Baden Baden R3: Bloodshed and violence

2/10/2013 – For the second day in a row Arkadij Naiditsch lit up the stage of the GRENKE Chess Classic, but on this occasion it was his opponent Fabiano Caruana who was the last man standing – after a brutal time scramble. Elsewhere Vishy Anand failed to make headway against Georg Meier and Michael Adams’ long grind brought no dividends against Daniel Fridman. Round three report.

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Baden-Baden GRENKE Chess Classic

Round three: Bloodshed and violence

3rd round on 09 February 2013 at 15:00
Adams Michael 2725
½-½
Fridman Daniel 2667
Caruana Fabiano 2757
1-0
Naiditsch Arkadij 2716
Meier Georg 2640
½-½
Anand Vishy 2780

Georg Meier (above) began the press conference of his game against the World Champion by reusing Fridman’s line from the day before: “You didn’t fall asleep during my game?”

It was the World Champion Anand (above) who did most of the talking, however, and it was evident he was frustrated with his failure to get any sort of real play against an opponent he outrated by 140 points. It wasn’t for a lack of trying – Vishy explained he wanted unbalanced play and went for a “slightly unpredictable opening” where Black makes concessions in the centre to post a strong knight on b4. Meier in turn was dreaming of pushing his f-pawn to generate play on the kingside and leave the b4-knight far from the action. Neither plan materialised.

[Event "1st GRENKE Chess Classic"] [Site "Baden-Baden GER"] [Date "2013.02.09"] [Round "3.1"] [White "Meier, Georg"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A40"] [WhiteElo "2640"] [BlackElo "2780"] [PlyCount "65"] [EventDate "2013.02.07"] 1. d4 e6 2. c4 Bb4+ 3. Bd2 c5 4. Bxb4 cxb4 5. Nf3 Nf6 6. g3 a5 7. Bg2 O-O 8. O-O d6 9. a3 Na6 10. axb4 Nxb4 11. Nc3 Qc7 12. Rc1 Bd7 13. Nd2 Rfd8 14. Nde4 Ne8 15. b3 Qb6 16. e3 d5 17. Nc5 Bc6 18. N5a4 Qc7 19. c5 Nf6 20. Re1 Nd7 { Among all the subtleties discussed in the press conference it was this position that provoked the strongest emotions.} {Georg Meier played} 21. Bf1 ({ but Anand described} 21. e4 $5 {as "very complicated" and "the only way we could have got anything. I don't know if White's better, but it seemed like the move to play." A possible line would be} dxe4 22. Nxe4 e5 23. Nd6 exd4 24. Re7 {and suddenly both sides have chances. Vishy's less technical description of the positions after 21.e4 was "a mess", but instead we got a tidy and bloodless draw.}) 21... b6 22. cxb6 Nxb6 23. Nxb6 Qxb6 24. Na4 Bxa4 25. bxa4 Rac8 26. Qd2 Qd6 27. h4 g6 28. Bb5 h5 29. Red1 Qf8 30. Kg2 Kg7 31. Kg1 Kg8 32. Kg2 Kg7 33. Kg1 1/2-1/2

That was a plus for the GRENKE Chess Classic's live broadcast, however, as the players were happy to comment on the state of play in the other games. They assessed Adams-Fridman as comfortable for White, with Vishy noting that “maybe 26.f5 was allowed too easily”. Meier, a Catalan expert himself, added that what was nice for White was that “you don’t need to think too much”.

Nevertheless, it seemed Fridman had everything under control until he nearly became another victim to fall into Adams’ quietly woven webs: “The problem was I thought it was a completely equal rook ending. Then I relaxed for a while and played some inaccurate move and the position became quite unpleasant in time trouble.” In the end he escaped with a slight scare and a much-delayed dinner.

