The Russian Championship Superfinals are 10-player all-play-all tournaments to determine the 2014 Men’s and Women’s Russian Champions.
The venue is the Kremlin, not in Moscow but Kazan, but if democracy is alive and well anywhere in Russia it’s in the system for determining the qualifiers.
For the men’s event that gave us:
Last year’s Top 3:
The Top 2 rated Russians on July 1, 2014:
The Top 5 from the Russian Higher League qualifying event:
So Vladimir Kramnik and, for instance, Dmitry Andreikin, failed to qualify. That may be one reason – apart from no doubt generous conditions – that the Russian former World Champion finds himself in Qatar just now (where not everything is going to plan).
You’ll notice in the list above, though, that Alexander Grischuk’s name is in brackets. The Russian no. 1 and world no. 5 is a surprise absence from the event, although chess fans are unlikely to be too disappointed with his replacement: Alexander Morozevich, 2724.
Another surprise absence, in the women’s event, is Kateryna Lagno (2530), who after her recent switch from Ukraine is currently no. 2 on the Russian women’s rating list. The Kosintseva sisters are absent, though that would be hard to class as a surprise, and Russian no. 1 Alexandra Kosteniuk (2541) will be among those trying to rest the Russian crown away from no. 3 Valentina Gunina (2522).The overall prize fund for the men’s tournament is 5 million roubles or 80,000 euros, with around 19,000 euros for first place. The women’s tournament prize fund is 2 million roubles. Curiously although there’s no zero tolerance if you are late for a game you have to pay a fine of 10,000 roubles or 160 euros that goes into the tournament funds! No draws are allowed before move 40.
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