Super Final R2: Dreev beats Morozevich

11/16/2004 – Alexander Morozevich is a player who, on a good day, can beat anyone or anything in the world. But he can also have very bad streaks. In round one he spent seventy moves trying to win with the black pieces against Epishin; today he lost with white against Dreev. The other games were drawn. Here's a report on a memorable press conference...

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57th Russian Championship
Super Final

November 14th – December 1st 2004

The Super Final of the 57th Russian is being held in the Festive Hall of the Hotel Rossija (“Rociya”), directly adjacent to the Red Square. The prize sum is US $125,000, to be paid out in rouble equivalent. The winner takes $50,000. The participants of this round robin tournament are Garry Kasparov, Alexander Morozevich, Alexander Grischuk, Peter Svidler, Evgeny Bareev, Alexey Dreev, Vitaly Tseshkovsky, Alexander Motylev, Vladimir Epishin, Artem Timofeev and Alexey Korotylev. Original Vladimir Kramnik and Anatoly Karpov were included, but both withdrew at the last moment.

Round two – Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Alexey Dreev played a B60 Sicilian Rauzer against Alexander Morozevich, and with some find maneuvering he ground down the very talented Moscow super-GM. Garry Kasparov played the black side of a Queen's Indian, Petrosian variation, against Alexey Korotylev and repeated positions for a 26-move draw. All the other games were also drawn, but in tough battles. Especially Bareev-Motylev went on for 84 nerve-racking moves, with the 25-year-old GM pushing very hard with black. But in a Q+2P vs Q+P ending the very experienced Evgeny Bareev managed to hold.

Round two – 16.11.2004
Grischuk, Alexander
1/2
Epishin, Vladimir
Timofeev, Artyom
1/2
Tseshkovsky, Vitaly
Korotylev, Alexey
1/2
Kasparov, Garry
Morozevich, Alexander
0-1
Dreev, Alexey
Bareev, Evgeny
1/2
Motylev, Alexander
Svidler, Peter free
Games for replay and download

Current standings


Press conference in Moscow

Before the start of the Super Final of the Russian Championship, on November 12 to be precise, there was a press conference in Moscow. Both Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov participated. At the time nobody had any foreboding about the participation of Karpov, who to everybody's amazement, dropped out a day later. We bring you a report of the press conference with pictures by Eugene Atarov.

The press-conference began with everybody waiting for the arrival of Russian Chess Federation president Alexander Zhukov, who is the third highest-ranking politician in Russia. Well, everybody waited, but he didn’t come. Later Alexander Dmitrievich (Zhukov) explained that he had really wanted to come to the press conference, but he had been instructed to go to another meeting, by someone higher up. Interesting – only Russian President Putin and Prime Minister Fradkov are above Zhukov.

On the podium there were two chess players, Kasparov and Karpov, two vice-presidents of Russian chess federation, V. Beresnev and V. Zubov, with chess editor and dignitary Alexander Roshal moderating. Also present: executive director of the Russian Chess Federation and international arbiter Alexander Bach.

The press conference started with questions about the withdrawal of Vladimir Kramnik. Alexander Bach, the consummate diplomat, defused the issue with a calm statement: “It is true that the schedule of the Russian Super Final was moved the second half of November in order to give Kramnik an opportunity to rest and recuperate after his match against Leko. But if his doctors categorically believe that it would be detrimental for Kramnik’s health to play for the next two months, this opinion needs to be respected and agreed to.” Bach revealed that he had received a letter from a hospital in Paris stating that the match against Leko had caused Kramnik such tremendous stress that his recovery would take at least two months. He reminded people that Botvinnik had said that after a world championship match the players needed at least half a year to completely recover from the strain.


Kasparov and Karpov, Roshal and Bach

One journalist remarked that the organisers had consistently failed to get all three Ks (Kasparov, Kramnik and Karpov) to play in a tournament – in 2000, Karpov had pulled out, this time Kramnik. Max Notkin came to the rescue by reminding everyone that since Korotylev was playing, the three Ks were indeed present.

