Tomsk-400 wins Russian Team Ch. with brilliant Karjakin

4/15/2012 – The Russian Team Championship lived up to its promise of returning stars, top competition, and possibly some brilliancies. While the top teams brought in big guns to spearhead their ambitions, Tomsk-400 struck gold with a brilliant Sergey Karjakin on board one and 2896 performance. In second was St. Petersburg, with Sergei Movsesian constantly making the difference. Illustrated report.

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The 2012 Russian Team Championship is under way in a microdistrict that lies 18 kilometres from the Black Sea resort of Sochi. The name "Loo" comes from one of the greatest Abazin feudal families, Lau or Loo. The open event is a seven-round Swiss with 18 teams, each sporting eight players, with six (maximum three non-Russians) playing in any individual round. The time controls are 90 minutes for 40 moves and 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with 30 seconds increment from move one. Games start at 15:00h local time (13:00h CEST, 12:00h London, 07:00 a.m. New York).The zero tolerance and and Sofia rules are being implemented, i.e. players must be seated at their boards when the starting gong is sounded and may not offer draws in less than 40 moves. The top four teams will qualify to represent Russia in the next European Club Cup.


Loo, a district of Sochi, lies on the Black Sea coast of Russia – Click to view larger Map

Of the 144 players 20 are rated over 2700: Caruana (2767), Karjakin (2766), Morozevich (2765), Svidler (2744), Tomashevsky (2736), Wang Hao (2733), Dominguez (2730), Jakovenko (2729), Ponomariov (2727), Leko (2720), Nepomniachtchi (2718), Giri (2717), Riazantsev (2710), Vitiugov (2709), Moiseenko (2706), Grachev (2705), Malakhov (2705), Eljanov (2704), Movsesian (2702 and Shirov (2701).

Parallel to this tournament the Russian Women’s Team Championship is being held in Loo/Sochi. There are seven teams with five players each (four playing in each round), and the event is a round robin.

Tomsk-400 wins Russian Team Ch. with brilliant Karjakin

The Russian Team Championship lived up to its promise and then some after an incredibly lively competition over one week and seven rounds. It was a chance to see top competition, returning stars, and possibly some brilliancies, and the fans got them all.

The top team entering the competition was ShSM-64, which had a choice between six 2700 players to choose from, with Fabiano Caruana on top board, but other teams had their own weapons, such as Economist with Alexander Morozevich, and Tomsk-400 with Sergey Karjakin.


Svidler and Caruana spearheaded their respective teams' ambitions

Contrary to what one might have expected from such a high-rated competition, less than 40% of the 359 games ended in draws, and the round that showed just how fierce the fighting was, was round six where a mere 27% of the games were drawn.

This fighting spirit could not be better illustrated than by the fifth round game between Svidler and Morozevich. If one were to describe the game as a draw in a Queen's Gambit Declined, 99.9% of the time, the first impulse would be to skip to the next game, and frankly, this would be entirely justified under normal circumstances. However, if you did skip past this game, you would be missing out on a kamikaze brilliancy by both players, probably the game of the tournament.


