Dortmund 05: Caruana ties for lead!

by Alejandro Ramirez
7/4/2015 – Caruana is now on a roll in Dortmund! He toppled Kramnik, and with the black pieces, to take over the lead in Dortmund. Only Nisipeanu still has the same amount of points as him. It was a bit of a topsy-turvy and complicated game, but at the end Kramnik was unable to keep up with Caruana in the complications. So also beat Nepomniachtchi, and gains ground. Sagar Shah analyzes today!

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The 2015 Sparkassen Chess Meeting is taking place in Dortmund from the 27th of June to the 5th of July, 2015.

Round Five

Round 05 – July 02 2015, 15:00h
Kramnik, Vladimir 2783
0-1
Caruana, Fabiano 2805
Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter 2654
½-½
Meier, Georg 2654
So, Wesley 2778
1-0
Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2720
Naiditsch, Arkadij 2722
½-½
Hou, Yifan 2676

Kramnik, Vladimir 0-1 Caruana, Fabiano
Caruana's third win in a row, and what a way to do it! Sagar Shah brings us all the analysis:

Move over, Vlad, Fabi is the one tied for first now

[Event "43rd GM 2015"] [Site "Dortmund GER"] [Date "2015.07.03"] [Round "5"] [White "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D78"] [WhiteElo "2783"] [BlackElo "2805"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "76"] [EventDate "2015.06.26"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. d4 Nf6 5. O-O O-O 6. c4 c6 {The solid setup against the Fianchetto Grunfeld is one of the toughest systems for White to break. But who better than the big Vlad to give it a go!} 7. Nbd2 a5 8. b3 a4 9. Ba3 (9. Bb2 {is the more common move but Ba3 is the latest innovation and has been scoring quite decently for White.}) 9... axb3 10. axb3 Bf5 11. Nh4 Be6 12. Re1 Ne4 13. Bxe4 $5 {A very unorthodox exchange by Kramnik. He is trying to spice up the position.} (13. e3 {might have been a safer choice.}) (13. Nxe4 dxe4 14. Bxe4 Qxd4 15. Qxd4 Bxd4 16. Bb2 $1 Rxa1 17. Bxa1 Bg7 {would have lead to a handshake pretty soon.}) 13... dxe4 14. Nxe4 (14. e3 $11 {was necessary as the move chosen by Kramnik in the game leads to a clearly inferior position. }) 14... Qxd4 (14... Bxd4 $2 15. Bxe7 $1 $16 {just drops a pawn.}) 15. Qc2 $5 { This is objectively a bad move. However, it takes many precise moves from Caruana to prove that. If Black were to play anything apart from Bf5 on the next move then White has a fine position.} (15. Qxd4 Bxd4 16. Bb2 Rxa1 17. Bxa1 Bb6 $15 {Keeping the double bishops. Of course, this was not the reason why Kramnik had given up his light squared bishop on e4.}) 15... Bf5 $1 {An excellent tactical resource that might have been missed or underestimated by Kramnik.} (15... Qxa1 $6 16. Rxa1 Bxa1 17. Bxe7 $16 {The queen will prove to be a much stronger in such a position with the knights than the two rooks.