15 October 2020

Valentina Gunina and Maksim Chigaev Maintain Leadership at Russian Championships Higher League

Six rounds are completed in Sochi.

The seventh round of the Russian Championships Higher League was played in Sochi on October 15. 

Maksim Chigaev, the leader of the open tournament, made a quick draw with Andrey Esipenko with the white pieces. The games Fedoseev - Goganov and Artemiev - Alekseev finished with the same result after a long struggle. Mikhail Antipov outplayed David Paravyan as Black on the fourth board.  

Maksim Chigaev maintains leadership with 5.5 points. Mikhail Antipov, Aleksey Goganov, and Vladimir Fedoseev are half a point behind; nine participants are trailing by 1 point.

Paravyan - Antipov

Black to move

Mikhail Antipov skillfully extinguished the opening initiative of his opponent in the Berlin Defence, and gradually the black bishops found their way out to the open space. 

22...g5!? 23. Kg2 Bg7 24. Re1 Nc6 

White's weak pawns start falling, and Paravyan's attempts to muddy up the waters turned out to be ineffectual. 

25. c3 Nxe5 26. c5 Rhe8 27. cxb6 cxb6 28. Ne3 Nd3 29. Reb1 Rac8 30. Ndf5 Be5 31. Nd5

31...Nf4+ 32. Nxf4 Bxf5 33. gxf5 Bxf4 34. Re1 Re5 35. Rad1 Rxf5, and Black won.

In the women's event, Valentina Gunina defeated Marina Guseva as White to extend the lead to 1 point. Now she has 6 points out of 7. Ekaterina Goltseva and Leya Garifullina made a draw; both of them have scored 5 points as well as Tatyana Getman and Margarita Schepetkova. 

Gunina - Guseva 

White to move

Valentina Gunina doesn't miss a chance to launch a tactical blow even in the endgame. 

29. Nxd5!? Nb3? 

Black seems to be a bit confused. She ought to have taken the sacrifice - 29... cxd5 30. Rc7 Rxe5! It looks like that White has an edge after 31. fxe5 Bc8 32. Rd1 Ne6 33. Ra7 d4 34. Rxa5, but the position remains very sharp and three minor pieces can show their worth. 

30. Rc3 a4 31. Nb6 Rd2 32. Nxa4

The engine regards 32. Nbc4 Rd4 33. Kf2 to be stronger, but taking the second pawn looks very attractive as well.  

32... Nd4 33. Rce3 Ba8

It's clear that Black's position is hard, however, this move is quite deplorable. Soon her pieces will be totally stalemated. 

34. Nc5! Rxb2 35. Ned3 Rxe3 36. Rxe3 Rb1+ 37. Re1 Rb5 38. a4 Ra5 39. Re4 Nf5 40. g4 N5d6 41. Re7 Kf8 42. Rc7 Ne8 43. Ne6+ Kg8 44. Re7 Ned6 45. Ndc5 h5 46. g5

Black resigns.

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Information and photos by Vladimir Barsky