Baden Baden R7: Caruana leads as Meier claims first win

2/18/2013 – There was no love lost between the players on Valentine’s Day, with tense fights on all three boards. It was only long after the first time control that Caruana-Anand and Adams-Naiditsch were agreed drawn, leaving Meier and Fridman to uphold the tradition of each round featuring a decisive game. Sure enough, after six hours Georg Meier banked his first win. Round seven report.

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Baden-Baden GRENKE Chess Classic

Round seven: Caruana leads as Meier claims first win

7th round on 14 February 2013 at 15:00
Meier Georg 2640
1-0
Fridman Daniel 2667
Caruana Fabiano 2757
½-½
Anand Vishy 2780
Adams Michael 2725
½-½
Naiditsch Arkadij 2716

If you were going to bet on a decisive result in Round 7 you’d be unlikely to look much further than Arkadij Naiditsch. The German firebrand seemed well on his way to prolonging his streak of five decisive games in a row when he played the provocative 9…g5!? against Michael Adams (Magnus Carlsen once lost a pre-Biel blitz game to Etienne Bacrot after 9…Qa5). After the 11…Nb8?! retreat White seemed to have an almost dream position, but when queens were exchanged Naiditsch felt the worst was over. Adams summed the game up: “I had a very nice position and then I gradually made it worse, steadily move by move, but not quite enough to lose.” Adams grip evaporated when he went for a tactical sequence on move 24. Although he was able to eliminate Black’s queenside pawns he ended up living dangerously in time trouble.

[Event "1st GRENKE Chess Classic"] [Site "Baden-Baden GER"] [Date "2013.01.14"] [Round "7.2"] [White "Adams, Michael"] [Black "Naiditsch, Arkadij"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A20"] [WhiteElo "2725"] [BlackElo "2716"] [PlyCount "104"] [EventDate "2013.02.07"] 1. c4 e5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 c6 4. d4 e4 5. Nc3 d5 6. Bg5 Nbd7 7. cxd5 cxd5 8. Qb3 h6 9. Bf4 g5 $5 {It looked close to madness against a positional master like Adams, although the Englishman told Naiditsch afterwards in the press conference that after} 10. Be5 Bg7 11. Bd6 Nb8 $6 ({he'd expected the mayhem of } 11... Nb6 12. Nb5 Nc4 13. Nc7+ {"more in your style!"}) 12. Nb5 Na6 13. e3 Qa5+ 14. Nc3 Qb6 15. Qxb6 axb6 16. Nge2 Be6 17. O-O Rd8 18. Nb5 Kd7 19. Nec3 Ne8 20. Ba3 Nec7 21. Nxc7 Nxc7 22. Na4 Na8 23. f3 f5 24. g4 exf3 25. gxf5 fxg2 26. fxe6+ Kxe6 27. Kxg2 Bf8 28. Rf2 Bxa3 29. bxa3 Rhf8 30. Rb2 Rd6 31. Rab1 h5 32. Nxb6 Nxb6 33. Rxb6 Rxb6 34. Rxb6+ Kf5 35. Rxb7 Re8 36. Rf7+ Kg4 37. Rf3 Rc8 38. h3+ Kh4 39. Rf2 Rc3 40. Re2 Rxa3 41. Kh2 g4 42. hxg4 Kxg4 43. Kg2 h4 44. Kf2 h3 45. Rb2 Ra8 46. Rb7 Rxa2+ 47. Kg1 Re2 48. Rd7 Kg3 49. Rg7+ Kf3 50. Rd7 Re1+ 51. Kh2 Re2+ 52. Kh1 Re1+ 1/2-1/2

The other draw between Viswanathan Anand and Fabiano Caruana involved even more subtle manoeuvring, and there was more at stake – any decisive outcome was likely to determine the fate of the tournament. Caruana’s domination of the light squares makes a nice impression, but as with the Adams-Naiditsch game neither the players nor the computer could come up with a convincing way for White to exploit his domination.

[Event "1st GRENKE Chess Classic"] [Site "Baden-Baden GER"] [Date "2013.01.14"] [Round "7.1"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B90"] [WhiteElo "2757"] [BlackElo "2780"] [PlyCount "88"] [EventDate "2013.02.07"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e5 7. Nf3 Be7 8. Bc4 O-O 9. O-O Qc7 10. Bb3 Be6 11. Nh4 g6 12. Bh6 Re8 13. Qd2 Ng4 14. Nf3 Nd7 15. Bg5 Ngf6 16. a4 {Anand identified} Rab8 $6 {as a mistake.} 17. Qe2 Bxb3 18. cxb3 b5 19. axb5 axb5 20. Bxf6 Nxf6 21. Rfd1 Rec8 22. Ne1 b4 23. Nd5 Nxd5 24. Rxd5 Rb6 $6 {Anand: "The rook just gets in the way. It's already unpleasant for Black. He may objectively be ok, but it's not a fun position to play."} 25. g3 Bf8 26. Qe3 Rb7 27. Nd3 Rcb8 28. Rc1 Qe7 29. Rc4 f5 30. Kg2 fxe4 31. Qxe4 Qf7 32. Qf3 Be7 33. Ra5 Qxf3+ 34. Kxf3 Bd8 35. Rd5 Rb6 36. Ke4 Kf7 37. g4 Ke6 38. f4 exf4 39. Nxf4+ Kd7 40. Rd3 Rb5 41. Nd5 {Anand had thought the white knight was never going to get to d5, but when it did he explained the time the players were taking with, "White is very close to winning."} Ba5 $1 {Anand was pleased with some accurate moves around this stage.} 42. Kf4 h6 43. Re4 Bd8 44. Kg3 h5 {Caruana accepted Anand's draw offer.} (44... h5 45. h4 {It's worth noting as a curiosity that Houdini rates this line as better for White than any other position that occurred in the game.}) 1/2-1/2

The one win of the round saw Georg Meier (above) leapfrog Daniel Fridman out of bottom place. Meier finally converted a good position resulting from some more fine preparation with White – he mentioned 12.Nbd2 had been a novelty when he checked it – but it was in many ways a self-inflicted defeat for Fridman. When the two players met in Round 2 Fridman took a pragmatic decision, commenting, “If I started to calculate all the variations I might play the same but without time on the clock.” That was exactly his problem in Round 7.

