The 9th round of the Russian Superfinal was played on October 25 in Novosibirsk.
Arkady Dvorkovich, Deputy Prime Minister of Russian Federation, and Alexander Zhukov, Deputy Chairman of Russian State Duma, visited the 9th round of the Russian Superfinal. They came to Novosibirsk to participate in a meeting on economics of the region. Sergey Menyailo, Representative of Russian President in Northern Federal District, and Vladimir Gorodetsky, Governor of Novosibirsk Region, also visited the tournament.
The VIP guests followed games of the round for a while and discussed them with grandmaster Pavel Maletin, President of Novosibirsk Region’s chess federation, and Alexander Tkachiev, Deputy Executive Director of RCF.
All games of the men’s championship ended in draws, despite dramatic events in some of them.
Aleksey Goganov, playing White against Alexander Riazantsev, got a worse game in the opening, but defended an inferior position successfully.
Alexander Grischuk outplayed Evgeny Tomashevsky in the middlegame and had good winning chances in a complicated ending. Prior to the control the defendind champion sacrificed two pawns in order to connect his rooks on the 2nd rank. Grischuk was under the time pressure and did not find the strongest reply. The game ended in a draw by repetition.
The encounter between Dmitry Bocharov and Peter Svidler was the most dramatic of the day. After a complicated middlegame, an ending with an extra pawn to White arose. The position looked totally winning for the player from Novosibirsk, until he blundered in the time trouble, allowing Black to escape. However, Svidler also missed the best reply, and White returned to the winning course… only to commit another blunder in a few moves, which allowed Svidler to escape. The game ended in a draw on the move 75.
Kokarev-Inarkiev, Jakovenko-Fedoseev, and Oparin-Vitiugov were less dramatic and all ended peacefully.
In the wildest game of the round in the women’s Superfinal, Alexandra Kosteniuk defeated Ekaterina Ubiennykh. In the middlegame White missed a tactical idea of the opponent and had to give up some material – a queen and pawn for a rook and minor piece. However, Kosteniuk’s further play was sub-optimal, and Ubiennykh gradually created dangerous threats. Prior to the control she even had a very beautiful win, but missed the key move, gave up an exchange and suffered another defeat.
Alisa Galliamova, playing Black, defeated Daria Charochkina. In a complicated position, Charochkina, being under serious time pressure, blundered badly and resigned on the 39th move.
Daria Pustovoitova opted for the Nimzo-Indian Defense against Alina Kashlinskaya. In the 4.Qc2 variation Black started to advance her kingside pawns early, and got a good game. Kashlinskaya ended up in a difficult position and sacrificed a pawn in the middlegame, but got nothing in return. Shortly before the time control, Pustovoitova sacrificed an exchange. In the resulting complicated endgame her pieces were coordinated splendidly. Already being in a very tough situation, White abandoned her king, and Black delivered a mating attack.
Natalija Pogonina played Black against Valentina Gunina. Black’s queenside initiative proved more important than White’s kingside play. Pogonina opened the a-file, traded the queens, and won the a2-pawn. In a rook and bishop ending Black converted her advantage. Gunina is yet to make a draw in Novosibirsk.
Goryachkina-Ovod and Girya-Bodnaruk ended in draws.
Men’s championship, standings after 9 rounds:
Riazantsev – 5.5
Grischuk, Jakovenko, Svidler, Fedoseev, Tomashevsky – 5
Goganov, Vitiugov – 4.5
Oparin, Kokarev, Inarkiev – 4
Bocharov – 2.5
Round 10 pairings:
Inarkiev-Vitiugov, Svidler-Oparin, Fedoseev-Bocharov, Tomashevsky-Jakovenko, Riazantsev-Grischuk, Kokarev-Goganov
Women’s championship, standings after 9 rounds:
Kosteniuk – 7
Pogonina, Bodnaruk – 5.5
Girya, Pustovoitova – 5
Ovod, Goryachkina, Charochkina – 4.5
Gunina, Galliamova – 4
Kashlinskaya – 2.5
Ubiennykh – 2
Round 10 pairings:
Kostesniuk-Ovod, Bodnaruk-Goryachkina, Pustovoitova-Girya, Pogonina-Kashlinskaya, Galliamova-Gunina, Ubiennykh-Charochkina
The Superfinals of 69th Russian men’s championship and 66th Russian women’s championship take place on October 15-27 at the Novosibirsk State Museum of Local History. The organizers are Russian Chess Federation, Elena and Gennady Timchenko Charitable Foundation, government of Novosibirsk Region, and Novosibirsk mayor’s office. General partner of the event – RATM Holding.
Pictures by V. Barsky and E. Kublashvili