29 June 2016

Advent of a Leader

Round Five review of the Higher League by Eteri Kublashvili.

The Higher League battles in Kolomna resumed following a rest day.  Although the participants spent their free day to their liking, given a 32-degree reading on the thermometer one can assume that daytime outings were rather infrequent.  Besides, missing out on the exciting Final 16 European Championship football games was really not an option.

Nevertheless, the organizers suggested taking the morning hour’s guided tour of the Kolomna Kremlin, while in the evening the participants were able to watch the out-of-door play “The Tzar’s Bride” staged also at the Kremlin territory.  As there is never any shortage either in heroes or in enthusiasts, these offers have unlikely remained unclaimed.

After completion of round five, the men’s tournament has received its sole leader - the native of Moscow Grigoriy Oparin, who defeated Vladimir Fedoseev to have 4.5 points under his belt. 

Oparin – Fedoseev

Black voluntarily weakened his kingside, offering White an excellent hook to accelerate his offensive.

29. h4! Nh7 30. hxg5 hxg5 31. Qg4 Bd5 32. Nh5 Qc6 33. Nf6+ Rxf6 34. Bxf6 Nxf6 35. Qxg5+ Kh8

36. Rxd5! Nxd5 37. Bxe4 Qf6 38. Qh5+ Kg8 39. Bxd5 - White achieved a substantial advantage and ended up winning the game.

The following five boards have been knocked down by the pestilence of draws: peace was negotiated in the games Matlakov – Predke, Moiseenko – Kokarev, Timofeev – Goganov and Shaposhnikov – Ponkratov.

On board six Vadim Zvjaginsev converted his white color advantage against Dmitry Gordievsky without any particular problems along the way. Besides, the field of leaders was added by Alexander Riazantsev, Evgeny Alekseev, and Kirill Alekseenko who outperformed Maxim Chigaev, Alexandra Goryachkina and Sergei Lobanov respectively.

Prior to round six one point behind the leader Grigoriy Oparin are Vladimir Fedoseev, Dmitry Kokarev, Evgeny Shaposhnikov Maxim Matlakov, Alexander Riazantsev, Alexandr Predke, Alexei Goganov, Artyom Timofeev, Pavel Ponkratov, Evgeny Alekseev, Vadim Moiseenko, Vadim Zvjaginsev, and Kirill Alekseenko.

Having such a representative peloton, the closing half of the tournament promises to be even more exciting than the initial one!

In round six the pairings of the first tables are: Matlakov – Oparin, Predke – Zvjaginsev, Fedoseev – Shaposhnikov, Timofeev – Riazantsev, Ponkratov – Alekseev, Kokarev – Alekseenko, Goganov – Moiseenko.

The women’s section, on the other hand, came up with a very combative round: the first draw was agreed only on board seven (Maltsevskaya – Shuvalova).

A clean score has been demonstrated by Daria Pustovoitova, who has so far missed no goals, much like the German national football team. In round five she outplayed Alina Bivol.

Bivol – Pustovoitova

White’s careless 35. c4? was met by a petite combination 35…Bxc4+! 36. Bxc4 Kd4+ 37. Kf3 Kxc4, and Black went on to convert her two extra pawns’ superiority.

Evgenija Ovod outplayed Elmira Mirzoeva as White and advanced into the second place, being behind Pustovoitova by half a point.

The 4-point result is shared by Tatiana Vasilevich after defeating Oksana Gritsayeva, and Ekaterina Kovalevskaya, who was stronger than Darya Charochkina.

Alina Kashlinskaya defeated Dina Belenkaya, reducing the gap between herself and the leaders. Alina has 3.5 points now, just as Marina Nechaeva, Elmira Mirzoeva, Alina Bivol, Baira Kovanova, Elizaveta Solozhenkina and Anastasia Savina.

In round six we are in for the following pairings: Pustovoitova - Ovod, Kovalevskaya – Vasilevich, Kashlinskaya – Bivol, Kovanova – Nechaeva, Mirzoeva – Savina, Solozhenkina – Charochkina.