Dortmund Rd8 – Caruana beats Kramnik; five lead

7/21/2012 – In round seven, all the games drew, though Vladimir Kramnik pressed Peter Leko for over 130 moves. He had had a large bind throughout, but somehow the Hungarian escaped. Round eight saw Fabiano Caruana do the unthinkable by beating Kramnik in their second straight encounter. Leko beat Bartel in a French line rarely seen at the top, while Ponomariov beat Gustafsson. Report and pictures.

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From Thursday July 13 to Sunday July 22, 2012 the 41st edition annual Sparkassen Chess-Meeting is taking place in Dortmund, Germany. It is a ten-player round robin played. 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 nine 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 seven

Round 7: Friday, July 20, 15:00h
Georg Meier 
½-½
 Jan Gustafsson
Arkadij Naiditsch 
½-½
 Ruslan Ponomariov
Mateusz Bartel 
½-½
 Daniel Fridman 
Vladimir Kramnik 
½-½
 Peter Leko
Sergey Karjakin 
½-½
 Fabiano Caruana

Though the seventh round brought neither change, nor results, it was not without its moments. The greatest test and most interesting game was the titanic struggle between Vladimir Kramnik and Peter Leko, as if in honor of their world championship match. The former world champion soon achieved a significant edge and extremely nasty bind that he held onto with great skill. Whether or not he could have won it is unclear, but whatever the truth of the matter, he was unable to break his opponent’s will and after more than 130 moves, they shook hands.

Round eight

Round 8: Saturday, July 21, 15:00h
Jan Gustafsson 
0-1
 Ruslan Ponomariov
Daniel Fridman 
½-½
 Arkadij Naiditsch
Peter Leko 
1-0
 Mateusz Bartel
Fabiano Caruana 
1-0
 Vladimir Kramnik
Georg Meier 
½-½
 Sergey Karjakin

The eighth was another beast altogether, but possibly a reflection of the seventh. After dodging a bullet the previous day, a reinvigorated Peter Leko was paired against Mateusz Bartel, and made his intentions incredibly clear: only a win would do. They played a line of the French Winawer that dates back to Moscow 1935, but that has fallen into disuse at the top level despite neither refutation nor lack of choices. Perhaps it is its double-edged nature that does not appeal to the elite. Up until the 17th move, they followed Bronstein-Uhlmann, 1977, but Leko’s theory ended, most likely as he himself had not anticipated any of this. He nevertheless pursued his goal with vigor, and finally broke into Black’s position.


There is nothing quite like avoiding disaster to give one a new
founded appreciation for life.

Vladimir Kramnik on the other hand, found himself in the reverse situation and Fabiano Caruana took advantage of inaccuracies that quickly put him in the driver’s seat. Despite a tense battle, the Italian never let go, and by the time control was passed it was clear the point was his. This victory not only put him in equal first with four others, Ponomariov, Karjakin, Leko, and Naiditsch, but marked his second consecutive victory against the Russian.


After a slow start, Caruana is once more in a fight for first

Sergey Karjakin nearly missed the party after getting into a very difficult situation against Georg Meier, but his tenacity came through and he salvaged the draw.

With no fewer than five in the lead, the tournament is wide open, and it should make for an exciting final round.


Standings after eight rounds


Schedule and results

Round 1: Friday, July 13, 15:00h
Daniel Fridman 
½-½
 Jan Gustafsson
Peter Leko 
½-½
 Ruslan Ponomariov
Fabiano Caruana 
½-½
 Arkadij Naiditsch 
Georg Meier 
1-0
 Mateusz Bartel
Sergey Karjakin 
½-½
 Vladimir Kramnik
Round 2: Saturday, July 14, 15:00h
Jan Gustafsson 
0-1
 Vladimir Kramnik
Ruslan Ponomariov 
1-0
 Fabiano Caruana
Arkadij Naiditsch 
½-½
 Georg Meier
Mateusz Bartel 
0-1
 Sergey Karjakin
Daniel Fridman 
½-½
 Peter Leko
Round 3: Sunday, July 15, 15:00h
Peter Leko 
1-0
 Jan Gustafsson
Georg Meier 
0-1
 Ruslan Ponomariov
Sergey Karjakin 
½-½
 Arkadij Naiditsch 
Vladimir Kramnik 
1-0
 Mateusz Bartel
Fabiano Caruana 
1-0
 Daniel Fridman
Round 4: Monday, July 16, 15:00h
Jan Gustafsson 
½-½
 Mateusz Bartel
Ruslan Ponomariov 
½-½
 Sergey Karjakin
Arkadij Naiditsch 
½-½
 Vladimir Kramnik
Daniel Fridman 
½-½
 Georg Meier
Peter Leko 
½-½
 Fabiano Caruana
Round 5: Tuesday, July 17, 15:00h
Fabiano Caruana 
1-0
 Jan Gustafsson
Vladimir Kramnik 
½-½
 Ruslan Ponomariov
Mateusz Bartel 
0-1
 Arkadij Naiditsch 
Sergey Karjakin 
1-0
 Daniel Fridman
Georg Meier 
½-½
 Peter Leko
Round 6: Thursday, July 19, 15:00h
Jan Gustafsson 
0-1
 Arkadij Naiditsch
Ruslan Ponomariov 
0-1
 Mateusz Bartel
Daniel Fridman 
½-½
 Vladimir Kramnik
Peter Leko 
½-½
 Sergey Karjakin
Fabiano Caruana 
½-½
 Georg Meier
Round 7: Friday, July 20, 15:00h
Georg Meier 
½-½
 Jan Gustafsson
Arkadij Naiditsch 
½-½
 Ruslan Ponomariov
Mateusz Bartel 
½-½
 Daniel Fridman 
Vladimir Kramnik 
½-½
 Peter Leko
Sergey Karjakin 
½-½
 Fabiano Caruana
Round 8: Saturday, July 21, 15:00h
Jan Gustafsson 
0-1
 Ruslan Ponomariov
Daniel Fridman 
½-½
 Arkadij Naiditsch
Peter Leko 
1-0
 Mateusz Bartel
Fabiano Caruana 
1-0
 Vladimir Kramnik
Georg Meier 
½-½
 Sergey Karjakin
Round 9: Sunday, July 22, 13:00h
Sergey Karjakin 
   Jan Gustafsson
Ruslan Ponomariov 
   Daniel Fridman
Arkadij Naiditsch 
   Peter Leko 
Mateusz Bartel 
   Fabiano Caruana
Vladimir Kramnik 
   Georg Meier

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 2012
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