Dortmund Final 1: Battle Royal!

8/1/2004 – Vishy Anand was closing in for the kill but Vlady Kramnik had been saving his best for last. The first game of the final was drawn after a sensational defense by Kramnik. The only win of the day was scored by Naiditsch, his fourth in a row. The event concludes Sunday. Report, photos, and analysis

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SPARKASSEN
CHESS-MEETING
2004
22 July to 1 August 2004

Finals game 1 – Saturday, July 31

Final 1: Sat. July 31, 14:00h
Anand
½-½
Kramnik
For 3rd place
Leko
½-½
Svidler
For 5th place
Naiditsch
1-0
Rublevsky
For 7th
Bologan
½-½
Karjakin
Games – Report
Final 2: Sun. Aug 1, 11:30h
Kramnik
-
Anand
For 3rd place
Svidler
-
Leko
For 5th place
Rublevsky
-
Naiditsch
For 7th
Karjakin
-
Bologan
Games – Report


The beginning of an incredible ending. (Photo by Dagobert Kohlmeyer, Berlin)

The heavyweight players played a heavyweight game today and it was also a day of heavy battle on all four boards. The first game of the final between Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik was another draw, but it was an incredibly complicated and exciting one. We're quite sure that it contains many secrets we didn't have time to find, but many of the lines we looked at are sensational, including a few with four queens!

Anand missed his best chances to win, but Kramnik found amazing resources to draw. Truly a game worthy of the participants. Kramnik will take his turn with white tomorrow. (Or, according to an internet translation of the press release: "Tomorrow the world champion from Moscow leads the white stones." Isn't that a rock group?) If that game is also drawn there will be rapid and perhaps blitz playoffs.

Pop quiz! Who has won the most games so far in Dortmund 2004, rapid and blitz not included? Finalists Anand or Kramnik? Nope. Two wins, seven draws for Anand. Zero wins, nine draws for Kramnik. The unlikely answer is German GM Arkady Naiditsch. He lost twice to Svidler in the preliminaries but won his last game there and hasn't done anything but win since! He beat Karjakin twice and today notched another win over Rublevsky in the fight for 5th place.


Arkady Naiditsch chatting with Sergey Karjakin. (Photo by Olena Boytsun.)

That was the only decisive game of the day. Leko-Svidler, the battle for third place, was a sharp Sicilian. If the initial 15 moves look familiar to you it's because we saw them yesterday in Karjakin-Naiditsch. Call us old-fashioned, but we cringe in the name of Morphy every time we see Black draw one these Najdorfs in which his bishop is buried behind his d6 pawn for the entire game. Black's queenside play seems to be enough on its own even though he's practically playing a piece down.

Then there's the "salvage a last drop of dignity" fight between newcomer Karjakin and last year's winner Victor Bologan. Most would have expected the 14-year-old to end up near the bottom of such a strong field, although he acquitted himself very well by drawing four games against Kramnik and Leko in the preliminaries. Karjakin had an edge throughout and fought to the bitter end before the draw was inevitable.

Anand-Kramnik after 43.Kg2

Due to limitations of time and brain capacity there is no way we do more than scratch the surface of this incredible endgame. The most we can say is that it looks like Kramnik found several miracles. The first surprise was when Kramnik went active with his pawn center when it looked like passive defense might have held.

43...d4 44.Bc1 c4 45.dxc4 d3!!?. An incredible conception from the classical champ. 46.Qxd3 Bc5 hitting the Ra7 and f2 is the point. White gets a better version of this and sacrifices the exchange. 46.Qe3 Rc8 47.Qxd3! Bc5 48.Be3 Bxa7 49.Bxa7.

When we were watching this game live at Playchess.com and we considered the d and c-pawn pushes but didn't think Kramnik would hand White two connected passed pawns like this. Either Kramnik thought his position was otherwise desperate or he saw his counterplay against f2 was worth the risk. Having personally witnessed the depth of Kramnik's calculations in the past, we don't discount the possibility that he played 43...d4 with the final drawing ideas at move 60 in mind. Really.

Another thing to note is how quickly Anand was playing throughout this incredibly complicated endgame. He already had a big time advantage and he continued to push Kramnik on the clock. It probably cost him the chance to create tougher problems for Black, but we're not convinced that there is a forced win to be found.
 

Position after 49.Bxa7

While we were commentating on the game live we were quite proud of ourselves for seeing this exchange sac coming with what looks like great winning chances for White. Now we think we should be humble because Kramnik probably saw that and another 10 moves ahead.

Instead of bringing the queen back to watch the pawns, Kramnik went after the white h-pawn in a plan that looked much too slow against the speedy white passers. 49...Qf7 50.Bb6 Qxh5 51.b4 Ra8 52.Ba5 Qg4!?
 

Position after 52...Qg4

Continuing the counterintuitive plan to completely ignore the white pawns in favor of counterplay. Now the queen can't get back to the queenside, but Kramnik has no interest in that. It's still hard to believe that this kingside demonstration works.

53.c5 h5 The entire point of Kramnik's play. Passive defense will not work. 54.c6 h4 55.c7. Threatening Qd8+ and the b-pawn is on its way. How can Black resist?

