On April 30, the final of the country’s men classical chess championship finished in Almaty. Murtas Kazhgaleev, the international grandmaster from Uralsk, now residing in Tashkent, won the gold medal for the second time after 2015. In the second place was the master of FIDE Denis Makhnev (Pavlodar), the third was taken by the international grandmaster ,Pyotr Kostenko (Kostanay).
The tournament was held on a round-robin system in 11 rounds. Four international grandmasters, two international masters, five FIDE masters and one candidate for master of sports participated in the competition.
The first round of the competition ended with only one productive game – Pyotr Kostenko defeated Pavlodar Alisher Suleimenov, the rest of the games ended in a draw. But as early as starting from the second round, the athletes became more active and three favorites were determined closer to the middle of the tournament: 4-times champion of the country, Pyotr Kostenko, classic, rapid and blitz champion of the country under the age of 20 (2018) Denis Makhnev and Murtas Kazhgaleyov, chess players of Kazakhstan. The other rivals moved behind them with a small margin.
Before the final 11th round, the three leaders scored seven points each. The outcome of the tournament was decided by the key parties – Nurlan Ibraev versus Denis and Murtas against Pyotr. As a result, Nurlan concedes victory to Denis, and Murtas defeats Pyotr. Both winners of the last round gain 8 points out of 11 possible. However, due to the difference in the additional indicators, Murtas won the first place, Denis – the second, Pyotr – the third. It is worth noting that Denis played in the final of the national championship for the third time, but before this tournament without any particular results.
– Absolutely all athletes showed an excellent game. Pleased with Denis Makhnev. If he does not consider that the silver of the country’s championship is the peak of his chess career, then, perhaps, he will be a good fighter in the near future, “said the head coach of the Kazakhstan national chess team Pavel Kotsur. – I want to congratulate Murtas Kazhgaleev with a brilliant victory in the championship, he really looked the best and Pyotr Kostenko – with a bronze medal. Championships of Kazakhstan on a round-robin system are required to enable young chess players to compete with grandmasters and get a chance to be selected in the national team of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
On his Facebook page, Murtas Kazgaleev thanked the Kazakhstan Chess Federation for the high level of the tournament organization. This year the grandmaster will represent Kazakhstan in the personal championship of Asia and the Cup of Central Asia.
– The current Kazakhstan championship, unlike previous tournaments, was distinguished by a large number of young chess players who in different years became champions of the republic in their age categories. Therefore, the struggle in the tournament was tense and without obvious outsiders, “said Irina Grishchenko, Executive Director of the Kazakhstan Chess Federation.