29 June 2015

Blunders Precede the Day Off

Round Five review of the Russian Championship Higher League by Eteri Kublashvili.

It seems fatigue starts to take its toll and run the show at the Higher League. Blunders, bitter mistakes in winning positions and other mid-tournament associated problems are on the increasing side. It appears that the day off will undoubtedly come in very handy, after which the players, having accumulated new impressions from the city tours or follow-up over the course of the volleyball match Russia-USA, are supposed to show up with recharged strength for new battles.

Round five of the Higher League saw the tournament hierarchy in both men’s and women’s sections getting shuffled. Sole leadership of Ivan Popov was discontinued to be taken over by five players instead.

On the first board of the men's section of the tournament Ivan Popov succumbed to Ildar Khairullin in a bitter fight. The winner has the floor.

Ildar Khairullin: "The game turned out to be difficult. In a difficult position I made a somewhat provocative move...”

Popov – Khairullin 


“Attempting not to give White full comfort in his game on the kingside. 18. Nh6+ was stronger in this position. However, I failed to find out how I was losing immediately and made up my mind to go for it.”

“After the inaccurate 18. f4 the position became double-edged, but Ivan had less time at his disposal.”

18…h5 19. Qd1 gxf5 20. fxe5 Bf8 21. Rxf5 Nd4 22. Rxh5 Bg7 23. axb5 axb5 

“Here White has to defend his e5-pawn somehow, but I failed to see how it could be achieved. I meet 24. Ng4 by 24...Rb6, followed by transfer of this rook to g6. However, the move played in the game was a mistake.”

24. c3? Nxb3 25. Qxb3 Qxd3

“And it has become very hard for White to hold his position together. Neither I nor my opponent could come up with any rescue move over the board. Ivan followed up by giving away the exchange sacrifice in order not to get mated, but the resulting position is easily winning."

Alexander Motylev, Vladislav Artemiev, Dmitry Frolyanov, and Vadim Zvjaginsev won their games just as did Ildar to become the leaders of the marathon.

Fedoseev – Motylev 

In this difficult position White displayed hesitation by opting for 33. Kf1 with the idea of preventing the black rook from infiltrating into the second rank. However, after 33...Re4 the initiative went over to the second player. It was followed by 34. Rb8 Rxb8 35. Qxb8+ Kh7 36. Qg3 Rxh4, and gradually the 2014 Europe Champion brought his advantage home. 

Paravyan – Artemiev

Vlad knows to give hard time to his opponent: shortly prior to move 40 David committed an oversight, which cost him two pawns and a loss of the game in the final run.

35. h5? Nd3 36. Nf6+ gxf6 37. Rxc4 Nxf2 38. Kxf2 Rxb2+ 39. Kf3 fxg5, etc.

The fork was the murder weapon in the following game also.

Zvjaginsev – Shariyazdanov 

In this difficult position Black failed to bear the strain: 28...Kf7?? After 29.Nde5+ Andrey Shariyazdanov resigned.

On the first table of the women’s section Marina Guseva and Alina Kashlinskaya forced a draw by perpetual check. Nevertheless, both girls retained the leadership in the tournament, but were joined by Svetlana Matveeva and Anastasia Savina.

Matveeva – Kovanova

Baira remained true to her style and lashed out with 26…d3?!, which proved to be a mistake. 

27. Qc3 Nf3+ 28. gxf3 Qxf3 29. Bd6 Re2 30. Rxe2 dxe2 31. Qxf3 exf1Q+ 32. Kxf1 Bxf3 33. Rb3, and Svetlana succeeded in winning the game in a gradual manner.

The epic blunder was seen in the game between Alekseeva and Charochkina.

Having played 29. Rxh7??, White has apparently missed that after 29...Rxh7 30. Bxd5+ Black has a strong rejoinder 30...Be6! at his disposal, after which White has to part ways with his queen. The Moscow grandmaster converted her advantage in a confident manner.

As was mentioned at the beginning of this review the organizers have prepared a program for all participants of the Higher League. Moreover, on Saturday, June 27, the Children's Day is scheduled to take place within the framework of the tournament. The Museum of the World Ocean will host 50 young chess players from Kaliningrad and the Kaliningrad region aged between 5 and 16 years old to take part in the simul with the leading Russian grandmasters. The premises of the museum were not chosen at random as a venue for the simul: the Russian Chess Federation and the Charity Foundation of Elena and Gennady Timchenko have included the Higher League-2015 into their international program "Chess in Museums."