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Dortmund Round 10: Viorel Bologan sole winner

8/10/2003 – Viorel Bologan has created the sensation of the year. The 31-year-old Moldovan clinched sole victory in the Sparkassen Chess-Meetings 2003 in Dortmund, a full point ahead of Kramnik and Anand. Bologan led the tournament from the first round all the way to the end. With 6.5/10 his performance rating was 2814. Full report now up.
 

Bologan wins Dortmund 2003

Round 10: Sun. Aug. 10, 12:30h
T. Radjabov
1/2
V. Anand
A. Naiditsch
1/2
P. Leko
V. Kramnik
1/2
V. Bologan

First things first. We need to congratulate the real winners, the organizers of Dortmund who brilliantly decided to award a spot in the supertournament to the winner of this year's Aeroflot Open in Moscow. Viktor (aka Viorel) Bologan took that title and brought a rush of new blood into the supertournament scene.

It was almost too much for him to also win the event, but the Hollywood story got its storybook ending on Sunday. Bologan took clear first a full point ahead of two of the world's very best, Vishy Anand and Vladimir Kramnik. Congratulations to Viktor Bologan for an amazing result!

Bologan raced out to a huge lead and then held on. He scored even in the second half but that was more than enough considering his incredible 4/5 in a first half that included wins over Anand and Leko. These were supplemented by a sweep of Naiditsch. We hope that not only will this lead to more invites for Bologan, but more supertournament participation for "outsiders." Not because they will always win but because the hunger they bring to the table.


Viorel Bologan, the winner of Dortmund 2003

The perfect ending to Bologan's trial by fire was defending the black pieces against world champion Vladimir Kramnik in the final round. Kramnik was typically unambitious in this event, winning his first game and then drawing the next nine in a row. Six of those were in under 30 moves so it was an open question whether or not he'd remember how to play for a win against Bologan when, thanks to better tiebreaks, a full point would make him Dortmund champion yet again.

The answer was a mixed message. The game went 38 moves and Black was probably even a little better when Kramnik offered the draw. But the opening showed Kramnik's no-lose philosophy when he played 10.dxc5 to create a symmetrical pawn structure. Kramnik can work wonders in even the most arid positions, but it was not the sort of thing you play in a must-win situation.

Addenda: Several readers (and other analysts) have commented that I'm being too harsh on Kramnik here and they are no doubt correct. White has the bishops and a small plus and can play all day with no danger. But I still believe that you aren't going to beat someone like Bologan in that position, even if you are Kramnik! Plus, I'm always disappointed when someone with such massive talent shows so little of it at the board during a tournament of the prestige and strength of Dortmund. Vladimir may be the most profound player in the game but we only rarely catch a glimpse of this these days. Call me selfish but I'd like to see it more often. Perhaps, like Capablanca, Kramnik sees so much that the game has become a little easy for him. This is a good reason to hope his match with Leko happens, so he will be forced to expose the rest of the iceberg that we know is under there!


Final standings

16-year-old Teimour Radjabov and former FIDE world champion Vishy Anand agreed to a draw after just 13 moves, leaving the Indian superstar in a tie for second-third with Kramnik, a satisfying result for Anand in view of the disastrous first half of the tournament. He stormed back for three consecutive wins that appeared to exhaust him. His last three games totaled just 53 moves. (To be fair, in the last three rounds there were draws of 21, 19, 21, 19, 13, and 24 moves. The only two draws over 30 moves in those rounds included Bologan.)

Radjabov finished with an even score, notched a win against Anand and added yet more rating points. He showed disappointing conservatism by playing several short draws with white. When he did play hard, or was forced to, his chess was as inventive and aggressive as always. Radjabov's tactical sang froid and never say die attitude saved several half-points.

Peter Leko had an unlucky tournament and was punished for his mistakes. His nerve appeared to fail him in his loss to Bologan and a favorable attack quickly went sour. He ran into a fired-up Anand and he again failed to make something out of a pleasant position. Anand didn't return the favor. Radjabov's miracle escape in round seven took the last gasps of air out of Leko's sails.

Underdog Arkadij Naiditsch unsurprisingly came in last, but the 17-year-old scored better than expected, with two draws against Kramnik, one against Anand and a win against Radjabov. Arkadij played 34 Elo points better than his FIDE rating and gained that "invaluable experience" they always talk about.

In the last round he played an interesting short draw against Leko. There was still a lot going on in the final position, where Leko could have played to chase the white king. One hopes that this modern view that a drawn position is any position without a clear advantage will pass before it destroys the game.

