Tomashevsky leads in the Men’s Russian Championship Superfinal

On August 11, games of round 3 of the 68th Men’s and 65th Women’s Russian Championships were played in Chita.

Vladislav Artemiev, the Superfinal’s youngest participant, scored his first win at the Superfinal. The Omsk player was in a very combative mood from the very outset: in a position with an isolani, White sacrificed a piece for two pawns, opening up his opponent’s king that was hiding on the kingside. Alexander Motylev thwarted the first wave of the attack with a few precise moves, but had too little time left for pondering. In a position that was objectively better for Black, but still very sharp and tense, Motylev made a blunder, overlooking a powerful tactical blow from his opponent. After a few moves Black had to acknowledge defeat.

Tomashevsky leads in the Men's Russian Championship Superfinal

Tomashevsky leads in the Men’s Russian Championship Superfinal (photos by E.Kublashvili)

Evgeny Tomashevsky demonstrated once again the depth of his home preparation. In an Improved Tarrasch Defense, White chose a fairly rare plan, and the Russian champion, Igor Lysyj, failed to respond in the best way. White made a breakthrough in the center and on the kingside, weakening his opponent’s king seriously. A major piece endgame ensued on the board, and Lysyj found it very difficult to defend it given his time trouble. By skillfully combining various threats, the Saratov grandmaster secured his second win in a row and became the tournament’s only leader.

The games Jakovenko – Khismatullin, Khairullin – Svidler, Karjakin – Vitiugov, and Bukavhsin – Dubov ended in a draw.

Valentina Gunina

Valentina Gunina

Valentina Gunina, who played against Anastasia Savina committed a few gaffes at the end of the opening, giving White an opportunity to mount an aggressive onslaught in the center. Obviously, Valentina underestimated her opponent’s attacking possibilities and got under a pressing attack. However, Anastasia failed to find a clear path to a victory in the complicated position, lost the thread of the game and missed a strong counterstrike by Black. The position became much sharper, and such play, with pieces colliding head-on, is Gunina’s strongest suit: she is probably second to none there. Soon White’s position became hopeless.

Ekaterina Lagno and Evgenija Ovod had their duel in a rare branch of the Scotch Game. In a tense battle with opposite side castling, White secured a long-term initiative, and Lagno gradually outplayed her opponent. Black’s position was strong enough for a long time, but Evgenija failed to withstand the pressure in the endgame and made a decisive mistake. White won a pawn and, in a while, the game.

Ekaterina Lagno

Ekaterina Lagno

The games Girya – Pogonina, Kovalevskaya – Bodnaruk, Kashlinskaya – Goriachkina, and Kosteniuk – Guseva were drawn.

The third round’s games were commentated in Russian by grandmaster Sergey Shipov. Comments in English were given by Grandmasters Evgenij Miroshnichenko and Anna Burtasova. After he finished his game, Peter Svidler joined the English-speaking commentators and provided interesting commentaries on the progress of the other games.

Olga Girya

Olga Girya

Standings after round 3:
1. Tomashevsky – 2,5, 2-5. Artemiev, Karjakin, Vitiugov – 2, 6-8. Jakovenko, Dubov, Svidler – 1,5, 9-10. Bukavshin, Lysyj – 1, 11-12. Motylev, Khismatullin – 0,5.
1-2. Girya, Goriachkina – 2,5, 3-4. Gunina, Lagno – 2, 5-8. Savina, Kosteniuk, Bodnaruk, Pogonina – 1,5, 9-10. Kovalevskaya, Guseva – 1, 11-12. Kashlinskaya, Ovod – 0,5.

Round 4 pairings:
Svidler – Khismatullin, Lysyj – Jakovenko, Vitiugov – Tomashevsky, Dubov – Karjakin, Motylev – Bukavshin, Khairullin – Artemiev
Goriachkina – Bodnaruk, Ovod – Kovalevskaya, Guseva – Lagno, Pogonina – Kosteniuk, Gunina – Girya, Kashlinskaya – Savina

Girya and Goriachkina ahead in the Women's Contest

The Russian Championship Superfinals are held by the Russian Chess Federation, the Elena and Gennady Timchenko Charitable Foundation and the Zabaykalsky Krai Chess Federation, with support from the government of the Zabaykalsky Krai. The competition partners are Norilsk Nickel and the Baikalsk Mining Company.

The games will be played at the Megapolis-Sport Youth Palace. The rounds will begin at 15:00 (10:00 Moscow time), while the last round will start at 13:00 (08:00 Moscow time). The playing days are August 9-14 and 16-21. A day off will be provided on August 15. The tournaments’ total prize fund is 8 million rubles.

On the free day of August 15, simultaneous exhibitions will be held in Chita. Fifty young chess players from the Zabaykalsky Krai will cross swords with famous grandmasters: Evgeniy Najer, Sergei Rublevsky, and Evgenij Miroshnichenko.

As has become a tradition at these tournaments, the organizers are preparing an extensive additional program for chess lovers of any age.


The Russian Chess Federation’s official website will have online and video broadcasting, and well-known grandmasters will commentate the games both in Russian and in English.

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

For more information, please contact: Eteri Kublashvili, +7-905-791-76-51, e-mail: ekublashvili@gmail.com; Elena Fedorova, 8-964-470-06-06, e-mail: epfedorova@gmail.com.

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