Russian Superfinal with lots of fighting chess

by ChessBase
12/22/2007 – This is what people want to see: 2700+ players in a crisis, bouncing back dramatically, as Svidler and Morozevich did. Just 50% of the games in the Russian Championship so far were drawn, White won 28% and Black 22%. In the women's section it was even more dramatic: just 23% drawn games, with 44% white and 33% black wins. One lady, Natalija Pogonina, has a perfect 3.0/3.0 score.

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Russian Superfinal – report after round three

After a shocking defeat in round one Peter Svidler made a comeback in the second round. He did seem to be in a spot of trouble for a while, but then overran his opponent with a tactical kingside attack.

Svidler,P (2732) - Dreev,A (2607) [B63]
60th ch-RUS Superfinal Moscow RUS (2), 19.12.2007
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bg5 e6 7.Qd2 Be7 8.0-0-0 Nxd4 9.Qxd4 0-0 10.f3 a6 11.h4 b5 12.Kb1 Bb7 13.Bd3 Rc8 14.g4 Nd7 15.Be2 Rc6 16.a3 Bxg5 17.hxg5 Qxg5 18.Rh5 Qf4 19.Rdh1 Nf6 20.R5h3 Rfc8 21.Bd3 h6 22.Ne2 Qd2 23.e5 Rxc2 24.Bxc2 Qxc2+ 25.Ka1 dxe5 26.Qxe5 Nd7 27.Qe3 Qc5

28.Rxh6 gxh6 29.Qxh6 Qe5 30.Rh5 Rc5 31.Rxe5 Rxe5 32.Nf4 Bd5 33.b4 Re1+ 34.Kb2 f6 35.Ng6 Re2+ 36.Kc1 1-0.

Peter Svidler after the move 21...h6

Farrukh Amonatov had beaten Timofeev in the first round. In the second he stumbled over Alexander Grischuk, one of the three 2700+ players in this tournament. In round three the two shell-shocked players, Amonatov and Svidler, drew their game in 25 moves.

Grischuk,A (2715) - Amonatov,F (2637) [B90]
60th ch-RUS Superfinal Moscow RUS (2), 19.12.2007
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.f3 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.Be3 Nbd7 9.Qd2 Be7 10.g4 0-0 11.0-0-0 b5 12.g5 Nh5 13.Nd5 Bxd5 14.exd5 f5 15.gxf6 Bxf6 16.Na5 Nf4 17.c4 bxc4 18.Nc6 Qe8 19.Bxc4 Qh5 20.Rdf1 Nh3 21.Be2 Nf4 22.Bd1 Bg5 23.Kb1 Kh8 24.h4 Bh6 25.a4 Rac8 26.Bb3 Ng6 27.Bxh6 gxh6 28.Ka2 Nc5 29.Bc2 Nf4 30.Na5 Qf7 31.Rd1 Nd7 32.Bb3 Nc5 33.Bc2 Nd7 34.Rc1 Qxd5+ 35.Qxd5 Nxd5 36.Be4 N5b6 37.Rxc8 Rxc8 38.Rd1 d5 39.Bxd5 Rc5 40.Bc6 Nf6 41.b4 Rc3 42.Kb2 Re3 43.Kc2 Kg7 44.Rd3 Re1 45.Nb3 Rh1 46.a5 Nc4 47.Kc3 Rxh4 48.Nc5 Na3 49.Kb3

Black is already in big trouble, but with the move 49...Nb5? he jumps out of the frying pan straight into the fire: 50.Bxb5 axb5 51.a6. And how, pray, do you intend to stop this pawn? You don't: 51...Rh1 52.Kb2 Rh2+ 53.Ka3 e4 54.fxe4 Rh1 55.Nb3 1-0.

The favourite working position of Alexander Grischuk (position after 40...Nf6)

Alexander Morozevich had spoiled a brilliant game in round one to a draw. In round two with the white pieces he got into trouble early in the game, and then pinned his hopes on a mating pawn promotion attack that failed. That left him with 0.5/2.0. But Morozevich is not the top seed in this event for nothing: in round three he comprehensivly outplayed the leader Evgeny Tomashevsky with the black pieces to bounce back in this very strong event.

Dmitry Jakovenko on a roller coaster ride in Moscow

Speaking about bouncing back: Dmitry Jakovenko was the lucky player who escaped in with a draw in his first-round game against Morozevich. In round two he lost traumatically to Konstantin Sakaev, but in round three made up for everything with a fine win against Arty Timofeev.

Standings Men's section

In the Women's section 22-year-old WGM Natalija Pogonina started off with a perfect 3.0/3.0 score, ahead of the younger of the Kosintseva sisters, Tatiana, who has 2.5 points.

Woman in Red: Natalija Pogonina with her mom

Tatiana Kosintseva, half a point behind the tournament leader

Tanya Shadrina in the favourite pose of deep-in-thought chess players

Nadezhda Kosintseva vs Elena Tairova in round three (Black won)

IM (and WGM) Elena Tairova is going for the title of longest hair in top level women's chess (the men's title goes to Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu of Romania)

Standings Women's section

All photos courtesy of


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