18 January 2018

Youth and Veterans of the Russian Swiss Tournaments

Dmitry Kryakvin reports about Vladimir Dvorkovich Rapid Memorial 

The first stage of the Russian Cup in 2018 started in Taganrog; the first leg of the Rapid Grand Prix of Russia was held there as well. The rapid event was impressively composed: many grandmasters and promising juniors came to fight for the Cup points and prizes, which the organizers would pay within a short time - by April 20.  

For the first time, the Russian tournament was played according to yet another new FIDE rules. I would like to remind you that from now on an illegal move is not punished by a loss, but the same can’t be said about the second illegal move. It saved Dmitry Bocharov in his encounter against a rising star of the Russian chess Andrey Esipenko, who had crushed dozens titled maestros in Saudi Arabia. Dima left his pawn on the last rank, and had it been 2017 he would have lost, but…On the other hand, Andrey got two additional minutes to think it all over and managed to ingeniously save himself in an outwardly dangerous position with this little “help”.

Esipenko is a real star in the Don region. Rumour has it that somewhere near the playing hall the police arrested saboteurs who had been adding the inscriptions like “One knight moves to d4, the other one - to c3” to a famous poster “Knight to Move”. The youngest Russian grandmaster faces difficulties in an everyday life as well: some people want him be photographed with their child (girlfriend, grandmother), other start asking why he had played so on move 32 in his game versus MVL. I would like to note that, notwithstanding this sudden fame and baptism of fire, the participant of the TV program “Best of All” and one of the heroes in Riyadh is still a nice, kind and responsive young man.    

Many other young talents, e.g. Alexey Sarana, Alexandr Triapishko, Dmitry Tsoi, Volodar Murzin, took part in the rapid tournament dedicated to the memory of a well-known chess arbiter Vladimir Dvorkovich, but the youth didn’t manage to force the way through the rows of the veterans of the Russian Swiss tournaments. As a result, the leader of chess Surgut Aleksei Pridorozhni won the event, Sanan Sjugirov came second, while Aleksey Goganov took a bronze medal.

“I wish there had been a team called “Legends of the Russian Cup” along with “Kings” and “Princes” in the Nutcracker generation tournament! Just imagine: Pridorozhni, Kokarev, Bocharov. The team could be reinforced by Dmitry Jakovenko. Do you think they would perform weaker than Kings and young talents?” – one of the chess players was asking emotionally.  

The struggle in other nominations with only one prize was severe as well. Esipenko and Sarana had no rivals in younger and elder juniors’ groups respectively, while the fight for the women’s prize has been waging by Natalija Pogonina, Elena Tomilova and Aleksandra Maltsevskaya. Eventually, Lena and Natasha finished with equal tie-breakers, but Tomilova was lucky to win the prize thanks to the higher number of wins.

A local player Alexander Chernyavsky showed a brilliant result – 8 point out of 11 with several defeated maestros. Vladimir Fedoseev and the late Ivan Bukavshin had told me that Sasha had been considered a big talent and they had faced him quaveringly. However, there had been no “Sirius” that time, and Alexander had lived in the periphery… But now his strength has woken up. In the second round of the classical tournament the Taganrog chess player knocked down Boris Savchenko.  

The anti-cheating guidelines, which have already been tested in the amateurs’ event in Loo, Sochi (where two legendary electronic ambulance crews were stopped by Konstantin Landa’s five rules), are valid in the classical tournament in memory of Vladimir Dvorkovich. There is a frightful aggregate, similar to those ones which are used in airports, lying on the arbiter’s table in Taganrog these days. Even I am afraid to enter the playing area with a photo camera. But it doesn’t stop Evgeny Potemkin (thank God, Denis Khismatullin didn’t come to Taganrog).

But everything is going on smoothly so far. We offer you to see the photos taken by Oleg Khmelevsky and watch the games broadcasted by a skilful Anatoly Pedashenko, who celebrates his Birthday on January 17. Our congratulations!