How did the sponsors feel about Kramnik's withdrawal? "They provided the money to the Chess Federation and the organisation, not to a concrete set of players," Bach replied. "They were not overly perturbed." The sponsors are the Sberbank of Russia", "Vneshekonom Bank", the hotel complex "Rossija" (and in particular the restaurant "Vasilyevskiy" where the tournament is being staged), and the permanent sponsors Gazprom and the Bank of Moscow.

"It has been 16 years since the two of us played together in a Russian Championship?" Anatoly Karpov was a little surprised how time had gone by. When asked about the prospects of short draws in this tournament Karpov replied: "Draws are the natural result of chess games. If 30% are not drawn that would be normal, if it is 40% it would be magnificent."

Garry Kasparov said that there was a difference between this event and, say, Linares. Here there were players below the super-tournament category. But they were capable of making life difficult for the top GMs. There will be a fair number of decisive games – considerably more than 30%. To win the tournament it will be necessary to collect at least +4. "Personally I would consider this result a success, since it would be in accordance with my present rating," said Kasparov.

At one stage the journalist IM Ilya Odessky asked Kasparov about his reunification match against Rustam Kasimdzhanov, scheduled for next January in Dubai. Kasparov spent the next ten or fifteen minutes talking about the subject. What he said can be summarised in three points:

  1. I have the same sources of information as everyone else in the room. I do not know anything more. With other words, I really don't know anything.
  2. I still haven’t received any bank guarantees from the sheiks or from FIDE.
  3. The Turkish Chess Federation was prepared to buy out the rights to hold this match and to provide within a ten day period all necessary guarantees for the reunification match. But it was not given the chance to do so by FIDE.

Odessky reports: "While Kasparov was speaking I suddenly heard in my right ear a voice which said: 'He is lying about everything'. Who is this chess fan, I thought to myself, and turned around. No, it wasn’t a chess fan. Directly behind me sat the personal assistant of FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, Berik Balgabaev. 'First of all, Ali (the president of Turkish Chess association, Mr. Ali Nihat Yazici) did not say that he is willing to buy out the rights, secondly, a representative of FIDE has already flown out to Dubai, and soon all necessary guaranteed will be announced; and thirdly, Kasparov’s business is to play chess, and not to engage in squabbling.'


Ilyumzhinov assistant Berik Balgabaev

I was in an absurd position. In front of me was Kasparov, looking at me and hotly defending his position. Behind me was Balgabaev, whispering quite the opposite into my right ear. I felt that I should dive down and open a corridor so that the two men could talk to each other directly..."

Information provided by Eugene Atarov from Chess Pro
and Ilya Odessky from e3e5.com (with assistance from Ilya Krasik).


All Results

Round one – 15.11.2004
Dreev, Alexey
1/2
Timofeev, Artyom
Epishin, Vladimir
1/2
Morozevich, Alexander
Kasparov, Garry
1-0
Bareev, Evgeny
Motylev, Alexander
0-1
Grischuk, Alexander
Tseshkovsky, Vitaly
0-1
Svidler, Peter
Korotylev, Alexey free
Round two – 16.11.2004
Grischuk, Alexander
1/2
Epishin, Vladimir
Timofeev, Artyom
1/2
Tseshkovsky, Vitaly
Korotylev, Alexey
1/2
Kasparov, Garry
Morozevich, Alexander
0-1
Dreev, Alexey
Bareev, Evgeny
1/2
Motylev, Alexander
Svidler, Peter free
Round three – 17.11.2004
Svidler, Peter
Timofeev, Artyom
Dreev, Alexey
Grischuk, Alexander
Epishin, Vladimir
Bareev, Evgeny
Tseshkovsky, Vitaly
Morozevich, Alexander
Motylev, Alexander
Korotylev, Alexey
Kasparov, Garry free

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