}) ( 15... Nd7 16. Rad1 Qb6 17. Bxe7 Rfe8 18. Bd6 $13 {Black has compensation but White is not worse.}) (15... Re8 16. Bb2 Rxa1 17. Bxa1 Qb6 18. Bxg7 Kxg7 19. Rd1 $11) 16. Nxf5 gxf5 17. Ng5 (17. Nd2 Qc3 $1 {is the neat little point.} 18. Qa2 Qa5 $17 {The exchange is lost.}) (17. Nc5 Rxa3 18. Rxa3 Qxc5 $17) 17... Qg4 {The queen attacks the knight and the bishop on g7 uncovers an attack on the a1 rook.} 18. f4 Bxa1 19. Rxa1 h6 $6 (19... c5 $1 {would have given Caruana a nearly decisive advantage. The idea is to develop the knight on c6 where it will be much more active than on d7.} 20. Bb2 (20. Qc3 Nc6 21. Bxc5 Rxa1+ 22. Qxa1 Qxe2 $19 {The is the difference of not playing h6 and pushing the knight back to f3.}) 20... Rxa1+ 21. Bxa1 Nc6 $17) 20. Nf3 Nd7 (20... c5 {would no longer be strong because} 21. Qc3 Nc6 22. Bxc5) 21. Rd1 $1 {Kramnik takes his best practical chance to keep the rooks on board.} Rxa3 22. Rxd7 Qh3 $1 { Keeping an eye on the white king.} 23. Qc3 e6 $6 {This terribly weakens the f6 square and gives White enough counterplay against the f7 point.} (23... Rfa8 { would have been much stronger as after} 24. Rxe7 $2 (24. Rxb7 Ra1+ 25. Kf2 Rf1+ 26. Ke3 Qg2 $19) 24... Ra1+ 25. Kf2 (25. Ne1 Rb1 26. b4 b6 {Leaves White in a nearly zugwang like position.} 27. c5 b5 28. Rd7 Re8 $19) 25... Rf1+ 26. Ke3 Qg2 $19 {The attack against the white king breaks through.}) 24. Rxb7 Rfa8 25. Kf2 Ra1 26. Ke3 Rf1 27. Qf6 Rf8 {Once the rook has to passively defend the f7 point, it is clear that White cannot be worse.} 28. Rd7 (28. Kd4 $5 {In this age where we are seeing king walks in almost every other tournament this move would have been really loved by the spectators. It doesn't really change the assessment of the position but Black has to quickly find a way to get his queen into the game. Most probably the game would end something like this} Qg2 29. Qxh6 Qxe2 30. Qg5+ Kh7 31. Qh4+ Kg8 32. Qg5+ $11) 28... Rb1 29. Rb7 c5 30. Rb5 Rf1 31. Nd2 $2 {It is quite possible that Kramnik was under time pressure as this gives Black the golden opportunity to get a winning position.} (31. Rxc5 Rxf3+ 32. exf3 Qxh2 $11 {would have ended in a draw.}) 31... Rc1 32. Qb2 ( 32. Nf3 Qf1 $1 33. Qxh6 Rc3+ 34. Kd2 Qc1#) 32... Rd1 33. Qc2 Rh1 {White has lost all his co-ordination and now the Black pieces weave a deadly attack.} 34. Nf3 Qg2 35. Qc3 Rf1 36. Qf6 Rf2 37. Kd3 (37. Qb2 Rxf3+ $19) 37... Rxe2 38. Ng5 Rd2+ {What an exciting game. First Kramnik plays the opening in dubious fashion and gets a minus position. Caruana makes one inaccurate move and just when we felt that the game was heading towards a draw, Kramnik makes a very huge mistake by playing Nd2. After that Caruana finished off the game to perfection.} (38... Rd2+ 39. Kc3 Rc2+ 40. Kd3 Qd2#) 0-1

Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter ½-½ Meier, Georg
Despite White's extra pawn from almost the beginning of the game, Nisipeanu never had real winning chances. The opposite colored bishop situation meant that converting was very difficult. Nisipeanu tried keeping the rooks on the board to keep pressuring, but he never was able to break through.

Meier went in with the objective of securing a draw, even if it meant some suffering, and he got it

So, Wesley 1-0 Nepomniachtchi, Ian
Nicely done from the American. He kept putting pressure on the Russian player until Nepo decided to take drastic measures, but the desperate sacrifice did not help him. Analysis by Sagar Shah:

[Event "43rd GM 2015"] [Site "Dortmund GER"] [Date "2015.07.03"] [Round "5"] [White "So, Wesley"] [Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E60"] [WhiteElo "2778"] [BlackElo "2720"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "97"] [EventDate "2015.06.26"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. f3 e6 4. e4 c5 5. d5 d6 6. Nc3 Bg7 7. Nge2 exd5 8. cxd5 O-O 9. Ng3 a6 10. a4 h5 11. Be2 Qe8 12. Bf4 Qe7 13. Bg5 Qe8 14. Qd2 Nbd7 15. Bh6 Qe5 16. Bxg7 Kxg7 17. Bd3 Rb8 18. Rd1 Re8 19. Be2 h4 20. Nf1 h3 21. g4 b5 22. axb5 axb5 23. Ng3 b4 24. Na4 Ra8 25. b3 Ba6 26. Bxa6 Rxa6 27. O-O Rea8 28. f4 Qe7 29. Qe2 Nh7 30. Rf3 Qh4 31. Kh1 c4 32. Qxc4 Qxg4 33. Qd3 Kf8 34. Rg1 { White has some pressure in this position. Nepo tries to drastically change the character of the position but in that process makes some extremely dubious decisions.} Rxa4 $2 {What was the compensation that Nepomniachtchi was aiming for is quite unclear.} (34... Qh4 {We can agree that Black's position is unpleasant, but still this would have been a better choice.}) 35. bxa4 Nc5 36. Qe3 (36. Qf1 {was also very good.} Rxa4 37. Ne2 Qd7 38. f5 $18) 36... Rxa4 37. Nf5 $1 gxf5 {Nepo sacrifices his queen in return for two knights. That's just not enough.} (37... Qh5 38. Rxh3 $18) (37... Ra1 {would have been an interesting move} 38. Rfg3 $1 (38. Rxa1 Qg2#) 38... Rxg1+ 39. Rxg1 Qh5 40. Nxd6 $18 {White is winning.}) 38. Rxg4 fxg4 39. Rf1 Nf6 40. e5 Nfe4 41. f5 $1 { Opening up the c1-h6 diagonal for the queen. White is just winning.} Ra2 42. e6 g3 43. hxg3 Ke8 44. g4 h2 45. Qh3 f6 46. g5 Nxg5 47. Qh8+ Ke7 48. Qg7+ Ke8 49. Qxf6 {1-0 (49) So,W (2778)-Nepomniachtchi,I (2720) Dortmund GER 2015} 1-0

So returns to 50%, while Nepo stays with -2 tied for last with Meier

Naiditsch, Arkadij ½-½ Hou Yifan
Out of this Nimzo-Indian, Hou Yifan had a weak isolated pawn, but nice counterplay with active pieces and an annoying pawn on h3 to compensate for it. With a mistake, she blundered it, but her activity was still strong enough to cause serious problems. Craziness ensued, and White's king found itself in the middle of the board, but Black's attack was only enough for a draw at the end.

A fighting and crazy draw

Standings

Pictures: Dagobert Kohlmeyer

Replay Round Five Games

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Schedule

Round 01 – June 27 2015, 15:00h
Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2720
½-½
Caruana, Fabiano 2805
Meier, Georg 2654
½-½
Hou, Yifan 2676
Kramnik, Vladimir 2783
0-1
Naiditsch, Arkadij 2722
Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter 2654
1-0
So, Wesley 2778
Round 02 – June 28 2015, 15:00h
Caruana, Fabiano 2805
0-1
So, Wesley 2778
Naiditsch, Arkadij 2722
0-1
Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter 2654
Hou, Yifan 2676
0-1
Kramnik, Vladimir 2783
Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2720
½-½
Meier, Georg 2654
Round 03 – June 30 2015, 15:00h
Meier, Georg 2654
0-1
Caruana, Fabiano 2805
Kramnik, Vladimir 2783
1-0
Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2720
Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter 2654
½-½
Hou, Yifan 2676
So, Wesley 2778
0-1
Naiditsch, Arkadij 2722
Round 04 – July 01 2015, 15:00h
Caruana, Fabiano 2805
1-0
Naiditsch, Arkadij 2722
Hou, Yifan 2676
½-½
So, Wesley 2778
Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2720
½-½
Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter 2654
Meier, Georg 2654
0-1
Kramnik, Vladimir 2783
Round 05 – July 03 2015, 15:00h
Kramnik, Vladimir 2783
0-1
Caruana, Fabiano 2805
Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter 2654
½-½
Meier, Georg 2654
So, Wesley 2778
1-0
Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2720
Naiditsch, Arkadij 2722
½-½
Hou, Yifan 2676
Round 06 – July 04 2015, 15:00h
Caruana, Fabiano 2805 - Hou, Yifan 2676
Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2720 - Naiditsch, Arkadij 2722
Meier, Georg 2654 - So, Wesley 2778
Kramnik, Vladimir 2783 - Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter 2654
Round 07 – July 05 2015, 15:00h
Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter 2654 - Caruana, Fabiano 2805
So, Wesley 2778 - Kramnik, Vladimir 2783
Naiditsch, Arkadij 2722 - Meier, Georg 2654
Hou, Yifan 2676 - Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2720

