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Russian Championship Superfinal Tournament

Alexander Grischuk6.5/9(+4 -0 =5)[games]
Peter Svidler6/9(+4 -1 =4)[games]
Nikita Vitiugov5/9(+3 -2 =4)[games]
Evgeny Alekseev4.5/9(+1 -1 =7)[games]
Dmitry Jakovenko4.5/9(+2 -2 =5)[games]
Denis Khismatullin4/9(+2 -3 =4)[games]
Alexander Riazantsev4/9(+3 -4 =2)[games]
Evgeny Tomashevsky4/9(+1 -2 =6)[games]
Artyom Timofeev3.5/9(+1 -3 =5)[games]
Sanan Sjugirov3/9(+2 -5 =2)[games]
* Chess Event Description
Russian Championship Superfinal (2009)

The 62nd Russian Championship Superfinal was played in the Central Chess House in Moscow, Russia, 20-29 December 2009. Rest day: December 25. Chief organizer: Alexander Tkachev (who was also deputy arbiter) and the Russian Chess Federation. Time control: 100 minutes for the first 40 moves, then 50 more minutes to move 60, then 10 more minutes to the end of the game, with a 30 second increment from move 1. Draw offers were only allowed through an arbiter. Prize fund: ~$100,000, with ~US $25,000 to the winner. Games started at 3 pm, Round 9 at 1 pm local time.

Alexander Grischuk won with 6.5/9.

Elo 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 Grischuk 2736 * 1 1 1 1 6 2 Svidler 2754 * 1 1 1 1 0 6 3 Vitiugov 2694 * 1 1 0 1 0 5 4 Alekseev 2715 * 0 1 4 5 Jakovenko 2736 0 0 1 * 1 4 6 Khismatullin 2643 0 0 * 1 0 1 4 7 Riazantsev 2661 0 0 1 0 0 * 1 1 4 8 Tomashevsky 2708 0 0 * 1 4 9 Timofeev 2651 0 0 1 0 * 3 10 Sjugirov 2612 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 * 3

Category: XVIII (2691). Chief arbiter: Igor Bolotinsky

Official site:
Wikipedia article: Russian Chess Championship#2009

Previous: Russian Championship Superfinal (2008). Next: Russian Championship Superfinal (2010). Women's section: Russian Championship Superfinal (Women) (2009)

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 45  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Svidler vs Vitiugov  ½-½512009Russian Championship SuperfinalC11 French
2. Grischuk vs Tomashevsky 1-0752009Russian Championship SuperfinalC78 Ruy Lopez
3. A Timofeev vs Jakovenko  ½-½462009Russian Championship SuperfinalD15 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
4. S Sjugirov vs E Alekseev  ½-½762009Russian Championship SuperfinalC97 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
5. D Khismatullin vs A Riazantsev 1-0412009Russian Championship SuperfinalE21 Nimzo-Indian, Three Knights
6. Tomashevsky vs S Sjugirov  1-0772009Russian Championship SuperfinalD12 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
7. E Alekseev vs A Timofeev  ½-½622009Russian Championship SuperfinalB40 Sicilian
8. A Riazantsev vs Jakovenko ½-½302009Russian Championship SuperfinalD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
9. D Khismatullin vs Svidler 0-1442009Russian Championship SuperfinalE60 King's Indian Defense
10. Vitiugov vs Grischuk  ½-½412009Russian Championship SuperfinalA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
11. Jakovenko vs E Alekseev 1-0452009Russian Championship SuperfinalA33 English, Symmetrical
12. A Timofeev vs Tomashevsky  ½-½602009Russian Championship SuperfinalC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
13. S Sjugirov vs Vitiugov  1-0832009Russian Championship SuperfinalC81 Ruy Lopez, Open, Howell Attack
14. Grischuk vs D Khismatullin  ½-½182009Russian Championship SuperfinalD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
15. Svidler vs A Riazantsev 1-0412009Russian Championship SuperfinalB12 Caro-Kann Defense
16. Svidler vs Grischuk ½-½302009Russian Championship SuperfinalC89 Ruy Lopez, Marshall
17. D Khismatullin vs S Sjugirov 1-0402009Russian Championship SuperfinalE63 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Panno Variation
18. Vitiugov vs A Timofeev 1-0842009Russian Championship SuperfinalA32 English, Symmetrical Variation
19. Tomashevsky vs Jakovenko  ½-½222009Russian Championship SuperfinalE46 Nimzo-Indian
20. A Riazantsev vs E Alekseev  0-1462009Russian Championship SuperfinalD38 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation
21. E Alekseev vs Tomashevsky  ½-½542009Russian Championship SuperfinalA62 Benoni, Fianchetto Variation
22. Jakovenko vs Vitiugov 0-1642009Russian Championship SuperfinalD12 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
23. A Timofeev vs D Khismatullin 1-0622009Russian Championship SuperfinalB52 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
24. Grischuk vs A Riazantsev 1-0312009Russian Championship SuperfinalB04 Alekhine's Defense, Modern
25. S Sjugirov vs Svidler 1-0232009Russian Championship SuperfinalB12 Caro-Kann Defense
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 45  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member

click for larger view

Jakovenko-Sjugirov after 36 d6

Jako lands a blow in mutual time pressure. Will win I think because of weak f7 square.

Dec-29-09  Marmot PFL: Times are tough, and if some of the players have to do regular work to make ends meet they might not have time for a double RR.
Dec-29-09  paavoh: Jakovenko won on move 41.
Dec-29-09  paavoh: Timofeev is two pawns down with basically no compensation on move 40. Riazantsev might claim his third win in a row here.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <znsprdx: Grishuk's victory is somewhat less than honorable in that he didn't really play his last game - with White. *** ...both the top two had 5 whites, and Grishuk with white only drew Svidler >

Two corrections are in order: Grischuk drew <with Black> in today's final round, and he also had <Black> in his Round Four game against Svidler.

