Dagomys in focus

The team championships in Russia is the main chess event in the world at present. It features a number of elite foreign GMs as well as a whole host of high-level home bred stars.

Here are the standings before today's sixth round.

RankingTeamELO averageMatch pointsGame pointsTop board
1SPb Chess Fed2700921.5Vasily Ivanchuk 2748
2ShSM-642700919Boris Gelfand 2750
3Economist-SGSEU-12704820Wang Yue 2749
4Yugra2689615Alexander Grischuk 2756
5Chigorin Chess Club2584614.5Ildar Khairullin 2617
6Ural2618415Ian Nepomniachtchi 2656
7Tomsk-4002687314Ruslan Ponomariov 2737
8Economist-SGSEU-22548310.5Alexander Kovchan 2595
9Etude-Contact2555211.5Igor Khenkin 2597
10BelGU249309Alexander Ivanov 2481

The three teams in contention are as follows:

SPb (St.Petersburg) Chess federation (9 match points, 21.5 game points)

NameCountryRatingWorld ranking
Vasily IvanchukUKR274811
Peter SvidlerRUS27508
Nikita VitiugovRUS271028
Sergei MovsesianSVK270929
Vadim ZvjagintsevRUS2643101
Zahar EfimenkoUKR2640105
Konstantin SakaevRUS2635118
Vasily YemelinRUS2576236

ShSm-64 (The legendary 64-magazine team)(9 match points, 19 game points)

NameCountryRatingWorld ranking
Boris GelfandISR27509
Sergey KarjakinRUS272521
Wang HaoCHN271525
Fabiano CaruanaITA268052
Boris GrachevRUS266760
Alexander RiazantsevRUS266071
Evgeniy NajerRUS266565
Boris SavchenkoRUS265283

Economist- SGSEu-1 (Saratov in Southern Russia, actual European champions) (8 match points, 20 game points)

NameCountryRatingWorld ranking
Wang YueCHN274910
Pavel EljanovUKR273616
Evgeny TomashevskvyRUS270136
Evgeny AlekseevRUS270037
Ni HuaCHN266762
Alexander MoiseenkoUKR266859
Michael RoizISR265286

Other 2700 players present:

NameCountryRatingWorld rankingTeam
Alexander GrischukRUS27567Yugra
Ruslan PonomariovUKR273715Tomsk
Dmitry JakovenkoRUS272520Yugra
Vladimir MalakhovRUS272122Yugra
Alexander MotylevRUS270532Tomsk

Highest Individual Scorers:

NameCountryRatingPoints from games played
Pavel EljanovUKR27364/5
Mikhail KobaliaRUS26374/5
Sergei RublevskyRUS26973.5/5
Sergei MovsesianSVK27093.5/4

Women's team championship

After six of the seven rounds the table is as follows:

RankingTeamSeedingMatch pointsBoard pointsTop board
1Giprorechtrans5811.5Natalia Zhukova 2492
2AVS1714.5Antoaneta Stefanova 2555
3SPb Chess Fed2712.5Viktorija Cmilyte 2485
4ShSM3611.5Alexandra Kosteniuk 2524
5Economist-SGSEU449Zhao Xue 2490
6Dvorets737.5Marina Romanko 2409
7Chigorin Chess Club615.5Tatjana Molchanova 2369

The surprise leaders are only the fifth seeds:

Giprorechtrans (a Moscow based River transport & construction company) have 8 match points with one match remaining.

NameTitleCountryRatingWorld ranking
Natalia ZhukovaWGMUKR249217
Batkhuyag MunguntuulWGMMGL242859
Elena ZaiatzIM/WGMRUS239176
Irina VasilevichIM/WGMRUS2324153

Top Scorers

NameTitleCountryRatingPoints from games played
Batkhugay MunguntuulWGMMGL24283.5/5
Viktorija CmilyteIMLTU24853/3

The other 2500 players present are members of the AVS team:

Anna MuzychukSLO2533
Natalija PogoninaRUS2501

Here is an all-2700 battle that was won by Black.

Pavel Eljanov (2736) - Alexander Motylev (2705)

Dagomys (Russian Premier League 2nd round) 02.04.2010

Semi-Slav Defence (D10)

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.♘c3 ♘f6 4.e3 e6 5.b3!?

After 5.♘f3 ♘bd7 6.b3 ♗b4 7.♗b2? Black wins a pawn with 7...♘e4 8.♕c2 ♕a5 9.♖c1 ♕xa2. To avoid this the less convenient 7.♗d2 is necessary.


