14 May the Lichess.org site ended the Combined Team to Russia charity tournament to help Russian medical professionals, featuring the nation’s best chess players such as Vladimir Kramnik, Yan Nepomnyashchy, Aleksandr Grischuk, Sergey Karyakin, Pyotr Svidler, Yevgeny Tomashevsky, Ernesto Inarkiev and Aleksandr Ryazantsev.
The tournament was the brainchild of the entrants and was sponsored by the Chess Federation of Russia, Sports Ministry of the Russian Federation, the Charitable Foundation of Elena and Gennady Timchenko, the RAMAX group and Gazprombank (Switzerland). The Match TV channel was a media sponsor.
During the first two days, 12-13 May, the grandmasters played a two-round tournament, whose winners, Vladimir Kramnik, Pyotr Svidler, Yevgeny Tomashevsky and Aleksandr Grischuk, moved to the play-off round.
On 14 May took place the semi-finals and the final. Vladimir Kramnik started the match against Alexander Grischuk with a win playing black; in the return game, however, his opponent managed recover lost ground. The rivals decided who was the better man in an Armageddon game, which was won by Aleksandr Grischuk, who played white. In the final, Grischuk faced Yevgeny Tomashevsky, who had defeated Pyotr Svidler 1.5-0.5.
In the final match, the first game was won by Aleksandr Grischuk in an epic struggle playing black, and in the second game the Muscovite improved his lead with a win playing white. In the third game, Yevgeny Tomashevsky was in the lead but lost, running out of time.
And so Aleksandr Grischuk won the final match against Yevgeny Tomashevsky 3-0, emerging as the winner of the Combined Team to Russia charity tournament.
Aleksandr Grischuk: “All three games in the final proved quite a challenge. Yevgeny had the upper hand in the first and third games, and in the second we were equally matched. I was lucky. The important thing is that thе tournament was a success overall. It was great fun throughout. I would like to thank all the participants, all those who contributed to this competition, who made donations and, last but not least, Vladimir Kramnik, whose brainchild it was”.
By the time the tournament ended, the participants and organizers had raised 24 million 670 thousand roubles.
The total prize money will be distributed equally, regardless of how well the chess players did, among provincial hospitals specializing in treating coronavirus patients. The participants named the medical establishment they would help ahead of the start. The funds and medical supplies will be sent to 13 hospitals in 10 states.
All of the competition was televised live by the channel Match! Country. The federal Match TV channel broadcast daily match highlights, as well as televising the final live. The Combined Team to Russia online charity chess tournament was available for viewing on the match.ru and sportbox.ru sites, in the Match! app and on the TV channel’s official account on the VKontakte social network.
Photo by: Etery Kublashvili, Chess Federation of Russia