Russian Superfinal: Grischuk leads, Galliomova 6.5/7

by ChessBase
12/27/2009 – Alexander Grischuk and Peter Svidler both won in round six and drew in round seven to maintain their places at the top of the table. Grischuk has 5.0/7 with a 2833 performance, Svidler 4.5/7 at 2778. In the women's section Alisa Galliamova has conceded a single draw. She lead by a full point, with a 2868 performance, but can still be caught, e.g. by Nadezhda Kosintseva. Report by Misha Savinov.

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The Russian Championship Super Final for men and women is taking place from December 19th to 30th in the Moscow Central Chess Club in the Gogolevsky Boulevard. Participants are the top players by rating and qualifiers from the higher league competitions. The rate of play is 100 minutes for 40 moves, then 50 minutes for 20 moves, and then 15 minutes and a 30 second increment per move to end the game. Players cannot offer draws directly to their opponents but have to do so through an arbiter. Play starts at 15:00h local Moscow time (13:00 CET, 07:00 New York). The prize fund is close to two million rubles = US $100,000 for the men and 1.2 million rubles = US $40,000 for the women.

Fighting spirit in Moscow

Report after round seven by Misha Savinov

Peter Svidler quickly recovered after his sensational loss to Sanan Sjugirov by beating Artyom Timofeev in the next round. According to Peter, his opponent made a big mistake in the opening – 14...Rad8 (14...Rab8 is much better, 14...c5 is okay), after which White gained a lot of momentum. Already on the 18th move Black sacrificed an exchange. It was not exactly forced, but both players considered this move to be Black’s best try. Yet, the compensation was not sufficient, and White quickly converted his material advantage into a win.

Svidler,P (2754) - Timofeev,Arty (2651) [C10]
62nd ch-RUS Moscow RUS (6), 26.12.2009
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Nf3 Ngf6 6.Bg5 h6 7.Nxf6+ Nxf6 8.Be3 Bd6 9.Bd3 b6 10.Ne5 0-0 11.Qf3 Nd5 12.Bd2 Qh4 13.g4 Bb7 14.0-0-0 Rad8? 15.Rhg1 Ba8 16.Qe4 Nf6 17.Qe2 Bxe5 18.dxe5

18...Rxd3?! An exchange sacrifice that does not work out. 19.cxd3 Nd5 20.f4 Rd8 21.Rdf1 c5 22.f5 Nb4 23.Bxb4 cxb4 24.Qf2 Qe7 25.Qe3 b3 26.Kb1 Qb4 27.a3 Qb5 28.Rd1 Qc5 29.d4 Qd5 30.Rg3 Qe4+ 31.Qxe4 Bxe4+ 32.Kc1 exf5 33.gxf5 Bxf5 34.d5 Re8 35.d6 Kf8 36.Rxb3 Bd7 37.Re3 Re6 38.Rdd3 Ke8 39.Rc3 a5 40.Kd2 1-0.

However, this victory didn’t return Peter to the top, as Alexander Grischuk also paced up, breaking Sjugirov’s Sicilian in a very convincing way. Thus Grischuk remained a sole leader in the men’s tournament.

Grischuk,A (2736) - Sjugirov,S (2612) [B90]
62nd ch-RUS Moscow RUS (6), 26.12.2009
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.Qd2 Be7 9.f3 0-0 10.0-0-0 Qc7 11.g4 Rc8 12.g5 Nh5 13.Kb1 Nd7 14.f4 exf4 15.Bxf4 Nxf4 16.Qxf4 Ne5 17.h4 Qb6 18.Nd5 Bxd5 19.Rxd5 a5 20.Rb5 Qc7 21.Nd4 a4 22.a3 Ra5 23.h5 Bf8

Grischuk has built up a deadly attack on the kingside and now sees it through: 24.g6 Rxb5 25.Bxb5 Qb6 26.gxf7+ Kh8 27.h6 Qxd4 28.hxg7+ Bxg7 29.Qf5 Ng6 30.Qxc8+ Nf8 31.Qc3 Qxe4 32.Rg1 1-0.

The next round was quite peaceful, with only one game ending decisively – Alexander Riazantsev scored his first victory. He had black against Sanan Sjugirov, won a pawn and methodically converted it in an endgame. Other players were not that lucky: both Alekseev against Khismatullin, and Timofeev against Grischuk had the same amount of extra material, but the weaker side was able to draw. Tomashevsky against Vitiugov also had a lasting advantage over the entire game, but Vitiugov managed to remain calm and defend a very unpleasant position.

In the last two rounds Vitiugov has the best finish – he faces the rather unmotivated Riazantsev and Khismatullin. If the Petersburger wins twice, he may catch up with Grischuk and play tie-break games. Svidler trails by just half a point, but his finish is not as bright: Peter has to face Alekseev and Tomashevsky. Grischuk also meets two 2700+ players, Jakovenko and Alekseev, so it is hard to expect him winning the championship with +5 score. Yet, he is the most likely candidate for winning the race.

Standings after seven rounds

The draw ratio is has climbed to 52% – 18 out of 35 games ended without a decision. White won 13 = 37% of the games, Black won 4 = 11% of all games. Grischuk's performance is 2933 and he is sure to be in the top ten in the next world rankings (if FIDE include the Russian Superfinal in their January 1st list).

Sanan Sjugirov vs Alexander Riazantsev in round seven (Raizantsev won in 59 moves)

Sjugirov-Svidler, the big sensation of the round five (Sjugirov won in 23 moves)

Dmitry Jakovenko, in fourth place with 3.5/7

Striking resemblance: Evgeny Tomashevsky and Robert Sean
Leonard, who plays Dr James Wilson in “House, MD”

Women's section

In the women’s event Alisa Galliamova had given up just half a point in seven games, drawing with her main rival and defending champion Nadezhda Kosintseva. In the seventh round Alisa continued her fantastic performance, beating Anastasia Bodnaruk as Black. Nadezhda Kosintseva is a full point behind after winning against the tailender Marina Romanko. Still, nothing is clear in the women’s championship, and this is why:

In the round eight Galliamova has to conquer Nadezhda’s sister, Tatiana. This championship is not the best tournament for the younger Kosintseva, but she will be fully motivated to help her sister winning the Superfinal for the second year in a row. And in the last round Galliamova faces the unpredictable Valentina Gunina, a brilliant attacking player capable of beating anyone at any time. And there is more! Kosintseva sisters play each other in the final round. Usually they make quick draws, but with the championship at the stake – who knows what can happen?

Leading with 6.5/7 and a 2868 performance: IM Alisa Galliamova

Standings after seven rounds

The statistics continue to show a sensationally low 20% of drawn games, with White winning in 46% and Black in 34% of the games.

Maria Manakova, who gained fame five years ago with some playmate pictures

Tatiana Kosintseva, draw against Maria Manakova in round seven

Nadezhda Kosintseva, beat Marina Romanko in 78 moves


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