[Event "1st GRENKE Chess Classic"] [Site "Baden-Baden GER"] [Date "2013.02.09"] [Round "3.2"] [White "Adams, Michael"] [Black "Fridman, Daniel"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E06"] [WhiteElo "2725"] [BlackElo "2667"] [PlyCount "116"] [EventDate "2013.02.07"] 1. c4 e6 2. g3 d5 3. Bg2 Nf6 4. Nf3 Be7 5. d4 O-O 6. O-O dxc4 7. Qc2 a6 8. a4 Bd7 9. Qxc4 Bc6 10. Bf4 a5 11. Nc3 Na6 12. Ne5 Bxg2 13. Kxg2 Nd5 14. Rad1 Nxf4+ 15. gxf4 Bd6 16. e3 Qh4 17. Kh1 Nb4 18. Nf3 Qh5 19. Qe2 f6 20. Rg1 Qe8 21. Rg3 Rf7 22. Qc4 Bf8 23. d5 exd5 24. Nxd5 Qc6 25. Qxc6 Nxc6 26. f5 Bd6 27. Rg4 Ne5 28. Nxe5 Bxe5 29. b3 Re8 30. Kg2 c6 31. Nf4 Bxf4 32. Rxf4 Re5 33. Rd8+ Rf8 34. Rd7 Rf7 35. Rd8+ Rf8 36. Rd3 Kf7 37. Rd7+ Re7 38. Rfd4 Rc8 39. Kf3 Ke8 40. R7d6 Rec7 41. Rh4 Ke7 42. Rd1 Rh8 43. Rg4 Kf7 44. h4 h5 45. Rgd4 Ke7 46. Kf4 Rb8 47. Re4+ Kf7 48. Rc4 c5 49. Rd5 b5 50. axb5 Rxb5 51. Rc3 Rb4+ 52. e4 Rcb7 53. Rdd3 Rc7 54. Rd5 Rcb7 55. Rdxc5 Rxb3 56. Rxb3 Rxb3 57. Rxa5 Rh3 58. Ra7+ Kg8 1/2-1/2

Saturday’s real action, however, came in the showdown between the early leaders, Fabiano Caruana and Arkadij Naiditsch. Caruana has made a habit of surprising his opponents with deep opening preparation in Baden-Baden, but in Round 3 the shoe was on the other foot. Naiditsch’s eighth move took him out of book, and 10…a5 provoked Caruana into 11.Kb1?, a move Naiditsch described as a “big positional mistake”.

Naiditsch summed it up: “the bishop pair, the dark squares, you can’t get more in the Najdorf!” Chess is seldom easy, however, and from the press conference you got the impression that it was a question of what would triumph – Naiditsch’s optimism and belief in his position or Caruana’s objectivity?

The complications after 17...Nd4 were only the prelude to the drama, and Caruana and eventually Naiditsch were left with perilously little time to navigate the hair-raising position that arose. They’d been there before, and Caruana told the press team afterwards that he’d drawn some comfort from the fact that Naiditsch had failed to win a similarly wild game in their last meeting in Dortmund. Back then Houdini assessed Naiditsch’s edge as over -7 while here his edge “only” reached -2, but Georg Meier, who was a fine co-commentator for IM Lawrence Trent, explained that you shouldn’t pay too much attention to the computer: “The problem is Black’s position is so close to strategically lost he needs to make the correct move every time”. Sure enough, Naiditsch faltered.

[Event "1st GRENKE Chess Classic"] [Site "Baden-Baden GER"] [Date "2013.02.09"] [Round "3.3"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "Naiditsch, Arkadij"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B90"] [WhiteElo "2757"] [BlackElo "2716"] [PlyCount "75"] [EventDate "2013.02.07"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. Qd2 Ng4 9. g3 O-O 10. O-O-O a5 $146 ({Predecessor (8):} 10... Nxe3 11. Qxe3 Nd7 12. f4 b5 13. Kb1 Qb6 14. Qe1 Nf6 15. Bd3 Bg4 16. Rc1 Bd7 17. Nd5 Nxd5 18. exd5 Bf6 19. Nd2 Rae8 20. Ne4 Bd8 21. Qg1 Qxg1 22. Rhxg1 Bc7 23. f5 Bxf5 24. Nxd6 Bxd6 25. