Russian Superfinal under way in Moscow

by ChessBase
12/19/2007 – The Russian Championship Superfinal runs from 17-30 December (rest days 21st and 25th), at Moscow's Central House of Chessplayers (the former Moscow Central Chess Club). Round one saw a terrible loss for Svidler with the white pieces, a spoiled brilliancy for Morozevich, and a beautiful queen sacrifice from one of the outsiders. Report with pictures.

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Russian Superfinal under way in Moscow

The Russian Championship Superfinal runs from 17-30 December (rest days 21st and 25th) , at Moscow's Central House of Chessplayers (the former Moscow Central Chess Club). Both men's and women's championships are taking place, each as a 12-player all-play-all. The line-up for the men's event, in order of their numbers in the draw, is as follows:

1. Peter Svidler 2732
2 Alexey Dreev 2607
3 Farrukh Amonatov 2637
4 Ernesto Inarkiev 2674
5 Dmitry Jakovenko 2710
6 Nikita Vitiugov 2594
7 Evgeny Tomashenko 2646
8 Alexander Morozevich 2755
9 Konstantin Sakaev 2634
10 Artyom Timofeev 2637
11 Alexaner Grischuk 2715
12 Andrey Rychagov 2528

The time limit is a rather odd combination of classical and FIDE timings: 1hr 40 mins for the first 40 moves, then 50 minutes added for the next 20 moves, and 10 minutes more to finish, PLUS a 30 second increment from move 1. Draw offers are permitted only via the arbiter.

Round one report

An explosive start saw Amonatov crush Timofeev with a brillliant kingside attack, capped with a queen sacrifice:

Amonatov,F (2637) - Timofeev,Arty (2637) [B89]
60th ch-RUS Superfinal Moscow RUS (1), 18.12.2007

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Bc4 Be7 8.Qe2 a6 9.0-0-0 0-0 10.Bb3 Nd7 11.Kb1 Qc7 12.f4 Nc5 13.f5 Ne5 14.g4 b5 15.a3 Rb8 16.g5 Re8 17.h4 b4 18.axb4 Nxb3 19.cxb3 Rxb4 20.f6 Bd8 21.h5 Bb7 22.fxg7 h6 23.gxh6 Kh7 24.Rhg1 Rg8 25.Qg2 Qe7 26.Nf3 Bb6

27.Ng5+ Kxh6 28.Nxf7+ Kh7 29.Qg6+ Nxg6 30.hxg6+ Kxg7 31.Bh6+ Kf6 32.Rdf1+ 1-0.

Alexander Morozevich was cruising to an equally impressive win as Black against the highly-rated Jakovenko, but spoilt things in time-trouble:

Jakovenko,D (2710) - Morozevich,A (2755) [C11]
60th ch-RUS Superfinal Moscow RUS (1), 18.12.2007

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Be3 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Bc5 9.Qd2 0-0 10.0-0-0 a6 11.Qf2 Qe7 12.Bd3 f6 13.exf6 Nxf6 14.h3 Bd6 15.Rhf1 Bd7 16.Rde1 Nb4 17.Qd2 Nxd3+ 18.cxd3 b5 19.Kb1 b4 20.Nce2 a5 21.Nf3 a4 22.Ned4 b3 23.a3 # 23...Bxa3 24.bxa3 Qxa3 25.Ne5 Rfb8 26.f5 b2 27.Nc2 Qd6 28.Nxd7 Nxd7 29.Rf4 a3 30.Ka2 e5 31.Rb4 d4 32.Bxd4 exd4 33.Rxd4 Qf6 34.Qc3 Qxf5 35.Nb4 Kh8 36.Re7 Qf1 37.Re1

