Rublevsky top in Novosibirsk


An unexpected victory by Sergey Rublevsky ended the Sberbank Russia Cup in Novosibirsk. Dmitry Jakovenko, who led by a full point after the first day, needed only to lose one game to be pushed aside, whilst Rublevsky only needed to win one, to take his place. 


On the second day, the tension noticeably dropped and the games were not as stressful as on day one. After all, it seemed the winner was already settled. Jakovenko drew easily with Rublevsky in round 7, and then with Smirnov in round 8, the latter without even any fight - just 13 moves. Nothing particular seemed to be happening in the last round against Bocharov either - at move 23, Black had things under control, and then...after the exchange of queens, he faced problems, lost a pawn and soon lost the game. And now it turned out that Jakovenko, whose tournament was now over, was not so far ahead after all! 

He was only half a point ahead of Rublevsky, and a point clear of Bocharov and Malakhov. 

All three had Black in the last round. And whilst Malakhov could get nowhere against Sjugirov, Bocharov played an inspired game against Andrikin, in the course of which he was several times on the edge of the precipice, but nevertheless he managed to make his opponent commit the final mistake. Rublevsky, however, did not rush things in his game with Maletin - first he restricted his opponent's activity, went into a betetr endgame, and then virtually put him in zugzwang. Sergey won a pawn, and when it became clear that a second was going to follow, Pavel resigned - and congratulated his opponent on winning the tournament. 


Siberian Sberbank Cup, Novosibirsk. Final result:. 1. Rublevsky - 6,5 out of 10; 2-3. Bocharov and Jakovenko - 6; 4-5. Malakhov and Nepomnyashy - 5,5; 6. Bareev - 5; 7-9. Smirnov, Andreikin and Sjugirov - 4,5; 10. Inarkiev - 4; 11. Maletin - 3.


(Text by Evgeny Atarov)