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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Lysyj and Gunina become 2014 Russian Chess Champions

Hello chess blog friends, The Russian Chess Championship Super Final, the 67th for men and the 64th for women, took place from November 27 to December 8 in the city of Kazan, in a branch of the State Museum of Fine Arts of the Republic of Tatarstan (the Khazine Gallery).

The tournament is a follow-up of the Chess in Museums project, an international programme run by the Russian Chess Federation (RCF) in conjunction with the Elena and Gennady Timchenko Charitable Foundation.

The Super Final’s participants played in a hall hosting an exposition of paintings by Nicolai Fechin, a famous artist born in Kazan. The works exhibited in the hall included the famous pictures Slaughterhouse and Showering with Water. Students of the Fechin Kazan Art School are attending the tournament every day to do sketches of the players. When the competition completed, the jury also awarded the best works.

In the final round of the men’s tournament, Nikita Vitiugov beat Ian Nepomniachtchi to take the title while Valentina Gunina beat Alisa Galliamova to win the women's section. Dmitry Jakovenko and Denis Khismatullin were second and third in the open section. Alisa Galliamova and Aleksandra Goryachkina were second and third in the women's section.

The Superfinal’s closing ceremony was held at the Khazine Gallery on the same day. The participants received congratulations and awards from Vladimir Leonov, Tatarstan Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports; Igor Baradachev, Deputy General Director of the Elena and Gennady Timchenko Charitable Foundation; Gennady Zakharov, President of the Tatarstan Chess Federation; and Mark Glukhovsky, Chairman of the Management Board of the Russian Chess Federation. Prizes were also awarded to students of the Kazan Art School, who had been sketching the players during the event. Ulyana Babakayeva won the third-place prize, whereas the second prize went to Ksenia Vlasova and the first to Elvina Sabirova.

Andrey Filatov, President of the Russian Chess Federation, summed up the event: “The Kazan Superfinal has been a real feast for both participants and fans and has yet again showcased Russia’s outstanding chess talent. I congratulate with all my heart Russian Champions Igor Lysyj and Valentina Gunina on this great victory.

On behalf of the Russian Chess Federation, I would like to thank the first President of the Republic of Tatarstan, head of the Organising Committee of the Superfinal Mintimer Shaimiev, thanks to whose personal involvement the competition was held at the highest standard; head of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov and Mayor of Kazan Ilsur Metshin for the opportunity to hold the tournament at one of Russia’s best regional museums; and our loyal partner ‒ the Elena and Gennady Timchenko Charitable Foundation.

As part of the Chess in Museums project, we were able to combine chess and art once again. This combination not only provides an impressive backdrop to the dramatic chess matches, but also brings new audiences to museum halls. The Superfinal gave chess fans a unique opportunity to enjoy the participants’ good play and to familiarise themselves with works by the great Russian-American artist Nicolai Fechin. The RCF and the Elena and Gennady Timchenko Charitable Foundation will continue this project and I am confident that a large number of impressive games held in Russian and the world’s best museums are still ahead of us.”

Deputy General Director of the Elena and Gennady Timchenko Charitable Foundation Igor Baradachev said: “To conclude another Russian Championship Superfinal jointly held by the RCF and the Timchenko Foundation as part of the Chess in Museums project, I would like to thank everyone who has made a huge contribution to making this event happen at the highest level here in Kazan. I hope that the participants and the audience have truly enjoyed the harmony of beauty, art, elegance and sport on the chess boards and the easels. For the first time, a synergy of chess and art has given us not only chess champions, but also nice paintings drawn during the game, their authors receiving well-deserved awards.” (Update via FIDE)

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