1 October 2023

Russian Championships Superfinals Officially Opened in Pushkin

The drawing of lots ceremony took place as well.

Saturday, September 30, the opening ceremony of the Superfinals of the 76th Russian championship and the 73rd Russian women's championship took place in the city of Pushkin's District House of Culture (St. Petersburg). Beginning with tomorrow, the same building will host the Higher League of the Russian Senior Championships, who were also invited to the ceremony.  

Participants and guests of the ceremony were welcomed by Andrey Chapurov, Head of the Pushkin district administration. He read out a greeting from Alexander Beglov, Governor of Saint Petersburg, and added his own wishes to the players of great sporting and creative achievements to come.

Alexander Tkachev, Executive Director of the Chess Federation of Russia, thanked everyone involved in the organisation of this wonderful chess festival and declared the competition open.  

Olga Klakotskaya, Head of the Reception Service of the Tsarskoe Selo State Museum and Heritage Site, read out a message of greeting from the Museum Director, Olga Taratynova. The Superfinals will run in the luxurious halls of the Catherine Palace, which is certainly a great honour and privilege.    

In his welcoming speech, Dmitry Pavlov, Member of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg, wished beautiful games to the chess players and confirmed his intention to follow the tournament by visiting to the venue.  

Then the Chief Arbiter of the competition IA Elena Polovina conducted the drawing of lots procedure.  Participants had the opportunity to choose one of the elegant handkerchiefs handmade by designer Nina Ruchkina to receive their starting numbers. The silk scarves with unique designs are united by a common theme of the competition venue – Tsarskoye Selo, the Imperial Family, and, of course, Alexander Pushkin, who had been a student of the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum.  

One of the event's partners is the Kadun company, a manufacturer of top-class chess sets. The general director of the company, Nikita Stepanov, also delivered a welcoming speech. For the drawing of lots in the open section, paperweights made of different types of wood with numbers engraved on the bottom of the piece were used.

Round one pairings of October 1 are as follows:

Open tournament:

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

Women’s tournament:

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

The concert part of the ceremony featured soloists of the Imperial School of Russian Ballet and graduates of the St. Petersburg State Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory, as well as virtuosos and laureates of international competitions – the Ludowig string quartet.

Official website

Tournament on Chess-Results

Tournament page

Pictures by Vladimir Barsky and Anastasia Vasina