Kramnik,V (2785) - Bologan,V (2650) [E32]
Dortmund GER (10), 10.08.2003

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 0-0 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.Qxc3 b6 7.Bg5 Bb7 8.e3 d6 9.Ne2 [9.f3!? See comments to Kasparov,G-Karpov,A/ Frankfurt,1999/CBM 72(1-0)(Golod,V)(43) ; and 9.Nf3!? ]

9...c5 Changing up the move order. Usually ..Nbd7 is played first. [9...Nbd7 10.Qd3 ½-½ Bareev,E-Leko,P/Monte Carlo 2003/CBM 93 ext (79). (10.Qc2 h6 (Good enough: 10...c5 (was checked in the previous games). 11.Nc3 cxd4 12.exd4 Qc7 13.Bd3 Rac8 (13...h6!? 14.Bh4 Rfc8 15.0-0 d5 16.Bg3 Qc6 17.cxd5 Nxd5 18.Be4 N7f6 19.Nxd5 Qxc2 20.Nxf6+ gxf6 21.Bxc2 Rxc2 22.b4 Rd8½-½ Sokolov,I-Timman,J/Amsterdam,1996 (22)) 14.0-0 Ba6 15.Qa4 (15.Rfc1!? …Bxc4 16.Nd1=) 15...Bxc4 16.Nb5 Bxb5 17.Bxb5 Ivanchuk,V-Topalov,V/Linares,1999(½-½) (60)) ) ]

(D2) 10.dxc5?! Strange if White is looking for a win. A symmetrical pawn structure like this one is what anyone looking for a draw is dreaming of. The usual is for White to let Black capture on d4 so exd4 expands in the center and breaks the symmetry.

10...dxc5 11.Qc2 h6 12.Bh4 Qe7 13.0-0-0 Rd8 14.Rxd8+ Qxd8 15.Nc3 Nbd7 16.f3 No matter what Kramnik does one of his bishops is going to be limited.

16...Ne5 17.Bg3 Nc6 18.Be2 Qe7 19.Bh4 Ne5 20.Rd1 Rd8 21.Nb5 Nc6 22.Rf1 [22.Rxd8+ Qxd8 23.Qd2 Qxd2+ 24.Kxd2] 22...g5 23.Bg3 Nh5 24.Bf2 Ng7

25.Rd1 First to f1, now back to d1. 25...f5 26.Qa4 Rxd1+ 27.Qxd1 Ne8 28.h4 Kg7 29.Kb1 [29.hxg5 hxg5 30.g4] 29...e5 30.hxg5 hxg5 31.Ka1 Bc8 32.g3 [32.Nc3 Be6]

(D2) 32...Be6 Look at the pathetic bishop pair. 33.f4 Qd7 34.Qxd7+ Bxd7 35.Be1 Nf6 36.fxe5 Ne4 37.b3 Nxe5 38.Nc3 ½-½

Mig

Results and schedule

Round 1: Thurs. July 31, 15:00h
V. Kramnik
1-0
T. Radjabov
A. Naiditsch
0-1
V. Bologan
V. Anand
1/2
P. Leko
Round 6: Wed. Aug. 6, 15:00h
T. Radjabov
1/2
V. Kramnik
V. Bologan
1-0
A. Naiditsch
P. Leko
0-1
V. Anand
Round 2: Friday. Aug. 1, 15:00h
V. Anand
0-1
T. Radjabov
P. Leko
1/2
A. Naiditsch
V. Bologan
1/2
V. Kramnik
Round 7: Thurs. Aug. 7, 15:00h
P. Leko
1/2
T. Radjabov
V. Anand
1-0
V. Bologan
A. Naiditsch
1/2
V. Kramnik
Round 3: Sat. Aug. 2, 15:00h
T. Radjabov
1/2
P. Leko
V. Bologan
1-0
V. Anand
V. Kramnik
1/2
A. Naiditsch
Round 8: Fri. Aug. 8, 15:00h
T. Radjabov
1-0
A. Naiditsch
V. Kramnik
1/2
V. Anand
V. Bologan
1/2
P. Leko
Round 4: Sun. Aug. 3, 15:00h
A. Naiditsch
1-0
T. Radjabov
V. Anand
1/2
V. Kramnik
P. Leko
0-1
V. Bologan
Round 9: Sat. Aug. 9, 15:00h
V. Bologan
1/2
T. Radjabov
P. Leko
1/2
V. Kramnik
V. Anand
1/2
A. Naiditsch
Round 5: Mon. Aug. 4, 15:00h
T. Radjabov
1/2
V. Bologan
V. Kramnik
1/2
P. Leko
A. Naiditsch
0-1
V. Anand
Round 10: Sun. Aug. 10, 12:30h
T. Radjabov
1/2
V. Anand
A. Naiditsch
1/2
P. Leko
V. Kramnik
1/2
V. Bologan
Games – Report
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