55...Kh7 Now White won't queen with check, giving Black the critical tempo he needs.
 

Position after 55...Kh7

Anand tried to play defense with 56.Bb6 but this move is ineffective. Kramnik quickly forced the draw with 56...Rf8! 57.Bc5? Pushing the rook where it wants to go. 57...Rf3! Now the draw is clear. Incredible.

58.Qb1 Rxg3+! 59.fxg3 Qxg3 60.Kf1 Qf3+ 1/2-1/2 It's a perpetual check draw after 61.Ke1 Qh1+ 62.Kd2 Qxb1 63.c8Q Qa2+.

In the diagram, the line that shows the most promise is 56.b5 Rf8 57.Be1, adding protection to g3. Amazingly it seems like Black can still hold the draw thanks to the h-pawn. 57...Rf3! 58.Qc2 (58.Qxf3 gets mated after 58...h3+ 59.Kh2 Qxf3 60.Kxh3 Qh1+ 61.Kg4 Kg6!) 58...Rf7.
 

Analysis diagram after 58...Rf7

Incredibly, Black's attacking chances look sufficient to hold the draw. 59.c8Q h3+ 60.Kf1 Qxg3 and although White has two queens he can't stop ..Qg2+ and h2.

Or 59.Kg1 Qf3 60.gxh4 Qg4+ 61.Kf1 and it looks like Black is finally doomed. But 61...Rf3!! threatens mate in two starting with ..Rh3 forces the draw.

Incredible stuff, with plenty more in the notes and waiting to be found.
 


Participants

Group 1 Country Birthday
Rating
Viswanathan Anand India 11 Dec. 1969
2774
Peter Svidler Russia 17 June 76
2733
Sergei Rublevsky Russia 15 Oct. 74
2671
Arkadij Naiditsch Germany 25 Oct. 85
2571

Group 2 Country Birthday
Rating
Vladimir Kramnik Russia 25 June 75
2764
Peter Leko Hungary 08 Sep. 79
2741
Viorel Bologan Moldavia 14 Dec. 71
2665
Sergey Karjakin Ukraine 12 Jan. 90
2580

Full schedule and scoresheet

Round 1: Thurs. July 22, 14:00h
V. Anand
½-½
A. Naiditsch
P. Svidler
½-½
S. Rublevsky
V. Kramnik
½-½
S. Karjakin
P. Leko
½-½
V. Bologan
Round 2: Friday. July 23, 14:00h
A. Naiditsch
½-½
S. Rublevsky
V. Anand
1-0
P. Svidler
S. Karjakin
½-½
V. Bologan
V. Kramnik
½-½
P. Leko
Round 3: Sat. July 24, 14:00h
P. Svidler
1-0
A. Naiditsch
S. Rublevsky
½-½
V. Anand
P. Leko
½-½
S. Karjakin
V. Bologan
½-½
V. Kramnik
Round 4: Sun. July 25, 14:00h
A. Naiditsch
½-½
V. Anand
S. Rublevsky
½-½
P. Svidler
S. Karjakin
½-½
V. Kramnik
V. Bologan
½-½
P. Leko
Round 5: Mon. July 26, 14:00h
A. Naiditsch
0-1
P. Svidler
V. Anand
1-0
S. Rublevsky
S. Karjakin
½-½
P. Leko
V. Kramnik
½-½
V. Bologan
Round 6: Tues. July 27, 14:00h
S. Rublevsky
0-1
A. Naiditsch
P. Svidler
½-½
V. Anand
V. Bologan
½-½
S. Karjakin
P. Leko
½-½
V. Kramnik
Wednesday July 28 – Rest Day
Semifinal 1: Thurs. July 29, 14:00h
Kramnik
½-½
Svidler
Anand
½-½
Leko
Playoff for 5th–8th
Bologan
½-½
Rublevsky
Naiditsch
1-0
Karjakin
Semifinal 2: Fri. July 30, 14:00h
Svidler
½-½
Kramnik
Playoff: 1/2 1/2 1-0 0-1 0-1 0-1
Anand
½-½
Leko
Playoff: 1/2 1/2 1-0 1-0
For 5th–8th
Rublevsky
½-½
Bologan
Playoff: 1-0 1-0
Karjakin
0-1
Naiditsch
Final 1: Sat. July 31, 14:00h
Anand
½-½
Kramnik
For 3rd place
Leko
½-½
Svidler
For 5th place
Naiditsch
1-0
Rublevsky
For 7th
Bologan
½-½
Karjakin
Games – Report
Final 2: Sun. Aug 1, 11:30h
Kramnik
-
Anand
For 3rd place
Svidler
-
Leko
For 5th place
Rublevsky
-
Naiditsch
For 7th
Karjakin
-
Bologan
Games – Report

Dortmund Organizing Committee; Press Release, 13 April 2004. For information please contact Rolf Behovits, press officer and spokesman of the Sparkassen Chess-Meeting.
Contact: pr-behovits@uumail.de; presse_dortmund@chessgate.de

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Topics Dortmund 2004
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