37...Qf2 38.Rxd7 Qxg2 39.Rb1 h6 40.Rc7 Rf8 41.h4 Qg4 42.Rc4 Qg2 43.Rc7 Qg4 44.Rc4 Qg2 45.Rc6 Kh7 46.d4 Qg4 47.d5 Rf4 48.Qc2+ Kh8 49.Nd3 Rf5 50.Rc4 Qf3 51.Nb4 Rff8 52.Qc3 Qf5 53.Qd3 Qd7 54.Qc3 Rf7 55.Rc6 Kg8 56.Qc4 Qf5 57.d6 Kh8 58.Rc5 Qg6 59.Nd3 Rfa7 60.Rd5 Ra4 61.h5 Qxd6 62.Rxd6 Rxc4 63.Rd5 Kh7 64.Rd7 Rg4 65.Rc7 Ra5 66.Nc5 Ra8 67.Nd7 Rf4 68.Nb6 Ra5 69.Nc4 Rxh5 1/2-1/2.

Another pre-tournament favourite, Peter Svidler, had a bad day at the office and lost with White against Alexey Rychagov.

Svidler,P (2732) - Rychagov,A (2528) [C13]
60th ch-RUS Superfinal Moscow RUS (1), 18.12.2007

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 dxe4 5.Nxe4 Be7 6.Bxf6 gxf6 7.Nf3 a6 8.c3 f5 9.Nc5 Bxc5 10.dxc5 Qxd1+ 11.Rxd1 Ke7 12.Be2 Nd7 13.b4 a5 14.a3 axb4 15.axb4 Ra3

16.Nd4 Rxc3 17.Kd2 Ra3 18.Ra1 Rxa1 19.Rxa1 Rd8 20.Kc3 Nf6 21.Bf3 e5 22.Nb5 e4 23.Be2 Nd5+ 24.Kb3 Nf4 25.Bc4 Be6 26.Kc3 Bxc4 27.Kxc4 Ne6 28.Ra2 Rd1 29.f3 Kf6 30.fxe4 fxe4 31.Re2 c6

32.Rxe4 cxb5+ 33.Kxb5 Rd2 34.Kb6 Rb2 35.g4 h6 36.h4 Rb1 37.Ka7 Rb3 38.Kb6 Rb2 39.Ka7 Rb3 40.Kb6 Rb1 41.Ka7 Nd8 42.Kb6 Nc6 43.b5 Ne5 44.Rd4 Ke6 45.Rd6+ Ke7 46.Rxh6 Nd7+ 47.Ka5 Nxc5 48.Rb6 Rg1 49.g5 Rg4 50.Rh6 Nd7 51.Rh7 Kd6 0-1.

All results

Men's section Round one
Amonatov, Farrukh
1-0 Timofeev, Artyom
Dreev, Alexey
½-½ Grischuk, Alexander
Inarkiev, Ernesto
½-½ Sakaev, Konstantin
Jakovenko, Dmitry
½-½ Morozevich, Alexander
Vitiugov, Nikita
0-1 Tomashevsky, Evgeny
Svidler, Peter
0-1 Rychagov, Andrey
Women's section Round one
Matveeva, Svetlana
1-0 Stepovaia, Tatiana
Pogonina, Natalija
1-0 Girya, Olga
Tairova, Elena
1-0 Shadrina, Tatiana
Kosintseva, Nadezhda
½-½ Kosintseva, Tatiana
Ovod, Evgenija
½-½ Kovalevskaya, E.
Gunina, Valentina
0-1 Korbut, Ekaterina

Photos from the opening ceremony

Lots were drawn by selecting a bag, containing a chess clock and calendar. The hands on the clock give the player his/her number. Farrukh Amonatov displays his number three.

Sisters Tatiana (left) and Nadezhda Kosintseva, who were paired together in round one. They drew in nine moves - luckily, there is no "Sofia rule" in the women's championship!

What can you give a group of young ladies, in the week before Christmas? Right, a white carrier-bag...

Sergey Dolmatov (left) chats with well-known trainer Alexander Filipenko. Dolmatov is present to commentate on the games for spectators

Grandmaster guest Jan Nepomniashy, with a friend. Exactly who she is, nobody seems to know – perhaps not even Jan himself...

All photos courtesy of


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