Russian Team Championship, Round 4: One game, different leagues

MEDNIY VSADNIK – SIBIR 2:4.

"Kramnik has arrived", was the title used by Vladimir Barsky for his report on round 3 of the Russian Team Championship. Of course, it would have been better if this had happened a day earlier, and then there might not have been such a crushing defeat for his team against SSM. But better late than never, and especially as he is not that late - the first cycle is not yet complete and another cycle still remains.  And the ex-world champion today scored his second win in a row:

Svidler (Medny Vsadnik)-Kramnik (Sibir)

23.Kh1 – As becomes clear from the further course of the game, this is the prelude to defeat… (23. Kg2) 23…Bc6 24.Rfc1 Rc4 25.Na6? Qf2 – Now it becomes clear why the white king should not be in the corner. 26.Qe5 Bd5 27.Nc7 f6?! – Simpler was:  27…Rxc1 28.Rxc1 Bc4 and there is no satisfactory defence to the vulgar threat of taking the pawns on e2 and f3.  28.Qd6 Rxc7 29.Qxc7 Qxe2 30.Ra3 – and without waiting for the obvious 30…b4 White stopped the clocks. (0:1). The match win was settled by a second unanswered goal (also with Black) by the captain of the Russian women's team:

Rodstein (Medny Vsadnik)-Rublevsky (Sibir)

36…a5!? Offering a poisoned pawn in time-trouble. White's best choice now is Stockfish's 37.d5 exd5 38.Bd6 g5 39.Rxg4 Rg8 40.hxg5 Rxg5 41.Qxf7 Be2 42.Qe8 with a perpetual. 37.Bxa5 – Fatal! 37…Ra8 38.Bb4 Ra1 39.Rxg4? – He needed to bring the bishop back to help at once (39. Be7) 39… Rf1 40.Qd2 Rg1 – White resigns (0:1).

LADA – ZHIGULI 2.5:3,5

Zhiguli won their first match. Wins for Oparin and Frolyanov were answered only by by one win for Ramil Faizrakhmanov. In the battle between two closely-matched teams, the result could have gone either way, but this time, luck went the way of Samara:

Oparin (Zhiguli)-Timofeev (Lada)

The Kazan GM had obtained an excellent game from the opening: 22…b4 23.Ne2 – White's position causes serious concern, but here Artyom went wrong: 23…Bb5?! – Now Oparin sets up a defensive line along the fourth rank. 24.Nxf4 Qxf4 25.e5 Rc4 26.Qxf4 Rxf4 27.Rd4 Rxf2 28.R4d2 Rxd2 29.Rxd2 Rc8 30.b3 Kf8 31.a3 a5 32.axb4 axb4 33.Rd4 – The position has equalised. Draw? No! 33…Bf1? – The pawn should have been attacked from the square c6, because now White has:

34.Bxe6 Rc7 35.Bh3 g5 36.Rd1 Ba6 37.Bf5 Rc5 38.Re1 h5 39.g3 Bb7 40.Bd3 Ke7 41.Bf5 g4 42.Kc1 Bf3 43.Kd2 Rd5 44.Bd3 Ke6 45.c3 Ra5 46.cxb4 – and White carried out the technical stage efficiently, winning at move 59. (1:0).

The Higher League has many places for veterans. Here Evgeny Vasyukov plays Evgeny Sveshnikov. 

In the women's event, the leader is SSM, who have won all four matches by the identical score of 2.5:1.5. One point behind are Ugra, followed by Boavshta and Donchanka.

Bibisara Asaubaeva (Kazakhstan) preferred the difficult job of mercenary to that of playing in the national championship

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