In Soviet times the USSR chess championship was the most closely watched national contest in the world. The grandmaster elite saw the event as a passport to sought after hard currency tournaments in the west and it sometimes acted as a zonal eliminator for the world title. Its history and its participants have been chronicled in Soviet Chess 1917-1991 by Andrew Soltis, in Soviet Chess Championships by Bernard Cafferty and Mark Taimanov, and in Genna Sosonko’s Russian Silhouettes, personal stories of the top players by one who knew them well. Nowadays the Russian chess championship has lost much of its allure. Its backdrop is the country’s chronically sub-par performance in the biennial world Chess Olympiads, which its team has not won since 2002 despite being regular top seeds. The 2016 Russian superfinal, which …

Source: GameKnot online chess news