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Russian Championship Higher League Tournament

Dmitry Andreikin7.5/11(+4 -0 =7)[games]
Daniil Dubov7.5/11(+5 -1 =5)[games]
Nikita Vitiugov7.5/11(+5 -1 =5)[games]
Sanan Sjugirov7/11(+4 -1 =6)[games]
Vladimir Potkin7/11(+5 -2 =4)[games]
Evgeny Alekseev7/11(+6 -3 =2)[games]
Anton Demchenko7/11(+4 -1 =6)[games]
Dmitry Bocharov6.5/11(+5 -3 =3)[games]
Jaroslav Prizant6.5/11(+3 -1 =7)[games]
Mikhail Panarin6.5/11(+2 -0 =9)[games]
Boris Grachev6.5/11(+2 -0 =9)[games]
Artyom Timofeev6.5/11(+3 -1 =7)[games]
Roman Ovetchkin6.5/11(+5 -3 =3)[games]
Ildar Khairullin6.5/11(+2 -0 =9)[games]
Maxim Matlakov6.5/11(+4 -2 =5)[games]
Ian Nepomniachtchi6/11(+3 -2 =6)[games]
Igor Kurnosov6/11(+5 -4 =2)[games]
Vadim Zvjaginsev6/11(+2 -1 =8)[games]
Aleksandr Shimanov6/11(+4 -3 =4)[games]
Alexander Khalifman6/11(+2 -1 =8)[games]
Daniil Lintchevski6/11(+3 -2 =6)[games]
Ivan Popov5.5/11(+2 -2 =7)[games]
Dmitry Jakovenko5.5/11(+1 -1 =9)[games]
Pavel Maletin5.5/11(+2 -2 =7)[games]
Vladislav Artemiev5.5/11(+2 -2 =7)[games]
Andrey Stukopin5.5/11(+3 -3 =5)[games]
Oleg Yuzhakov5.5/11(+3 -3 =5)[games]
Dmitry Frolyanov5/11(+4 -5 =2)[games]
Denis Khismatullin5/11(+3 -4 =4)[games]
Denis Yevseev5/11(+3 -4 =4)[games]
Ernesto Inarkiev5/11(+2 -3 =6)[games]
Nikolai Kabanov5/11(+3 -4 =4)[games]
* (46 players total; 14 players not shown. Click here for longer list.) Chess Event Description
Russian Championship Higher League (2012)

The 65th Russian Championship Higher League tournament was a 46-player 11-round Swiss held in Tyumen, Russia (about 2,500 km east of Moscow), 16-27 June 2012. Rest day: June 22. The top five players would advance to the Superfinal. Time control: 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, then 30 more minutes to the end of the game, with 30 seconds added per move starting from move one. No draw offers before move 41. Prize fund: 2.5 million rubles (~$77,500), with 500,000 rubles (~$15,500) to the winner. Chief organizer: Evgeny Ilgizovich Bareev. Chief arbiter: Alexander Khasin. Participants (from Russian Wikipedia):

Five last players in the Russian Championship Superfinal (2011)
Players with a FIDE rating of 2625 or more on 1 May 2012
Top 3 players in each of the championships of the federal districts, Moscow and St. Petersburg
Russian U-20 champion 2012
Russian U-18 champion 2012
Russian Veterans champion
Russian Students champion 2011/2012
Five players nominated by the organizing committee and in coordination with the Russian Chess Federation

Dmitry Andreikin won on tiebreak ahead of 16-year-old Dubov (2nd) and Vitiugov (3rd). Sjugirov (4th) and Potkin (5th) also qualified for the Russian Championship Superfinal (2012).

Wikipedia article: Tyumen
Official site:
Moscow Komsomolets:

Previous: Russian Championship Higher League (2011). Next: Russian Championship Higher League (2013). Women's section: Russian Championship Higher League (Women) (2012)