In any case, a player who holds a full-point lead going into the final round has earned the right to clinch the championship with a draw - regardless of which colour he is playing.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Meanwhile Svidler is doing his best Pillsbury imitation keeping the fire going against Tomashevsky's overextended pawns.

click for larger view

After his move 42...Qh7 Svidler is invading on the light squares. Probably 43 Bf3 is forced but then the knight should be better than the bishop.

Dec-29-09  returnoftheking: yes <nuwanda>, nice win in just 22 moves!
Dec-29-09  arkansaw: Sjugirov lost but he had his fun against some of the 2700 players. Grischuk was certainly helped by the fact the no one tried the Petroff against him
Dec-29-09  Karpova: Timofeev - Riazantsev 0-1
Premium Chessgames Member
  NOVA359: Hey guys. Where I can follow the games live?
Dec-29-09  kurtrichards: Congratulations to GM Grischuk for winning the 2009 Russian Superfinal Tournament!
Dec-29-09  Karpova: Live games:
Dec-29-09  paavoh: Svidler wins!
Premium Chessgames Member
  NOVA359: Thanks.
Svidler won!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: < Marmot PFL: Times are tough, and if some of the players have to do regular work to make ends meet they might not have time for a double RR. >

I would guess its more about the venue being expensive to rent and staff. With such a rich chess history, you would think the money would be found for a proper length tournament. But the venue has to prodcue X amount of rubles to survive.

Dec-29-09  niemzo: In addition, some of these players have a tight schedule (e.g. Svidler) so I am not sure that they would be willing to play in a long tournament.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: The Soviet Championship was first held in 1920. The Soviet/Russian Championship has never been a double Round Robin. In earlier years there were more players participating. Limiting to ten is probably a cost cutting measure. Of course, this applies to other Round Robins as well.
Dec-29-09  Refused: <znsprdx: Grishuk's victory is somewhat less than honorable in that he didn't really play his last game - with White. Of course Svidler's almost victory against the same opponent yesterday perhaps was perhaps un-nerving :) Regardless, it is pretty pathetic that such an important Championship is decided by only a single round robin...both the top two had 5 whites, and Grishuk with white only drew Svidler>

I have to widely disagree with you here.

First of all, Grischuk is hardly the kind of player who produces uninspired and effortless GM draws on a regular basis. He played one rather dull draw with black (not white as you stated) in the last round to secure the title against a good opponent (who who might not have had his best tournament though).

Second. Grischuk drew Svidler with the black pieces and not as you claimed with white.

Though your only valid point I can give you credit for is that a single round robin is not the best possible format to decide a championship, and that a double round robin is more just.

Congratulations to GM Grischuk for a deserved tournament win and for some really nicely played games.

Dec-29-09  Chessforeva: 3D games:
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Grish played fighting chess, great games, indeed.
Dec-30-09  Petrosian63: How much did Grischuk win?

ChessBase said he won 100K :S

Dec-30-09  Bdellovibrio: In addition to Grischuk, congradulations also to Svidler, who all in all had a very good tournament, and Riazansev, who staged an incredible comeback in the last three rounds.
Dec-30-09  Shadowmancer: Congratulations to Alexander Grischuk!

Nice final win Peter!!!

Dec-31-09  returnoftheking: <petrosianic>

Russia's best chess players will vie for a prize fund of 4.11 million rubles ($134,500) in a championship super final scheduled on Saturday in Moscow, the Russian Chess Federation's website reported.

The Russian-2009 chess champions of 10 men and 10 women will compete in separate bouts, with the men vying for $24,488 for first prize, $19,590 for second, and $16,325 for third. The women will compete for $11,428 for first prize, $8,163 for second, and $5,877 for third place.

All the participants will receive a cash prize, with the 10th place men's receiving $1,960 and the women's 10th place taking $980 in winnings during the super final.

Jan-02-10  visayanbraindoctor: Chivalrous of Svidler to do his best in the last game, but too late by a hair. Grischuk gets the most prestigious national title, playing upbeat chess; and becomes the Russian champion for the first time in his life.

Svidler seems to be the only player above age 30. In the past, I believe that the USSR and Russian championships usually had a majority of players above 30. This seems to support the thesis that today's chess masters are reaching their highest plateaus earlier. This is probably due to easier access to international tournaments for young players nowadays. Even as young teenagers, they get to play in international tournaments even at 13 or 14.

In contrast, if we take the situation of past World Champions, Fischer (in 1959) and Kasparov (in 1979) both seemed to have played their first international tournaments at 16. Even farther back in time, Capablanca played his first international tournament at 23 (!) in 1911. Experience-wise, it's quite possible that the 16 year old Fischer or Kasparov was just as experienced as the 23 year old Capablanca. And early-exposed players such as Carlsen or Karjakin would have had similar chess experience probably even at the age of 13 or 14, as the 23 year old Capablanca (!).

However, a plateau is a plateau. Capablanca probably reached his highest plateau in the years 1918 to 1922 aged 30 to 34, and afterward did not play better chess than in these years. Fischer reached his highest plateau in 1969 to 1972 at age 26 to 29; and then stopped playing, but I would warrant a guess that he would not have played better chess than what he played in these years, had he continued playing. It remains to be seen if already experienced young stars as Carlsen and Karjakin would still play better chess than what they are today playing, or if they have already reached their plateaus. The next few years will tell.

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