45th Sparkassen Dortmund: Bluebaum and Wojtaszek lead

by Albert Silver
7/17/2017 – Round two showed a tournament that is clearly hard to define early on. While Vladimir Fedoseev made headlines by beating his compatriot Vladimir Kramnik in the opening round, in round two he was soon in big trouble against Matthias Bluebaum after excessively optimistic opening play, and lost. Joining Bluebaum is Radolaw Wojtaszek, who defeated Wang Yue in a back and forth struggle. Report with analysis by GM Moradiabadi.

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The 45th Dortmund Sparkassen tournament is being held in Dortmund, Germany, from July 15-23, 2017, bringing together a fascinating and eclectic group of players: Vladimir Kramnik, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (winner in 2016), Vladimir Fedoseev (qualified by winning the Aeroflot Open), Radoslaw Wojtaszek, Dmitry Andreikin, Wang Yue, and locals Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu and Matthias Bluebaum.

They play seven rounds at the time control of 40 moves in 100 minutes, followed by 20 moves in 50 minutes, and finally 15 moves for the rest of the game, with a 30-second increment as of move one.

Round two

All photos by Georgios Souleidis

Round two - July 16 - 3 pm
1 - 0
½ - ½
½ - ½
1 - 0
Wang Yue

There is an expression in Brazil, “não se pode elogiar”, which translates to “You cannot compliment them”. It means that after congratulations and kudos, more often than not, the person will do something stupid, usually due to an unhealthy dose of overconfidence. One gets the impression that this is what happened in round two, when Vladimir Fedoseev, already quite flamboyant, had still not come down to earth after his epic win against Kramnik, and paid the price for it.

The stage with players and giant displays

In round two he faced the local hero Matthias Bluebaum, a young but ambitious German grandmaster, and played a Semi-Slav quite a bit too optimistically, with curious moves that did nothing to help him complete his development.

Matthias Bluebaum 1 - 0 Vladimir Fedoseev (annotated by GM Elshan Moradiabadi)

