Russian Chess Championship Higher League to start in Kaliningrad

Hotel Baltica in KaliningradThe Russian Higher League, the fourth stage of the 68th Russian Men’s Chess Championship and the 65th Women’s Championship, is to take place in Kaliningrad from June 21st till July 2nd as part of the Chess in Museums international program implemented by the Russian Chess Federation together with Elena and Gennady Timchenko Charitable Foundation.

The men’s tournament participants include former FIDE World Champion Alexander Khalifman, European Champions Evgeniy Najer and Alexander Motylev, 1998 Olympic Champion Vadim Zvjaginsev and the winners and medalists of many tournaments Maxim Matlakov, Ernesto Inarkiev, Vladimir Malakhov and Sanan Sjugirov, as well as young and ambitious players such as Daniil Dubov, Vladimir Fedoseev, Vladislav Artemiev and Ivan Bukavshin, who became the Russian Junior Champion in 2015.

As Chessdom’s reader Sofia Hu pointed out, for the second time in the Higher League’s history, the men’s tournament will feature a woman: Olympic Champion Olga Girya. In 2011 Tatiana Kosintseva participated in the open section, won that year by Morozevich.

The women’s tournament will also be the battleground for many famous players, such as the European Championship’s bronze medalist Alina Kashlinskaya, Vice-World Champion Ekaterina Kovalevskaya, the well-known sports journalist and head of the TTC Ostankino chess club Elmira Mirzoeva, and the young talents, winners of many children’s and junior championships of Russia, Europe and the world Anna Styazhkina and the 12-year-old Aleksandra Maltsevskaya, the Higher League’s youngest participant.

The competition’s grand opening will take place on June 21 in the unique fortification monument Fort No. 5, which was built in the late 19th century.

The ceremony will be preceded by a tour around the fort for the guests and journalists, as well as two exhibitions brought from Moscow: Chess in the War Years 1941-1945 from the collection of the Museum of Chess and Our Chronicle, showing the Soviet Union’s history in the war years through people’s lives and provided by Elena and Gennady Timchenko Charitable Foundation. The project’s participants are elderly people who share their memories sincerely. This is a photo exhibition about the fates of the generation that lived through the war ― true stories told by the survivors.

The ceremony will feature welcoming remarks by officials from the Kaliningrad Region, the Russian Chess Federation and Elena and Gennady Timchenko Charitable Foundation.

The opening will be followed by laying flowers at the obelisk erected in memory of the Soviet heroes who stormed Königsberg.

The tournament itself will be held at the Baltica hotel. It will be played in 9 rounds according to the Swiss system.

Time control: 90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an addition of 30 seconds per move starting from move one. The players are allowed to be late for the beginning of a game by no more than 15 minutes. The participants are forbidden to offer draws until after move 40.

Total prize fund: 5,000,000 RUB

The athletes who take the 1st to 5th places are entitled to participate in the Superfinals of the 68th Russian Men’s Chess Championship and the 65th Russian Women’s Chess Championship, respectively.

Play days: June 22―26 and June 28 ― July 1. June 27 is a day off. All rounds start at 16.00 Moscow time.

A children’s program will be organized on the free day, June 27. The Museum of the World Ocean will host a simultaneous exhibition for 50 young players. In the museum’s lobby, visitors will see the exhibition Chess in the War Years 1941-1945 from the collection of the Museum of Chess and Our Chronicle organized under the auspices of the Elena And Gennady Timchenko Charitable Foundation. When the simul is over, the children and the guests will be able to visit a unique aquarium and research ship Vityaz thanks to the support from the administration of the Museum of the World Ocean.

The tournament’s official website: – http://ruchess.ru/

Additional information and accreditation: Eteri Kublashvili, +7-905-791-76-51, e-mail: ekublashvili@gmail.com

The Russian Chess Federation (RCF) is a public non-profit organization that brings together individuals and chess federations of republics, regions, federal cities, autonomous regions and districts of the Russian Federation. The mission of the Russian Chess Federation is to promote and popularize chess in the Russian Federation. the RCF was founded on February 15, 1992. It organizes the annual Russian Children’s Championship, the White Rook tournament among educational institutions, the Russian championship and other chess competitions. In 2012, the Chess in Museums program was launched in Russia at the initiative of the RCF.

Elena and Gennady Timchenko Charitable Foundation. The family of Elena and Gennady Timchenko has been doing charity both in Russia and abroad for more than 20 years. In late 2010, the Timchenkos founded a charitable foundation, which was called Ladoga until September 2013, in order to achieve long-term progress in phylanthropy. Today it is named Elena and Gennady Timchenko Charitable Foundation (the Timchenko Foundation), and its program portfolio includes all the areas of family charity. 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 for Russian social problems. The Foundation’s official website: www.timchenkofoundation.org.

Chess in Museums is an international program run by the Russian Chess Federation (RCF) jointly with the Elena and Gennady Timchenko Charitable Foundation (the Timchenko Foundation). The idea to hold chess events in major cultural centers 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 the fall of the same year. The 2014 Superfinal took place in the Kazan Kremlin’s Khazine National Art Gallery. Chess is a special game that is closely linked with culture and history, and the Chess in Museums project seeks to make this link obvious for everyone. The organizers found a unique format bringing together sports and culture: holding chess tournaments in the best Russian and world museums.

The Kaliningrad Regional Museum of History and Art started to collect its exhibits in 1946, and today it boasts the largest museum collection in the region. The museum displays scientific, archeological, historical and art collections comprising a total of 130 thousand items. The museum is located in the restored Stadthalle building, a monument of the early 20th century architecture. Its exhibits showcase the history and natural wealth of the region and tell us about the military actions that took place in the area during the Great Patriotic War. The museum also includes separate expositions in Kaliningrad: the Bunker, the Royal Palaсe archaeological excavations viewing point, the Sculpture Park, Fort No. 5, and Kaliningrad region expos: the 43rd Army Command Point in the village of Kholmogorovka of the Zelenograd Region, and the Museum of Kristijonas Donelaitis in the village of Chistye Prudy of the Nesterovsk Region.

Fort No. 5 Museum is a monument of defensive architecture and a military and historical memorial center. It was built in 1878 and bore the name of King Frederick William III. Fort No. 5 is a massive hexagon surrounded with a water-filled moat, a stone wall and an earth rampart, having positions equipped for artillery weapons. During World War II, it was in the military zone band of the 54th infantry corpse of the 43rd Soviet Army led by Lieutenant General Ksenofontov and covered the route to Rauschen (now Svetlogorsk). On April 8, 1945, during the assault on Königsberg, Fort No. 5 was taken by the Soviet troops after many hours of uninterrupted battle. The victory was gained thanks to the heroism of Soviet soldiers. Fifteen people received the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. Their names are immortalized on the memorial stone.

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