 page 1 of 11; games 1-25 of 253  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Lintchevski vs Jakovenko  ½-½402012Russian Championship Higher LeagueB47 Sicilian, Taimanov (Bastrikov) Variation
2. Nepomniachtchi vs M Panarin  ½-½522012Russian Championship Higher LeagueA18 English, Mikenas-Carls
3. D Yevseev vs E Inarkiev  ½-½592012Russian Championship Higher LeagueD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
4. Vitiugov vs J Prizant 1-0502012Russian Championship Higher LeagueD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
5. A Bezgodov vs D Andreikin  ½-½242012Russian Championship Higher LeagueB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
6. Zvjaginsev vs A Stukopin  ½-½412012Russian Championship Higher LeagueB40 Sicilian
7. R Ovetchkin vs B Grachev  ½-½642012Russian Championship Higher LeagueB48 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
8. E Alekseev vs N Kabanov  1-0372012Russian Championship Higher LeagueC64 Ruy Lopez, Classical
9. V Artemiev vs M Matlakov  ½-½402012Russian Championship Higher LeagueA37 English, Symmetrical
10. Khismatullin vs A Mokshanov 1-0412012Russian Championship Higher LeagueA20 English
11. N Matinian vs I Kurnosov  0-1512012Russian Championship Higher LeagueB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
12. Khalifman vs Artur Petrov  ½-½402012Russian Championship Higher LeagueA14 English
13. V Sergeev vs Potkin 0-1552012Russian Championship Higher LeagueD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
14. A Timofeev vs A Ulanov 1-0312012Russian Championship Higher LeagueD18 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch
15. R Makhmutov vs I Khairullin  ½-½402012Russian Championship Higher LeagueD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
16. P Maletin vs O Rychkov  1-0602012Russian Championship Higher LeagueA14 English
17. S Sjugirov vs D Yuffa 1-0432012Russian Championship Higher LeagueB50 Sicilian
18. D Temirkanov vs I Popov 0-1582012Russian Championship Higher LeagueA57 Benko Gambit
19. D Bocharov vs R Ganzhurov  1-0412012Russian Championship Higher LeagueA46 Queen's Pawn Game
20. O Yuzhakov vs Shimanov 1-0332012Russian Championship Higher LeagueB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
21. D Shishigin vs A Demchenko  0-1462012Russian Championship Higher LeagueB06 Robatsch
22. Dubov vs M Popov 1-0312012Russian Championship Higher LeagueA41 Queen's Pawn Game (with ...d6)
23. T Nazaretyan vs D Frolyanov 0-1482012Russian Championship Higher LeagueD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
24. I Popov vs Vitiugov 1-0622012Russian Championship Higher LeagueC01 French, Exchange
25. D Bocharov vs E Alekseev 1-0462012Russian Championship Higher LeagueE46 Nimzo-Indian
 page 1 of 11; games 1-25 of 253  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  paulalbert: Interesting that the two near elite players Nyepomnyashchiy and Yakovenko finished well down in this, indicating both the limited predictive value of past performance ratings and also the breadth of high class,particularly young, chess talent in Russia.
Jun-27-12  haydn20: Lots of nonsense out there re Einstein's education.
1. Age 2-5 he was thought "slow" by some of family due to a mild speech difficulty (echolalia). By age 5, no one thought this any more. 2. Einstein himself, quoted in Isaacson's bio: "I never failed in mathematics. Before I was 15, I had mastered...calculus." 3. Einstein was an ideal student--smart, open-minded, eager. He was reading and understanding Kant at age 13, e.g. 4. He hated the authoritarian regime at the school he attended as an adolescent and left before he could be kicked out. This is why his teachers there considered him a "poor student" even though he was in our terms a 4.0. 5. He tried to get into the equivalent of MIT at 16. However, he flunked the parts of the entrance exam on French, life-sciences and politics, for the simple reason that he had never studied the subjects. 6. He then spent two years at a private high school, where he graduated 2nd in his class. He loved this school. (Too bad no one knows who graduated first!)
Jun-27-12  rilkefan: <<parmetd>: I have no idea>

Yeah. Owls to Athens.

Jun-27-12  fisayo123: I wonder how long it takes before Dubov stops playing the Richter-Rauzer. I don't get the point of that variation; weaking your kingside even for the bishop pair that early in the game is very questionable, especially when white undermines blacks solid pawn cover with a timely f5. Even Houdini thinks its suspect as with perfect play fromboth sides whites advantage keeps rising. As for Nepo, he needs to work more on his openings with both colors esp black. Playing the Grunfeld everytime won't cut it.
Jun-27-12  BUNA: <Kinghunt: Was Morozevich's 8/11 last year some kind of record for this event?>

In 2009 Tomashevsky also won with 8/11.
> 62nd Russian Championship Higher League (2009)

But I couldn't find any information about earlier tournaments.

Btw. in this years edition of the "higher league" (actually in russian it's "highest league") there were the last three european champions: Jakovenko (2012), Potkin (2011) and Nepo (2010). Only one of them got through to the "superfinal".

Jun-27-12  Eyal: <parmetd: How did they do tiebreaks?>

Judging by the final crosstable at the official site (, rankings-11) it was by Buchholz (sum of opponents' scores) - see the BH column.

