Chess bits

Igor Lysyj and Aleksandra Goriachkina lead Russian Superfinal

The Russian Chess Championship Superfinal, the 67th for men and the 64th for women, is taking place from 27th November till 8th December in the city of Kazan, in a branch of the State Museum of Fine Arts of the Republic of Tatarstan (the Khazine Gallery). The Superfinal is the main individual competition in the Russian chess calendar: it determines the country’s strongest male and female chess player. The tournament is a follow-up of the Chess in Museums project*, an international programme run by the Russian Chess Federation (RCF)** in conjunction with the Elena and Gennady Timchenko Charitable Foundation.

Chess in Museums is an international program run by the Russian Chess Foundation (RCF) jointly with the Elena and Gennady Timchenko Charitable Foundation (the Timchenko Foundation). The idea to hold chess events in major cultural centres was implemented for the first time during a world chess championship match, which was held in 2012 in the Tretyakov Gallery under the initiative of Andrei Filatov and Gennady Timchenko. In spring 2013, the RCF, jointly with the Timchenko Foundation, held the Alekhine Memorial super tournament in the Louvre and the Russian Museum. This was followed by the Russian Chess Championship Superfinal held in Nizhny Novgorod museums in autumn of the same year.

** The Russian Chess Federation (RCF) is a non-government, not-for-profit organisation bringing together individuals as well as chess federations from various Russian republics, areas, regions, cities of federal significance and autonomous areas and districts. Founded on 15 February 1992, the RCF seeks to develop and promote chess in the Russian Federation. The federation organises the annual Russian children’s tournament among schools White Rook, the Russian Championship and other chess competitions. Since 2012, the Chess in Museums project has been held in Russian under the RCF’s initiative.

For over 20 years, the family of Elena and Gennady Timchenko has been providing charity both in Russia and abroad. To ensure that philanthropy makes a difference in the long term, a charitable foundation was set up in Moscow in late 2010, named Ladoga until the end of August 2013. Today it is named the Elena and Gennady Timchenko Charitable Foundation (Timchenko Foundation) and comprises all the areas of family charity in its portfolio. The Timchenko Foundation focuses on promoting active longevity, developing sports and culture and aiding families and children. These strategic initiatives aim to provide a systemic solution to Russian social problems. 

The Superfinal’s participants are playing in a hall hosting an exposition of paintings by Nicolai Fechin, a famous artist born in Kazan. The works exhibited in the hall include the famous pictures Slaughterhouse and Showering with Water. Students of the Fechin Kazan Art School are attending the tournament every day to do sketches of the players. When the competition finishes, the jury will award prizes to the authors of the best works.

Games of round 5 of the 67th Men’s Russian Chess Championship Superfinal and the 64th Women’s Championship Superfinal were played on 2nd December in a branch of the Tatarstan State Museum of Fine Arts (the Khazine Gallery).

Igor Lysyj won his second consecutive game in the men’s tournament. His opponent in round 5 was Sergey Karjakin, the competition’s rating favourite. In a complex, manoeuvring game, Sergey made several inaccurate moves, found himself in time trouble and had to give up an exchange. Igor was precise in the conversion stage and scored a victory with flying colours.

Alexander Morozevich, playing White, suffered his second loss in a row: this time he was defeated by Denis Khismatullin. Black got a promising position after the opening; to turn the tables, White sacrificed an exchange for a pawn in the middlegame, pinning his hope on his strong central pawns. The opponents played far from perfectly in time trouble, and the assessment of the position swung from one side to the other several times. At the end of the day, Black won the game.

Peter Svidler drew with Ian Nepomniachtchi. White sacrificed a pawn and got a very promising position at the end of the opening, but failed to take full advantage of his chances. The game ended in a draw by move repetition.

Boris Grachev and Nikita Vitiugov had a long positional battle. In a rook endgame, Vitiugov tried to convert his extra pawn into a full point, but Grachev was able to save the game, which ended in a draw.

Another draw was registered between Vadim Zvjaginsev and Dmitry Jakovenko. Dmitry gained an advantage as Black, but played inaccurately, and the position equalised. The players agreed to a draw in the endgame.

