Dortmund 2010: Ponomariov wins, Le Quang takes sole second.

7/26/2010 – The last round of Dortmund could easily have been an anticlimatic affair, but the players continued their combative to the end, with two decisive games, and near last round miss by Le Quang who drummed up serious winning chances against the leader Ponomariov. In the end, the leader prevailed. We bring the report with pictures and analysis. Addendum: caption suggestions by our readers.

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From Thursday July 15 to Sunday, July 25, 2010 the 38th edition annual Sparkassen Chess-Meeting is taking place in Dortmund, Germany. It is a six-player round robin, in which each player has to play two games against each other, one with white and one with black pieces. Draw offers are not allowed – a game can only be declared a draw, by the arbiter, if there is no possible win for one side, or if a position is repeated three time. The winner of this tournament will be determined after ten rounds. Games start at 15:00h = 3 p.m. local time (CEST, = 17:00 Moscow, 14:00 p.m. London, 9:00 a.m. New York). All games will be broadcast by the official web site's "Live Games" page and on the Playchess.com server, with live audio commentary, in German, by Dennis Breder (July 15-18), Niclas Huschenbeth (19-21), Merijn van Delft (22, 24, 25) and Julian Zimmermann (July 23).

Round 10: Sunday, July 25, 13:00h
Peter Leko 
1-0
 Arkadij Naiditsch
Vladimir Kramnik 
1-0
 Shak. Mamedyarov
Ruslan Ponomariov 
½-½
 Liem Le Quang 

The last round of Dortmund was not without excitement, as two games ended up with decisive results, and Ponomariov came very close to losing his game against second-place Le Quang.

Vladimir Kramnik overcame Mamedyarov in their last-round encounter when they both followed the Kramnik-Ponomariov (Tal Memorial, 2009), a game Kramnik had won. Kramnik was the first to deviate by taking a pawn he had spurned in the aforementioned game, and Shak seemed ill-prepared for the defensive task he was obliged to go for. Vladimir improved his position as the Azerbaijan refused to enter the passive defense required, and resigned in a lost rook endgame. With this windfall, Kramnik achieved some damage control for his rating and finished on 50% as did his opponent.


Kramnik needed a last round win against Mamedyarov to reach 50%.

Leko and Naiditsch played the same line the latter had played against Le Quang in the second round, and again came out of the opening with a bad position. No doubt something he will need to rethink. Leko came out of the middlegame with an extra pawn and edge, but by the time they were down to a knight endgame with White's two pans vs Black's one, the only was Naiditsch was going to share the bottom of the crosstable was by erring. The defense was not pleasant, and after fifteen moves trying to avoid the pitfalls thrown at him, he slipped and the Hungarian made no mistake and chalked up his only win in what had otherwise been a disastrous tournament for him.


Leko also needed a last round win against Naiditsch in order to not be sole last.
Clearly his shakiest event in a long time.

Ponomariov's task would have seemed far simpler than it actually was. As White, playing his nearest rival, his task was to neutralize the game and safely draw it. By doing so he would be alone in first and secure what has been a near perfect tournament, one has has led almsot consistently since the very first round. His young Vietnamese opponent, however, had other plans as became clear, and seemed close to winning at one point.

Here is their game, with their comments, translated from German from the official site.

Ponomariov,R (2734) - Le Quang Liem (2681) [B13]
Sparkassen GM Dortmund GER (10), 25.07.2010

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Before the game, I was in doubt as to what to play. The tournament situation dictated no risks were to be taken, so I chose a quiet line against the Caro-Kann. - Ponomariov Nc6 5.c3 Nf6 6.h3 Qc7 7.Nf3 g6 8.0-0 Bf5!?

At this point, I began to have doubts. I had prepared well with my second, Zahar Efimenko, who had played this line against Konstantin Landa in the Russian championship. It seemed however that my opponent was well prepared even here. - Ponomariov 9.Re1. 9.Bxf5 gxf5 10.Ne5 e6 with the idea of 11.0-0-0 is much too risky for White. - Ponomariov. 9...Bxd3 10.Qxd3 Bg7 11.Nbd2 0-0 12.Nb3 e6 It was unclear to me, what my opponent wanted in this game. Normally, I would offer a draw here to see where I stood, but this was not possible thanks to the Sofia rules. - Ponomariov 13.a4 Rfe8 14.g3 Ne4 15.Bf4 Qd8 16.h4 h6 17.Kg2 g5!

I had underestimated this. I had thought I would swap and then mate my opponent on the h-file. This was obviously nonsense. - Ponomariov 18.hxg5 hxg5 19.Be3 f5 20.Ng1 Qf6 Instead, the following variations were also interesting: 20...f4!? 21.gxf4 gxf4 22.Bxf4 e5; or 20...e5!? 21.dxe5 Nxe5 22.Qc2 f4 23.gxf4 gxf4 24.Bxf4 Qf6!? 21.Ne2 Rad8 22.f3 Nd6 23.Qc2 I must be better here though the position is very complicated. There are simply too many possibilities. - Le Quang 23...f4 24.Bf2 Nc4 25.g4 Kf7 26.Nd2 Qg6 27.Rac1 e5 28.Qxg6+ Kxg6 29.Nxc4 dxc4 30.Red1 exd4 30...Rd5 31.dxe5 Rd3 32.Nd4 Nxe5 was perhaps better, but I couldn't see how Black wins. - Le Quang. 31.Nxd4 As of now the position is equal and the draw almost inevitable. - Ponomariov 31...Ne5 32.Nf5 Nd3 33.Rc2 Bf6 34.Rh1 Rh8 35.Rxh8 Bxh8 36.Re2 Nxf2 37.Kxf2 Bf6 38.Re4 Rd2+ 39.Re2 Rd3 40.Re4 Rd2+ 41.Re2 Rd3 42.Re4 1/2-1/2 [Click to replay]

A wonderful victory for Ponomariov who showed panache and patience, making the most of his opportunities. The second place finish by 19-year-old Liem Le Quang, in his first appearance in a Super GM tournament, has to be considered a fantastic result. He showed that he is perfectly able to compete with the top players on their turf, and will obviously soon be a regular guest at such events.

