The Russian Chess Federation – Chess in Russia

The Russian Chess Federation is the principal chess governing body in Russia. Officially recognized as the Russian representative to FIDE or World Chess Federation, the Russian Chess Federation is involved in virtually every major chess related event in the country.

Russia has of course had a long and colorful history with the game, with numerous high profile local and international events having been held over the years. Here is a list of some of the most notable events.

The 2007 Mikhail Tal Memorial

This event was held from November 9 to November 23, and was the second Mikhail Tal Memorial held in Moscow. On that particular year, three major contests took place: a round-robin category 20 chess tournament with a 2742 average rating, the World Blitz Championship, and an ''advanced chess'' exhibition match that was played by Vishi Anand and Vladimir Kramnik.

The round-robin tournament started on November 10, and among its participants were Vasily Ivanchuk of the Ukraine, Vladimir Kramnik of Russia, Peter Leko of Hungary, Shakhriar Mamedyarov of Azerbajan, Alexei Shirov of Spain, Boris Gelfand of Israel, Gata Kamsky from the United States, Evgeny Alekseyev of Russia, Magnus Karlsen of Norway, and Dmitry Jakovenko from Russia. Each of the rounds started at 3 p.m., with the playing days set from November 4 to November 10 and November 16 to November 19.

The Russian chess event was governed by rules that set the rate of play to 100 minutes for the first 40 moves for each player, plus an additional 50 minutes for the next 20 moves. A further 15 minutes was allotted for the rest of the game, and an increment of 30 seconds per move was allowed, beginning with the first move.

The Aeroflot Open 2008 International Chess Open Festival

Moscow was also the site of The International Chess Festival "Aeroflot Open 2008", which was held in the city from February 13 to February 23, 2008. Participants and delegates to the event were billeted at the Hotel Gamma-Delta, which belongs to the Ismailovo Tourist Complex.

As you may have guessed, the event was organized by the "Aeroflot-Russian Airlines", in cooperation with the Association of Chess Federations, the Russian Chess Federation, and the Committee on Tourism of the Municipality of Moscow.

This particular Russian chess festival consisted of four tournaments, with each of them a nine round tournament played in the Swiss style. The total prize for the four tournaments was set at US$200,000.

In some cases, the organizing committee of the event allowed chess players to compete in a higher tournament than his or her FIDE rating would normally allow. In matches that resulted in a tie between 2 or more players, the prizes were divided according to the established Hort system. Special prizes were also awarded for the best performances in the senior, women, and juniors divisions in all of the tournaments. These special prizes totaled US$5000.

For the first time that year, the event also offered a prize for the best performance by an unrated player in the section C division.