Valerij Popov Valerij Popov,
Chigorin memorial,
October, 27 2001.

Review 1 (October 27)
Review 3 (November 2)

Review 2 1-3 rounds (October 29)

Dear chessfriends!
I am writing from the home, sitting in an armchair. Till now I have not seen live what is happing at the tournament. Maybe the tournament doesn't exist at all? If this is only a computer's deception? Tomorrow will go and check! All games are downloaded from the inet - so no offence!

1st round
When there are a lot of participants the "margin" in ELO (and most likely in a class) between rivals In the firsts rounds of Swiss system is huge. Thus as ought to be expected chess players from the top of the rating list defeated their partners in the 1st round. Maestros differently defeated their less skill rivals. Somebody in the opening or just after the opening - "in a class":

Kirusha, Andrey - Najer, Evgeny [D17]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.Ne5 Nbd7 7.Nxc4 Nd5 8.g3 e5 9.dxe5 Nc5!?N [9...Nb4 Tunik-Kovalevskaya, Toljatty 2001 (1/2)]
10.Bd2? [10.Nxd5 Qxd5 (10...cxd5?! 11.Ne3) 11.Qxd5 cxd5 with a compensation]
10...Nb4! Now Black has an initiative 11.Rc1 [11.Ne3 Be6 12.Bg2 Nb3 13.Ra3 Nxd2 14.Qxd2 Qxd2+ 15.Kxd2 0-0-0+ 16.Kc1 Nd5-/+ ] 11...Bg4 (White has problems with the Queen on d1 [11...Qd4!? 12.Ne3 Qxe5]
12.f3 Be6 13.Ne4 [13.Nb1 - looks like an only move, but the position is unclear ]
13...Nxe4 14.fxe4 Qd4 (with attack) 15.Nd6+ [15.Bg5 Qxe4 16.Nd6+ Bxd6 17.Qxd6 Nd5 18.Rd1 h6-+]
15...Bxd6 16.exd6 Qxe4 17.Bxb4 Qxb4+ 18.Qd2 Qxd2+ 19.Kxd2 0-0-0-+ The game ended with Black's victory on 49 move.

Tsigelnitskiy, Ilusha - Yevseev, Denis [B12]

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5!? 4.dxc5 e6 5.Nf3 Bxc5 6.Bd3 Nc6 7.Nc3?!
An unpretentious development - the Knight's place is not here! [7.0-0 f6 8.Qe2 fxe5 9.Nxe5 Nxe5 10.Qxe5 Nf6 11.Nd2! 0-0 12.Nf3+/= Grischuk-Bauer,Cannes 2001]
7...f6! 8.Qe2 fxe5 9.Nxe5 Nxe5 10.Qxe5 Nf6 11.0-0 0-0 (with unclear position) 12.Bf4?? Ng4! 13.Qh5 Rxf4 14.Qxh7+ Kf8 15.Qh8+ Ke7 16.Qxg7+ Kd6 17.Nb5+ Kc6 18.b4 Qe7! -+ and Black won on 24th move.

Those who has not "entered in the tournament" at once defeated weaker players in middlegame, using a time trouble. Here often the young players have lost a self-control:


Balashov Yuri - Zimina Olga

In slightly worse position followed: 21...Rc5?! [21...Nd6] 22.a4! Rd5?? [22...Nd6] 23.Ba3! Qd7 [23...Qxa3? 24.Qxe6++-; 23...Bc5 24.Bxc5 Rxc5 25.Rxc5 Qxc5 26.Qxe6++-] 24.Bxf8 Kxf8 25.Qb1+- And White won on the 32th move.


Kobalia Mikhail - Krivonogov Alexander

After a long attack 35.Rd7! Rac6 36.Ree7+- Kh6 37.hxg6 hxg6 38.Qd2+ [38.Qxa5+-] 38...Qg5?? [an only move was 38...g5+/-] 39.Re3? [39.Rxd8+-] 39...Ne6?? [it was necessary 39...Kg7 40.Rd5 Qf6 41.Rxa5+-] 40.Bxe6+- Black resigned since after 40.Bxe6 Rxe6 41.Rh3+ he remains without the Queen.

Those who wanted to "break out" - squeezed the "youth" in the endgame to the second time control. But her is less of interesting things...

Sometime there were misfires in teachers' row:
Having no managed with problems in the opening quickly ended in a draw Dvoiris, Ionov. Failed to release an advantage in the endgame Poluliakhov - also a half of point. Loginov even has not went off the opening something forgetting in complicated variants of Sicilian. Kovalevskaya has went off the opening with an extra-pawn but didn't know what to do with it and got into attack quickly... One more zero in the GMs camp - and not the last - it's correct! But when the "gallery" will run high indead? Till now everything is going on as usually. We are waiting...