Jun-27-12  onur87: Very interesting performance from Alekseev! +6 -3 =2 !!
Jun-27-12  polarmis: Big report on the event:

Jun-27-12  visayanbraindoctor: <fisayo123: I wonder how long it takes before Dubov stops playing the Richter-Rauzer.>

There are some players who think that the whole Sicilian set up is somewhat positionally dubious. However, practically speaking, it gives good dynamic counterplay and leads to asymmetrical tension-filled middlegames. From my old playing days, I began as a Sicilian player as a child when I first occasionally ventured into tournaments, but then I soon became suspicious that giving White the initial initiative in the center was not positionally right. When I came to that conclusion, on principle I stopped playing it.

If one wishes to play for an all out win with Black, the Sicilian is a weapon of choice.

Regarding the essence of the Siclian from a positional point of view, Capablanca famously condemned it as 'full of holes'. Larsen on the other hand opined that it was White that was being disadvantaged positionally as he exchanges a center pawn for a flank pawn.

The last two World champions before Anand, Kasparov and Kramnik played the Sicilian well, highlighting its dynamic nature. It was Kasparov's main weapon with Black against e4 throughout his career. Kramnik who also began as a Siclian player on the other hand stopped playing it way back in the 1990s, probably because it may not have suited the highly positional style that he seems to have been determined to develop. Now he plays the more solid Berlin.

Karpov is another Sicilian player in his early youth, but like the positional Kramnik, he also eventually stopped playing it for the most part, preferring the more sold Caro-Kann.

Fischer on the other hand, probably confident of his prep and with his play to win with Black attitude, like Kasparov, played the Siclian throughout his career.

Jun-27-12  visayanbraindoctor: <polarmis> Thanks for the link.
Jun-27-12  Eyal: Btw, for Vitiugov it's the 5th time out of 6 tries that he qualifies from the "higher league" to the championship - he already did it in 2006, 2007, 2008 & 2009 (in 2010 he didn't have to, since he finished at the top 3 in the 2009 championship and so was seeded directly; only last year he failed).
Jun-27-12  fisayo123: <Visayan> I was referring to s particular variation in the Sicilian not the entire defense as a whole. You can get good positional games playing the Kan or Taimanov as I do. Most club players I play seem not to know the difference though as they treat this variations like a Najdorf i.e castle queen side and a pawn storm kingside. But imo black gets the best chances against e4 playing c5. The Richter-Rauzer on the other hand, I dunno.
Jun-27-12  Eyal: At the top levels the Sveshnikov is also doing rather well as a solid variation. In the recent WC match Anand didn't get anything against it in game 5 and then decided to switch to the Rossolimo (though there it probably had something to do with simply wanting to minimize Gelfand's advantage in preparation once he managed to surprise Anand with this variation - he's been a Najdorf player throughout most of his career).

Here's what Shipov, Dubov's trainer, said about the Richter-Rauzer according to that report by <polarmis>: <I didn't manage to convince Danya to play this variation immediately, but it's surely not the time for learning the Berlin! He's young, his blood's boiling. It's when you enter the elite that there's nothing for it but to learn the Berlin. Moreover, I consider the Rauzer to have solidity in reserve.>

Jun-27-12  Pedro Fernandez: It is very curious to me that his coach, GM Shipov, declared that the Dubov's style of game is like Petrosian's style. Hard to believe that, under these conditions, being at the first place, Petrosian plays a Sicilian.
Jun-27-12  fisayo123: Thanks <Eyal> Where are you getting these quotes from btw? <Pedro> the Sicilian was Petrosians' main weapon against e4. I don't think it was a matter of openings for Tigran. His positional awareness combined with tactical brilliance when necessary meant that he could draw in just about any playable opening!
Jun-28-12  polarmis: <fisayo123: Where are you getting these quotes from btw?> I translated the Shipov quote here: The original is in one of Dmitry Kryakvin's highly recommended reports: The title is "His Majesty Rauzer".

Shipov continues after "...solidity in reserve":

<Actually the moves Nc6, Nf6, d6 are logical, are they not? Is that really much worse than instead of knight to c6 playing a6? You can even take the game P Smirnov vs D Dubov, 2012. Smirnov was wonderfully well prepared, made a lot of moves according to his analysis and landed a beautiful blow, but in the ending Danya could still have made a draw until he played a one-move blunder. The position in the Rauzer often seems dubious, but the trend now is to recheck all the lines with the computer. And modern practice confirms that Black is ok. The decisive proof was that I told my pupil: "Look, even Boris Gulko, a veteran player, wasn't afraid of learning it all carefully and arming himself with it!" Although it's curious - during the round lots of strong grandmasters came up to me and said that Daniil had a thoroughly bad position. But then everything fell into place...>

Jun-28-12  Everett: <Haydn20> thank for the information on Einstein. I was part of the great unwashed regarding his education.

