Russian Superfinal Rd1-2: An inspiring start

by Albert Silver
10/18/2016 – The Russian Championship Superfinal to determine the Russian Champion for both men and women is currently running in Novosibirsk, Russia, and as usual, is the strongest national championship there is, even with the absence of names such as Kramnik or Karjakin. Peter Svidler leads the men’s lineup with Grischuk, Tomashevsky and others, while Kosteniuk and Gunina top the women’s rankings. With exciting games from the start, this report includes detailed analysis by GM Jonathan Speelman.

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Opening photos by A. Ziler

The opening ceremony of the Russian Superfinal took place on October 15 in Novosibirsk. The organizers of the event are Russian Chess Federation, Chess Federation of Novosibirsk Region, Elena and Gennady Timchenko Charitable Foundation, government of Novosibirsk Region, and office of mayor of Novosibirsk. RATM Holding is a general partner of the Superfinal.

After the presentations by the powers that be...

...came performances inspired by Alice Through the Looking Glass.

They featured Anna Ardova and other actors of Chamber Theater and other theaters of Novosibirsk

The actual drawing of lots involved a surprise element...

... A robot! As Chief Arbiter Maxim Ivakhin read out loud last names of the participants, the robot, utilizing its random number generator, assigned them a starting number.

Rounds one and two

Photos by Eteri Kublashvili

The opening round brought enormous excitement as fans and media came to watch

Peter Svidler always seems to shine especially brightly in the Russian Championship. His first round game against Ernesto Inarkiev was further confirmation as he went for the jugular.

Peter Svidler - Ernesto Inarkiev

Alexander Riazentsev also had a sparking start as he defeated Dmitry Bocharov

Alexander Riazentsev - Dmitry Bocharov (Annotations by GM Jonathan Speelman)

Leading the live commentary in Russian are Sergey Shipov and Sergei Rublevsky

Men's standings after two rounds

The surroundings of Novosibirsk are well-developed with a combination of more traditional buildings...

... and more grandiose structures.

Located in Siberia, it is understandably extremely cold on average

In the Women's Championship, the top seed is Alexandra Kosteniuk, winner of the title in 2005

Anastasia Bodnaruk - Alexandra Kosteniuk

In round one, Kosteniuk gained a decisive advantage here. Black to play and win.

24...Bxh3 25. Kxh3 Rxe4 26. Rxe4 Qf5+ 27. Kg3 Qxe4


In round two, Kosteniuk defeated her closest rival in a brief 29 moves

Women's standings after two rounds


The games are being 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.

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.
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Bentzen Bentzen 10/20/2016 01:33
Thanks for an excellent report, mr.Silver!
werhandab werhandab 10/19/2016 04:47
In the 21. g6 variation, 23. Qe3 also wins
Bertman Bertman 10/18/2016 03:01

Try in a different browser, or try upgrading your browser version. Also be careful of any apps in your browser that might block scripts from working (ad blacks or other). The replayer provides links to save the PGN. Finally, if you are able to see the HTML, you can technically see the link to the PGN it is reading and use that as a very last resort. Nevertheless, my suggestion is to update your browser and Java eventually. Cheers.
yesenadam yesenadam 10/18/2016 09:10
Aargh I was hoping at last to be able to read something from Speelman (I havent been able to read a single one of the I-presume commented games in his column).. but no. Strange. e.g. on the Hoogovens page, the Short-Hou game is at least visible in raw PGN on the page, so I usually copy and paste to a webpage that can display PGN :P hehe.
Q. Would it be possible - ok, it's possible - Could you pleease put a link to download commented PGN files? On each page with commented games, in future? That would be just awesome. I'm sure it's not just me whose computer/browser can't handle CB pages. (e.g. for the Svidler game above I just see an empty board with buttons, no moves or anything, with "You must have javascript enabled" - which is strange, as every other site recognizes that I do have it enabled.) It's frustrating missing so much on here. But everything but those game boards displays fine. Thank you! That would be wonderful.