Alexander
0-1
Jakovenko, Dmitry
Tomashevsky, Evgeny
½-½
Rublevsky, Sergei

Round 7: Monday, December 26, 2005
Volkov, Sergey
½-½
Svidler, Peter
Khalifman, Alexander
½-½
Motylev, Alexander
Bareev, Evgeny
1-0
Morozevich, Alexander
Zvjaginsev, Vadim
½-½
Dreev, Alexey
Rublevsky, Sergei
½-½
Kramnik, Vladimir
Jakovenko, Dmitry
1-0
Tomashevsky, Evgeny

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