Baden Baden R4: Naiditsch bounces straight back

2/11/2013 – Where would we be without Arkadij Naiditsch? For the third day in a row his game saw a dramatic time scramble and the only decisive result at the GRENKE Chess Classic. This time he beat Georg Meier, while Mickey Adams and Fabiano Caruana played a sharp and hard-fought draw. Anand was agonisingly close to a first win, but an endgame slip allowed Daniel Fridman to escape. Round four report.

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Baden-Baden GRENKE Chess Classic

Round four: Naiditsch bounces straight back

4th round on 10 February 2013 at 15:00
Fridman Daniel 2667
½-½
Anand Vishy 2780
Naiditsch Arkadij 2716
1-0
Meier Georg 2640
Adams Michael 2725
½-½
Caruana Fabiano 2757

Daniel Fridman was mildly sceptical about Anand’s claim in the post-game press conference that he’d played the novelty 13…e5 after five minutes’ thought at the board. That was a deviation from a game from the recent Tashkent Grand Prix where Peter Leko played the logical 13…a4 against Alexander Morozevich only to find himself swept off the board by a ferocious kingside attack.

Here Anand (above during the game) smothered his opponent’s play to force what he described as a “very comfortable ending”. Although the ending is Fridman’s forte time trouble and minor inaccuracies led to a position where both players acknowledged he was lost.

[Event "1st GRENKE Chess Classic"] [Site "Baden Baden GER"] [Date "2013.02.10"] [Round "4"] [White "Fridman, D."] [Black "Anand, V."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A33"] [WhiteElo "2667"] [BlackElo "2780"] [PlyCount "115"] [EventDate "2013.02.07"] 1. Nf3 c5 2. c4 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. g3 Qb6 7. Nb3 Ne5 8. e4 Bb4 9. Qe2 d6 10. Bd2 a5 11. f4 Nc6 12. Be3 Qc7 13. Bg2 e5 $146 (13... a4 14. Nd2 Bxc3 15. bxc3 b6 16. Rb1 Nd7 17. Qf2 Rb8 18. O-O O-O 19. g4 Ba6 20. Qh4 Rfe8 21. Rf3 Nf8 22. Rh3 b5 23. e5 dxe5 24. Be4 h6 25. f5 f6 26. Bxh6 gxh6 27. Qxh6 Qa7+ 28. Kg2 Qg7 29. Bxc6 Qxh6 30. Rxh6 Red8 31. Ne4 Kg7 32. Rxf6 Rdc8 33. cxb5 Rxc6 34. bxc6 Rxb1 35. fxe6 Bd3 36. e7 Bxe4+ 37. Kg3 Ng6 38. e8=Q Kxf6 39. Qd8+ Kf7 40. c7 Rb2 41. Qd7+ Kf6 42. g5+ {1-0 (42) Morozevich,A (2748)-Leko,P (2732) Tashkent 2012}) 14. O-O Bxc3 15. bxc3 a4 16. Nd2 Ng4 17. Rab1 Nxe3 18. Qxe3 Na5 19. f5 f6 20. Rb4 Bd7 21. Bf3 Qc5 22. Kf2 Kd8 23. Bd1 Kc7 24. Bxa4 Nc6 25. Bxc6 Bxc6 26. Qxc5 dxc5 27. Rb2 Ra3 28. Nb1 Ra4 29. Nd2 Rd8 30. Re1 Rd6 31. g4 Be8 32. Rg1 h6 33. h4 Ra3 34. Nb1 Ra8 35. g5 Rad8 36. gxh6 gxh6 37. Rg7+ R6d7 38. Rxd7+ Rxd7 39. Re2 Bf7 40. Rd2 Bxc4 41. Rxd7+ Kxd7 42. a3 Kc6 43. Nd2 Bf7 44. c4 b5 45. Ke3 b4 46. Kd3 Kb6 47. Kc2 Ka5 48. Kb3 Bh5 $2 ({One winning line was} 48... Be8 49. Nf1 (49. Ka2 Ka4 50. Nb3 bxa3 51. Nxc5+ Kb4 {and crucially in contrast to the game the bishop covers d7}) 49... Ba4+ 50. Kb2 Bd1 51. Ne3 Bf3 52. Nd5 Bxe4 53. Nxf6 Bxf5 54. Kb3 bxa3 55. Kxa3 e4 56. Kb3 e3 57. Kc3 e2 58. Kd2 Bd3 $1 {and the rest is easy. Needless to say that's still fiendishly difficult for mere mortals, but Fridman said in the press conference, "I saw it, but what can I do, it's just only moves..."}) 49. Ka2 { Vishy immediately realised the difference - White now has the d7-square.} Ka4 50. Nb3 bxa3 51. Nxc5+ Kb4 {After this White has the saving} 52. Nd7 $1 {and all roads lead to a draw. It was a huge disappointment for the World Champion, who may have hoped his performance in Wijk aan Zee had put an end to the aggravating discussion about a lack of decisive results in his games.} Bf7 53. Nxf6 Bxc4+ 54. Ka1 Kc3 55. Ng4 Kd4 56. Nxh6 Kxe4 57. Ng4 Kf4 58. Nxe5 1/2-1/2

German no. one Arkadij Naiditsch has gone hell-for-leather in all his games, with unpredictable but always entertaining results. Today’s opponent Georg Meier was finally undone by his terrible handling of the clock – at one stage he had 51 seconds for 13 moves – although Naiditsch also failed to play the smoothest game of his life.

