2004 Russian Superfinal Chess Championship Report

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After each round Alexey Dreev has visited the press-center to present his games. His explanations are very clear and instructive and they reveal more about a grandmaster’s thinking in practical play than many thick volumes of textbooks. This is a unique demonstration and it is filmed by Russian cable TV (NTV Plus), but unfortunately they only use short clips of it in their news programs. The game with the highest expectations was Epishin – Kasparov. So far Kasparov has been very rusty, so careful positional play without much risk is beneficial for him.

C5 ½-½ Alexander Motylev has quite an unusual opening repertoire. d4 he prefers the King’s Indian! Evgeny Bareev decided to test the latter with the Averbakh variation; an essentially prophylactic line in which White restrains Black’ s counterattacking opportunities. Bareev (shown below) conducted the opening splendidly and by move 25 had a much better, if not winning, position. However, approaching the time control, he lost the greater part of his advantage. The players reached a queen endgame with an extra pawn for Black, but White had the draw in hand.

Bh3. f4 Qh6 According to Dreev, this is a novelty. His preparation resulted in a fresh position with mutual chances – an ideal situation, but how good would this be against Morozevich? Qd2 This looks logical as White prepares for castling long. Bf5, thinking that position was dynamically equal. However, he found a much stronger maneuver and calmed down completely – Black obtains a dangerous initiative. a5! Qe3 with interesting complications that would lead to complex positions very suitable for Morozevich.

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