2nd round
Now it's starts a tactical fight for a place under sun... The different in ELO between the rivals already not so big as in the 1st round. So chess players with less ELO use a suitable possibility to fix a draw with the white color - from the strong position. Many of them managed to do this - when GMs are ready to have a rest after the trip. The fast draw made Moiseenko, Balashov, Fominykh, Pushkov, Vorobiov, Potkin, Poluliakhov. Perhaps now the trip to Saint-Petersburg became hard...
Now about the "battled" games. When the GMs played with white color (or have not become tired during the trip) there were not any fast draw. The fight till the end, but here also there were some losses and not small: have lost Korotylev, Dvoiris and also Shaposhnikov (half a grandmaster). Soon it will change the predicts about the winners...

Egorov became simply stronger today than the Moscower....

Korotylev Aleksei - Egorov Evgeny [D25]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 Bg4 5.Bxc4 e6 6.h3 Bh5 7.0-0 [7.Nc3] 7...Nc6!?N A novelty? 8.Be2?! [8.Nc3; 8.Nbd2; 8.Bb5!?] 8...Bd6 9.Nbd2 0-0 10.b3 e5! (unclear) 11.dxe5 Nxe5 12.Bb2 Re8 13.Nd4?! [13.Bxe5 Bxe5 14.Nxe5 Bxe2 15.Qxe2 Rxe5=] 13...Nd3!? [13...Bg6 unclear] 14.Bc3 Bb4!? [14...Bg6 15.Nc4 Nd5 unclear] 15.Bxb4 Bxe2 16.Qxe2 Qxd4! 17.Ba3 Rad8 18.Rad1 Qd5 19.Qf3 [19.Nf3 Nf4 20.Qd2 Qxd2 21.Rxd2 Rxd2 22.Nxd2 Ne2+ 23.Kh1 Rd8=/+] 19...b5! 20.Qxd5 Nxd5=/+ 21.Nf3 Nc3 (with initiative) 22.Rd2 c5 23.Nd4 cxd4 24.Rxd3 Ne2+ 25.Kh2 dxe3 26.Rxd8 Rxd8 27.Bc5 [27.fxe3 Rd2 28.Ra1 a5 unclear] 27...exf2 28.Rxf2 Rd2 (unclear) 29.a4 a6 30.axb5 axb5 31.Rf5 Rb2 32.b4 f6 33.Bd6 Nd4 34.Rc5 [34.Rd5 Rd2] 34...Rc2 35.Kg3 Rxc5 36.Bxc5 Nc6-+ Black won on the 47th move. It is obvious the Black was more interested to play this game...

Haven't got going the tournament for Dvoiris - such things happens sometimes with him:

Vlassow Valentin - Dvoirys Semen [B51]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Nc6 4.0-0 Bd7 5.c3 a6 6.Bxc6 Bxc6 7.Re1 Nf6 8.d4!? Bxe4 9.Bg5 d5 10.c4 Bxf3?! [10...Bxb1 Robovich-Lerner, Bern 1993 (0-1) - this is not to the everybody's taste; 10...e6 Vlassov-Ivanov, Moscow 1994] 11.Qxf3 Perhaps Dvoirs hasn't expected such things ... 11...cxd4 12.Bxf6 gxf6 13.cxd5 (with a compensation) Rg8?! [13...Qb6 - computer's move :); 13...Rc8!? 14.Nd2 Qb6] 14.Nd2 (with initiative) Bh6 [14...Rc8 15.Ne4 Bg7 16.Qf5! with attack] 15.Nb3 (with initiative) Qd7 16.Nxd4+/- the material is equal and suddenly 16...Qg4?? 17.d6! Qxf3 18.Rxe7+ Kf8 19.Nxf3+- Rd8 20.Rxb7 Rxd6 21.g3! f5 22.Ne5 Rg7 23.Re1 Re6 24.Kf1 f4? 25.gxf4! Bxf4?? 26.Nd7+! Ke8 27.Nf6+ Kf8 28.Rxe6 [28.Rxe6 fxe6 29.Rxg7 Kxg7 30.Nh5+] 1-0

As it happens one couldn't do without "strangeness". The eminents have gave to their opponents no quarter.

Sorokin Maxim - Chepukaitis Genrikh [A46]

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.g3 b5 4.Bg2 Bb7 5.0-0 c5 Chepukaitis in his own element - but ... in the Sorokin's element also! 6.c3 a5?! [6...a6] 7.Bg5 Na6? 8.Na3 (with initiative) Rb8?? 9.Bf4! b4 [9...d6 10.Nxb5+-] 10.Bxb8 bxa3 11.Be5+- White won on the 29th move

Vaulin Alexander - Zakharchenko Arnold [A20]

1.c4 e5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.0-0 Nb6 7.d3 Be7 8.a3 0-0 9.Nbd2 Re8 [9...a5] 10.b4 Bf8 11.Bb2 a6 12.Rc1? Be6?? Why to play so at once?? 13.Nxe5 Nxe5 14.Bxe5 c6 [14...Bg4? 15.Bxc7+-] 15.Bc3+- and White won on the 44th move

The strange things occurred not only over the board: The rival of the Saint-Petersburg Women's Champion Irina Sudakova simply went off the playing hall during the game and : has not come back. This happened at the 13th move! Oh-ho: This is strangeness but there appeared more interesting games. For a self-dependent view I recommend to you the game Shaposhnikov-Dzhakaev.

Shaposhnikov Evgeny - Dzhakaev Dzhakai [B55]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.f3 e5 6.Bb5+ Nbd7 7.Nf5 d5 8.exd5 a6 9.Ba4 b5 10.Bb3 Nc5 11.Ne3 Nxb3 12.axb3 Bc5 13.c4 Nh5 14.g3 0-0 15.Nc3 Qb6 16.Qe2 Bd7 17.Bd2 f5 18.Nc2 bxc4 19.b4 Bd4 20.f4 Nf6 21.fxe5 Bxe5 22.0-0-0 Rfe8 23.Qxc4 Rec8 24.Qb3 a5 25.Rhe1 Ne4 26.Be3 Qf6 27.Nxe4 fxe4 28.Rf1 Qg6 29.bxa5 Rxa5 30.d6+ Kh8 31.Kb1 Rb5 32.Nb4 h6 33.Rd5 Qe6 34.Rfd1 Rcb8 35.Rxb5 Qxb3 36.Rxb8+ Kh7 37.Rd2 Qxe3 38.Kc1 Bxd6 0-1

Keep so, Evgeny! - not in sense of the result: 3rd round In the 3rd - 4th rounds of the tournaments with 9 rounds Swiss system usually rather definitely determines the circle of pretenders to a victory in the tournament. The pairs becomes more solid, appears numerous draws in top pairs, wins one who is in the optimal form. On the first tables a ponderable claim for a future leadership made Kobalia, Yevsev and Kupreichik, who confidently and mainly quickly won in his games.

Kobalija Mihail - Gavrilov Alexei [B12]

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 e6 5.g4 Bg6 6.Nge2 h6 7.Be3 Nd7 8.h3!?N White invites Black to express oneself - perhaps an interesting novelty [8.Qd2; 8.Bg2] 8...Ne7 [8...Qb6!? - computer move - it looks not bad, taking into account the Queen on d1] 9.Qd2 c5 10.f4 The move on h3 was useful for White - on the other side Black has already some problems 10...Nc6 11.Bg2 Rc8?! And where to place the King? [11...cxd4!? 12.Nxd4 Nxd4 13.Bxd4 Bc5?] 12.f5!? (with initiative) exf5 13.gxf5 Bxf5 14.0-0 (with a compensation) Be6 15.Nxd5 cxd4 16.Nxd4 Nxd4 [16...Ndxe5!? 17.Nxe6 fxe6 18.Nf4 Qxd2 19.Bxd2 Bc5+ 20.Kh1 (with a compensation)] 17.Bxd4 Bc5 18.Nf4 Nxe5 19.Nxe6 fxe6 20.c3 Nc6 21.Kh1! The Black's King will never go anywhere - in such positions Kobalija is very strong and only a computer is able to defence them for Black side... 21...Bxd4 22.cxd4 Rf8 [22...Nxd4!?] 23.d5! Rxf1+ 24.Rxf1 Ne7? [24...exd5 continued the fight] 25.Qf4! (with attack) exd5 26.Qf7+ Kd7 27.Bxd5 Rc5? 28.Rd1+- Kc7 29.Bf3 1-0

Burmakin's loss and Korotylev's draw allows to bring them together with Dvoiris to a group of chessplayers who broken away from the fight for top places... 50% have everybody - minus 3 from the top-10 leaders :). In the leaders group 3 out of 3 has 3 masters - Yagupov, mentioned in the previous round Dzhakaev and Obukhov who took off "the scalp" of Voitsekhovsky in this round. The GMs now don't lose the games - they should increase their rating?! :) Perhaps only between themselves:

Moiseenko Alexander - Kochyev Alexander [E86]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 e5 7.Nge2 c6 8.Qd2 Nbd7 9.0-0-0 a6 10.Bh6 b5 11.h4 b4?! Aleksandr Vasilevich made a mess ... Now the Black's Queen won't be able to torment the queenside and on the kingside all is clear... [11...Bxh6! 12.Qxh6 Qa5 13.h5 b4 14.Nb1 Qxa2 15.Ng3 (15.Rd2 Beljavsky-Dolmatov,Novosibirsk 1993 1/2) 15...Nb6 Beljavsky-Kasparov, Linares 1993 1/2; 11...Qa5 12.h5 b4 13.Nb1 Qxa2 14.Ng3 Bxh6 15.Qxh6 - see 11...Bh6] 12.Na4! [12.Nb1? Bxh6 13.Qxh6 Qa5 with a counterplay] 12...Bxh6 13.Qxh6 Qa5 14.b3? exd4 15.Nxd4 Bb7 16.h5 (with initiative) Qe5 [16...Nxh5 17.g4 Nhf6 18.Nf5 gxf5 19.g5 Qe5 20.gxf6 Nxf6 21.f4 Qa1+ 22.Kc2 Qxa2+ 23.Nb2+-] 17.hxg6 fxg6 18.c5! d5 [18...Nxc5 19.Bc4+ Kh8 20.Nxc5 dxc5 21.Ne6б] 19.exd5 cxd5 20.Kb1!+/- Rfc8 21.g4! (with attack) Rc7?? The poet's soul was unable to stand ... and has made a mistake 22.g5 Nh5 23.c6! Bxc6 24.Nxc6 Rxc6 25.Rxh5+- Nf8 26.Bd3 Rac8 27.Rhh1 Ne6 1-0

Mainly once again as usually ;) the top-rated gained ELO from their younger friends - at that with any methods:


Kosteniuk Alexandra - Yevseev Denis

14...Ba3! 15.Bxa3 Qa5+ 16.b4?! [16.Qd2 Qxa3 unclear] 16...Qxa3 17.Qd2 Nd5! On points! 18.Rb1 Qxa2! without any prejudices! 19.0-0 Nf6 20.Rb3 on the Queen! 20...Nc7 [20...0-0!?] 21.Re1 0-0-0 22.Ne5 Rhf8 23.Qd3 Nb5 on the Queen? 24.Ne2 Nd7 [24...Qa4!?] 25.Nf3 e5!? Perhaps towards the time trouble 26.d5! (with initiative) Qa6 27.c4?! [27.Nc3!? with compensation, on the Queen!] 27...Nd6 28.Nd2 cxd5 29.Ra3 Qc6! 30.cxd5 Qb6 31.Nc3 Kb8 (unclear) 32.Rea1 a6 33.Na4 Qd4! 34.Qe2 Rc8 35.Nc5 Nxc5 36.bxc5 Nb5!-+ and Black won on the 40th move

Tomorrow the tournament will cross its one third. Will start the GMs battles - wait the next review! All the best - take care!

Review 1 (October 27)

This is a special report of a former tourist-chessplayer, now a spectator-journalist from the venue.

The city on Neva is famous by its beauty. Tourists (men, women and kids) all the year round watch numerous sights and ... sometimes play chess.

And here it is an unprecedented event - during a week (historical dates!) - in Saint-Petersburg there are two "touristic-chess" events.

First Gary Kasparov as a tourist has visited our city and slightly renewed the history in the Trade Union University (the History will not forget this!).

The second event included much more chess but also more "tourists" (thanks to G.Kasparov for this historical term) - the 9th Chigorin Memorial has started. The "Open International Chess GMs and IMs Tournament" collected a very representative composition - 24 GM, 6 WGM, 32 IM ... etc.

And this in despite of a bad weather - October and November in Saint-Petersburg usually are very rainy. Also the prize fund ($5000 minus tax) should be better... In despite of all 174 participants have started out - the hospitable City Chess Club named after M.Chigorin hardly held this chess troops.

Now more concrete about the composition of participants. The most representative GMs troop have come from the Russian capital - M.Kobalija, E.Najer, A.Korotylev, V.Kosyrev, Y.Balashov, E.Vorobiov. I think the future winner should be sought among the top-10 chessplayers (the average rating top-10 more than 2570). In this list there are 5 Moscowers! Saint-Petersburg is represented by only 3 GMs: S.Ionov, V.Loginov and A.Kochyev.

Strikes the number of women participated in the competition - 22 representatives of the beauty sex have settled themselves at the chess tables. An unofficial Russian Cahmpionship between women!
The rest participants are mostly offsprings :) - a good school in a cruel felling!

I wish to participants good games and with pleasure first time will watch this competition from distance! :)
All the best. Take care.

P.S. As usually there was a surprise. 2 games of the 1st round were adjourned because of a long absence of electricity (about 1 hour!) and will be played next day. First (and still only) GM's defeat - V.Loginov lost to a young Belarusian representative A.Lukashok.