10 October 2023

Olga Badelka Maintains Lead in Russian Women's Superfinal

Vladislav Artemiev is heading the race in the Open section.

Monday, October 9, Round 8 games of the Russian Championships Superfinals finished at Tsarskoe Selo State Museum and Heritage Site (Pushkin, Saint Petersburg). The symbolic first move in Badelka vs. Bivol was made by Alena Orlova, deputy head of the Pushkin district of the St. Petersburg administration.

In the Open tournament Klementy Sychev and Volodar Murzin opened their game into the King's Indian Defence, where Black gradually solved his opening problems and achieved full-fledged play. In the middlegame, Murzin won the exchange, and after the trade of queens Sychev failed to save the resulting endgame.

Rozum vs. Lagno was a real roller-coaster. In the middlegame White gained an overwhelming advantage, but then misplayed and squandered it, and then could even lose the game altogether. Kateryna, in turn, missed the strongest continuations, and the game became level. However, White managed to grab a pawn and, after an exchange of queens, converted his extra piece in a long struggle. 

Artemiev vs Matlakov, Ponkratov vs Najer, Goryachkina vs Esipenko and Tomashevsky vs Timofeev ended in a draw.

Standings after round 8:

1. Vladislav Artemiev – 7 points
2. Pavel Ponkratov – 5
3-5. Maxim Matlakov, Evgeniy Najer, Aleksandra Goryachkina – 4.5
6-7. Andrey Esipenko, Evgeny Tomashevsky – 4
8. Volodar Murzin – 3.5
9-10. Artyom Timofeev, Ivan Rozum – 3
11-12. Kateryna Lagno, Klementy Sychev – 2.5.

Round 9 pairings:

Lagno – Ponkratov, Murzin – Rozum, Timofeev – Sychev, Matlakov – Tomashevsky, Esipenko – Artemiev, Najer – Goryachkina.

In the Women's tournament, Olga Badelka defeated Alina Bivol as White and maintains her sole lead in the tournament. The winner was happy about her very comfortable position out of the opening.  The opponents manoeuvred a lot, and White gradually managed to outplay her opponent on nuances and technically convert her extra pawn in the ending with rooks and minor pieces.  

Leya Garifullina and Baira Kovanova opted for a trendy line of Ruy Lopez. Finding herself in a difficult position, White's maneuvering was not up to the point and she fell victim to a positional bind, at which point her future material losses were only a question of time. Despite her opponent's stubborn resistance, the chess player of Saratov scored a confident victory on move 45 and is in pursuit of the leader.

Valentina Gunina defeated Anna Shukhman in white. "We opened the game into the Vienna variation of the Queen's Gambit with 5...b5," said the GM after the game. "I had already played this opening here with Alina Bivol, and today it was a repetition.  I think we got an interesting and challenging position.  In my opinion, Anna's main mistake was that she should have brought her knight back into the game after the exchange sacrifice. Instead, it got stuck on the edge of the board". 

Mariya Yakimova, playing Black with Olga Matveeva, gained steady advantage in the queen and bishop endgame. However, White reliably defended his two weak pawns and created a seemingly impregnable fortress. However, Mariya persistently searched for clues to her opponent's defence, throwing in various purely practical problems.  Tired of the long passive defence, White made a mistake which Yakimova immediately took advantage of. Matveeva lost two pawns and could not save the game.  

In the longest game of the round, which lasted 103 moves, Polina Shuvalova defeated Ekaterina Goltseva as Black.  

Natalija Pogonina and Marina Korneva drew their game.

Standings after Round 8:

1. Olga Badelka – 6.5 points
2. Baira Kovanova – 6
3-4. Polina Shuvalova, Marina Korneva – 5
5. Leya Garifullina - 4.5
6. Valentina Gunina – 4
7. Anna Shukhman – 3.5
8-10. Mariya Yakimova, Natalija Pogonina, Ekaterina Goltseva – 3
11. Alina Bivol – 2.5
12. Olga Matveeva - 2.  

Round 9 pairings:

Korneva – Gunina, Yakimova – Pogonina, Kovanova – Matveeva, Shuvalova – Garifullina, Bivol – Goltseva, Shukhman – Badelka.

Games online (Open)

Games online (Women)

Official website

Tournament on Chess-Results

Tournament page

Pictures by Eteri Kublashvili