November 20, 2011
The Russian Chess Federation has been recreated after the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1992. The heavy heritage of the USSR supremacy has been now taken over by private patrons and not by the State as in the past.
The national team does not have the luster and the success of its Soviet predecessor. However, a gold medal was still achieved on many occasions.
Since 1992, at the Olympiads the national team won six gold medals, two silver medals and one bronze medal (for the second team in 1994).
At the European Team Championships the team won three team gold medals and two team silver team medals .
At the World Team Championships the national team won three team gold medals, one team silver medal and one team bronze medal.
Recently, the women’s national team has emerged as the best of the world.
Since 1992 at the Women’s Olympiads they won one team gold medal, three team silver medals and three bronze medals.
At the Women’s European Team Championships they won three team gold medals and two team bronze medals.
At the Women’s World Team Championships Russia won two team silver medals.
Dolmatov and the Russian team winning the WTC in 2005
Since 2003, under the leaderships of Alexander Jukov and Arkadi Dvorkovich, the Russian federation has become one the most successful chess federations in the world. Financial supports, Super championships, top international tournaments, sophisticated website and professional management by Ilya Levitov (one of FIDE’s vice Presidents and main figure in Russian chess) are all the components to make a success story.
The Grand Prix, the club team championship, one of the strongest in the world and the national championships are the main tournaments organized annually by the federation.
Since 1994 the federation has found generous sponsors for its annual championship. The amount of the prize fund is at the present much greater than US$100,000.
The first All Russian Masters’ Tournament was set up in 1899, a Round-Robin which ran until 1914.
The winners were: 1899 Mikhail Chigorin, 1900/1901 Mikhail Chigorin, 1903 Mikhail Chigorin, 1905-1906 Gersz Salwe, 1907/1908 Akiba Rubinstein, 1912 Akiba Rubinstein and 1913/1914 Alexander Alekhine & Aron Nimzowitsch
The Russian Championships have been held since 1920. The first champion was Alexander Alekhine.
The Russian Republic tournaments (RSFSR) were organized more or less yearly since 1946, and the top players were qualified to participate in the USSR Championships. Most all of them were played in the round robin system.
The winners were: 1920 Alexander Alekhine, 1923 Peter Romanovski, 1934 Sergey Belavenets, 1935 Alexander Tolush, 1946 Isaac Bolevslavsky, 1947 Nikolay Novotelnov, 1948 Nikolay Aratovsky, Georgy Ilivitsky, 1949 Peter Dubinin, Georgy Ilivitsky, 1950 Rashid Nezhmetdinov, 1951 Rashid Nezhmetdinov, 1952 Lev Aronin, Nikolai Krogius, 1953 Rashid Nezhmetdinov, 1954 Leonid Shamkovich, 1955 Anatoly Lutikov, 1956 Leonid Shamkovich, 1957 Rashid Nezhmetdinov, 1958 Rashid Nezhmetdinov, 1959 Anatoly Lutikov, 1960 Vitaly Tarasov, 1961 Lev Polugaevsky, 1963 Anatoly Lein, 1964 Nikolai Krogius, 1966 Igor Zakharov, Anatoly Lein and Vladimir Sergievsky, 1968 Alexander Zaitsev, 1970 Anatoly Karpov, 1971 Oleg Dementiev, Valery Zilberstein, 1972 Vitaly Tseshkovsky, 1973 Valeri Korensky, Jurij Rusakov, Vitaly Tseshkovsky, 1974 Nukhim Rashkovsky, 1976 Nukhim Rashkovsky, 1977 Valerij Zhuravliov and Lev Psakhis, 1979 Alexander Panchenko, 1980 Alexander Petrushin, 1981 Pavel Zarubin, 1982 Anatoly Vaisser and Valery Chekhov, 1984 Gennady Tunik, 1985 Alexander Petrushin, 1986 Veniamin Shtyrenkov, 1987 Andrei Kharitonov, 1988 Ratmir Kholmov, Vadim Ruban, 1989 Alexey Vyzmanavin, 1990 Andrei Kharlov, Vladimir Kramnik, Ruslan Sherbakov and Maxim Sorokin and 1991 Sergei Rublevsky.
Since 1992 and the breakup of the USSR, the Russian Championship became the only national championship. A Swiss Open was organised from 1992 until 2003, and then the Super Championship Final became a round robin including the best Russian rated players and a few qualified from an Open tournament.
The Russian national champions were: 1992 Alexei Gavrikov, 1993 Alexei Bezgodov, 1994 Peter Svidler, 1995 Peter Svidler, 1996 Alexandre Khalifman, 1997 Peter Svidler, 1998 Alexander Morozevich, 1999 Konstantin Sakaev, 2000 Sergey Volkov, 2001 Alexander Motylev, 2002 Alexander Lastin, 2003 Peter Svidler, 2004 Garri Kasparov, 2005 Sergey Rublevsky, 2006 Evgenij Alekseev, 2007 Alexander Morozevich, 2008 Peter Svidler, 2009 Alexander Grischuk, 2010 Ian Nepomniachtchi, 2011 Peter Svidler.