Dortmund Rd10 – Kramnik goes for broke against Nakamura

7/31/2011 – Since the results were mostly decided by now, Vladimir Kramnik decided to do everything in his power to break back into the 2800 club. Kramnik played an incredibly brave and belligerent game against Nakamura, and sacrificed a knight for a long-term attack. While he had excellent chances, he ultimately failed to make the most of them, and lost. A fascinating game. Final report and stats.

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From Thursday July 21 to Sunday July 31, 2010 the 39th 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 of the others, one with as White and one as Black. 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 times. The winner of the 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. As in the previous year the moves of the Sparkassen Chess-Meeting will be transmitted on the Internet with a delay of 15 minutes – which means that the moves stay in the playing hall for that period, before they are broadcast to the rest of the world. This is an important anti-cheating measure that has been proposed to FIDE since October 2005 and has the support of most of the top players. We commend the Dortmund organisers for taking the initiative.

Round ten

Round 10: Sunday, July 31, 13:00h
Quang Liem Le 
½-½
 Anish Giri
Vladimir Kramnik 
0-1
 Hikaru Nakamura
Georg Meier 
½-½
 Ruslan Ponomariov 


The stage is set

One might have expected the tournament to end somewhat peacefully, in spite of the no-draw rule, since most players had little to gain by taking chances in the last round. Most, but not all. Two players had something to gain, and nothing to lose, and they were paired against each other in the last round as fate would have it. Kramnik has already clinched the tournament in the penultimate round, and while he could simply take the prize and rest, he had an added incentive to win his last game: a ticket back to the 2800 group. In spite of having been within one point of it in 2008, the fact of the matter is that he was last rated 2800 back in 2003, and the chance to rejoin those ranks had to be quite enticing indeed.

Nakamura is known for playing his games to the end anyhow, but a funny thing happened over the course of the tournament, nothing serious, an annoyance at best, but still a nagging one: he lost the title of top-rated American to Gata Kamsky. While he was hemorrhaging Elo points at Dortmund, Kamsky was doing well at the World Team Championship, and a win in the last round would prevent that bragging right from being denied him.


Hikaru Nakamura had no need for the no-draw rule as he pushed
every game to the limit.

The game started fairly normally until Kramnik took everyone by surprise by sacrificing a knight for two pawns and long-term attack something that is atypical for him to say the least. It was a thrilling game, and eventually it became time to accept no win was forthcoming and a draw was not unreasonable, however the Russian declined the parachute to go down in blazing glory.


Vladimir Kramnik: exciting chess throughout


A thrilling game was an apt finish to a great tournament

[Event "39th GM"] [Site "Dortmund GER"] [Date "2011.07.31"] [Round "10"] [White "Kramnik, V."] [Black "Nakamura, Hi"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E97"] [WhiteElo "2781"] [BlackElo "2770"] [PlyCount "100"] [EventDate "2011.07.21"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. O-O Nc6 8. d5 Ne7 9. b4 Nh5 10. c5 Nf4 11. a4 f5 12. Bc4 fxe4 13. Nxe4 h6 14. Re1 Bg4 15. Ra3 g5 16. h3 Bh5 17. Bxf4 Rxf4 18. g3 Rf8 19. a5 Kh8 20. Kg2 Rb8 21. Qd2 b6 22. axb6 axb6 23. Nfxg5 $5 {It is more than a little remarkable since it is so contrary to Kramnik's well-established low-risk, low-complications style. That said, he certainly gets a lot of play for the piece, so even if it may not be correct in absolute terms, it is certainly valid for practical purposes. Tal would be beaming now.} hxg5 24. Qxg5 Bg6 (24... Rf5 {was worth considering though it is not entirely clear after} 25. Qh4 ({It is hard to believe he planned} 25. Qd2 {as a continuation right after saccing the piece.}) 25... Bf6 26. Nxf6 Ng6 27. Qxh5+ Rxh5 28. Nxh5 bxc5 29. bxc5 {and White certainly has compensation.}) 25. cxd6 cxd6 26. Ra7 Rc8 27. Rxe7 Rxc4 28. f3 $1 {Kramnik has managed to get much of what he hoped for, with a rook on the seventh, and active threats against the king.} Rc2+ (28... Bxe4 $2 29. Qxg7#) 29. Kg1 Rc8 30. Ra1 ({Though Kramnik could play} 30. h4 Rf7 31. Qxg6 Rxe7 32. Ng5 Bf8 33. Qh5+ {with a perpetual, remember that he is clearly ready to take risks to try and break back into the 2800 club, so as long as there is life in the position, draws and repetitions are not an option.}) 30... Rf7 31. Qxg6 Qxe7 32. Ng5 $6 { A mistake according to the engines, but there is still fight in this position.} (32. Nxd6 {is also possible, but} Rcf8 33. Nxf7+ Qxf7 34. Qxf7 Rxf7 35. Kg2 { hardly offers White anything except a chance to fight to draw.}) 32... Kg8 33. Qh7+ Kf8 34. Ne6+ Ke8 35. Qh5 Bf6 $6 (35... Qf6 {was better and would make the attack very difficult to pursue. For example} 36. Ng5 (36. Ra7 Bh6 37. Rxf7 Be3+) 36... e4 37. Re1 Qd4+ 38. Kf1 Qd3+ 39. Kg1 Bd4+ {and the White's attack has been beached.}) 36. g4 $6 ({Of course, the position is so complicated that one cannot blame Kramnik for not perceiving that this was his last chance to walk away with a draw. That said, the best move now was} 36. Qg6 $1 Qb7 {and now White can play either} 37. f4 ({or} 37. h4 e4 38. Ra3 Bb2 39. Ng5 Qe7 40. Nxf7 Rc1+ 41. Kh2 Bxa3 42. Nxd6+ Kd7 43. Nxe4 Qxb4 44. h5 {with a very unclear position, though probably balanced.}) 37... e4 38. Ra2 e3 {and a likely draw.} (38... Qxd5 $4 39. Qg8+ Ke7 40. Ra7+)) 36... Qb7 37. Rd1 Qa6 38. Qg6 Ke7 39. g5 Bh8 40. Re1 Qa3 41. Nd4 Qxb4 42. Nf5+ Kf8 43. Rd1 Rc2 44. Nd4 exd4 45. Qxc2 Qc3 46. Qe4 Qe3+ 47. Qxe3 dxe3 48. Kg2 Bc3 49. Kf1 Rxf3+ 50. Ke2 Rxh3 0-1

In spite of the disappointing result, it was symbolic of Kramnik's tournament, in which he came jonesing for a good fight, and played in several of the most exciting and entertaining games. He still finished at a temporary rating of 2793, and will recover his status as top Russian player. We can only cross our fingers to see more.


Liem Le Quang, once again making the most of his opportunity

[Event "39th GM"] [Site "Dortmund GER"] [Date "2011.07.31"] [Round "10"] [White "Le Quang Liem"] [Black "Giri, A."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E00"] [WhiteElo "2715"] [BlackElo "2701"] [PlyCount "76"] [EventDate "2011.07.21"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 Bb4+ 4. Bd2 Be7 5. Bg2 d5 6. Nf3 c6 7. Qc2 O-O 8. O-O Nbd7 9. Rd1 b6 10. b3 Ba6 11. a4 c5 12. Na3 Bb7 13. Qb2 Rc8 14. Rac1 Ne4 15. Be1 Bf6 16. e3 Qc7 17. Nd2 Nxd2 18. Qxd2 Qb8 19. cxd5 cxd4 20. exd4 Bxd5 21. Bxd5 exd5 22. Nb5 a6 23. Nc3 Qb7 24. Qe3 Nb8 25. Qf3 Rcd8 26. b4 Bg5 27. Bd2 Bxd2 28. Rxd2 b5 29. axb5 axb5 30. Ra2 Na6 31. Ra5 Nc7 32. Qd3 Ra8 33. Rca1 Rxa5 34. Rxa5 Rb8 35. Ne2 Ne6 36. Nc3 Nc7 37. Ne2 Ne6 38. Nc3 Nc7 1/2-1/2

In second place was Liem Le Quang, who once again qualified for Dortmund on his own merit, and once again did very well, this time being the only undefeated player in the event. In third was the most uncompromising player: Ruslan Ponomariov, who scored only four draws with three losses and three wins.


