Russian Superfinal begins

by Eteri Kublashvili
8/9/2015 – On 8th August the Russian Superfinals began in Chita. Men and women play in two groups of 12 players each. All players in the men's group have a rating of 2600 or more, five of them have 2700 or more. Elo-favorite is Dmitry Jakovenko. Elo-favorite in the women's group is Valentina Gunina. But she began the tournament with a loss against Aleksandra Goryachkina.

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Russian Chess Championship Superfinal Opens in Chita

The 68th Men's Russian Chess Championship and the 65th Women's Russian Chess Championship were launched in Chita on 8 August. The competition is held by the Russian Chess Federation, the Elena and Gennady Timchenko Charitable Foundation and the Zabaykalsky Krai Chess Federation, with support from the government of the Zabaykalsky Krai. The competition partners are Norilsk Nickel and the Baikalsk Mining Company.


A pre-start press conference was held at the Monblan hotel on the same day, attended by Zabaykalsky Krai Governor Konstantin Ilkovsky, the Russian Chess Federation's Executive Director Mark Gluhovsky, and the reigning champions of Russia, Igor Lysyj and Valentina Gunina.

The media interest was high...

"In my opinion, there exist two great games in the world: chess and football, and the former is also a low-cost sport affordable for everyone," said Ilkovsky. "I am really glad that Russia's best players will play chess in Zabaykalsky Krai during the next two weeks. Holding such large-scale sports and cultural events makes the region open and recognizable, and attractive for investors. It is very important for the region that, after the tournament ends, the winner will say, 'I won the Russian championship in Chita.' In addition, this is an excellent opportunity to introduce this intellectual game to children and young people, which will probably help them fulfill their potential and become successful in the future." the press conference.

The region's head thanked the Russian Chess Federation for the opportunity to hold the competition in Chita and expressed gratitude to its partners, the Baikal Mining Company and Norilsk Nickel.

Gluhovsky thanked the government of Zabaykalsky Krai and Governor Ilkovsky for the Superfinal's excellent organization. "I am sure that both the players and the event's guests will appreciate the huge preparation work done by the region's government and the Organizing Committee," he noted. The RCF executive director also elaborated on the tournament's rules, the opening cultural program and the free day's program for children.

Russian Champions Valentina Gunina and Igor Lysyj answered journalists' questions about how they had been preparing for the country's most prestigious tournament, whether they had any special pre-start superstitions, what they were planning to do on their free day, and whether they had ever played chess versus a computer. Lysyj praised the excellent accommodation and food, a tradition at all the events organized by the RCF.

The Superfinal's gala opening took place at the concert hall of the Zabaykalsky Krai Philharmonia, where Russian President Vladimir Putin's welcome address was read to the tournament participants, organizers, and the audience. Governor Ilkovsky and RCF Executive Director Gluhovsky delivered welcoming speeches to the audience.

Governor Ilkovsky (with microphone) and RCF Executive Director Mark Gluhovsky

Musicians, ballet dancers and singers entertained visitors with beautiful performances. Pianist Ram Urasin, People's artist of the Republic of Tatarstan and the winner of many international competitions, performed on a Zabaykalsky Krai stage for the first time.

The stage is set.

Dancers in bright light...

...and in shadows.

Chief Arbiter Anatoly Bykhovsky conducted the drawing of lots. The 2015 World Archery Champion Tuyana Dashidorzhieva and the winner of the European Archery Championship Galsan Bazarzhapov were invited to participate in the procedure.

Tuyana Dashidorzhieva

The chess players chose squares on the demonstration board, and then the archers shot at the targets located there. As the arrow hit the target, a plate with the starting number fell out of it.

Galsan Bazarzhapov takes aim.

The games will be played at the Megapolis-Sport Youth Palace. The rounds will begin at 15:00 (10:00 Moscow time), while the last round will start at 13:00 (08:00 Moscow time). The playing days are 9-14 and 16-21 August. A day off will be provided on 15 August. The tournaments' total prize fund is 8 million rubles.


...and women during the opening ceremony.

On the free day, simultaneous exhibitions will be held in Chita. Fifty young chess players from the Zabaykalsky Krai will cross swords with famous grandmasters: Evgeniy Najer, Sergei Rublevsky, and Evgenij Miroshnichenko. As has become a tradition at these tournaments, the organizers are preparing an extensive additional program for chess lovers of any age.

The Russian Chess Federation's official website will have online and video broadcasting, and well-known grandmasters will commentate the games both in Russian and in English.

Round 1 - Results (Men)
A. Motylev ½-½ P. Svidler
D. Khairullin ½-½ D. Dubov
V. Artemiev ½-½ N. Vitiugov
I. Bukavshin ½-½ I. Lysyj
S. Karjakin 1-0 D. Khismatullin
E. Tomashevsky ½-½ D. Jakovenko


Round 1 - Results (Women)
A. Kosteniuk ½-½ A. Bodnaruk
K. Lagno ½-½ E. Kovalevskaya
A. Savina ½-½ M. Guseva
O. Girya 1-0 E. Ovod
V. Gunina 0-1 A. Goryachkina
A. Kashlinskaya 0-1 N. Pogonina

Round 1 - Games (Women)


Photos: Vladimir Barsky and Eteri Kublashvili


The games will be broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 13 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

Eteri Kublashvili is a chessplayer and reports and photographs from all official tournaments for the Russian Chess Federation.


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