Links

The games will be broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 13 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

 


Topics Dortmund

Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
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Wallace Howard Wallace Howard 7/4/2015 11:25
This weird: Kramnik has a much better record as Black (2-0) than as White (1-2). It's odd for any GM, but especially for Kramnik who rarely wins with Black or loses with White.
genem genem 7/4/2015 08:19
Quote: "31.Nd2? It is quite possible that Kramnik was under time pressure as this gives Black the golden opportunity to get a winning position."

We get tired of not knowing whether a player was in time pressure. We want to know when a player made his move in 30 seconds versus 11 minutes.

Is it past time for an upgrade to the .PGN format? The clocks attached to the DGT boards used by these grandmasters could perhaps automatically record their clock time at each move.
guest1227491 guest1227491 7/4/2015 04:15
@alekhina The Round 2 report was brief for some reason. None of the three decisive games was annotated in any depth. One of the games happened to be So's win, that is all. There is no conspiracy. Chessbase has had many glowing articles on So's achievements.
ChessHulk ChessHulk 7/4/2015 04:05
And what do the ubiquitous conspiracy buffs offer for an explanation for this horrible evil?
alekhina alekhina 7/4/2015 03:37
From round 1 to round 5 , did you see Ramirez annotate Wesley So's wins? He only annotated those losses of Wesley So. The round 5 win was annotated by Sagar Shah not Ramirez.
luishon luishon 7/4/2015 03:33
Kramnik- Caruana
on move 28.........Rb1
I was looking at 29 Ne4 fallow by 30 Ne6
on my point of view it has some thing else other than defend
guest1227491 guest1227491 7/4/2015 02:59
I am getting a bit tired of superfanboys (of any player) getting angry about trivial things, and being rude to the Chessbase authors. If you like the game so much, why don't you analyse it yourself and post your annotations in the comments?
ChessInquisitor ChessInquisitor 7/4/2015 11:00
Are you all clueless? If you actually looked at the games you will see the annotations are by Indian IM Sagar Shah and not by Alejandro. Maybe now you will think there is a global conspiracy against So?! Or that I am Paul Truong in disguise?
I watched these games live and undoubtedly Caruana's was more interesting than So's. After Neopmniachtchi gave up the exchange it became pretty one-sided. My only complaint is that the annotations should reflect the game atmosphere. Sagar asks if Kramnik was in time trouble so he obviously wasn't following it and unaware of the true situation.
BigPun BigPun 7/4/2015 10:53
@alekhina & raldovet. Please read carefully. Analysis was done by Sagar Shah not Ramirez. And Kramnik - Caruana was clearly the match up of the day. Why are you people always complaining... Like for no reason
raldovet raldovet 7/4/2015 08:31
@alekhina

Same sentiment as you. I've been following Ramirez's articles on tournaments with Wesley So's participation. He doesn't give a damn on Wesley's wins but highlights more the victories of other players. If Wesley leads a tournament, the article would be short and not given emphasis.
Logos Logos 7/4/2015 06:49
@ alekhina

I did not have such an impression. The analysis were balanced and insightful. So's game was not analyzed as deeply as Kramnik's, but it happens that one game gets more coverage than another. In this case, it was not a surprise given the players and the tournament situation.

Thank you Sagar Shah.
ChessHulk ChessHulk 7/4/2015 06:45
Hmm, or he just finds So's losses to be more interesting??
Marees Marees 7/4/2015 06:38
@alekhina one match is too small a statistic to draw a strong conclusion. Chill!
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