Dortmund R1: All four games drawn

7/22/2004 – The strongest tournament in Germany, the yearly Chess-Meeting in Dortmund, started with draws on all four boards. But these were neither boring nor quick. Sensationally the two youngsters Naiditsch and Karjakin, were able to hold the top seeds Anand and Kramnik with the black pieces. We have games, photos, and a full report.

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SPARKASSEN
CHESS-MEETING
2004
22 July to 1 August 2004

The Sparkassen Chess-Meeting 2004 is being held in the Dortmund, Germany, from 22nd July to 1st August 2004. In the Super Tournament the eight participants play double round robins in two groups. Two qualifiers of each group will advance to the semifinals, which is a two-round knockout. The winners will play the final two-round match, the losers will play the match for the 3rd place. Number 3 and Number 4 in each preliminary group will play for the places 5 to 8.

Round one – Thursday, July 22

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
Games – Report
Round 2: Friday. July 23, 14:00h
A. Naiditsch
-
S. Rublevsky
V. Anand
-
P. Svidler
S. Karjakin
-
V. Bologan
V. Kramnik
-
P. Leko
Games – Report

Hey, the kids are all right! In the first round in Dortmund 18-year-old Naiditsch held Vishy Anand while 14-year-old Karjakin put the breaks on Vladimir Kramnik. In fact, the world's second and third-ranked players were closer to getting the worse of things with the white pieces, but their young opponents weren't going to argue with the draw offers. Both games were drawn with plenty of life on the board.

The same can be said of Svidler-Rublevsky, which lasted 25 moves and ended abruptly in a sharp, unbalanced position. Perhaps the Dortmund organizers need to replace the chess sets currently being used. The pieces they are using now they are clearly too heavy! Only Leko-Bologan went the distance, reaching a knight and pawn endgame with no scope for mistakes. Early success can't help but calm and inspire the teenagers, so watch out!


Which one is a real final position? The answer is e) all of the above.

In case you don't recall, Moldova's Victor Bologan is in Dortmund as the defending champion. He sensationally dominated last year's event after reaching it as a qualifier from the Moscow Aeroflot Open, a slot occupied by Sergey Rublevsky this year. Last year's double round-robin has given way to qualifying groups and mini-matches. The semi-finals and final are just two games, unlike the longer matches that were used when Dortmund last tried this format in 2002. So after six rounds (and same-day tiebreaks), half of the players will get das boot.

Despite coming in behind Bologan last year, classical world champion Vladimir Kramnik is the king of Dortmund. From 1995-2001 he took the title six times in seven years. Leko won the 2002 event to qualify to challenge Kramnik for his title, a match that will take place in just a few months, which makes it interesting to see them fighting it out now. It seems likely that they will both be keeping their powder dry for the big match, at least as far as openings are concerned. Anand, the odds favorite, has never won in Dortmund, where he is chiefly remembered for having the worst result of his career in 2001.

Speaking of openings, Karjakin managed to play a new move on move seven of the venerable Ruy Lopez against Kramnik. The champion made the unorthodox decision to play a delayed exchange on c6 after Black had already put a bishop on c5 and the game moved into exchange lines. Since Karjakin later retreated his bishop to d6 the tempo swap came out fine for White. Black dropped his knight on f8 and left Kramnik to try and figure out a way to break through, which he failed to do. There was also some Spanish trivia in Anand-Naiditsch. The world #2 moved his king's bishop eight times in the first 18 moves, including the curious 15.Bxe6 16.Bd5 17.Ba2 18.Bd5.

Round two brings the clash of favorites in both groups, Anand-Svidler and Kramnik-Leko.

Live coverage and links

The games are being covered live on the official web site on a pay-per-view basis. To see the games you have register an account at the German click&buy service Firstgate. The price is €1.- (about US $1.24) per round or €8.- ($9.92) for the entire event. In addition to seeing the moves in a Flash applet as they are played you can also hear German language commentary by GMs Helmut Pfleger and Klaus Bischoff.

Picture Gallery


The entrance of the Dortmund Theatre where the event is being held


The players pose for the press: Rublevski, Svidler, Kramnik, Karjakin, Naiditsch, Leko, Anand and Bologan.


A welcome to the players and spectators


The Prime minister of the state of Nordrhein-Westfalen. Peer Steinbrück, opens the tournament by executing the first move in the game Kramnik vs Karjakin


Top seed Vishy Anand of India before the start of round one


Anand's opponent, 18-year-old Arkadij Naiditsch, currently Germany's biggest talent


Peter Leko of Hungary


Last year's winner Viorel Bologan


Peter Svidler, number six in the world, against Sergei Rublevski, who qualified for Dortmund by winning the Aeroflot Open


The projection of the board for the spectators in the theatre


Live coverage and commentary for spectators in Dortmund and on the Internet

Pictures by Jeroen van den Belt


Participants

Group 1 Country Birthday
Rating
Viswanathan Anand India 11 Dec. 1969
2774
Peter Svidler Russia 17 June 76
2733
Sergei Rublevski 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

Introductory report
Round 1: Thurs. July 22, 14:00h
V. Anand
½-½
A. Naiditsch
P. Svidler
½-½
S. Rublevski
V. Kramnik
½-½
S. Karjakin
P. Leko
½-½
V. Bologan
Round 2: Friday. July 23, 14:00h
A. Naiditsch
-
S. Rublevski
V. Anand
-
P. Svidler
S. Karjakin
-
V. Bologan
V. Kramnik
-
P. Leko
Games – Report
Round 3: Sat. July 24, 14:00h
P. Svidler
-
A. Naiditsch
S. Rublevski
-
V. Anand
P. Leko
-
S. Karjakin
V. Bologan
-
V. Kramnik
Games – Report
Round 4: Sun. July 25, 14:00h
A. Naiditsch
-
V. Anand
S. Rublevski
-
P. Svidler
S. Karjakin
-
V. Kramnik
V. Bologan
-
P. Leko
Games – Report
Round 5: Mon. July 26, 14:00h
A. Naiditsch
-
P. Svidler
V. Anand
-
S. Rublevski
S. Karjakin
-
P. Leko
V. Kramnik
-
V. Bologan
Games – Report
Round 6: Tues. July 27, 14:00h
S. Rublevski
-
A. Naiditsch
P. Svidler
-
V. Anand
V. Bologan
-
S. Karjakin
P. Leko
-
V. Kramnik
Games – Report
Wednesday July 28 – Rest Day
Semifinal 1: Thurs. July 29, 14:00h
 
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-
 
Games – Report
Semifinal 2: Fri. July 30, 14:00h
 
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Games – Report
Final 1: Sat. July 31, 14:00h
 
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Games – Report
Final 2: Sun. Aug. 1, 11:30h
 
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Games – Report

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