The Russian Chess Grand Finals in Izhevsk included a social programme day, held on 18 August – big-name grandmasters played simultaneous displays against young and veteran chess players.
This year the event was hosted by the House of Friendship of Peoples in Izhevsk; it was attended by more than 100 chess players of every age from across Udmurtia, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Oryol Oblast and Perm Krai. The oldest contestant – Aleksandr Ladilov from Izhevsk – was 84, and the youngest players were born in 2011.
The event was kicked off with a masterclass by Sergey Shipov, a famous grandmaster, coach and commentator, who gave a talk on flank attacks in chess and then fielded questions from the guests.
“The current chess scene is chock-full of developments, with many competitions and various events in progress. It is, however, always very useful to learn new things, especially if you trust your teacher. That is why it seems to me that such meetings and simuls can facilitate the growth of chess players. And if played regularly, they will indeed be very useful. Simuls, especially if you manage to hold your own or even win against a grandmaster, can sometimes shape the career of a chess player. For example, Botvinnik remembered all his life how he, as a child, won in a simul against Capablanca, and, in so doing, may have chosen his path in life,” said Sergey Shipov.
The talk was followed by a simul, which was given by big-name grandmasters — Vladimir Fedoseyev, a Grand Finalist, Daniil Yuffa, an English-language commentator at the tournament, and the coaches Dmitry Kryakvin and Sergey Zagrebelny.
Vladimir Fedoseyev was the only one who managed to win all games; he did, however, praised Alyona Shevyakova and Sergey Nogovitsyn. Dmitry Kryakvin drew on two boards and praised Kirill Shirobokov and Airat Galeyev. More than three draws were recorded in the simuls of Sergey Zagrebelny, who praised Yekaterina Sidorova and Danil Reshetnikov, and of Daniel Yuffa, who singled out Danil Gashichev, Sergey Kozlov and Alexey Korepanov, saying he liked the way they played.
All participants received diplomas and gifts from the organizers, and after the simul results were announced, the children were invited to a tea party.