Reports | August 11, 2012 7:30

Six-way tie for the lead at Russian Championship Superfinal

Natalija Pogonina

The Russian Championship Superfinal is heading for a nerve-racking finish as no less than six players are tied for first place with two rounds to go. Alexander Grischuk, Sergey Karjakin, Dmitry Jakovenko, Dmitry Andreikin, Evgeny Alekseev and Alexander Potkin all scored 4/7 and are half a point ahead of Peter Svidler, who is defending his title. In the women's tournament Natalija Pogonina is leading with 5.5/7.

Natalija Pogonina, first in the women's section | Photo © Russian Chess Federation

Event Russian Championship Superfinal | PGN: Men | Women
Dates August 3-12, 2012
Location Moscow, Russia
System 10-player round robin for both the men's women's sections
Players MenAlekseev, Andreikin, Dubov, Jakovenko, Grischuk, Karjakin, Potkin, Sjugirov, Svidler, Vitiugov
Women: Charochkina, Galliamova, Girya, Gunina, Kovanova, N. Kosintseva, T. Kosintseva, Ovod, Pogonina, Ubiennykh
Rate of play 40 moves in 90 minutes followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with 30 seconds increment from move 1
Extra No draw offers before move 40.

After seven rounds of play, a remarkable situation in the men's section of the Russian Championship Superfinal has arisen. With a draw percentage as high as 71.4% plus one is enough for first place at the moment, and six out of ten players have reached this score! Alexander Grischuk, Sergey Karjakin, Dmitry Jakovenko, Dmitry Andreikin, Evgeny Alekseev and Alexander Potkin all scored 4/7. Peter Svidler, who is defending is title, is on 50%.

After the first round, which we covered here, it took some time before the tournament heated up. In rounds 2-5 only 3 out of 20 games ended decisively, and each time it was Sanan Sjugirov who went down. On Saturday the European Champion of 2011, Vladimir Potkin, had an easy day:

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Two days later Dmitry Jakovenko won with some luck. This time Sjugirov played well in a difficult ending, only to lose on time just when the draw was in reach.

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On Tuesday poor Sjugirov was, for the third time, the only loser.

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16-year-old Daniil Dubov, who had played so well in the Higher League (the qualifying tournament for the Superfinal), continues to impress at the highest level. He drew his first five games and his opponents included Grischuk, Karjakin and Svidler! In round 5 the half point against Potkin was gained in spectacular fashion.

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In the 6th round Dubov suffered a loss as Vitiugov simply was too strong on this day.

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Sjugirov's personal drama continued as he lost his quickest game thus far. In a Caro-Kann Andreikin tried a sharp idea which was played before in a correspondence game and in just a few moves White had a winning position:

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Alekseev and Andreiking were sharing the lead after six rounds with 4/6, followed by Jakovenko who had half a point less. On Friday Alekseev went down against Karjakin in a game that could have gone either way if you look at how sharp that middlegame was.

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Vladimir Potkin won a quiet game against Nikita Vitiugov which could also be described as a (positional) model game!

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Grischuk outplayed Andreikin from the opening, a Sicilian Four Knights.

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Dubov was yet again involved in a fascinating draw:

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In the women's tournament Natalija Pogonina is half a point ahead of Tatiana Kosintseva. The tournament leader defeated title holder Valentina Gunina in round 5, a game that shouldn't be missed:

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The Russian Championship Superfinal is being held at the Radisson Slavinskaya hotel in Moscow. The last two rounds will be played on Saturday and Sunday.

Russian Championship Superfinal | Round 7 standings

 

Russian Championship Superfinal (women) | Round 7 standings

 

 

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

columbo's picture

I like the way Andreikin plays, very elegant. And Dubov is a scary kid ! Can't wait to see him in the top 10.

Thomas's picture

"Jakovenko won with some luck. This time Sjugirov played well in a difficult ending, only to lose on time just when the draw was in reach."
I don't know if Sjugirov(!) ever had a forced win, but from move 40 onwards it looks like he was playing for the win - several times avoiding possible move repetitions, and engines favored black to a varying degree. 0.00 (or a meaningless 0.02) was the best Jakovenko ever had after the first time control.

Anonymous's picture

Sjugirov probably could've played the world juniors in Greece with clearly better winning chances. I hope Karjakin wins it this time. He lost very narrowly to Nepomniachtchi two years ago, after a blitz tie-break. So his turn now hopefully for a few years to come ;-)

columbo's picture

Found this delicious game between Andreikin and Karjakin ( 2010 ) . Although it was a rapid game, i'm pretty sure both players are still thinking about it

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1599669

Michael Lubin's picture

Wow, that WAS a delicious game! A ten-move miniature, with Karjakin losing to a considerably lower-rated player, and very cool mating motifs!

Anonymous's picture

not rapid, blitz

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