Svidler and Morozevich played the game of the tournament

[Event "19th TCh-RUS 2012"] [Site "Sochi RUS"] [Date "2012.04.13"] [Round "5"] [White "Svidler, Peter"] [Black "Morozevich, Alexander"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D37"] [WhiteElo "2744"] [BlackElo "2765"] [PlyCount "62"] [EventDate "2012.04.09"] [WhiteTeam "St. Petersburg Chess Fed."] [BlackTeam "Economist-SGSEU, Saratov"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. d4 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. a3 b6 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. Nxd5 exd5 9. Qc2 c5 10. dxc5 bxc5 11. e4 {So far, so theory.} dxe4 $146 {A new move, but unless both players were in the form of their life, it seems they had also both analyzed this in depth.} (11... d4 12. Bd3 Ba6 13. Bxa6 Qa5+ 14. Nd2 Qxa6 15. Bxb8 Raxb8 16. Nc4 d3 17. Qxd3 Rfd8 18. Qe2 Bg5 19. h4 Rd4 20. hxg5 Qxc4 21. Qxc4 Rxc4 22. O-O Rxe4 23. Rac1 c4 24. f3 Rd4 25. Rfd1 Rxd1+ 26. Rxd1 h6 27. gxh6 Rxb2 28. Rc1 Ra2 29. Rxc4 Rxa3 30. hxg7 Kxg7 {1/2-1/2 (30) Wojtaszek,R (2721)-Roiz,M (2660) Lublin 2011}) (11... Bb7 12. exd5 Qxd5 13. Bc4 Qh5 14. Qb3 Bxf3 15. Qxf3 Qxf3 16. gxf3 Nc6 17. O-O Bf6 18. Rab1 Rad8 19. Rfc1 Nd4 20. Kg2 Nf5 21. Rc2 g5 22. Bg3 Nxg3 {1/2-1/2 (22) Gyimesi,Z (2595) -Naiditsch,A (2674) Deutschland 2011}) 12. Qxe4 Re8 13. Bd3 {The only conceivable way Svidler could play this move is to have foreseen the mindboggling complications that ensue for the next six or seven moves. Not plies - moves!} Bf6 14. Ne5 Nc6 15. Qxh7+ {There is no point hesitating. This was the point of Bd3 anyhow.} ({For what it's worth} 15. Qxc6 {is unplayable due to} Bxe5 16. O-O (16. Bxe5 Rxe5+ 17. Be2 Rb8 18. Rd1 Rxe2+ 19. Kxe2 Rxb2+ { and Black's attack is decisive.} 20. Kf3 Rb3+ 21. Ke2 Bg4+ 22. f3 Rb2+ 23. Ke1 Qh4+ 24. g3 Qe7+ 25. Qe4 Qxe4+ 26. fxe4 Bxd1 {wins a piece.})) 15... Kf8 16. Qh8+ Ke7 17. Nxc6+ Kd7+ {The first big dilemna for White: what now? The king is in check, so taking the queen just now is not possible, but the knight is hanging too. Is White's position about to collapse in a spectacular example of Nunn's rule: hanging pieces will drop?} 18. Be5 Kxc6 19. O-O-O $3 {The answer is no! This fantastic only move saves the fort, and the discovered check and skewer holds everything.} Bxe5 20. Be4+ Kc7 21. Rxd8 Rxh8 22. Rxh8 Bf4+ {This final check is what concludes Black's defense.} 23. Kc2 Bb7 24. Bxb7 ({There is no choice as} 24. Rxa8 {meets the zwischenzug} Bxe4+ 25. Kd1 Bxa8 $15) 24... Rxh8 25. Bd5 Rd8 26. Rd1 Bxh2 27. Bxf7 Rf8 28. Bd5 Rxf2+ 29. Rd2 Rxd2+ 30. Kxd2 Be5 31. b3 Bf6 {and here, though the rules forbid a draw agreement before 40 moves, the arbiters relented as there seemed no point in spoiling such a masterpiece by forcing the players to dole out nine pointless moves.} 1/2-1/2

In the end, one team stood above the rest, helped by one player whose uncompromising play brought in point after point. The team was Tomsk-400, who edged out St. Petersburg via board points, and the player was Sergey Karjakin whose board one score of 5.5/7 was good for a huge 2896 perfomance. This is not to suggest he was alone, as a 2813 performance by Viktor Bologan, and a 2752 by Igor Kurnosov clinched more than one match.

St. Petersburg had Peter Svidler on top board, and who did a perfectly solid job, but the secret weapon that really allowed them to sneak into a tie for first, was Armenian GM Sergei Movsesian, whose final 4.0/4 in the last rounds, was literally the deciding scorer in all foour of their final matches.


Fabiano Caruana (right) put in a creditable effort with a 2800+ performance

Top rated ShSM would have taken first on tiebreak, but a last-round draw against St. Petersburg denied them the gold.

Final standings

Rk
Team
Rtg
Mpts
Bpts
1
Tomsk - 400
2708
11.0
27.0
2
St. Petersburg Chess Fed.
2711
11.0
25.5
3
ShSM-64, Moscow
2725
10.0
28.0
4
Economist-SGSEU, Saratov
2720
10.0
24.5
5
Ugra, Khanty-Mansiysk
2700
9.0
24.5
6
Chigorin Chess Club, St. Petersburg
2553
9.0
20.0
7
Polytechnik, Nizhniy Tagil
2583
8.0
22.5
8
Navigator, Moscow
2551
7.0
23.0
9
University, Belorechensk
2570
7.0
22.5
10
Orienta, Moscow
2401
7.0
20.5
11
EGU-Perspektiva, Lipetsk
2533
6.0
22.0
12
Zhiguli, Samara Region
2455
6.0
20.0
13
Rakita Chess Club, Belgorod Region
2516
6.0
20.0
14
Atom, Desnogorsk
2397
6.0
18.5
15
Nezhmetdinov Chess School, Kazan
2514
5.0
21.0
16
DFU, Vladivostok
2431
4.0
16.5
16
Kemerovo Region Chess School
2410
4.0
16.5
18
Belogorie, Belgorod Region
2202
0.0
5.5


Eugene Potemkin took extensive footage of the event. Here is one of the videos of round five.  

The women's competition was considerably weakeend by the absence of several prominent teams from previous years. The top-seed was Ladya with Nadezhda Kosintseva on board one, and true to expectations it won easily and Kosintseav was also the highest performance.

Final women's standings

Rk
SNo
Team
Rtg
Mpts
Bpts
1
1
Ladya, Kazan
2493
11.0
18.5
2
4
Ugra, Khanty-Mansiysk
2393
8.0
15.0
3
3
ShSM-RGSU, Moscow
2392
8.0
14.5
4
6
Chigorin Chess Club, St. Petersburg
2321
5.0
11.0
5
2
Yamal, YNAO
2328
5.0
10.5
6
7
Udmurtia, Izhevsk
2206
3.0
8.0
7
5
Polytechnik, Nizhniy Tagil
2139
2.0
6.5

Pictures by Eugene Potemkin


Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 11 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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