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Russian Superfinal-2011

User Rating: / 6
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Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 06 September 2011


by Natalia Pogonina for her
Chess.com Tuesday column

The 61st Womens Russian Championship took place in Moscow from August 18 to 29. This prestigious tournament didnt get an adequate coverage in the chess media due to language barriers (most of the materials were available only in Russian), and the distraction caused by the World Cup.

This time there were 10 participants (instead of the traditional 12), and the Kosintseva sisters declined the invitations due to an intense schedule. Nonetheless, the field was quite strong and featured, among others, ex-Womens World Chess hampion Alexandra Kosteniuk (2497) and two times runner-up Alisa Galliamova (2492). By the way, Alisa won the previous two Superfinals. After having competed at a Grand Prix stage in Rostov, both ladies were rather tired. #3 by rating was Valentina Gunina (2487), followed by me at 2442. Other players were Anastasia Bodnaruk (2431), Elena Zaiatz (2419), Tatiana Shadrina (2373), Olga Girya (2371), Kovanova Baira (2354), Daria Charochkina (2310).  
 

supe2011all.JPG

From left to right: Galliamova, Bodnaruk, Kovanova, Pogonina, Kosteniuk, Zaiatz, Charochkina, Girya, Gunina, Shadrina

Photo by WGM Anna Burtasova, russiachess.org


For me it was my 6th Superfinal (I have missed only 2004 and 2006). So far my best result was sharing first last year, when I lost the rapid tie-break against Galliamova and got silver. Less delightful were years 2008, when I started by losing three games, and 2009, when I had to withdraw from the event due to health issues.
 

My starting number in the table was 6, so I had to play two Blacks in the first two games. Against Kovanova I had a slightly inferior position, and against Gunina I missed a win a couple of times. Both matches were drawn. Then I won with White against Girya and Galliamova and lost with Black against Bodnaruk and Zaiatz. In rounds 7 and 8 I defeated Shadrina and Kosteniuk and ended up in clear second. In the last round I had small chances for gold and could have got silver in case I did not lose. Alas, I played horribly and lost with White to Charochkina, which came as a surprise to most spectators and commentators. 4th place, a cold during the event, opening problems and other issues signified that my preparation for the tournament wasnt perfect.
 

At the beginning of the tournament Gunina and Kovanova were leading. In round 6 Baira drew, while Valentina won. A convincing finish allowed Gunina to clinch the title, and Kovanova scored just 0.5 out of 3 and finished on 5th place. A last round victory brought Alisa Galliamova the silver medal, and Charochkina earned bronze in the same fashion.
 

There were no undefeated players at this tournament. As usually, most games were decisive, with the exceptions of two relatively short draws.

sup2011table.jpg


Today I would like to show you my first victory from the 11 Superfinal. My opponent, Olga Girya, became the runner-up at the Junior Girls World Chess Championship just before the event.
 


The key moment was when Black played c4. My opponent shouldnt have determined the pawn structure and given me a chance for a comfortable attack. However, Black could defend more successfully if she had relocated the knight to g6 via d7. I got a considerable advantage and converted it rather quickly due to a blunder by Olga.

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Comments (1)
1. Written by This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it on 12:45 06 2011 .
 
 
Greetings/ Privet-stvii !Great Show of skills and talents Natalia, you can be proud of your games. Sad you missed the gold, but all these wonderful Russian chess grand masters have the capacity to win it all. What a beautiful team especially if you add the two Kosintseva sisters. Will you be in Moscow beginning October after the tournament in Slovenia? We can't go to Slovenia, but with my wife Claudine we will be in Moscow October 5 and 6 (StPetersburg Oct 2 to 4), and if Peter and you are there, we will be pleased to meet and offer you a lunch or dinner :) Cordially, Bernie
 

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