CHESSANYTIME

Moscow too strong for Saint Petersburg

Ian Nepomniachtchi: On the winning team.
Gazprom sponsorship enabled the 22nd match between Russia's two main cities to go ahead this year in Saint Petersburg. Moscow, on paper the stronger side on all ten boards, won with a late surge but the home team tied the first set of games and pushed the capital close in the second and final round.

The natural board ones for each team were occupied elsewhere (Peter Svidler from St.Petersburg and Moscovite Alexander Grischuk were playing in the World Cup final), but five of Russia's top ten were still present.

Board col. Saint Petersburg Rating R1 Rating Moscow col.
1 B Nikita Vitiugov 2726 0-1 2737 Alexander Morozevich W
2 W Evgeny Alekseev 2662 ½-½ 2718 Ian Nepomniachtchi  B
3 B Konstantin Sakaev 2609 ½-½ 2716 Dmitry Jakovenko W
4 W Ildar Khairullin 2642 ½-½ 2711 Alexei Dreev B
5 B Evgeny Romanov 2639 1-0 2710 Vladimir Malakhov W
6 W Alexander Khalifman 2627 ½-½ 2692 Ernesto Inarkiev B
7 B Maxim Matlakov 2630 ½-½ 2688 Alexander Riazantsev W
8 W Vasily Emelin 2568 ½-½ 2682 Boris Grachev B
9 B Alexander Shimanov 2565 ½-½ 2666 Vadim Zvjaginzev W
10 W Valery Popov 2545 ½-½ 2637 Evgeny Najer B
    Saint Petersburg   5-5   Moscow  

A good first day for Saint Petersburg. However, the underdogs were eventually overcome on the lower boards in the return leg.

Board col. Saint Petersburg Rating R2 Rating Moscow col.
1 W Nikita Vitiugov 2726 1-0 2737 Alexander Morozevich B
2 B Evgeny Alekseev 2662 ½-½ 2718 Ian Nepomniachtchi  W
3 W Konstantin Sakaev 2609 ½-½ 2716 Dmitry Jakovenko B
4 B Ildar Khairullin 2642 ½-½ 2711 Alexei Dreev W
5 W Evgeny Romanov 2639 ½-½ 2710 Vladimir Malakhov B
6 B Alexander Khalifman 2627 0-1 2692 Ernesto Inarkiev W
7 W Maxim Matlakov 2630 0-1 2688 Alexander Riazantsev B
8 B Vasily Emelin 2568 0-1 2682 Boris Grachev W
9 W Alexander Shimanov 2565 ½-½ 2666 Vadim Zvjagintsev B
10 B Valery Popov 2545 0-1 2637 Evgeny Najer W
    Saint Petersburg   3.5-6.5   Moscow  

So Moscow won 11.5-8.5 over the two rounds.

The rate of play was: 90' (+30") then 30' (+30").

Here again the rule of no draw offers until the first time control was applied. Maybe the Russians are showing the way to what will become standard everywhere in the near future?

Official site: www.russiachess.org


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