Russian Cup takes off

by Albert Silver
12/17/2013 – The Russian Cup final is underway in Khanty-Mansiysk and is the culmination of the Russia Cup circuit of tournaments held throughout the year. Over a period of twelve months in different cities of Russia, stages of the Russian Cup are held for both men and women. The players that qualified from these tournaments are invited to the final. Beautiful pictorial impressions of the tournament.

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The Russian Cup final is currently underway in Khanty-Mansiysk and is the culmination of the Russia Cup circuit of tournaments held throughout the year in Russia. The Russian Cup final is a competition that sums up a year of successful, or not, chess competition. Over a period of twelve months in different cities of Russia, stages of the Russian Cup are held for both men and women. The circuit is flexible and allows players complete freedom to choose which stages they choose to play in, and consequently where: if you want to play in Vladivostok, you can, if you prefer Novokuznetsk, no problem, and of course, you can even take part in all stages. The key is the point system that qualifies a player to the final. According to a player’s result, a certain amount of points are earned and they are all added up in the end. The players who earn the most, sixteen men and eight women are entitled to play in the final.

This year the players who made it are:


D. Jakovenko
D. Khismatullin
A. Korneev
I. Kovalenko
S. Sjugirov
P. Smirnov
D. Kokarev
P. Ponkratov
D. Bocharov
B. Savchenko
A. Fedoseev
P. Maletin
I. Onischuk
A. Alexandrov
A. Shariyazdanov
A. Pridorozhni


A. Bodnaruk
O. Girya
M. Gusev
D. Charochkina
I. Tarasova
T. Cheremnova
M. Schepetkova
T. Klichkova

The men's section of the final phase is a knockout match system, with matches of two games played at 40 moves for 90 minutes plus 30 minutes and a 30-second increment per move. In the event of a draw, they proceed to a playoff with a mini match of 15 minutes plus ten-second increment, after which it is a sudden death of five minutes versus four, plus a three-second increment after 60 moves, with a black draw worth a win.

The women's section has nearly identical conditions except the classical games are played at 90 minutes for the entire game plus a 30-second increment per move. Regulations for both stipulate the players cannot agree to a draw before move 40, must be present during the opening ceremony, and must agree to a post-game interview.

To arrive to the area, one must cross vast white fields

A modern igloo

Covered up is the fountain "Ob and Irtysh"

The parks are full of banners for the event and promoting sports

Victory Park

In the city's main square, a Christams tree has already been erected and a multitude
of ice sculptures decorate the surroundings

On buildings one can see thematic mosaics

A closer look at the ice sculpture display

They also have various colored lights to make them stand out more

The city's greetings to athletes

The magnitude of the sculptures can be surprising to those expecting smaller examples

A work depicting a winner's podium

This large work is by the artist G. Raishev

Church of the Resurrection

Here is the Ugra Chess Academy with holiday decorations already visible

The women's section was dominated by both Elo-favorite Bodnaruk (2448 FIDE) and surprise finalist Schepetkova (2252 FIDE) who drew their first game and will decide the title tomorrow. The men's section has yet to determine the finalists, and four players are left with top seed Dmitri Jakovenko facing Sanan Sjugirov, with whom he drew in their first game, while Boris Savchenko has to figure out a way to stop Vladimir Fedoseev, a runaway locomotive. Fedoseev recently moved to Moscow from St. Petersburg for his university studies, yet has managed a scary 100% thus far, beating both Pavel Smirnov (2641) and Alexander Alexandrov (2586) by 2-0 in classical games. In his first semi-final game against Boris Savchenko, he won game one, and the question is whether Boris can derail his young opponent, or will be another whitewash victim.

Photographer Eteri Kublashvili (left) with tournament director Yusha Galina
Kovaleva displaying her recently earned FIDE title of international organizer

RCF computer guru Yevgeny Vashenyak is also an excellent photographer 

Chief Arbiter Stanislav Januszewski and Fedoseev. In the distance is Chief
Secretary Vladimir Fedorov

Surprise finalist Margarita Schepetkova

Top seed in the women's section: Anastasia Bodnaruk

Vladimir Fedoseev AKA Runaway Train

Top seed Dmitri Jakovenko waiting for his opponent...

... Sanan Sjugirov, who arrives in a hurry.

Pictures by Eteri Kublashvili


Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications, and the content creator of the YouTube channel, Chess & Tech.


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