Dortmund Semis 2: Anand and Kramnik reach final

7/30/2004 – It hasn't exactly followed an exciting script, but in true Hollywood fashion we get a happy ending anyway. Both semifinal games were drawn. Anand-Leko and Kramnik-Svidler both drew the rapid games and went to blitz tiebreaks. The world's #2 and #3 will face off in the final starting Saturday. Report and photos.

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SPARKASSEN
CHESS-MEETING
2004
22 July to 1 August 2004

Semifinals game 2 and playoffs – Friday, July 30

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
-
Kramnik
For 3rd place
Leko
-
Svidler
For 5th place
Naiditsch
-
Rublevsky
For 7th
Bologan
-
Karjakin
Games – Report

If you can't make sense of the results tables maybe we can help. Both semifinal games were drawn, putting both matches into rapid tiebreaks. Anand and Leko drew both rapid games and Anand won both blitz games to go into the final.

Svidler and Kramnik also drew both rapid games and moved to blitz. They won one each before Kramnik won two in a row to take the match. Anand will play Kramnik in the final. Leko will play Svidler for 3rd place.

Over in the consolation section for the 5th-8th places Naiditsch beat Karjakin again to move up into the match for 5th place. There he will meet Rublevsky, who drew with Bologan and then beat him in both rapid tiebreak games. Bologan will play Karjakin for 7th place. All clear?!

Leko had white against Anand and a win would put him into the semifinals. Anand played the Ruy Lopez, which he uses infrequently but with excellent results. According to the database he has faced it 11 times in the past few years with five wins and no losses! He and Leko played eight-pawn chess until move 28 and agreed to a draw on move 34. This meant rapid tiebreaks, played on the same day as in the FIDE KO.

Four years ago many players were saying that the Berlin Defense Kramnik used so successfully against Kasparov in their world championship match would never last. It wasn't active enough, it would be analyzed to death, it was only good against Kasparov, etc.

Kramnik is still doing just fine with it, as are others. Peter Svidler narrowly avoided an embarrassing result against the Berlin today when he gave a pawn away on move 15, the first new move of the game.

In the diagram Svidler has just played 15.Ne2 where Anand had continued 15.Ne4 against Vallejo in Linares last year. Kramnik immediately showed why this isn't going to make the Informant novelty of the year running with the rather uncomplicated 15...Nxe5 16.Nxe5 Bxg4 and Black has an extra pawn. Svidler recovered to use his lead in development to secure the draw and send the match into rapid tiebreaks.

These results meant it was eight consecutive draws each for Kramnik and Leko. In 2003 Kramnik won his first game here and then drew nine in a row, so that's 17 consecutive Dortmund draws!

You can probably guess that all four of the rapid tiebreak games were also drawn. The only one of real interest was the second Leko-Anand game. In a fine show of fighting spirit, Vishy gave up two rooks for Leko's queen and gained slippery chances in the endgame, but nothing came of it. Then it was on to blitz.

We aren't very fond of paying attention to tiebreak blitz games. They exist in these situations because a result is required in the KO format, period. Flipping a coin seems cruel and unusual, so they play blitz. All blitz players are not created equal...

Anand won the first when Leko hung the exchange and then defended well in the second, which would have finished drawn had Leko not needed to play to win at all costs. 2-0 Anand.

Kramnik showed some moxie by winning back after losing the first blitz game to Svidler. After that, Svidler collapsed. Either the moves were recorded wrong or he went from a chance to go a pawn up to a lost position in the space of three moves in the opening of the third blitz game. (12.Qxd8+ instead of 12.Re1??) Svidler then lost the final game in 16 depressing moves. 3-1 Kramnik. Poor Peter. It's hard to admire a format in which one player can score +2 =5 -1 and be eliminated in blitz games by someone who went +0 =8 -0.

It's hard to remember the last decisive classical chess game between Kramnik and Anand. If you do, you are thinking back to this same city. Kramnik beat Anand in the 2001 edition of Dortmund. If the two classical games are drawn the odds have to favor Anand, who has closets full of rapid chess trophies back home. He also has two rapid victories over Kramnik in the past year.

Photos by Olena Boytson


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
-
Kramnik
For 3rd place
Leko
-
Svidler
For 5th place
Naiditsch
-
Rublevsky
For 7th
Bologan
-
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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