Nepomniachtchi first in Irkutsk

Another successful result for the 20-year-old Ian Nepomniachtchi as he wins the 65th Russian Higher League on his own with 7/10. The highly-regarded event in the Siberian city of Irkutsk took place from the 25th of August to the 5th of September and threw up a few surprises.

Irkutsk (which has as many as 600,000 inhabitants) is well known as a chess venue despite being so far from Moscow.

There were 48 participants in the main section all of whom were rated 2400 or more.

Apparently there were five qualification places available for the final in December. I am not totally sure how the remaining places are attributed, but it would seem to be on tie-break when Denis Khismatullin, Vladimir Potkin, Igor Kurnosov and Vadim Zvjaginsev would then be the lucky quartet to make the cut. The latter having the nudge, due to the second tie-break, over top seed Evgeny Tomashevsky.

PlaceSeedTitleNameRating+=-TotalTie-break (1)Tie-break (2)
12GMIan Nepomniachtchi2706460754.543.0
210GMDenis Khismatullin26673706.555.539.0
314GMVladimir Potkin26263706.554.538.0
411GMIgor Kurnosov26624516.554.038.0
512GMVadim Zvjaginsev26563706.553.538.0
61GMEvgeny Tomashevsky27084516.553.536.0
76GMAlexander Riazantsev26824516.551.535.0
816GMIldar Khairullin26203706.551.035.0
93GMEvgeny Alekseev26913706.550.534.5
1015GMVladimir Belov26254516.548.533.0
1118GMPavel Maletin2617442654.036.5
1239GMDenis Yevseev2531442647.028.0

World number 33 Ian Nepomniachtchi started well, including a couple of strategic wins with White in the Sveshnikov against Timofeev and Maletin. He was then able to coast to victory with four draws.

Unfancied Denis Yevseev started slowly but ran home with four wins out the last six rounds.

For more information (in Russian!) go to the Official site

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