Svidler Clinches 7th Russian Title

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 14/10/13, 11:45.

Peter Svidler won the Russian Championship Superfinal on Monday in Nizhny Novgorod. The grandmaster from St Petersburg beat Ian Nepomniachtchi 1.5-0.5 in a rapid playoff after both had finished on 6.5/9. It is Svidler's 7th Russian title, after previous victories in 1994, 1995, 1997, 2003, 2008 and 2011. In the last round Nepomniachtchi defeated Vladimir Kramnik, who was hoping to win his first title.

After four rounds, Peter Svidler was the sole leader with 3.5 points (see our first report). The other big favorite, Vladimir Kramnik, had already lost one game. Valentina Gunina and Baira Kovanova were tied for first place in the women's section, also with 3.5 points.

In round 5, Svidler split the point with Aleksey Goganov but he kept his lead because Nikita Vitiugov also drew his game, with Sergey Karjakin. Vladimir Kramnik caught Vitiugov in second place by winning his black game against Alexander Motylev in a Berlin. It looks like Kramnik outcalculated his opponent throughout the game; he allowed the g-file to be opened but that looked more dangerous than it was.

In this round Valentina Gunina won an amazing game.

The next day, tournament leader Peter Svidler won an excellent game against Alexander Motylev. In a Semi-Slav, Moscow variation he somewhat surprisingly pushed both e4-e5 and c4-c5, after which the pawn structure resembled one of the topical lines in the 5.Bf4 QGD. Perhaps Motylev should have continued his waiting strategy instead of trading pawns on move 37; in the endgame the pawn on c6 turned out to be too weak.

Ernesto Inarkiev must have been at least a bit surprised when, after the clock was started, Vladimir Kramnik reached for his king's pawn. The ex-World Champion played 2.b3 against the Sicilian and the queens were traded early on. White had a slightly better development and kept the initiative from the start. On move 23 Inarkiev decided to give an exchange, but it didn't really work out for him. With some fine knight manoeuvres Kramnik reached a winning position.

Dmitry Andreikin played a lovely attacking game against Aleksey Goganov. Don't miss White's 26th move!

In the women's section the two leaders, Valentina Gunina and Baira Kovanova, met at the board on Friday. In this 4.Qc2 Nimzo, Black was fine out of the opening but later on in the game Kovanova lost the thread. Gunina, who won the championship in 2011, was now a full point ahead of Kovanova and Kosteniuk.

On Saturday all games at the top were drawn, but not without a fight! Inarkiev-Svidler was a fascinating Fianchetto Grünfeld where, after an early trade of queens, a long and tactical phase followed. Eventually both sides ended up with the bishop pair (and a rook), and the game ended with a funny perpetual.

Vitiugov-Kramnik was a Symmetrical English where the 14th World Champion took a risky pawn on a2, reminiscent of Bobby Fischer's 29...Bxh2. Wild complications followed, and the bishop would only make one more in the game, but (spoiler-alert)... it wasn't trapped.

In the penultimate round the situation at the top didn't change much, as both Svidler and Kramnik drew their games. Ian Nepomniachtchi caught Kramnik in second place, however, and in the last round these two players would face eachother. But let's first look at round 8.

Svidler and Vitiugov played an old line in the Symmetrical English which was theory for 16 moves — there is a correspondence game from 1975 with that position! The ending turned out to be fairly equal, and as there was no reason to take risks, Svidler repeated on move 20.

Kramnik-Karjakin was a Closed Catalan where White kept a slight initiative from the start, a queen into the enemy's camp and then a passed c-pawn, but because Black's counterplay became too dangerous Kramnik had to give a perpetual right after the time control.

This allowed Ian Nepomniachtchi to catch Kramnik in second place; the 23-year-old Russian GM as with Black against Anton Shomoev using the Modern Defence. 

In the last round, Svidler held Sergey Kajakin to a draw in the very theoretical 8.Rb1 line of the Exchange Grünfeld. On move 23, Karjakin deviated from abut  game Shulman-Svidler played two years ago but the verdict didn't change: this type of position, with two pawns for the Exchange, is fine for Black.

As Black, Vladimir Kramnik tried hard to beat Ian Nepomniachtchi and eventually went too far. The 14th World Champion was indeed better in the ending, but Nepomniachtchi just refused to go down and then suddenly White was winning.

This meant that Nepomniachtchi and Svidler both ended on 6.5 points, and a rapid playoff had to decide matters. Svidler won the first game convincingly, despite the fact that White had a full tempo less (first e2-e3 and then e3-e4) in a standard Benoni position:

In the second game Nepomniachtchi miscalculated and lost an exchange. In a won position, Svidler graciously accepted his opponent's draw offer to clinch his seventh national title.

