The Russian Cup is one of the latest chess events to draw to a close. This event ended on December 11th, having begun on December 4th. The Russian Cup was hosted in the city of Khanty-Mansiysk. Khanty-Mansiysk has become somewhat of a chess capital this year, as it was also the home of the Women’s World Chess Championship this November and December. Not even a fortnight had passed since Anna Ushenina so strikingly won the Women’s World Chess Championship 2012 when Khanty-Mansiysk
began hotting up for another thrilling chess event.
The winners of the Russian Cup were Bartosz Socko for the men and, for the women, Aleksandra Goryachkina. Socko is an astoundingly talented Polish Grandmaster (married to another Grandmaster, Monika Socko, currently the 42nd-ranked woman in the world), who has made an amazing comeback since his defeat in the first round of the Chess World Cup 2011. At 34, Socko is over twice the age of the winner in the women’s category. Aged only 13, Russian player Goryachkina is the world’s youngest WGM. She
earned the title of WGM earlier this year at the European Women’s Chess Championship. She plays a variety of openings, keeping her opponents on their toes.
Goryachkina has a number of prestigious wins under her belt now, and certainly has a bright future ahead of her. Her FIDE ratings appear to be rising steadily game by game, and she certainly looks to be one of the most important stars of the chess world, both in the present and the future.
The Russian Cup often appears a relatively small competition, but its prize fund is relatively large: 10,000 EUR. This year, 16 men, and 8 women entered the competition. The final outcome was nothing if not well deserved, with Socko needing only a draw by his final game in order to win.