<Polarmis> thank you for the notes on Shipov and Dubov. It reminds me yet again that we must each come to our own conclusions, and let the subsequent play and result inform us on the value of our choices.

Also, I've grown to really appreciate the role of trainer in a chessplayers life. The relationship is a big part of what makes chess special. Tal-Koblentz, Karpov-Furman, Petrosian-Boleslavsky, Spassky-Bondarevsky...

Jun-28-12  visayanbraindoctor: Glad to see the young dragons Andreikin, Dubov, and Sjugirov qualify. Add the veterans- many times Russian Championship qualifier Vitiugov and former European champion Potkin. Plus Svidler, Morozevich, Grischuk, Karjakin, and Kramnik (common Vlad please participate!).

Fascinating mix worth watching.

Jun-28-12  King Death: < Pedro Fernandez: ...his coach, GM Shipov, declared that the Dubov's style of game is like Petrosian's style. Hard to believe that, under these conditions, being at the first place, Petrosian plays a Sicilian.>

Here's one time Petrosian played a dubious variation in the Sicilian Najdorf in a big spot and you'll see what happened: Spassky vs Petrosian, 1969.

Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: This daniil dubov kid has a ton of talent for chess! It's too bad that he lost on tiebreaks to andreikin since he was leading the standings solely by himself for most of the tournament. Still it's impressive that he qualified for the Russian super finals. He's a new name to me but I'm sure he will make a huge impact in the russian chess scene & eventually create some big waves in foreign tournaments. 
Jun-29-12  Pedro Fernandez: < fisayo123: Thanks <Eyal> Where are you getting these quotes from btw? <Pedro> the Sicilian was Petrosians' main weapon against e4. I don't think it was a matter of openings for Tigran. His positional awareness combined with tactical brilliance when necessary meant that he could draw in just about any playable opening!> I know that <fisayo>; I mean, under that condition (first place), I think hardly Petrosian would play a Sicilian to make a draw. Let's recall he was a really wise to making draws. Maybe a Caro-Kann or a Petrov defence where he is a Master.
Jun-30-12  Eyal: <fisayo123> For what it's worth, Alexander Khalifman agrees with you about Dubov's opening repertoire...

<Above all, his problem will be the opening, because the elite guys in the Superfinal [Kramnik, Karjakin, Morozevich, Svidler and Grischuk are all invited] will do terrible things to the Rauzer and the Volga Gambit. It's obvious, though, that if Dubov does a great deal of work on improving his battle readiness in the opening Russia will soon have a new and strong 2700-player.> (

Jun-30-12  Jason Frost: Easy to criticize Dubov for playing the Rauzer instead of the amazing and kibitzer favorite 1...e5! 2. Nf6!! with perfect 20-20 hindsight. Now extrapolating that game to the future, it's undoubtedly clearly that if Dubov doesn't switch to full-time Petrov he'll lose every game.

Of course had he won or drawn the all important final game (it's not like top 5 qualified from this tournament or anything), then I'm sure Khalifman and others criticizing his opening would <capitulate in the face of ...[overwhelming] evidence>

Jun-30-12  Eyal: Strictly speaking, Khalifman isn't criticizing Dubov's choice of openings in <this> tournament. He's talking about what awaits him against the likes of Kramnik, Karjakin & Grischuk, and thinks that it won't be good enough against them (or more generally, if Dubov wants to move up to the next level).
Jun-30-12  Jason Frost: Somewhat true, though I think he was criticizing his entire opening prep/repertoire as a whole more than just the Rauzer. Not the best translated interview nor really the clearest, since he seems to go from praising his tactical skill to criticizing his openings without pause, but translating from Russian (

<In the first place, his problem is with openings. In my opinion, the elite players in the super-final will do scary things to rauzer and volga gambit. But it's obvious that if Dubov does a lot of work on preparing his opening repertoire, then Russia will have a new and very strong 2700>

None of which I'm really sure is justified by this tournament, though as Shipov said, he had Dubov play the rauzer to work on his tactics, so I wouldn't be surprised if he switches openings anyway. But, in my opinion, his opening prep looked rather good all tournament.

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