Russian Chess Championship
The Russian Chess Championship has taken various forms.
In 1874, Emanuel Schiffers defeated Andrey Chardin in a match held in St. Petersburg with five wins and four losses. Schiffers was considered the first Russian champion until his student, Mikhail Chigorin, defeated him in a match held in St. Petersburg in 1879. Chigorin won with seven wins, four losses, and two draws.
In 1899 the format of the championship was changed to a round-robin tournament known as the All-Russian Masters' Tournament. The winners were:
# Year City Winner 1 1899 Moscow Mikhail Chigorin 2 1900/1901 Moscow Mikhail Chigorin 3 1903 Kiev Mikhail Chigorin 4 1905/1906 St. Petersburg Gersz Salwe 5 1907/1908 Łódź Akiba Rubinstein 6 1909 Vilna Akiba Rubinstein 7 1912 Vilna Akiba Rubinstein 8 1913/1914 St. Petersburg Alexander Alekhine & Aron Nimzowitsch
After the formation of the USSR the USSR Chess Championship was established as the national championship. However the Russian championship continued to exist as the championship of the RSFSR. The first two USSR championships in 1920 and 1923 were also recognized as RSFSR championships; the modern numbering of Russian championships begins with these two tournaments. The cities Moscow and Leningrad held their own championships and their players were ineligible to play in the RSFSR championship. However, some did participate as outside competitors: for example, Taimanov finished with the same number of points as Tarasov in the 1960 championship, but only Tarasov was awarded the title as Taimanov was from Leningrad.
Rashid Nezhmetdinov held the record of five wins of the Russian Chess Championship.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian Championship was re-established as a national championship, and players from Moscow and St. Petersburg were allowed to participate. Prior to 2004, the championship was organized as a Swiss-style tournament except for 1997 and 1999, where a knockout format was used. In 2004, the tournament reverted to a round robin with the strongest players in the country directly seeded into the final (called the Superfinal) held in Moscow while others progress through qualifying tournaments.
- Karpov, Anatoly, ed. (1990). Шахматы. энциклопедический словарь (in Russian). Moscow: Great Soviet Encyclopedia. ISBN 5-85270-005-3.
- RUSBASE (part V) 1919-1937,1991-1994
- RUSBASE (part IV) 1938-1960
- RUSBASE (part III), 1961-1969,1985-1990
- RUSBASE (part II) 1970-1984
- Russian Chess History by Bill Wall.
- The Week in Chess
- Details on the 2007 edition