18 October 2021

Nine Rounds of Russian Championships Supefinals Played in Ufa

The leaders maintain their positions.

The ninth round of the Russian Championships Superfinals was played in Ufa on the 18th of October.  

Pavel Ponkratov scored his first tournament victory, having defeated Maksim Chigaev in the Winawer Variation of the French Defence. White took a poisoned pawn on f6 with his queen, after which his strongest piece got trapped by the opponent's forces. Chigaev had to give it up for a rook and three pawns. Still, white pieces were badly coordinated, and he didn't get sufficient compensation for the queen. As a result, Chigaev resigned on the 28th move. 

Vladimir Fedoseev acted rather passively in the opening as White against Aleksandra Goryachkina and got a worse position. Aleksandra developed a dangerous assault on the kingside and in the centre. Vladimir defended himself resourcefully, sacrificed an exchange and traded queens. Still, if Goryachkina had found the most precise continuation, White's position would have been very suspicious. However, Black was a bit slow, Fedoseev successfully regrouped his forces, and a draw was agreed on the 50th move by repetition. 

The Predke vs Andreikin encounter turned out to be quite dramatic. The two-time Russian champion maintained defence in a worse closed position but didn't bear the strain in a long fight. The white queen and two bishops created serious mating threats, and if Predke had played most strongly in a severe time trouble, he would have won. However, a draw by repetition was declared on the 73rd move. 

The games Vitiugov - Matlakov, Esipenko - Alekseenko, and Rakhmanov - Motylev were drawn.

Standings after Round 9:

1. Nikita Vitiugov - 6
2. Vladimir Fedoseev - 5.5
3-4. Maxim Matlakov, Dmitry Andreikin - 5
5-7. Andrey Esipenko, Pavel Ponkratov, Kirill Alekseenko - 4.5
8-10. Aleksandra Goryachkina, Alexander Motylev, Alexandr Predke - 4
11-12. Maksim Chigaev, Aleksandr Rakhmanov - 3.5.

Round 10 pairings:

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

In the women's event, Natalija Pogonona won the second game in a row by beating Marina Guseva as White in the Slav Defence. 

"Marina made a too active move 18...g5, and after this Black faced serious problems. I don't know how to evaluate this position, but I think that it was her key mistake. Perhaps, Black could have held the game after it, but it was much easier for me to play", said she after the game. 

Alina Bivol broke a streak of bad luck by beating Alina Kashlinskaya as White. Nevertheless, Black got a big advantage in the middlegame and directed her forces to the white king's position. Then Kashlinskaya missed several "scoring chances" closer to the time control and, finally, made an incorrect piece sacrifice on the 33rd move. Bivol defended against all the threats and converted her extra material.

The games Garifullina - Ovod, Galliamova - Shuvalova, Voit - Girya, and Bodnaruk - Gunina ended in a draw.

Standings after Round 9:

1. Valentina Gunina - 7
2. Evgenija Ovod - 6.5
3. Polina Shuvalova - 6
4. Natalija Pogonina - 5.5
5. Alina Kashlinskaya - 5
6. Leya Garifullina - 4.5
7-8. Alisa Galliamova, Olga Girya - 4
9-11. Anastasia Bodnaruk, Daria Voit, Alina Bivol - 3
12. Marina Guseva - 2.5.

Round 10 pairings:

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

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