Loo. Russian Team Championship. 6th round. Hopes and disappointments



Petersburg administered a virtual KO to SSM, practically killing the Muscovites' medal chances and almost equally certainly guaranteeing themselves the championship. A darw (or better still, a win by the minimum margin) will pretty surely settle all questions. 

To the delight of the chess lovers watching, Peter Beniaminovich decided to depart from his custom today and "risk" a King's Indian. Look at what happened: :


F Caruana (SSM Nashe Nasledie) – P Svidler (SPbSF)

16. h5 g5 17.Qxb4 Ndf6 ?! (17…Kh8) 18.Rd3 g4 19.Rg1?! (19.e5) 19…Qc7 20.Qd2 Kh8 21.c5 Rb8 22.b3 Rg8 23.Rc3 e5 24.dxe5 dxe5 25.Qe3 a5 26.Nb6 Be6 27.Nc4 a4 28.bxa4 Rb4 29.Nb6 Qa7 30.a5?  

30… Rd8?!  The St Pete GM misses that after 30…Qxa5 31.Ra3 – there follows the computer move 31…Rb3!! However, if this had happened in the game, we would not have seen such a memorable finish.   31.a6 Bxa2 32.Bd3? (32.Rd3) 32… Bb3?! (32…Rxd3) 33.Nf5 Be6 34.Kc2 Bxf5 35.exf5 e4 36.Bc4 Rxc4 37.Rxc4 Qxa6 38.Qb3 Qa5 39.Rc3 f2 40.Rb1 e3 41.Nc4 e2!  

[0 - 1] As Alekhine said "A great discovery of the past", referring to the famous Labourdonnais-McDonnel game But the present game was played just a few hours ago, so frogive me, Alexander Alexandrovich - a great discovery of the PRESENT! . The victory was finish off by Matlakov, who beat Dubov.  4:2 in favour of St Pete.

The tension in the match Ugra - Malakhit was huge, with a win being essential to both teams. The unfortunate experiemt in the Scotch Game by Viorel Bologan (Malakhit) led to Sergey Rublevsky (Ugra) accurately realising his advantage. Ugra put their opponents on the brink. Alexey Shirov saved the day:

A Shirov SK Malakhit) – A Dreev (Ugra)

19.Rxe6 Qc7?! (19…Nxh4) 20.Nxg5 Nxd4? (20…Kb8) – Black is first to collapse under the strain. 21.Rxe7?? Shirov in turn misses his opportunity. Decisive was 21.Bxg6! 21…Nxe7 22.Qg4+ Qd7 23.Qxd4 Nc6 24.Qf4 Rdf8 25.Qg3 h6 26.Be2 hxg5 27.Bg4 Rf5 28.Bxg5 Rhf8 29. Rc1 b6?! (29…Qe6) 30.Bxf5? (30.Qa3) 30…Rxf5 31.f4 Kb7 32.h5 Nd4 33.Re1 Ne6 34.h6?! (34.Qg4) 34…Nxg5 35.fxg5 Qd8 36.Re5 Qc7 37.Re3 – White has lost all his advantage 37…Qd8? 37… Qc1+

38.Qg2?! (38.Qh4) 38…Rxg5? (38…Qc7) 39.Rg3 Re5?? (39…Qe8) 40.Rg7+ Kc6 41.Qc2+ Kd6 42.Rg6+ Re6 43.Qh2+ Kc5 44.Rxe6 Qg8+ 45.Kf1 A new queen is inevitable. Black resigns. [1 - 0]  A epic! Draw (3:3), which does not greatly help eitehr side. Malakhit still trail St pete and Ugra remain a point behind today's opponents. 

In a bloody exchange of blows, the bronze contenders fought it out. The match score was opened by the GM:

A Alexandrov (Byelorechensk) – D Kryavkin (PGMB Rostov)

18…Ne4?! (18…Qa5) 19.f3 Nf6 20.Kh1?! (20.e4) 20…Qa5 21.Qa1?! (21.e4) 21…Qb6?! (21… Qa6) 22.Bb2 Bxf4 23.exf4 d4? (23…Bd7,+1.45 ±) 24.Bxd4 Qa6 25.Qb2?! (25.Ng3) 25…Re8? (25…Ra5) 26.Ng3 Rxf4 27.Be5 Nd5 28.Rxd5  [1 - 0] Alexandrov was not backed up by his colleagues, Cheparinov, Azarov and Smirnov all won for the opposition, and only Vaachier-Lagrave hit back for Byelorechensk. The result was that Gambit won (3,5:2,5) and retain chances of third place.


Links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Photos by Vladimir Barksy from site ChessPro.ru 

Text: Sergey Kim