In the Women’s tournament, Aleksandra Goriachkina outplayed Anastasia Bodnaruk with Black. After White lost a pawn in a complicated game, Black developed her initiative on the kingside and caught the white king in a mating net.

Alexandra Kosteniuk lost to Alina Kashlinskaya. In a roughly equal endgame, Black gave up a pawn for the initiative, but that proved to be a mistake. Alina was able to create a strong passed pawn, and the game was decided in her favour.

Alisa Galliamova, who played Black against Natalija Pogonina, got a good position in the opening, seized the initiative, won a pawn and scored a victory.

Oksana Gritsayeva executed a curious but flawed combination in a game against Ekaterina Kovalevskaya. As a result, Black gained a material advantage and gradually converted it into a win.

Russia’s reigning champion Valentina Gunina pulled off her third consecutive win as she outplayed Olga Girya in the nuances of a lengthy tug of war. Black had the initiative in the middlegame, but then the game was closer to equal. When it seemed that the worst was over for White, Olga made a fatal blunder and lost.

After five rounds, Igor Lysyj leads in the Men’s tournament with 3.5 points. The Women’s tournament is led by its youngest participant, 16-year-old Aleksandra Goriachkina, who has scored 4 points.

3 December is the Super Final’s rest day. Since the event is part of the Chess in Museums project, which traditionally includes a social programme, a simultaneous exhibition will be given to 60 children from Kazan and various parts of Tatarstan in the Tatar Ekiyat State Puppet Theatre on the rest day.


Round 5 results:

S. Karjakin – I. Lysyj 0-1, V. Zvjaginsev – D. Jakovenko ½- ½, B. Grachev – N. Vitiugov ½- ½, P. Svidler – I. Nepomniachtchi ½-½, A. Morozevich – D. Khismatullin 0-1

Standings after round 5:

1. I. Lysyj – 3.5; 2-3. D. Jakovenko, I. Nepomniachtchi – 3; 4-7. N. Vitiugov, V. Zvjaginsev, A. Morozevich, D. Khismatullin – 2.5; 8-9. P. Svidler, B. Grachev – 2; 10. S. Karjakin – 1.5.

Round 6 pairings:

I. Lysyj – D. Khismatullin, I. Nepomniachtchi – A. Morozevich, N. Vitiugov – P. Svidler, D. Jakovenko ‒ B. Grachev, S. Karjakin – V. Zvjaginsev



Round 5 results:

A. Kashlinskaya – A. Kosteniuk 1-0, O. Girya – V. Gunina 0-1, O. Gritsayeva – E. Kovalevskaya 0-1, A. Bodnaruk – A. Goriachkina 0-1, N. Pogonina – A. Galliamova 0-1

Standings after round 5:

1. A. Goryachkina – 4; 2. A. Galliamova – 3.5; 3-5. O. Girya, V. Gunina, A. Kosteniuk – 3; 6-7. A. Kashlinskaya, E. Kovalevskaya – 2.5; 8. N. Pogonina – 1.5; 9-10. A. Bodnaruk, O. Gritsayeva – 1.

Round 6 pairings:

A. Kosteniuk – A. Galliamova, A. Goryachkina – N. Pogonina, E. Kovalevskaya – A. Bodnaruk, V. Gunina – O. Gritsayeva, A. Kashlinskaya – O. Girya


The prize money is 7 million roubles, 5 million for the men and 2 million for the women. The chief referee is Anatoly Bykhovsky.

Chess is a special game that is closely linked not only with sport, but also with history and culture. The Chess in Museums programme aims to make this link evident to everyone. Bringing sport and culture together, the organisers have jointly come up with an original idea of holding chess tournaments in the best museums of Russia and the world.

Akvanika has provided mineral water for the tournament’s participants. The Super Final’s media partners are the ITAR-TASS news agency, the Sport-Express newspaper, the ChessPro portal, and the 64 – Chess Review magazine.

For further information, please contact: RT: Regina Garifullina, +8937-621-4913,; RCF: Kirill Zangalis, +7 (968) 732 0080,; the Timchenko Foundation: Oksana Timoschuk, +79036196763,

Men’s Section LIVE games with analysis/ Women’s Section LIVE games with analysis













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