(After) Russian Higher League and Superfinal
This webpage is updated only sporadically, for two reasons: 1) lack of time and 2) I basically include only topics that are a) (hopefully) interesting for an international audience but b) hardly covered by other English-language sites. This doesn’t happen every day or month … .
“Russian chess news and interviews in English” used to be covered by Chessintranslation – but this site, while still worthwhile visiting, is “dead” since August 2013. For a reason: Owner and content provider Colin McGourty was hired by chess24; elements of his former own site now appear there every now and then, among much more. “Chess in Google Translation” is also one of my ‘hobbies’ (if needed, with help from people fluent in Russian), but this time I took a different approach: contact a player directly via his chess24 profile, questions and answers in English.
This post includes excerpts from two articles previously published in German – one after he won the semifinal (Higher League) of the Russian championship, the second one after he scored a respectable 50% in the Superfinal that included several 2700+ players. Title photo from the Superfinal coverage of the Russian Chess Federation. Grigoriy Oparin may still be relatively unknown outside of Russia, and even within Russia somewhat in the shadow of other young players. Back in December 2014 Colin McGourty wrote about him on the occasion of the “Christmas Nutcracker” event (Russian version of ‘Rising Stars vs. Experience’): “The least known player in the tournament …” – not only compared to the ‘old ones’ Shirov, Morozevich, Leko and Dreev, also compared to the other teenagers (at the time, two had their 20th birthday after then and before now) Artemiev, Fedoseev and Dubov. This may have changed a bit over the last almost two years – because of Oparin’s successes and because Dubov somewhat stagnates.