29 January 2017


Opening of the International RSSU Chess Cup Moscow Open in the review of Eteri Kublashvili.

On January 28, the Russian State Social University gave start to the main tournaments of the 2017 Moscow Open festival. This Open, the biggest one in Europe, if not in the whole Eurasia, is held for the 13th time already. It's funny to recall that the author of these lines participated in the very first event, which feels as if it were only yesterday. A lot has changed since then, however. The key tournaments - men's and women's - have acquired the status of Russian Cup stages, coupled with a modified format of the student competitions and added by a number of new events, such as Shogi and a tournament for visually impaired players.

Two months ago a tragic death took the life of Yuri Eliseev, who won last year's main Moscow Open tournament in style upon defeating such robust players as Anton Korobov, Ernesto Inarkiev, Artyom Timofeev ...

The official opening ceremony of the 13th International RSSU Chess Cup Moscow Open 2017 was attended by Head of the Department of Sports and Tourism of Moscow Nikolai Gulyaev, rector of the Russian State Social University, president of the National Student Chess League Natalia Pochinok and first vice-president of the Moscow Chess Federation Nikita Kim.

"It's a pleasure seeing the tournament gaining stature with each year to come, with ever more participants and visitors from around the world taking part in it, - noted Nikolay Gulyaev. - I would like to wish that all participants come up with nice games."

"Moscow is the world's most hospitable and athletic city, a real capital of the chess world. It has largely to do with the Department of Sports and Tourism of Moscow, the directorate of sports and entertainment activities and rector of Russian State Social University Natalia Borisovna Pochinok," added Nikita Kim. 

Natalia Pochinok highlighted the event's profile increasing with each subsequent year. "Judging by the current number of participants, our tournament is one of the world's largest. It features players from as many as 31 states. It is the first time that we hold a unique event for blind and visually impaired people as part of the festival. In connection with this, I would like to express my gratitude to the government of Moscow, to our partners - the All Russia Association of the Blind and the Russian Paralympic Committee - for the joint effort that we undertake towards promoting chess both inside and outside of our country", - was noted by the Russian State Social University rector.

The opening ceremony traditionally went along with the artistic performance. The audience was performed for by the show-ballet of Irina Knyazeva and Moscow Chamber Schnittke-Orchestra.

The lineups of the main tournaments, the Russian Cups, are quite representative. The men's tournament table has Sanan Sjugirov, Gata Kamsky, Vladislav Artemiev, Dmitry Kokarev, Boris Grachev, Alexey Goganov, Denis Khismatullin and a number of other well-known players occupy its top lines.

The prizes and cups points in the women's competition are contested among Aleksandra Goryachkina, Anastasia Bodnaruk, Alisa Galliamova, Alina Kashlinskaya, Marina Nechaeva, Polina Shuvalova, Baira Kovanova and a good hundred of other players.

The Veterans Tournament is traditionally strong with Evgeny Sveshnikov, Evgenij Kalegin, Evgeni Vasiukov, Andrei Obodchuk, Evgeny Dragomarezkij, Nicholas Mishuchkov, Anatoly Kremenietsky, Anatoli Shvedchikov and many others among its participants.  The women's veterans tournament runs independently from that of men's. The starting list is headed by Elena Fatalibekova, Galina Strutinskaya, and Ludmila Saunina.

Running parallel with the RSSU tournaments will be a variety of seminars.

I would like to wrap up by congratulating the organizers on a successful start of the 13th festival and by wishing all participants an inspired performance and high results.