9 October 2021

First Round of Russian Championships Superfinals Played in Ufa

Both tournaments saw four decisive games.

On the 9th of October, the first round of the Russian Championships Superfinals has finished in Ufa. Two decisive games were played in each tournament.

Vladimir Fedoseev "tricked" Alexander Motylev as Black in a double-edged position, which arose from the Advance variation of the French Defence. The grandmaster from Saint Petersburg offered a bishop sacrifice in the middlegame, but White shouldn't have accepted it. However, Motylev took a poisoned peace and soon found himself in a position without an exchange and two pawns. Black suppressed the opponent's counterplay and convincingly won.

Kirill Alekseenko outplayed Alexandr Predke with the white pieces in the Ruy Lopez with an early d2-d3. White got the two-bishops advantage in the middlegame and created threats on the kingside. Alekseenko won a pawn, made a breakthrough on the queenside and achieved an overwhelming advantage. Predke resigned on the 54th move. 

Aleksandra Goryachkina, who had Black against Pavel Ponkratov, got rather good chances of success. According to her, her opponent misplayed something in the opening and consequently got a weak pawn on d5. Black eventually won the pawn, and after that, White had to play highly precisely in the endgame with knights and opposite-coloured bishops. However, Ponkratov managed to save himself: a draw followed after the 70th Black's move.

The games Esipenko - Rakhmanov, Andreikin - Matlakov, and Vitiugov - Chigaev were drawn. 

Standings after Round 1:

1-2. Vladimir Fedoseev, Kirill Alekseenko - 1
3-10. Maxim Matlakov, Aleksandr Rakhmanov, Maksim Chigaev, Aleksandra Goryachkina, Dmitry Andreikin, Nikita Vitiugov, Andrey Esipenko, Pavel Ponkratov - 0.5
11-12. Alexandr Predke, Alexander Motylev - 0.

Round 2 pairings:

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

In the women's tournament, Marina Guseva and Anastasia Bodnaruk discussed the King's Indian Defence with 4.g3. White skillfully built up pressure on the queenside. Black missed a beautiful tactical blow in a complicated position and lost an exchange. Guseva was precise while converting and fixed the victory on the 52nd move.  

Alina Kashlinskaya, who was playing White against Alisa Galliamova, achieved an edge after the opening and managed to push her d-pawn up to the sixth rank. Black didn't manage to hold the position: Kashlinskaya won one pawn thanks to the precise maneuvering with her queen and then got the second one after the rooks were exchanged. Galliamova resigned in a hopeless queen endgame. 

Olga Girya and Valentina Gunina played quite a tense and somewhat uneven game. White achieved a huge advantage after the opening but then started to act inaccurately and gave counter-chances to her rival. The sides were equal in strength in a tough struggle. The longest game of the day finished in a draw after 93 moves. 

The games Bivol - Pogonina, Shuvalova - Ovod, and Voit - Garifullina were drawn. 

Standings after Round 1:

1-2. Alina Kashlinskaya, Marina Guseva - 1
3-10. Natalija Pogonina, Valentina Gunina, Daria Voit, Evgenija Ovod, Polina Shuvalova, Olga Girya, Leya Garifullina, Alina Bivol - 0.5
11-12. Alisa Galliamova, Anastasia Bodnaruk - 0.

Round 2 pairings:

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

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