[Event "45th Sparkassen Dortmund"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.07.16"] [Round "2"] [White "Bluebaum, M."] [Black "Fedoseev, V."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D46"] [Annotator "GM Elshan Moradiabadi"] [PlyCount "61"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] {Lori Greiner, one of the main characters of Shark Tank, is very proud of her talent in identifying whether a business idea is a 'hero or zero'. Well, I wish I had her sharp instinct in chess to realize what is going on with Fedoseev's tournaments. The aggressive young Russian star keeps dazzling and baffling me. After winning 'easily' against Kramnik, the Russian succumbed to his first defeat after an overly optimistic opening against host hero Matthias Bluebaum. } 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 e6 5. e3 $5 {A good sign, since the Semi-Slav is becoming fashionable again in top level tournaments. A rich opening which for a few years was out of fashion because it was considered somewhat benign.} Nbd7 6. Qc2 Bd6 7. Bd3 O-O 8. O-O dxc4 9. Bxc4 e5 (9... b5 {is of course where the main theoretical battle in the 'Meran' takes place.}) (9... a6 {and}) (9... Qe7 { are two other frequent options.}) 10. h3 {A thematic reaction. White is ready to take back on d4 with the e-pawn and face e4 with Ng5 avoiding possible nasty threats on h2.} Qe7 (10... exd4 11. exd4 Nb6 12. Bb3 Nbd5 13. Bg5 Be6 14. Ne4 {looks like a slight and long lasting edge.}) 11. Bb3 Nb6 $2 {Too modern for me. I cannot understand what Black actually gets by giving away his dark-squared bishop.} (11... Bc7 {White is now planning Nf3-h4-f5 maneuver. Black has to either react by opening up the c8-h3 diagonal or withdrawing his bishop from c7.} 12. Bd2 h6 13. Rad1 (13. Nh4 Re8 14. Nf5 Qf8 15. Rad1 Kh8 16. dxe5 Bxe5 17. f4 Bb8 18. e4 Nc5 19. e5 Nxb3 20. exf6 (20. axb3 Qc5+ 21. Ne3 Ng8 22. Kh1 Be6 23. Rde1 b6 24. Rf3 a5 25. Nc4 a4 26. Ne4 axb3 27. Nxc5 bxc2 28. Nxe6 fxe6 29. Nxb6 Rd8 30. Nxa8 Rxd2 31. Rc1 Ba7 32. Kh2 Bd4 33. Rb3 g5 34. Nb6 gxf4 35. Nc4 Rd1 36. Rxc2 Bg1+ {1/2-1/2 (36) Forsberg,J (2521)-Pheby,I (2559) ICCF email 2005}) 20... Qc5+ $13) 13... Re8 14. Nh4 Nf8 15. Nf5 Bxf5 16. Qxf5 e4 17. h4 Rad8 18. a3 Qd7 $6 (18... Qd6 19. Qh3 N8d7 20. Ne2 Nd5 {and Black is doing well.}) 19. Qxd7 N8xd7 20. g3 Nb6 21. Kg2 h5 22. Rc1 g6 23. Rc2 Re7 24. Ba2 Bd6 25. Rb1 Red7 26. b4 Bf8 27. Kf1 a6 28. Ke2 Kg7 29. Be1 Re8 30. Rbb2 Ng4 31. Nb1 f5 32. Bb3 Nf6 33. Nd2 Nfd5 34. Rb1 Kf6 35. Ba2 g5 36. hxg5+ Kxg5 37. Nb3 Nf6 38. Bd2 Rh7 39. Na5 Ree7 40. Rh1 h4 41. gxh4+ Rxh4 42. Rxh4 Kxh4 43. Rc1 Kg5 44. Rh1 Bg7 45. Nb3 Nbd5 46. Nc5 f4 47. Rg1+ Kf5 48. exf4 Bh6 49. Bb1 b6 50. Nxe4 Bxf4 51. Kd1 Bxd2 52. Ng5+ Ne4 53. Bxe4+ Rxe4 54. Nxe4 Kxe4 55. Kxd2 Kxd4 56. Rg4+ Ke5 57. Rg6 Nf6 58. Kd3 Kf5 59. Rg7 Ng4 60. Kd4 Ne5 61. Ra7 c5+ 62. bxc5 Nc6+ 63. Kd5 Nxa7 64. cxb6 Nc8 65. b7 Ne7+ 66. Kc5 {1-0 (66) Duda, J (2697)-Adhiban,B (2670) Khanty-Mansiysk 2017}) (11... Bb8 {My knowledge tells me that this is the better move but a new round of analyses is required to probe the nuances of these two bishop moves.} 12. Bd2 h6 13. Nh4 Rd8 14. Nf5 Qf8 $1 (14... Qe8 $2 15. f4 exd4 16. exd4 Nf8 17. Rae1 Be6 18. d5 Nxd5 19. Nxd5 cxd5 20. Nxg7 $18) 15. Rad1 Nb6 16. dxe5 (16. Rfe1 $146 exd4 17. exd4 Nbd5 { looks interesting but it seems that Black has a very comfortable blockade on d5.}) 16... Bxe5 17. f4 Bc7 {Black should manage to solve his problems here.}) 12. dxe5 Bxe5 13. Nxe5 Qxe5 14. e4 Re8 15. Re1 $146 (15. f3 Be6 16. Bxe6 Rxe6 17. Qf2 Rd8 18. Be3 Nc4 19. Rad1 Rxd1 20. Rxd1 Nxe3 21. Qxe3 Qa5 22. f4 h6 23. e5 Re7 24. Kh2 Nd7 25. Qd4 Qc5 26. Qd2 Qc4 27. b3 Qe6 28. Ne4 f6 29. exf6 Nxf6 30. Qd8+ Kh7 31. Nxf6+ Qxf6 32. Qd3+ Qg6 33. Qf3 Qc2 34. Rd8 Qf5 35. Rd2 Rd7 36. Re2 Rd4 37. g3 Rd3 38. Qf2 b6 39. Qg2 Rd5 40. Qf3 a5 41. Kg2 Qd3 42. Kf2 c5 43. Qxd3+ {1/2-1/2 (43) Ruzele,D (2505)-Bykhovsky,A (2425) Berlin 1995}) 15... Nbd5 16. Bd2 Nf4 17. Bxf4 Qxf4 18. Rad1 {Ok the pair of bishops is gone but now White has a better center and development.} Nd7 $2 {Too much! It may even lose by force!} (18... Bd7 19. Qd2 Qxd2 20. Rxd2 Be6 21. Bxe6 Rxe6 22. Red1 Kf8 23. f3 h5 {And yes White is better but I do not see how he can improve here whatsoever.}) 19. Re3 $1 {The only hard move from now until the end of the game.} Qg5 (19... Ne5 20. Ne2 Qh4 21. f4 {with an unstoppable attack}) (19... Qh4 20. e5 Nc5 21. Ne4 Nxb3 22. Qxb3 {also with a huge advantage}) 20. f4 Qe7 (20... Qxf4 21. Rf3 {and f7 falls.}) (20... Qc5 21. Qf2) 21. Qf2 Nb6 22. f5 $1 { Now e5 is unstoppable and Be6 is already prevented.} a5 {Too late.} 23. e5 a4 24. f6 $1 {Mate or loss of material is inevitable. The rest does not really need any comment.} Qb4 25. a3 (25. Bxf7+ Kxf7 26. fxg7+ {is crushing too}) 25... Qf8 (25... Qxb3 26. Qg3 g6 27. Qf4 Kh8 28. Qh6 Rg8 29. Rd8 $1 {with inevitable mate.}) 26. fxg7 Qe7 27. Ne4 axb3 28. Nf6+ Kxg7 29. Nxe8+ Kh8 (29... Qxe8 30. Rg3+ Kf8 31. Qc5+ Qe7 32. Rd8#) 30. Nc7 Rb8 31. Rf3 {A crushing victory for Bluebaum and I believe Fedoseev will reconsider his opening choices despite his flamboyant style!} 1-0