Ruslan Ponomariov: little use for those pesky draws


Anish Giri already at 2722 in the live ratings lists

Tied with him, though a fraction behind on tiebreak, was 17-year-old Anish Giri who also continues his climb and has gained 21 Elo since the list was published. Nakamura had a very tough event, but managed to stop the rot with his two wins at the end. Finally, the local hero Georg Meier certainly suffered at the hands of such strong players, but to paraphrase Nietzsche: "what doesn't kill you, can only make you stronger."


Georg Meier after a tough initiation

[Event "39th GM"] [Site "Dortmund GER"] [Date "2011.07.31"] [Round "10"] [White "Meier, Geo"] [Black "Ponomariov, R."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A13"] [WhiteElo "2656"] [BlackElo "2764"] [PlyCount "87"] [EventDate "2011.07.21"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 dxc4 5. Qa4+ c6 6. Qxc4 b5 7. Qb3 Bb7 8. O-O Nbd7 9. d4 a6 10. Ne5 Qb6 11. Nxd7 Nxd7 12. Be3 c5 13. d5 exd5 14. Bxd5 Bxd5 15. Qxd5 Rd8 16. a4 Be7 17. axb5 axb5 18. Nc3 O-O 19. b4 Qf6 20. Nxb5 cxb4 21. Ra7 Nc5 22. Qf3 Qxf3 23. exf3 Rfe8 24. Nd4 Rd7 25. Rxd7 Nxd7 26. Nc6 Bf8 27. Rb1 Ne5 28. Nxe5 Rxe5 29. Kf1 f6 30. Ke2 Rd5 31. Ra1 Kf7 32. Ra6 h5 33. h3 Rd7 34. Rb6 Rc7 35. g4 Rc2+ 36. Kd3 Rc3+ 37. Ke4 Kg6 38. f4 hxg4 39. hxg4 Rc4+ 40. Kd5 Rc7 41. Ke4 Rc4+ 42. Kd5 Rc7 43. Ke4 Rc4+ 44. Kd5 1/2-1/2

Statistics

We take a look at the obligatory statistics, and compare them with the recently ended event in Biel:

Dortmund
30
30.0%
56.7%
13 .3%


Number of games
White wins
Draws
Black wins

Biel
30
23.3%
50.0%
26.7%

Dortmund was, like Biel, a tournament with a relatively low draw quota. Looking at the final table above we see that most draws were by Le Quang Liem (nine), followed by Giri and Meier (six each), Nakamura (five) and Kramnik and Ponomariov (four each). There was just one short draw (Le Quang vs Nakamura in 22) and only two games less than 30 moves. The longest game was Meier vs Nakamura, which lasted 150 moves.

Live ratings

Now to the live ratings, calculated by IM Artiom Tsepotan together with International Arbiter Dr. Christopher Wright on July 31 July 2011, 16:20 GMT. The ratings of the top twenty players in the world are as follows:

# Name
Rating
+/-
Games
FIDE
Age/birthday
1 Carlsen
2823.0
+2.0
10
20 (30.11.1990)
2 Anand
2817.0
0.0
0
41 (11.12.1969)
3 Aronian
2807.0
+2.0
8
28 (06.10.1982)
4 Kramnik
2792.8
+11.8
10
36 (25.06.1975)
5 Karjakin
2774.6
-13.4
6
21 (12.01.1990)
6 Topalov
2768.0
0.0
0
36 (15.03.1975)
7 Ivanchuk
2764.7
-3.3
15
42 (18.03.1969)
8 Nakamura
2758.4
-11.6
10
23 (09.12.1987)
9 Ponomariov
2758.4
-5.6
10
27 (11.10.1983)
10 Gashimov
2756.4
-3.6
9
25 (24.07.1986)
11 Kamsky
2755.8
+14.8
18
37 (02.06.1974)
12 Grischuk
2755.3
+9.3
8
27 (31.10.1983)
13 Mamedyarov
2754.5
-10.5
9
26 (12.04.1985)
14 Radjabov
2751.8
+7.8
9
24 (12.03.1987)
15 Gelfand
2746.0
0.0
0
43 (24.06.1968)
16 Wang, Hao
2739.2
+21.2
13
21 (04.08.1989)
17 Leko
2727.7
+10.7
9
31 (08.09.1979)
18 Svidler
2727.5
-11.5
7
35 (17.06.1976)
19 Adams
2726.8
+11.8
15
39 (17.11.1971)
20 Vitiugov
2726.2
-6.8
17
24 (04.02.1987)

