Reports | July 02, 2013 10:29

Inarkiev wins Russian Championship Higher League

Inarkiev wins Russian Championship Higher League

On Saturday Ernesto Inarkiev won the Russian Championship Higher League in Yekaterinenburg. The 27-year-old Russian grandmaster edged out Ian Nepomniachtchi on tiebreak after both players finished on 6.5/9. Alexander Motylev, Alex Goganov and Anton Shomoev were the other three players who qualified for the Russian Championship Super Final which will be held in October.

Ernesto Inarkiev | Photos courtesy of the Russian Chess Federation

The 66th Russian Championship Higher League took place June 20th-29th at the business center “President” in Yekaterinburg, Russia. There was a general group and a women's section; both were 9-round Swisses. And both were strong and tough, as draw offers before move 40 were not allowed.

As always, the "Higher League" was a qualifier event for the "Super Final" and so the players were fighting for five tickets to the "real" Russian Championship. However, this year there was something else in store for the winner: a ticket to the prestigious 2014 Tal Memorial.

This was a nice gesture of the Russian Chess Federation, but also an attempt to make the final rounds of the Higher League somewhat more interesting. When it's about finishing among the top five, some strategic draws here and there can spoil the fun at the top boards.

However, there must have been a few awkward moments among the federation officials when after seven rounds, Anton Shomoev was topping the standings! The fairly unknown grandmaster is rated 2565, about 200 points less than the average participant of the Tal Memorial. In round 6, Shomoev won against one of the five 2700 participants with Black:

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And then he also defeated Ernesto Inarkiev, again with the black pieces:

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Anton Shomoev

In the penultimate round a draw followed against another outsider: IM Aleksey Goganov (2562). Only in the final round it went wrong for Shomoev.

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The tournament was won by Inarkiev, who recovered from his loss against Shomoev with the following win:

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Nepomniachtchi's last-round win got him next to Inarkiev. The latter had the highest Buchholz score and was declared the winner, and so we know one participant of the 2014 Tal Memorial. Shomoev and Goganov were the two surprising qualifiers for the Super Final; the fifth name was Alexander Motylev. Four of the 2700 players didn't manage: Nikita Vitiugov, Evgeny Alekseev, Dmitry Jakovenko and Alexander Riazantsev.

Russian Championship Higher League 2013 | Final standings (top 30)

Rk SNo Name Ti Rtg Pts TB1 TB2 TB3
1 8 Inarkiev, Ernesto GM 2680 6.5 48 36.0 2622
2 2 Nepomniachtchi, Ian GM 2717 6.5 45 30.5 2598
3 14 Motylev, Alexander GM 2655 6 48.5 32.5 2639
4 24 Goganov, Aleksey IM 2562 6 47.5 34.5 2623
5 23 Shomoev, Anton GM 2565 6 45 33.0 2604
6 4 Jakovenko, Dmitry GM 2713 6 44 31.0 2635
7 25 Eliseev, Urii IM 2557 6 38 27.0 2545
8 16 Demchenko, Anton GM 2639 5.5 48.5 28.0 2639
9 5 Tomashevsky, Evgeny GM 2709 5.5 46 31.0 2603
10 9 Matlakov, Maxim GM 2665 5.5 46 28.0 2632
11 31 Prizant, Jaroslav IM 2515 5.5 43 26.5 2643
12 3 Alekseev, Evgeny GM 2714 5.5 42.5 27.5 2611
13 27 Dvoirys, Semen I. GM 2533 5.5 36.5 22.0 2541
14 7 Grachev, Boris GM 2683 5 48 32.0 2622
15 6 Riazantsev, Alexander GM 2708 5 47 27.5 2596
16 1 Vitiugov, Nikita GM 2734 5 45.5 25.5 2565
17 11 Khairullin, Ildar GM 2658 5 43 25.5 2553
18 19 Najer, Evgeniy GM 2633 5 42 24.5 2572
19 26 Gabrielian, Artur GM 2545 5 41.5 22.0 2566
20 17 Kokarev, Dmitry GM 2639 5 41 25.0 2536
21 13 Lysyj, Igor GM 2656 5 40.5 24.5 2544
22 15 Sjugirov, Sanan GM 2647 5 40 26.0 2542
23 20 Popov, Ivan GM 2632 5 40 25.5 2577
24 29 Artemiev, Vladislav IM 2524 5 39 20.5 2536
25 12 Khismatullin, Denis GM 2658 4.5 49 30.5 2612
26 10 Shimanov, Aleksandr GM 2664 4.5 44.5 26.0 2588
27 28 Ovetchkin, Roman GM 2529 4.5 44.5 22.0 2638
28 33 Oparin, Grigoriy IM 2497 4.5 41.5 20.0 2553
29 21 Ponkratov, Pavel GM 2605 4.5 38 24.5 2554
30 42 Nozdrachev, Leonid FM 2389 4.5 33 17.5 2517

The women's section was won by Anastasia Bodnaruk. She finished clear first with 7.5/9 and qualified for the Women's Super Final together with Alina Kashlinskaya, Alexander Goryachkina, Ekaterina Kovalevskaya and Baira Kovanova.

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of ChessVibes.com, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.

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Comments

S3's picture

It wouldnt be so bad if some "unknown" GM participated at Tal, especially when he gets the ticket by winning a qualifier. Rating clearly doesn't mean everything, and rating is less fair as entrance criterion as well. At least Shomoev doesnt seem to have a boring style.

Thomas Oliver's picture

Dortmund was in a (somewhat) similar situation last year after Mateusz Bartel won the Aeroflot qualifier - though he is/was about 100 points higher-rated than Shomoev and fit well between the German participants.
Still they were - IMO oddly and wrongly - criticized for inviting such a 'weak' player, especially as Bartel was struggling (2/9) in his first and possibly only supertournament.

S3's picture

Also comparable with Bologan at Dortmund 2003, when the qualifier won..

geekchess's picture

What's the betting Shomoev is a poker player?
:-)

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