The Slav and Semi-Slav revisited

For Shirov the Slav and the Semi-Slav form one huge and common opening. Of course it is a mighty opening complex and the DVD cannot give a complete picture of it, but in the areas he chooses to highlight our author is an absolute expert and capable of giving the deepest possible insights into the secrets of this extremely solid opening.

The games between Andreikin and Kramnik and Nisipeanu against Vachier-Lagrave were quite uneventful and led to quiet draws. However, there was one more important game relative to the standings: Radoslaw Wojtaszek vs. Wang Yue. Their battle was much less linear in its development, as Wang Yue, playing black, was the first to obtain a significant advantage in a fairly normal Nimzo-Indian.

In a classic line, Wojtaszek opted for a line that avoided an isolani, and instead preferred to play for a queenside majority with 10.c5. An imprecision on his part got him into trouble as Black invaded on the a-file, but the favor was soon returned as the Chinese player missed his best chance with 14…Ra5! instead playing 14…Ra7.

Radoslaw Wojtaszek - Wang Yue


Radoslaw Wojtaszek scored an early win and is now joint leader with Matthias Bluebaum

It might seem early to talk about leaders with just two rounds played, but Dortmund is a seven round event, and as a result there is little room for long comebacks. Wojtaszek and Bluebaum lead with 1.5/2, but readers will have noticed that one player on 1.0/2 behind two of the three decisive games played so far.

Standings after two rounds

(click on crosstable for full size)


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Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications, and the content creator of the YouTube channel, Chess & Tech.


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