30 June 2016

Changes and Stability

Round Seven review of the Russian Higher League by Eteri Kublashvili.

In the recent days the situation at the Higher League has changed predictably. In round six the women’s tournament leader Daria Pustovoitova got a very promising position against Eugenia Ovod, but failed to find the exact path of converting her advantage and ended up losing after all. We are going to use the girls’ game to demonstrate the new add-in viewer available to us now. 

Thus, Evgenija took a sole lead and, having drawn her game against Alina Kashlinskaya in round seven, has as many as 6 points under her belt.

Daria Pustovoitova treated her defeat in a professional manner by refraining from going all out against Tatiana Vasilevich and fixing a draw in the endgame. Daria is half a point behind the leader.

A 5-point result is now shared by a group of six participants – Daria Charochkina, Ekaterina Kovalevskaya, Tatiana Vasilevich Ekaterina Ubiennykh, Alina Kashlinskaya and Anastasia Savina.

Ekaterina Ubiennykh’s play made Marina Nechaeva commit a blunder.

Nechaeva – Ubiennykh

45. fxe5? Qxe5

It turns out that White’s pieces are in rather awkward positions. 

46. Rf3 Rxf3 47. gxf3 Ne3 48. Qh2 Qh5 49. Qg3 White resigns.

There is observed no significant shuffle in the men’ section as Grigoriy Oparin is firm in the lead with 5.5 out of 7. Draws with Maxim Matlakov and Dmitry Kokarev mean a lot to have consolidated his leading position.

Just as is the case in the women’s tournament, a group of Grigoriy Oparin’s pursuers lists several people: half a point behind are Vladimir Fedoseev, Alexander Riazantsev, Dmitry Kokarev, Pavel Ponkratov, Vadim Zvjaginsev, and Alexei Goganov.

With 4.5 points are Maxim Matlakov, Alexandr Predke, Igor Lysyj, Evgeny Alekseev, Urii Eliseev, Kirill Alekseenko, and Sanan Sjugirov. 

Vadim Zvjaginsev adroitly won an exchange and the game from Artyom Timofeev

Zvjaginsev – Timofeev

The careless 21…Qxd2 was met by 22. Qxd2 Rxd2 23. Bc1 Rd8 24. Bh6, and White ended up winning a couple of dozens of moves later.

The active type of play did not end up well for Evgeny Romanov, who played Black against Pavel Ponkratov.

Ponkratov – Romanov

The 22…Qf3?! advance ran into a tough rejoinder 23. e5!, threatening  Rf1, upon which Black needed to retreat, sustaining sensitive losses along the way: 23…Qf5 24. Rf1 Qg6 25. Bf6 dxe5 26. Bxg7 Kxg7 27. Re1, and White went on to gradually win the game.

Having accomplished a winning position, the former Russian Champion Igor Lysyj demonstrated the efficiency of a quite move.

Shaposhnikov – Lysyj

27…Be7! 28. Qg3 Bd6 White resigns.

Self possession and accurate calculation brought victory to Urii Eliseev in his game against Alexei Gavrilov.

Eliseev – Gavrilov

On move forty Black committed a strategic error by 40...d4?, and White accurately calculated that his rook pawn is going to successfully make it into the queening square: 41. Qe6! Kg7 42.Qxf7+ Kxf7 43. a5 bxa5 44. bxa5 dxc3 45. Ba4! Ke7 46. Bc6 d5 47. a6, etc.

With two rounds to go, the chess players are going to put up tense fighting since there are only five qualification tickets into the Superfinal for each of the tournaments.

Men’s tournament pairs of round eight are as follows: Oparin - Zvjaginsev, Fedoseev - Ponkratov, Kokarev - Riazantsev, Sjugirov - Goganov, Matlakov - Alekseenko, Lysyj - Alekseev, and Predke - Eliseev.

The first tables of the women’s section are as follows: Kovalevskaya - Ovod, Pustovoitova - Savina, Kashlinskaya - Charochkina, and Ubiennykh - Vasilevich.