It all started with historical overtones. In 1925 Baden-Baden (photo above) was the venue for one of the greatest tournament triumphs of the fourth World Champion, Alexander Alekhine, who scored 12 wins, 8 draws and no losses against a world-class field. Three years earlier in Vienna he won a fine game against Hans Kmoch by following the line Meier played today right up until move ten.

[Event "1st GRENKE Chess Classic"] [Site "Baden Baden GER"] [Date "2013.02.10"] [Round "4"] [White "Naiditsch, A."] [Black "Meier, Geo"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D12"] [WhiteElo "2716"] [BlackElo "2640"] [PlyCount "65"] [EventDate "2013.02.07"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. e3 c6 4. c4 Bf5 5. Nc3 e6 6. Be2 Nbd7 7. O-O Bd6 8. c5 Bc7 9. b4 Ne4 10. Nxe4 Bxe4 $146 (10... dxe4 {Alekhine took the white knight with his pawn - a move Houdini still approves of - while Meier went for a novelty.} 11. Nd2 h5 12. f4 g5 13. g3 Nf6 14. Bb2 gxf4 15. exf4 h4 16. Qb3 hxg3 17. hxg3 Nd5 18. Nc4 Nxf4 19. Rae1 Qg5 20. d5 Nd3 {0-1 (20) Kmoch,H-Alekhine,A Vienna 1922}) 11. b5 Bxf3 12. Bxf3 cxb5 13. Qb3 b6 14. c6 Nf6 ({Naiditsch used an unprintable exclamation to express his emotions after spending 30 minutes mulling the consequences of} 14... Nb8 $5 {only to see Georg Meier instantly respond to 14.c6 with 14...Nf6.}) 15. Qxb5 a6 16. Qa4 {Meier now spoiled an apparently sound position with the terrible} Ne4 $2 {admitting he'd "completely failed to realise" that he couldn't follow exchanges on e4 with ... f5 as d5 simply wins - Black can't survive when White opens the d-file with a pawn on c6.} 17. Bxe4 dxe4 18. Ba3 h5 {Meier eventually did play ...h5, as Alekhine had done in the Kmoch game, and even showed ...h5 in combination with ...g5 in the press conference (much to Naiditsch's bewilderment), but things didn't follow the same scenario in 2013.} 19. f3 b5 20. Qb4 {By this stage Meier was already in desperate time trouble and logically the game should simply have ended in a straightforward strategic victory, but perhaps some of the spirit of Alekhine returned as Meier seized his last chance with} Qh4 21. h3 $6 {Naiditsch thought this was just winning the game.} ({After} 21. f4 { White would be well on top, as Naiditsch realised.}) {He admitted he'd simply blundered by losing the a3-bishop after} 21... a5 22. Qxb5 Qg3 23. fxe4 Qxe3+ 24. Kh1 Qxa3 {and that he was lucky that he still had} 25. Qb7 $1 Qg3 ({Here Meier was down to seconds and understandably missed the stunning drawing line} 25... Qd6 $3 26. Qxa8+ Ke7 27. e5 Qxd4 28. Qxh8 (28. Rad1 Qxd1 $1) 28... Qxe5 $1 {and Black's queen and bishop give perpetual check.}) 26. e5 O-O 27. Qxc7 Qc3 28. Qd6 Rad8 29. Rfc1 $2 {A bad case of moving the wrong rook.} Rxd6 $4 ({ Meier had prosaic chances of holding a draw with} 29... Qxd4 $1) 30. Rxc3 Rxd4 31. c7 $1 {and the fat lady was well and truly singing. Meier said he considered resigning on the spot but then decided to show the spectators the neat} Rc8 32. Rb1 Rb4 33. Rd1 1-0

The last game to finish was surely the best game of the round in terms of quality. Fabiano Caruana was back at his imperious best when it came to preparation.