If we compare this to his standing after round seven, when he was at 2800 on the dot, we can see that with is final round loss Kramnik slipped from 2796.9 to 2792.8, very unlucky when you remember how close he came to the magical 2800 mark. After winning his final game Hikaru Nakamura climbed from 2749.8 to 2758.4 and from 14th to eighth place in the world rankings. This makes him, once again, the highest ranked player in the USA, ahead of Gata Kamsky, who is currently 2755.8 and eleventh in the world.

Fifteen minute broadcast delay

We did not want to spoil the event for the more sensitive of our readers, so we did not inform you that the moves were once again being broadcast on the Internet with a 15-minute delay, i.e. the games actually started fifteen minutes earlier and the moves fed to the chess servers (naturally at the original rate) fifteen minutes after they were made. Nobody to our knowledge complained or even noticed it. So the system worked, even if it may have inconvenienced a few journalists – one journalist? – in the press room. However we have no word of that either. Those who were on vacation may have missed the lively debate we had on the subject on our news page.


Schedule and results

Round 1: Thursday, July 21, 15:00h
Georg Meier 
½-½
 Quang Liem Le
Vladimir Kramnik 
1-0
 Ruslan Ponomariov
Anish Giri 
½-½
 Hikaru Nakamura 
Round 2: Friday, July 22, 15:00h
Quang Liem Le 
½-½
 Hikaru Nakamura
Ruslan Ponomariov 
1-0
 Anish Giri
Georg Meier 
0-1
 Vladimir Kramnik
Round 3: Saturday, July 23, 15:00h
Vladimir Kramnik 
½-½
 Quang Liem Le
Anish Giri 
1-0
 Georg Meier
Hikaru Nakamura 
0-1
 Ruslan Ponomariov 
Round 4: Sunday, July 24, 15:00h
Anish Giri 
½-½
 Quang Liem Le
Hikaru Nakamura 
0-1
 Vladimir Kramnik
Ruslan Ponomariov 
½-½
 Georg Meier
Round 5: Monday, July 25, 15:00h
Quang Liem Le 
1-0
 Ruslan Ponomariov 
Georg Meier 
½-½
 Hikaru Nakamura
Vladimir Kramnik 
1-0
 Anish Giri
Round 6: Wednesday, July 27, 15:00h
Quang Liem Le 
½-½
 Georg Meier
Ruslan Ponomariov 
½-½
 Vladimir Kramnik
Hikaru Nakamura 
½-½
 Anish Giri
Round 7: Thursday, July 28, 15:00h
Hikaru Nakamura 
½-½
 Quang Liem Le
Anish Giri 
1-0
 Ruslan Ponomariov 
Vladimir Kramnik 
1-0
 Georg Meier
Round 8: Friday, July 29, 15:00h
Quang Liem Le  
½-½
 Vladimir Kramnik
Georg Meier 
½-½
 Anish Giri
Ruslan Ponomariov 
1-0
 Hikaru Nakamura
Round 9: Saturday, July 30, 15:00h
Ruslan Ponomariov 
½-½
 Quang Liem Le
Hikaru Nakamura 
1-0
 Georg Meier
Anish Giri 
½-½
 Vladimir Kramnik
Round 10: Sunday, July 31, 13:00h
Quang Liem Le 
½-½
 Anish Giri
Vladimir Kramnik 
0-1
 Hikaru Nakamura
Georg Meier 
½-½
 Ruslan Ponomariov 

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 a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 11 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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Topics Dortmund 2011
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