The 4th round of the Russian Superfinal was played on October 19 in Novosibirsk.
Dmitry Jakovenko celebrated his first victory, winning as Black against Ernesto Inarkiev. In a rook ending White employed a wrong strategic plan, allowing Black to activate his king with a more pleasant game. A couple of moves before the control Inarkiev committed another mistake, not bringing his king to the center. Black utilized the opportunity to push his passed d-pawn forward. In order to prevent it from queening, White had to give up a rook with a hopeless position. After the players passed the control move, Inarkiev resigned.
Grigoriy Oparin won as White against Aleksey Goganov and joined other three leaders with the +1. In a sharp middlegame position White lost a pawn, but got some compensation in return. Oparin handled the consequent game very resourcefully and developed a dangerous initiative. On the 39th move Goganov blundered and resigned in three more moves. Oparin was very harsh on himself at the press-conference, stating that his play during the first half of the game was “totally disgusting”.
The events in Bocharov-Grischuk escalated very quickly – neither side even managed to castle. In the middlegame White sacrificed a bishop on e6 and forced a draw by perpetual.
Alexander Riazantsev demostrated a good preparation against Peter Svidler in the Caro-Kann. Black solved opening problems, and a threefold repetition occurred on the 25th move.
Nikita Vitiugov, playing White against Dmitry Kokarev, developed strong pressure in the middlegame, but his opponent parried all threats with an accurate defense and held the balance.
Vladimir Fedoseev also got an opening advantage as White against Evgeny Tomashevsky, but the defending champion held his own, and the game was eventually drawn.
In the women’s championship, Alexandra Kosteniuk scored her fourth victory in a row, beating Alina Kashlinskaya. Black took too many liberties in the middlegame and missed a strong counter-blow of the opponent. Kosteniuk won a piece and skilfully converted her advantage. Kosteniuk acknowledged that the position demanded a lot of calculation, and handling it as Black was tricker than as White.
Valentina Gunina won her second consecutive game, stopping Olga Girya’s winning streak altogether. In the middlegame Girya sacrificed a pawn, but did not obtain sufficient compensation. Soon Black returned the material, but activated all her pieces, creating dangerous threats. At the critical moment of the game White gave up two minor pieces for a rook, but Gunina’s bishop pair proved superior to Girya’s rook in the endgame.
Evgenija Ovod defeated Ekaterina Ubiennykh. In a complicated middlegame the black king somehow decided to come out to the center, and was punished accordingly. Ovod created a cage for the enemy king, and Ubiennykh was forced to part with a piece, which cost her the game.
Anastasia Bodnaruk outplayed Alisa Galliamova in a lengthy game. The player from St. Petersburg won a pawn and put a lot of effort into converting this minimal advantage, although Black’s drawing chances looked very good at some point. Yet, being under the time pressure, Galliamova miscalculated and lost.
Pustovoitova-Pogonina and Goryachkina-Charochkina ended in draws. The latter game lasted for 102 moves!
Standings after 4 rounds:
Svidler, Fedoseev, Riazantsev, Oparin – 2.5
Grischuk, Jakovenko, Goganov, Tomashevsky, Kokarev – 2
Vitiugov, Bocharov – 1.5
Inarkiev – 1
Round 5 pairings:
Tomashevsky-Inarkiev, Riazantsev-Fedoseev, Kokarev-Svidler, Goganov-Vitiugov, Grischuk-Oparin, Jakovenko-Bocharov
Standings after 4 rounds:
Kosteniuk – 4
Girya – 3
Pogonina, Ovod – 2.5
Gunina, Charochkina, Goryachkina, Bodnaruk – 2
Galliamova – 1.5
Ubiennykh, Pustovoitova – 1
Kashlinskaya – 0.5
Round 5 pairings:
Pogonina-Kosteniuk, Gallimova-Pustovoitova, Ubiennykh-Bodnaruk, Charochkina-Ovod, Gunina-Goryachkina, Kashlinskaya-Girya
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.
Photos by E. Kublashvili
Official website of the Russian Chess Federation – http://ruchess.ru/