Greengard's ChessNinja.com

Alekseev Russian Champion

| Permalink | 21 comments

Evgeny Alekseev won the Russian championship "superfinal," beating Dmitri Jakovenko in rapid tiebreaks after the pair finished tied on +4. Ernesto Inarkiev, pride of Kalmykia, won his last three games to take clear third place. Peter Svidler was the only undefeated player but showed little ambition to achieve his +2 score. El Svid is obviously class and results have been fine, but he's not displaying much fire in the belly these days. Of course when all the youngsters seemed content to offer him draws on move 20 it's hard to blame him for taking them. On the other hand, since there were more wins with black than white (17 to 13 and 38 draws), maybe he should have gone for more. He did have a fun queen sac draw against Najer in round nine. And if you're not a Ninja newsletter subscriber don't miss Khairullin with an instructive loss in a drawn rook and pawn endgame against Inarkiev.


"On the other hand, since there were more decisive games with black than white (17 to 13 and 38 draws)"

Huh, I thought the way it worked was that any time White had a decisive game, then so must Black--although the result obviously is the opposite of that achieved by White.
Maybe you meant to write that there were more **victories** by Black, than by White, in this tournament.

One wonders why Svidler even bothered to play, if he was going to accept so many draws? Maybe, it was a relativley easy payday. But, chess is a tough game, and Svidler needs to use (or else lose) his chess skills. Avoiding defeat is a superb skill to have, but in order to stay at a top level, Svidler has to keep sharp, and always hone his skill in defeating tough players.

Trying to remember: when was the last time Svidler won a tournament? I can remember a few times when he did quite well, but one has to wonder if he has the ability and the drive to consistently outperform his colleagues in a match and/or tournament setting?

It's frustrating being his fan sometimes.

Disappointing championship.

Btw. Anyone knows a good book about the Catalan?

Yermolinsky wrote here that there were a number of quite excellent games played.
Who has had time to look over the pgn and has identifed some please post which.

Everyman do a book by Raetsky and Chetverik on the Catalan.

Just because you accept some draws it doesn't mean you are not a fighter overall. I haven't looked at all Svidler's games, but Savinov reported like this after round 8: "Maybe Svidler is not in best shape, but he does a lot of work to compensate for it. He is really digging into every game, sometimes refusing drawing continuations at the expense of his position, only to continue fighting. I think such attitude must be rewarded by chess gods (or demons? Who rules chess anyway?); in other words, occasional brilliances from Svidler can become more consistent, and then he will be unstoppable." http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=3535

I think Svidler is normally one of the main contender for #4 in the world behind Kramnik-Topalov-Anand, but now he is obviously out of form. (It's probably Lékó who is #4 right now, now that he has started to get good and stable results again.)

Accepting draws in fact doesn't mean that you are not a fighter overall, I agree. I also agree that Svidler is one of the main contenders for #4. The problem is that I don't know anybody whose goal is to become #4.

When Svidler plays fields slightly below him, you would expect him to win a lot of the time and he doesn't. When he plays Super GM tournaments you would expect an occasional win, and he still doesn't have one. He is still young, so one can hope.

Maybe the unknowns in this tournament who did so well simply haven't had much opportunity to play outside Russia, and therefore in fact their Elo's are underflated?

This might explain the surprise that Peter Svidler didn't win better than anything else . . .?

A few examples.
Najer-Nepo, Nepo-Rublevsky, Rublevsky-Alekseev, Jako-Khairullin, Khismatullin-Khairullin.
The tournament introduced a lot of strong young players. Jako is already a Top Ten material, no doubt about that. Nepo is a major talent, on par with Carlsen, Karjakin and Nakamura.

I enjoyed Nepo's finger notes on ICC (his handle is faust); something to the effect of 'please don't say I cheat, Faust remains Faust'.

Kinda bumptious and respectful at once; a good mix for a 16-year old.

(there was a Russian saying at one time, "Tal remains Tal", for those who don't know)

Yuriy: :-) You're right about that. But it's an interesting question (at least I think so) since it's quite clear who the top 3 are, and that those three are very close. Who is the biggest challenger to them? There is also a reason to single Lékó out as he, in my view, was the only one who played on the same level as Kasparov, Anand and Kramnik for a longer time than just a single tournament or so before Topalov rose to the top in 2005.

I thought Svidler could have played on the game with the queen against the two rooks (don't know against whom it was).

On class Leko is just as strong maybe. A problem is the fear that resides deep in his heart. Guys like Topalov and Aronian exploit this.

If I had to rank, I would put Kramnik first, Anand second, Topalov third, Leko fourth, Svidler fifth and Aronian sixth. The problem is that without a solid (and hopefully match based) WCC cycle such rankings are based on a few random samples, many of which omit top players. Anand and Topalov tied for first in Corus, Topalov took first over Anand in Sofia by a point, while splitting face to face, Anand didn't play Linares and neither played Dortmund. Then Kramnik beats Topalov in a match. All of a sudden people are ranking Anand above Topalov. That may or may not be true, my question is do we really have anything that we could logically point to as a basis for making such an assessment? The answer is a resounding no.

That's without taking into account that in a tournament in which coming in third vs fourth doesn't matter and they are playing for a little more money and pride only, a player may not struggle too hard for an extra half point. That makes evaluating relative strength even more difficult.

thing about svidler is he seems to perform under his capability.
wasn't he second at san luis?

>A few examples.
Najer-Nepo, Nepo-Rublevsky, Rublevsky-Alekseev, Jako-Khairullin, Khismatullin-Khairullin.>

Thx, Yermo

Najer-Nepo (0-1) features a fantastic middle game battle of Q vs.2R

here a moment :

40.Kf1 b5!

40...Rxb3 41.Qe1 Re3 42.Qb1 Be7 43.Qb2 and White holds
40...f3 41.Qe4 fxg2+ 42.Kg1 Rxb3 43.Qe8(Qa8-Qc6 draws)

with such games Nepo will get on everyone's "player to watch" list

I think Aronian's tremendous technique and tactical skills will catapult him to top-3 in the first half of 2007 again.
He has only one major problem-his openings, but he seems to work much in that direction.

And don't forget the new world #4 Mamedyarov.

"And don't forget the new world #4 Mamedyarov"

Eh, it's hard enough to remember his name, which looks like something that one might encounter on a Scrabble rack. Somebody needs to coin a cute truncation, and fast!

It's interesting that Russia does not produce many super young prodigies, yet there is always a good "crop" of "late blooming" (16-18 year old) young talent.

Well to me, most dangerous player to challenge the title in the near future is Mamedyarov (Shak). 22 years old Ex-world junior champ (twice) is still improving and reached 2754 Elo as the number 4 at the top of the ELO list.He is like Alonso just behind Schumacher on the last lap but race is not over :)

He is being tapped to beard the lion in its own den in Sofia.

Twitter Updates

    Follow me on Twitter



    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on December 17, 2006 5:48 PM.

    Topalov's ABCs of Elista was the previous entry in this blog.

    Feel the Chess is the next entry in this blog.

    Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.