Savchenko and Bodnaruk win Moscow Open

by André Schulz
2/7/2019 – Boris Savchenko won the Moscow Open at the RSS University January 26th to February 3rd. In the separate open tournament for women, Anastasia Bodnaruk was the top scorer. In addition to FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich, his predecessor, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, visited the tournament and was evidently enchanted by the magic show at the opening ceremony. | Photos: Tournament page

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The Moscow Open is a giant chess festival with quite a long tradition that takes place at the end of January / beginning of February and essentially opens the Moscow tournament season which continues this month with the Aeroflot Open. The venue is the State University of Social Sciences, and this year over 1,500 players were in attendance! The main A-Open is a nine-round Swiss, with a first prize of 500,000 roubles (around EUR €6,700).

The RSSU is located in the north of Moscow in the Ostankinsky District

Arkady Dvorkovich visited the opening ceremony | Photo:

The Moscow Open offers a number of tournaments for different skill levels and age groups. There are also tournaments for disabled chess players and also a problem-solving tournament.

The A-Open attracted about 170 players, with two dozen Grandmasters among them — significant turnout but not outstanding by Russian standards. The top seed was Sanan Sjugirov.

After nine rounds Boris Savchenko was the only player with 7½ points and thus took clear first. The second and third places went to Pavel Ponkratov and Sjugirov as the best of a group of six players with 7 points.

Boris Savchenko

In the last round, Savchenko's opponent, GM Igor Lysyj, passed up any attempt to play for joint first by allowing a forced draw in the opening from the white side of a Gruenfeld.


Black has happily forced a draw after 10...♛xc3+ in more than a dozen GM games. 11.♗d2 ♛b2 12.♗c1 ♛c3+. The game was over in minutes.

But remarkably this was not the first game to finish. That distinction goes to the board two game, where Sjugirov with 6½ points could have ostensibly played for first place with a win. His opponent Artyom Timofeev had a half point less, but opted for a well-trodden drawing path in the Queen's Gambit Accepted when the opportunity presented itself on move 7: 


Sjugirov thought for mere seconds before playing 7...♝g4 which allows the forced draw 8.♘g5 ♝xd1 9.♗xf7+ ♚d7 10.♗e6+ which has been seen in hundreds of games.

Savchenko laid the foundation for his win in the penultimate round when he defeated IM Semen Khanin.


The winners of the A-Open

Final standings (Open - Top 20)

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Savchenko Boris 7,5 43,0
2 Ponkratov Pavel 7,0 54,5
3 Sjugirov Sanan 7,0 51,0
4 Pridorozhni Aleksei 7,0 50,0
5 Lysyj Igor 7,0 46,5
6 Kryakvin Dmitry 7,0 45,0
7 Ivanov Oleg V 7,0 43,0
8 Khanin Semen 6,5 52,0
9 Zakhartsov Vladimir 6,5 52,0
10 Mozharov Mikhail 6,5 50,5
11 Tsydypov Zhamsaran 6,5 50,0
12 Afanasiev Nikita 6,5 49,0
13 Korneev Oleg 6,5 48,5
14 Grachev Boris 6,5 48,0
15 Timofeev Artyom 6,5 48,0
16 Radzhabov Rodion 6,5 47,5
17 Golubov Saveliy 6,5 43,5
18 Hayrapetyan Hovik 6,5 43,0
19 Tutisani Noe 6,5 42,0
20 Fakhrutdinov Timur 6,0 49,0

...170 Players


Women's Open

The women's tournament was also very popular with more than 100 participants. Anastasia Bodnaruk won ahead of Ekaterina Goltseva and 14-year-old Bibisara Assubayeva in joint second.

The winners of the Women's tournament

Final standings (Women - top 20)

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Bodnaruk Anastasia 8,0 54,5
2 Goltseva Ekaterina 8,0 51,5
3 Assaubayeva Bibisara 7,0 53,0
4 Guseva Marina 7,0 45,0
5 Gritsayeva Oksana 6,5 53,0
6 Stetsko Lanita 6,5 51,0
7 Getman Tatyana 6,5 49,0
8 Afonasieva Anna 6,5 45,5
9 Borisova Ekaterina 6,0 50,5
10 Smirnova Ekaterina 6,0 50,0
11 Maltsevskaya Aleksandra 6,0 49,0
12 Charochkina Daria 6,0 48,0
13 Potapova Margarita 6,0 48,0
14 Nur-Mukhametova Alisa 6,0 47,5
15 Lysenko Margarita 6,0 47,0
16 Kirchei Viktoriia 6,0 46,5
17 Badelka Olga 6,0 46,0
18 Makarenko Alexandra 6,0 44,5
19 Zotova Anastasia 6,0 44,0
20 Nurgali Nazerke 6,0 41,0

...106 Players

Translation from German and additional reporting: Macauley Peterson


André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.


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