A normal-looking move, but it seems that the most common plan for Black is to aim for the freeing break ...e6-e5 e.g. 5...♘bd7 6.♗b2 ♗d6 7.♘f3 0-0 8.♗d3 e5 9.cxd5 cxd5 10.dxe5 ♘xe5 11.♗e2 ♘xf3+ 12.♗xf3 ♗e5 13.0-0 ♗f5 as in Radjabov,T-Cheparinov,I Sofia 2008, when Black was sufficiently active to compensate for his isolated pawn.


Logical of course, but it's worth noting that in the more common analogous position (with the extra moves ♘-f3, ♘bd7 having been played) this move is considered unplayable.


Now after 6...♘e4 White can avoid any serious trouble with 7.♘ge2 although it's not clear if this leads to any advantage e.g. 7...♕h4 8.g3 ♕f6 9.f4 ♕g6 10.♗g2 ♘d7 11.a3 ♗xc3+!? 12.♘xc3 ♘df6 13.♗f3 h5 Hobuss,U-Lehmann,A Lenk 2005, with a firm defensive grip on the light-squares.

7.a3 ♗d6

In general Black does best to keep his dark-squared bishop if his other minor pieces aren't in a position to become very active.

8.♘f3 ♘bd7 9.♗e2 b6

Slowly but surely, the plan of freeing the light-squared bishop takes shape.

10.0-0 ♗b7 11.b4 ♕e7 12.♕c2 dxc4 13.♗xc4 c5

The diagonal is opened and the bishop sees the light of day. This thematic move seems to equalize as there seems to be no way for White to keep any pressure.

14.dxc5 bxc5 15.b5

Opting for an asymmetric structure. White now has a majority on the queenside but on the other hand loses some influence in the centre.

As an alternative, something such as 15.bxc5 ♗xc5 16.♖fd1 ♖ac8 17.♕e2 ♖fd8 would be fairly balanced.

15...♘g4! 16.♖fd1 ♘de5

Motylev must have looked long and hard at snatching the h-pawn: 16...♗xf3 17.gxf3 ♘xh2 (17...♗xh2+?? 18.♔g2) 18.f4 (but not 18.♗e2? as Black obtains a strong attack with 18...♕g5+ 19.♔h1 ♘g4!) 18...♘f3+ 19.♔f1 ♖fd8 20.♔e2, and with White's king tucked away on e2 he can switch to attacking using the newly opened lines on the kingside. Matters would then be very uncertain.

17.♘xe5 ♘xe5 18.♗e2 f5!

Denying White access to the e4-square. 19.f4 ♘g6 20.♗c4 ♖ad8 21.♖d2 ♔h8 22.♖ad1

With the forces being fully mobilized it's time to find a plan for the middle-game.


Activating and happily provoking complications.

23.♗d5 exf4! 24.♗xb7 fxe3 25.♖d5?

From now on it's Black who has all the play and it's certain that White should have preferred something else here.

The best option seems to be 25.♖xd6 ♖xd6 26.♖xd6 ♕xd6 27.♘d5 f4, when White has two bishops for rook and two pawns. A pair of Bishops is often a powerful force in open positions but here they are not particularly effective and Black's pawns are advanced and well-supported. Matters would be far from clear.

25...♘f4 26.♘e2?

It's too late for 26.♖xd6 as after 26...♖xd6 27.♗f3 e2! Black wins material e.g. 28.♘xe2 ♖xd1+ 29.♕xd1 ♖d8 30.♕f1 ♘xe2+ 31.♗xe2 ♖d2 32.♕xf5 ♖xe2 and wins as there is no back rank mate!

26...♘xd5 27.♗xd5


Insisting on forcing White's king into the open.

28.♔xh2 ♕h4+ 29.♔g1 ♕f2+ 30.♔h2 ♕h4+ 31.♔g1 ♕f2+ 32.♔h2 ♖d6!

Correctly going for the whole point.


Desperate, but the only way to stave off the threat of ...♖h6+.

33...♔xg7 34.♕c3+ ♖ff6

Self-pinning, but not for long.

After 34...♔h6? 35.♕e5 Black would have nothing better than taking the perpetual check.

35.♖d3 ♕h4+ 36.♔g1 ♕f2+ 37.♔h2 f4!

Better than 37...♕xe2? 38.♖xe3 when White would seize the initiative.

38.♕e5 ♔f8

Renewing the threat of ...♖h6+.

39.♗e6 ♖h6+ 40.♗h3 ♖xh3+!

Of course!

41.♔xh3 ♖h6+ 42.♔g4 ♕xe2+

Winning the house.


Otherwise Eljanov won his other four games to be one of the two highest scorers!

For more information official tournament site

The relevant information is in Russian as the English version is out-of-date!

Published on , Updated on