[Event "1st GRENKE Chess Classic"] [Site "Baden Baden GER"] [Date "2013.02.10"] [Round "4"] [White "Adams, Mi"] [Black "Caruana, F."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C78"] [WhiteElo "2725"] [BlackElo "2757"] [PlyCount "99"] [EventDate "2013.02.07"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O b5 6. Bb3 Bc5 7. a4 Rb8 8. c3 d6 9. d4 Bb6 10. axb5 axb5 11. Qd3 O-O 12. Bg5 exd4 13. cxd4 h6 14. Bh4 g5 15. Bg3 Nh5 16. Nc3 {After} Bg4 {Adams was on the edge of what he knew, but said he decided to be "very ambitious" and play} 17. Nd5 $5 $146 {Caruana confirmed that novelty was a very good move, but that confirmation was the whole problem! He was prepared for the line, even if he said he hadn't looked at it for a year.} Bxf3 18. Nxb6 Bxg2 19. Kxg2 Rxb6 20. f4 {Adams said it "wasn't a very pleasant surprise" that the paradoxical} d5 {came instantly.} 21. e5 Nb4 22. Qe2 {Only this move made the young Italian stop to think, but from that point on it was a very even struggle.} Nxf4+ 23. Bxf4 gxf4 24. Kh1 Rg6 25. Rxf4 Kh8 26. Raf1 Rfg8 {Adams identified this as the moment at which Caruana slipped.} ({and thought that} 26... Qg5 $1 {would have been critical.}) {After} 27. Rf6 $1 {White was clearly on top, but although Adams felt White might have a win it was very hard to prove anything. It was a game neither player deserved to lose and was eventually agreed drawn on move 50.} Qd7 28. Qh5 Qe7 29. Bd1 c5 30. Bg4 cxd4 31. Rxf7 Qg5 32. Qxg5 Rxg5 33. Bf5 Re8 34. e6 (34. h4 $1 {is the computer's suggested improvement, though Adams wasn't convinced when he was shown it after the game.}) 34... Nc6 35. h4 Rg7 36. Rf6 Ne5 37. Rxh6+ Kg8 38. Rh5 Ng4 39. Rf4 Ne3 40. Bh3 d3 41. Rd4 Rf8 42. Rxd3 Rf3 43. Bg2 Rxg2 44. Rxe3 Rxe3 45. Kxg2 Rxe6 46. Kf3 Re4 47. Rg5+ Kh7 48. Rg4 Rc4 49. Rg5 Rb4 50. Rxd5 1/2-1/2

That leaves Caruana in the outright lead on 3/4, while Adams has mixed emotions. He’s played some of the most enterprising chess in Baden-Baden, but has only three draws and a loss to his name. As he jokingly summed it up in the press room: "A slight lack of points has been the problem. Not much has been going my way." Full standings after four rounds:

The key showdown in Monday’s round five looks set to be Anand-Naiditsch.

Report: Colin McGourty Photos: Georgios Souleidis

Postgame analysis Naiditsch-Meier

Schedule and results

1st round on 07 February 2013 at 15:00
Naiditsch Arkadij 2716
½-½
Fridman Daniel 2667
Adams Michael 2725
½-½
Anand Vishy 2780
Caruana Fabiano 2757
1-0
Meier Georg 2640
2nd round on 08 February 2013 at 15:00
Fridman Daniel 2667
½-½
Meier Georg 2640
Anand Vishy 2780
½-½
Caruana Fabiano 2757
Naiditsch Arkadij 2716
1-0
Adams Michael 2725
3rd round on 09 February 2013 at 15:00
Adams Michael 2725
½-½
Fridman Daniel 2667
Caruana Fabiano 2757
1-0
Naiditsch Arkadij 2716
Meier Georg 2640
½-½
Anand Vishy 2780
4th round on 10 February 2013 at 15:00
Fridman Daniel 2667
½-½
Anand Vishy 2780
Naiditsch Arkadij 2716
1-0
Meier Georg 2640
Adams Michael 2725
½-½
Caruana Fabiano 2757
5th round on 11 February 2013 at 15:00
Caruana Fabiano 2757   Fridman Daniel 2667
Meier Georg 2640   Adams Michael 2725
Anand Vishy 2780   Naiditsch Arkadij 2716
6th round on 13 February 2013 at 15:00
Fridman Daniel 2667   Naiditsch Arkadij 2716
Anand Vishy 2780   Adams Michael 2725
Meier Georg 2640   Caruana Fabiano 2757
7th round on 14 February 2013 at 15:00
Meier Georg 2640   Fridman Daniel 2667
Caruana Fabiano 2757   Anand Vishy 2780
Adams Michael 2725   Naiditsch Arkadij 2716
8th round on 15 February 2013 at 15:00
Fridman Daniel 2667   Adams Michael 2725
Naiditsch Arkadij 2716   Caruana Fabiano 2757
Anand Vishy 2780   Meier Georg 2640
9th round on 16 February 2013 at 15:00
Anand Vishy 2780   Fridman Daniel 2667
Meier Georg 2640   Naiditsch Arkadij 2716
Caruana Fabiano 2757   Adams Michael 2725
10th round on 17 February 2013 at 13:00
Fridman Daniel 2667   Caruana Fabiano 2757
Adams Michael 2725   Meier Georg 2640
Naiditsch Arkadij 2716   Anand Vishy 2780

Links

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