Fridman described 41…Nd6?! as a typical 41st move, where a chess player is so relieved to make the time control with seconds to spare that he rushes and blunders on the next move. Both Fridman and Meier thought 41…Ne4! would offer more chances, with Georg noting his pieces were poorly coordinated. After that Meier’s pawns advanced inexorably, with some help from his opponent, but that wasn’t quite the end. The players continued even after Meier queened a pawn (at the second time of asking). Fridman was drawn to the idea of positions where a pawn and knight can compete with a queen, but Meier kept his cool and took home the full point: “I was seeing some ghosts, but not so many”.

[Event "1st GRENKE Chess Classic"] [Site "Baden-Baden GER"] [Date "2013.01.14"] [Round "7.3"] [White "Meier, Georg"] [Black "Fridman, Daniel"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E06"] [WhiteElo "2640"] [BlackElo "2667"] [PlyCount "119"] [EventDate "2013.02.07"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Be7 4. g3 Nf6 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O dxc4 7. Qc2 b5 8. a4 b4 9. Nfd2 c6 10. Nxc4 Qxd4 11. Rd1 Qc5 12. Nbd2 Rd8 13. b3 Ba6 14. Bb2 Nbd7 15. Rac1 Bxc4 16. Nxc4 Nb6 17. Nxb6 Qxc2 ({Fridman spent 40 minutes weighing the merits of} 17... Qxb6) ({as well as} 17... Rxd1+ {and the move he eventually played.}) {After} 18. Rxd8+ {he burned more time choosing between} Rxd8 ({and} 18... Bxd8 {eventually leaving himself under ten minutes for fifteen moves. Some fantastic lines were aired in the post-game press conference, but as Daniel explained, "the best solution was just to play something, but quicker!" The end result was Fridman overlooking that a long sequence of play simply ended with the b4-pawn dropping, although even the ending a pawn down left him with chances. As it happened, it was mainly a chance to commit another classical psychological error.}) 19. Rxc2 Rd1+ 20. Bf1 axb6 21. Rxc6 Rd6 22. Rc4 Rd2 23. Bd4 Nd7 24. Be3 Rd1 25. Rc8+ Bf8 26. h4 f5 27. Kg2 Kf7 28. Rc7 Be7 29. Bg5 h6 30. Bxe7 Kxe7 31. e3 Kd6 32. Rc4 Nc5 33. Rxb4 Kc7 34. g4 g5 35. hxg5 hxg5 36. gxf5 exf5 37. Rb5 Rb1 38. b4 Nxa4 39. Rxf5 Rxb4 40. Rxg5 Nc3 41. f4 {Fridman described} Kd6 $6 {as a typical 41st move, where a chess player is so relieved to make the time control with seconds to spare that he rushes and blunders on the next move.} ({Both Fridman and Meier thought} 41... Ne4 $1 {would offer more chances, with Georg noting his pieces were poorly coordinated.}) 42. Kf3 Rb1 43. Bd3 Rd1 44. Bc4 Rh1 45. Re5 Rb1 46. e4 {Meier's pawns advanced inexorably, with some help from his opponent.} b5 47. Bd3 Rb2 48. Rg5 b4 49. e5+ Kc5 50. e6+ Kd6 51. Bc4 Rb1 52. Re5 Ke7 53. f5 b3 54. f6+ Kxf6 55. e7 Kxe5 56. Bd3 Rc1 57. e8=Q+ {The players continued even after Meier queened a pawn. Fridman was drawn to the idea of positions where a pawn and knight can compete with a queen, but Meier kept his cool and took home the full point: "I was seeing some ghosts, but not so many."} Kd5 58. Qd7+ Ke5 59. Qc7+ Kd5 60. Qc4+ 1-0

Although that game transformed the standings at the bottom Fabiano Caruana continues to lead:

The pairings for Friday's Round 8 mean Meier has no time to rest on his laurels. He said after today's game that it's been a recent trend for him to do well with White and terribly with Black (before it was the opposite) - so facing the World Champion with the black pieces could be tricky.

Report by Colin McGourty, photos Georgios Souleidis, videos Macauley Peterson

Video reports of the round

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
½-½
Fridman Daniel 2667
Meier Georg 2640
½-½
Adams Michael 2725
Anand Vishy 2780
1-0
Naiditsch Arkadij 2716
6th round on 13 February 2013 at 15:00
Fridman Daniel 2667
0-1
Naiditsch Arkadij 2716
Anand Vishy 2780
½-½
Adams Michael 2725
Meier Georg 2640
½-½
Caruana Fabiano 2757
7th round on 14 February 2013 at 15:00
Meier Georg 2640
1-0
Fridman Daniel 2667
Caruana Fabiano 2757
½-½
Anand Vishy 2780
Adams Michael 2725
½-½
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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Topics Baden Baden
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