9 August 2016

Whatever RCF Decides is Right

Latest intrigues and investigations in Dmitry Kryakvin's review from Suzdal.

The Russian Junior Championship among boys and girls flows its natural course. Not only is "The Moscow Youth -1" leading the field, but does so in a confident manner as the gap between the Moscow "dream team" and its closest pursuer has increased to as wide as 3 points already. Crushing everyone on board one is the "Moscow hammer" Maxim Vavulin, who has not so long ago taken first place at the Russian Universiade, giving away only half a point along the way. Of all players, Max had face-offs against Alekseenko, Sjugirov, Predke... Despite that, he came out of all this dropping half a point only. Unless two Semens – Elistratov and Khanin – have something to say about this, the repetition of yet another record achievement is looming large on the horizon.

Alas, neither Vavulin's, nor Khanin's games, nor the ones of the "punching his opponents' lights out" Ilya Makoveev, playing on board three, will be available for you in this review. The meeting of representatives has adopted a decision that the games be kept out of public circulation and be transmitted to players' coaches via intranet upon having been preliminary enciphered on the "Enigma" machine. With the European Championship and the World Cup being on the threshold now, as soon as the sun rises over the homeland of chess, head coach of the India's junior team is undoubtedly on the go giving a deep study to the RCF website publications. It needs no saying that it would be terribly wrong, to put it mildly, to let him see the moves of the Shakirova - Obolentseva game, among other things.

For lack of games, let me feed you with some fairy tales. Along with the Junior Championship, Suzdal runs all sorts of attractive events: a variety of exciting festival tournaments, coupled with all kinds of weddings taking place in the ceremonial area of the hotel. Even now as I am busy preparing this review, a dozing groom with his leg bandaged was carried over past chief arbiter Arthur Vashurin and me. The groom overdid it while performing his wedding dance. Poor bride remained alone, wandering back and forth across the hall for some five hours. However, the good news is that the weekend is approaching its end at last. On the other hand, the influx of Chinese, Koreans, Mongols, etc. into the town shows no propensity towards decreasing. Conversely, they are all over local cafes. The Asians seem to somehow gravitate towards the heart of orthodoxy.

This said, all exciting events at the chess section of the hotel and the tourist complex "Suzdal" began with evil-doers stealing a jacket from the well-known journalist Evgeny Potemkin. Even though all entry and exit points to/from the town were sealed off and an investigative team was operating on the scene of action, no robbers were caught in hot pursuit. However, his was not the end of poor Evgeny Leonidovich's mishaps. Having resorted to a trick, successfully tested once during the famous game Kryakvin - Khismatullin, Potemkin almost landed in the center of a scandal. Alas, the defeated girl and her coach reacted to a camera collision against the game  table during time trouble less favorably than the self-composed Denis, almost taking their case up with the Tournament Appeals Committee. However, the team of arbiters was quick in reducing the brewing conflict to a peace compromise.

As is well known, Viktor Tchernyi, famous chess coach, turns twenty five on August 7. Viktor Arkadjevich is still young, energetic and full of ideas, so we wish him yet another hundred years of fruitful activity! Let me add that a temporary "holiday" for the duration of two rounds as a punishment for a cell phone ringing in the game room rebounded to Moscow chess instructor's advantage as Viktor Tchernyi ended up brilliantly taking the first veteran prize in the rapid handicap.

The "Vladimir Open 2016" program is rich in attractive tournaments, such as handicap, bughouse, guo, the Russian chess, the Fischer chess, Shogi, a tandem competition "chess-checkers", to name a few. The bughouse battles proved the most eventful of all other contests. The atmosphere heated up even prior to the start of round one around the subject of tournament regulations. The tournament regulations of the Russian Championship, held at the "Zhemchuzhina" hotel, was adopted by organizers as a model, with the provision disallowing placing your pawn on your second rank somehow worming its way into it. As participants warmed up to the subject, disagreeing with certain offered clarifications of regulations, the meeting was slowly turning into a pandemonium. At this point the floor was taken by Alexander Ivanov, who declared weightily, "If RCF has decided so - this is how it should be!" This reasoning had the effect of immediately stopping any further arguments. The duet of Gleb Apryshko and Marat Denishev went on to take the event.

... And here again the ambulance attendants started dragging the poor groom across the hall, this time towards the ambulance. Being so happy that all visitors of the wonderful and hospitable hotel complex "Suzdal" know how to go about taking the best from life both for their bodies and souls, your correspondent goes to bed with a light heart.