One of the toughest tournaments of the year in the women’s circuit is the Russian Superfinal. This year both Valentina Gunina and Alexandra Kosteniuk showed performances well above 2600 to grab Gold and Silver medals, with respectively 7 and 6.5 out of 9 games. Bronze medal was obtained by Natalia Pogonina with 5.5, then Kovalevskaya, Kovanova and Goryachkina 4.5 and T. Kosintseva and Bodnaruk 3.5/9. Below you will find many photos of the event. Alexandra beat T. Kosintseva and Pogonina in their direct encounters,and drew Gunina, but most important, she created a masterpiece in her game against Charochkina, presented at the bottom of this post.
Here is the final table of the tournament:
And a few photos. The winners on the podium:
Good mood for the top trio:
Alexandra before her game:
Again the winners with their trophies:
The final round game Kosteniuk – Gunina that ended in a draw and secured Gold for Valentina.
Alexandra Kosteniuk beat Tatiana Kosintseva in their direct encounter:
Before the final game Kosteniuk – Gunina:
In this tournament Alexandra gained 12 ELO points:
My game against Charochkina, definitely one of the best I’ve ever played:
Kosteniuk, Alexandra (2495) – Charochkina, Daria (2343)
[...] 1.e4 c6 The Caro-Kann Defense 2.♘c3 d5 3.d4 dxe4 4.♘xe4 ♗f5 5.♘g3 ♗g6 6.h4 h6 7.♘f3 ♘d7 8.h5 ♗h7 9.♗d3 ♗xd3 10.♕xd3 ♘gf6 11.♗f4 ♕a5+ 12.♗d2 ♕a4 “Less frequently played than the normal Qc7, the goal is to stop white from castling Queen side” 13.O-O So white castles King’s side! 13…e6 14.♖fe1 ♗e7 15.a3 ♖d8 16.b4 O-O 17.♘f5!! First unexpected move 17…♖fe8 18.♖xe6!! Full rook sacrifice 18…fxe6 19.♘xg7!! “And now a knight sacrifice which black cannot accept” 19…♘f8
20.♘xe8 ♖xe8 21.♘e5 ♔g7 22.♖e1! White is a piece down but simply brings her pieces into play to attack the weakened black king 22…♘6h7 23.♖e3 ♗f6 24.♖g3+ ♘g5 25.f4 Now white will win the piece back and the attack will continue 25…♖d8 26.♘f3 ♘fh7 27.fxg5 hxg5 28.♘xg5 ♗xd4+ 29.♔h1 The black king does not have any protection left, mate is unavoidable. Black resigns. A true chess masterpiece by Chess Queen Alexandra Kosteniuk