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.
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 6 of the 67th Men’s Russian Chess Championship Superfinal and the 64th Women’s Championship Super Final were played on 4th December at a branch of the Tatarstan State Museum of Fine Arts (the Khazine Gallery).
The leader of the men’s tournament, Igor Lysyj, defeated Denis Khismatullin. Denis erred in a position with a non-standard balance of forces, following which, it was only a matter of technique to convert White’s extra material, and Igor did this successfully.
Sergey Karjakin scored his first win at the tournament against Vadim Zvjaginsev. Black got into trouble right at the opening. Playing carefully, Sergey obtained a decisive advantage and won the game.
Another peaceful game was that between Ian Nepomniachtchi and Alexander Morozevich: the opponents played an interesting game but the position remained nearly equal, the encounter ending in a logical draw.
Dmitry Jakovenko outplayed Boris Grachev in the middlegame and won an exchange, but his rival defended tenaciously and Dmitry failed to find a precise way to score a win. The round’s longest game finished in a draw.
In the women’s showdown, Valentina Gunina outplayed Oksana Gritsayeva with White. Black made a gaffe in a complex position and White gained a material edge. Valentina converted her advantage with confidence.
Alisa Galliamova, playing Black against Alexandra Kosteniuk, obtained a promising position in the middlegame. After White broke through in the centre, Black stood much better and gradually started to dominate across the board, turning all the complications in her own favour. Alexandra sacrificed two minor pieces for an initiative but failed to mount a serious attack. Alisa warded off all threats and won.
Aleksandra Goriachkina, leader of the race, drew against Natalija Pogonina. Although Aleksandra was a pawn down in the middlegame, she managed to trade her pieces successfully and equalise in the endgame.
After six rounds, Igor Lysyj leads in the Men’s tournament with 4.5 points. The Women’s tournament is led by Alisa Galliamova and Aleksandra Goriachkina, who have scored 4.5 points each and will confront each other in round 7.
Men Section Round 6 results:
I. Lysyj – D. Khismatullin 1‒0, I. Nepomniachtchi ‒ A. Morozevich ½‒½, N. Vitiugov ‒ P. Svidler ½‒½, D. Jakovenko ‒ B. Grachev ½‒½, S. Karjakin ‒ V. Zvjaginsev 1‒0
Standings after round 6:
1. I. Lysyj ‒ 4.5; 2-3. D. Jakovenko, I. Nepomniachtchi ‒ 4; 4-5. N. Vitiugov, A. Morozevich ‒ 3; 6-10. S. Karjakin, V. Zvjaginsev, B. Grachev, D. Khismatullin, P. Svidler ‒ 2.5.
Round 7 pairings:
V. Zvjaginsev – I. Lysyj, B. Grachev ‒ S. Karjakin, P. Svidler ‒ D. Jakovenko, A. Morozevich ‒ N. Vityugov, A. Morozevich ‒ N. Vitiugov, D. Khismatullin ‒ I. Nepomniachtchi
Women Section Round 6 results:
A. Kosteniuk – A. Galliamova 0‒1, A. Goriachkina – N. Pogonina½‒½, E. Kovalevskaya – A. Bodnaruk 1‒0, V. Gunina – O. Gritsayeva 1‒0, A. Kashlinskaya – O. Girya 0‒1
Standings after round 6:
1-2. А. Goryachkina, A. Galliamova – 4.5; 3-4. O. Girya, V. Gunina – 4; 5. E. Kovalevskaya – 3.5, 6. A. Kosteniuk – 3; 7. A. Kashlinskaya – 2.5; 8. N. Pogonina – 2; 9-10. A. Bodnaruk, O. Gritsayeva – 1.
Round 7 pairings:
O. Girya – A. Kosteniuk, O. Gritsayeva ‒ A. Kashlinskaya, A. Bodnaruk ‒ V. Gunina, N. Pogonina ‒ E. Kovalevskaya, A. Galliamova ‒ A. Goriachkina
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 organizers 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 Superfinal’s media partners are the ITAR-TASS news agency, the Sport-Express newspaper, the ChessPro portal, and the 64 – Chess Review magazine.