10 October 2021

Aleksandra Goryachkina Becomes One of Russian Championship Superfinal Leaders

She defeated Alexander Motylev in Round 2.

On the 10th of October, the second round of the Russian Championships Superfinals was played in Ufa. 

Aleksandra Goryachkina scored the only victory in the open tournament, having beaten Alexander Motylev. The grandmasters opted for the Anti-Meran Variation in the Semi-Slav Defence, where White got a solid positional advantage and grabbed the space. Goryachkina skillfully mixed various threats on the kingside and created a weak pawn on e6, but then opened up the queenside in a long manoeuvering battle. Black found himself stuck on his side of the board and almost got into a zugzwang. Motylev resigned right after the time control. 

The games Matlakov - Rakhmanov, Chigaev - Esipenko, Predke - Vitiugov, Fedoseev - Alekseenko, and Andreikin - Pokratov finished in a draw. 

In the Predke - Vitiugov Black got a very promising position after the opening, having deprived his opponent of a castle. However, Vitiugov missed a tactical blow in a better middle game, after which the chances levelled. A draw by repetition was agreed upon after the 37th Black's move. 

Standings after Round 2:

1-3. Vladimir Fedoseev, Kirill Alekseenko, Aleksandra Goryachkina - 1.5
4-10. Maxim Matlakov, Aleksandr Rakhmanov, Maksim Chigaev, Dmitry Andreikin, Nikita Vitiugov, Andrey Esipenko, Pavel Ponkratov - 1
11. Alexandr Predke - 0.5
12. Alexander Motylev - 0.

Round 3 pairings:

Ponkratov - Matlakov
Motylev - Andreikin
Alekseenko - Goryachkina
Vitiugov - Fedoseev
Esipenko - Predke
Rakhmanov - Chigaev.

In the women's tournament, Valentina Gunina defeated Marina Guseva in a rare line of the Caro-Kann Defence with 3.e5. Black didn't respond successfully and soon found herself in a tough position. Guseva lost a pawn, and her king got stuck in the centre. Black resigned on the 32nd move. 

After the game, Gunina noted that she had never played this line before and, of course, had surprised her opponent. "I've always chosen Caro-Kann as Black, and not I played it for White. It is a very dangerous variation, especially if you don't remember it well", said she. 

Evgenija Ovod was defending for a long time against Natalija Pogonina; however, the latter acted quite acutely in the endgame and lost a pawn. Then Ovod made several imprecise moves and missed her edge, but Pogonina made a rude mistake in a severe time trouble and lost.  

The games Voit - Bivol, Galliamova - Garifullina, Bodnaruk - Kashlinskaya, and Shuvalova - Girya were drawn. 

Standings after Round 2:

1-3. Valentina Gunina, Evgenija Ovod, Alina Kashlinskaya - 1.5
4-9. Marina Guseva, Daria Voit, Polina Shuvalova, Olga Girya, Leya Garifullina, Alina Bivol - 1
10-12. Natalija Pogonina, Alisa Galliamova, Anastasia Bodnaruk - 0.5.

Round 3 pairings:

Girya - Ovod
Guseva - Shuvalova
Kashlinskaya - Gunina
Garifullina - Bodnaruk
Bivol - Galliamova
Pogonina - Voit.

The tournament is a part of the Chess in Museums international programme realised by the Chess Federation of Russia and the Elena and Gennady Timchenko Foundation. 

An exhibition featuring the chess sets from the Chess Museum is organised at the venue. The Museum's curator, Cand. Sc. History Dmitry Oleinikov conducts tours around the exposition for everyone.

The spectators are not allowed in the playing hall due to the anti-Covid measures. However, the chess fans are welcome in the commentating area where they can listen to GM Sergey Shipov in Russian. 

GMs Evgenij Miroshnichenko and Alexandr Shimanov are commentating on the tournament in English. 

Tournament on Chess-Results

Tournament page

Photos by Eteri Kublashvili