Nikita Vitiugov and Valentina Gunina Become New Russian Champions
The Superfinals are completed in Ufa.
The Russian Championships Superfinals finished in Ufa on the 20th of October.
In the last 11th round of the open tournament, Vladimir Fedoseev lost to Pavel Ponkratov in a dramatic fight.The games Chigaev – Alekseenko, Goryachkina - Andreikin, Predke - Motylev, Rakhmanov - Vitiugov, and Esipenko - Matlakov were drawn.
Grandmaster Nikita Vitiugov scored 7 points out of 11 to become the Russian champion for the first time in his career.
- When the game was about to finish, I was confident that this was going to be a tie-break. It was a difficult moment: on the one hand, the tournament is over, and on the other hand, the fight for the first place is not yet out of the question. I already have experience finding myself in a similar situation and going down to Peter Svidler in a tie-break. I went for a walk because I simply wanted to be as fresh for the game as possible. I relaxed only when the situation clarified after the last move in the Esipenko – Matlakov game, said the tournament winner. - As for my participation, this is my 15th Russian championship, that is, I have played in as many superfinals as all other participants put together, and maybe even more. I was lucky in some games, but the opposite happened to me as well. The evaluation bar's sudden spikes towards one or the other player happened in nearly every game. I would not give up and keep on fighting, but it was not without lucky strikes for me either. You will never win such a tournament without them.
Maxim Matlakov won silver with 6.5 points. Vladimir Fedoseev is in third place: he got 6 points and edged out Dmitry Andreikin. All three prize-winners are from Saint Petersburg.
1. Nikita Vitiugov - 7 points
2. Maxim Matlakov - 6.5
3-4. Vladimir Fedoseev, Dmitry Andreikin - 6
5-9. Alexandr Predke, Andrey Esipenko, Alexander Motylev, Pavel Ponkratov, Kirill Alekseenko - 5.5
10-11. Aleksandra Goryachkina, Aleksandr Rakhmanov - 4.5
12. Maksim Chigaev - 4.
In the women’s tournament, the key game of the round between Valentina Gunina and Polina Shuvalova ended in a draw. Having scored 8 points out of 11 without any single loss, Valentina Gunina (Moscow) became the four-time Russian women's champion.
“Of course, I am very happy, but the final game was a real nail-biter. I'd been preparing for one thing, but Polina chose the line, which she had never played before. Of course, it is hard to play against an unexpected variation. I thought that I acted right, but it's rather difficult to assess it without due analysis. In general, I've been very tired for the previous three days, so in such a case, one's brain can generate interesting reactions, that's why I'm glad that it all happened this way,” said Gunina after the game.
Evgenija Ovod (Saint Petersburg) drew against Alina Bivol and took second place with 7.5 points, having edged out Polina Shuvalova (Moscow), who won bronze.
The games Galliamova - Guseva, Pogonina - Garifullina, Voit - Kashlinskaya, and Bodnaruk - Girya were drawn.
1. Valentina Gunina - 8 points
2-3. Evgenija Ovod, Polina Shuvalova - 7.5
4. Alina Kashlinskaya - 6.5
5-6. Natalija Pogonina, Leya Garifullina - 6
7. Alisa Galliamova - 5.5
8. Olga Girya - 4.5
9. Marina Guseva - 4
10-12. Daria Voit, Anastasia Bodnaruk, Alina Bivol - 3.5.
The Superfinals are a part of the Chess in Museums international programme realised by the Chess Federation of Russia and the Elena and Gennady Timchenko Foundation.
The total guaranteed prize fund is 11 million rubles: 7 million rubles in the open section and 4 million rubles in the women's tournament.
The Superfinals were organised by the Chess Federation of Russia with support of the Russian Ministry of Sport, Government of the Republic of Bashkortostan, and the Elena and Gennady Timchenko Foundation. The CFR general partner is PhosAgro. Partners: Aeroflot, Art Russe, Chess Federation of the Republic of Bashkortostan, and the Bashkortostan State M.V. Nesterov Art Museum.
Tournament on Chess-Results
Photos by Eteri Kublashvili