Russian Championship Superfinal | Final standings

# Player Rating 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Score SB
1 Svidler,Peter 2740 phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 6.5/9 26.75
2 Nepomniachtchi,Ian 2702 0 phpfCo1l0.png 1 1 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 6.5/9 26.75
3 Vitiugov,Nikita 2729 ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 5.5/9 22.00
4 Kramnik,Vladimir 2796 ½ 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 0 ½ 1 1 1 1 5.5/9 19.75
5 Andreikin,Dmitry 2706 0 0 0 1 phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 5.0/9
6 Karjakin,Sergey 2762 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ 1 4.5/9 18.25
7 Inarkiev,Ernesto 2695 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 1 ½ 4.5/9 17.25
8 Goganov,Aleksey 2575 ½ ½ 0 0 0 ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png 1 1 3.5/9
9 Motylev,Alexander 2676 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ 0 0 phpfCo1l0.png 1 2.5/9
10 Shomoev,Anton 2579 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 phpfCo1l0.png 1.0/9


1, 2, 3: Peter Svidler, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Nikita Vitiugov

Valentina Gunina won the women's championship, after she had topped the standings throughout the tournament. In the last round Gunina drew with Alexandra Kosteniuk, who ended on second place.

Natalija Pogonina claimed third place thanks to this last-round win:

Russian Women's Championship | Final standings

# Player Rating 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Score SB
1 Gunina,Valentina 2506 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 7.0/9
2 Kosteniuk,Alexandra 2495 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ ½ 0 1 1 1 1 6.5/9
3 Pogonina,Natalija 2485 0 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 5.5/9
4 Kovalevskaya,Ekaterina 2410 ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 4.5/9 19.75
5 Goryachkina,Aleksandra 2436 0 ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 4.5/9 18.25
6 Kovanova,Baira 2396 0 1 0 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 0 ½ 1 1 4.5/9 18.25
7 Kosintseva,Tatiana 2515 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ 1 phpfCo1l0.png 0 ½ ½ 3.5/9 15.25
8 Bodnaruk,Anastasia 2459 0 0 0 1 ½ ½ 1 phpfCo1l0.png 0 ½ 3.5/9 13.75
9 Kashlinskaya,Alina 2435 0 0 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 1 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 3.0/9
10 Charochkina,Daria 2343 ½ 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 2.5/9

2, 1, 3: Alexandra Kosteniuk, Valentina Gunina, Natalija Pogonina

The Superfinal of the Russian Championship took place 5-14 October, 2013 in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. The venue was the Rukavishnikov Museum.

Photos © Eteri Kublashvili courtesy of the Russian Chess Federation.

Letto 5891 volte 18 commenti
6 voti


  • 3 anni fa



  • 3 anni fa


    Dmitry Andreikin played a lovely attacking game against Aleksey Goganov. Don't miss White's 26th move!

  • 3 anni fa


    Dmitry Andreikin played a lovely attacking game against Aleksey Goganov. Don't miss White's 26th move!

  • 3 anni fa


    Tough on Nepomniachtchi to have to play tiebreak games with almost no rest after his very tough game against Kramnik. Funny that this 4th place is the latter's best result ever in the national Championship while Svidler has seven titles.

  • 3 anni fa


    Peter, I am sure it is difficult. but surely there can be some people on staff that can write articles...

  • 3 anni fa


    Agree MrMars, and normally that would have been the case but with three major events running at the same time it was hard to keep track of everything!

  • 3 anni fa


    why publish one large article?

    i think can publish articles that will keep us informed as the tournament progresses..

  • 3 anni fa


    This is awesome.  




    Congrats Peter Svidler !

  • 3 anni fa


     I would like to congratulate Peter and Natalia for winning the Russian Championship. Peter, who seems to live under the shadow of Vlad, won the title for the 7th time! I would like to see a match between Peter and Vlad. A fighting match that is! 

  • 3 anni fa


    Svidler on the roof! 

  • 3 anni fa


    poor Kramnik. He wins world titles but can't take the russian one

  • 3 anni fa


    Yeah that Svidler guy is kinda good at chess....Tongue Out

  • 3 anni fa

    WGM Natalia_Pogonina

    It was nice to visit Nizhny Novgorod (normally the tournament is held in Moscow). The event was very well-organized, and there were way more spectators than usually. My play has been shaky, especially as compared to last year's gold, but I have nonetheless enjoyed the process Smile And it was very inspiring to receive lots of motivating messages from chess fans on a daily basis. Thanks a lot!

    P.S. Peter Svidler is a MONSTER in the good sense of the word! Smile Vladimir Kramnik tried hard and did a tremendous job commentating on most of his games, signing autographs, giving interviews. He is a brilliant ambassador of chess, both as a player and as a person. I guess he got tired of all this attention/"community service". Also, those talks about him having not won a single medal must have gotten to him...Didn't see him at the closing ceremony. I think he left abruptly.

  • 3 anni fa


    that was nice of svidler to accept a draw

  • 3 anni fa


    In Russia, even women who play chess are hot. Welcome to Russia - the land of the most beautiful women in the World. I think this fact alone also qualifies Russia to be the Best country in the World. Cool

  • 3 anni fa


    Congrats to Svidler and Viva Natalia! It is surprising for Kramnik to end up 4th.

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