Current standings

Closing ceremony


The participants (left to right): Leko, Naiditsch, Mamedyarov, Ponomariov, Kramnik,
Le Quang.


Ruslan Ponomariov posing with his first place trophy.


Peter Leko in animated discussion with GM Jan Gustafsson, a frequent audio
commentator on Playchess.


Mamedyarov's manager, Rustam Najafov, Mamedyarov, and Leko, listen to Naiditsch.
We tried to find a suitably funny legend for what he might be saying, but came up
short. Can you help us and send us your best?

Addendum

Here are some suggestions we received from our readers:

Alexandre Fernandes, Brasília, Brazil
"What could I do? The octopus Paul predicted Hungary!"

Stephen Gordon, Salt Lake, USA
"So Leko comes up and offers me a draw. I say: 'Peter we're not playing this round!'"

Wade Caughlin, Canada
" ...and then she just walked out on me! I was stunned!"

Alistair Chew, Singapore
Naiditsch: "Can you believe it? He said I played like Nigel Short!"
Leko: "No, he said you looked like Nigel Short."

Bobby Ang, Quezon City, Philippines
"I wanted to offer him a leko (draw), but when you've got Leko sitting across the board from you then it is not possible."

Chad Eller, Wilkesboro, NC, USA
"Well, at least Peter got me to share his misery."

Alan Kirshner, Toledo, Ohio, USA
And that gentlemen, is the way to beat Kramnik

Ashok Pandit, Melbourne, USA
No one gives me bishop odds and beats me, not even Kramnik!

João Ricardo de Freitas Oliveira, São José dos Campos, Brazil
"I thought Pete was building a drawing attack!"

Brian, Chicago, IL, USA
And then Shak dunked it off the rim!!

Neeraj Sharma, Swansea, UK
'What do I have to play to beat this guy? Leko Gambit or the Naiditsch attack?'

K.T., Athens, Greece
"Beating Kramnik, well, it was such a feeling!"

Peter Stevens, San Francisco, CA, USA
"I was totally lost when thankfully, his cellphone rang!"

Photos: Georgios Souleidis


Schedule and results

Round 1: Thursday, July 15, 15:00h
Ruslan Ponomariov 
1-0
 Peter Leko
Vladimir Kramnik 
½-½
 Liem Le Quang
Arkadij Naiditsch 
0-1
 Shak. Mamedyarov 
Round 2: Friday, July 16, 15:00h
Peter Leko 
½-½
 Shak. Mamedyarov
Liem Le Quang 
½-½
 Arkadij Naiditsch
Ruslan Ponomariov 
1-0
 Vladimir Kramnik
Round 3: Saturday, July 17, 15:00h
Vladimir Kramnik 
½-½
 Peter Leko
Arkadij Naiditsch 
½-½
 Ruslan Ponomariov
Shak. Mamedyarov 
1-0
 Liem Le Quang 
Round 4: Sunday, July 18, 15:00h
Arkadij Naiditsch 
½-½
 Peter Leko
Shak. Mamedyarov 
½-½
 Vladimir Kramnik
Liem Le Quang 
1-0
 Ruslan Ponomariov
Round 5: Monday, July 19, 15:00h
Peter Leko 
0-1
 Liem Le Quang 
Ruslan Ponomariov 
1-0
 Shak. Mamedyarov
Vladimir Kramnik 
1-0
 Arkadij Naiditsch
Round 6: Wednesday, July 21, 15:00h
Peter Leko 
½-½  Ruslan Ponomariov
Liem Le Quang 
½-½  Vladimir Kramnik
Shak. Mamedyarov 
0-1
 Arkadij Naiditsch
Round 7: Thursday, July 22, 15:00h
Shak. Mamedyarov 
1-0
 Peter Leko
Arkadij Naiditsch 
½-½
 Liem Le Quang 
Vladimir Kramnik 
½-½
 Ruslan Ponomariov
Round 8: Friday, July 23, 15:00h
Peter Leko  
½-½  Vladimir Kramnik
Ruslan Ponomariov 
1-0
 Arkadij Naiditsch
Liem Le Quang 
½-½
 Shak. Mamedyarov
Round 9: Saturday, July 24, 15:00h
Liem Le Quang 
½-½
 Peter Leko
Shak. Mamedyarov 
½-½
 Ruslan Ponomariov
Arkadij Naiditsch 
1-0
 Vladimir Kramnik
Round 10: Sunday, July 25, 13:00h
Peter Leko 
1-0
 Arkadij Naiditsch
Vladimir Kramnik 
1-0
 Shak. Mamedyarov
Ruslan Ponomariov 
½-½
 Liem Le Quang 

Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse PGN games. New and enhanced: CB Light 2009!

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Topics Dortmund 2010
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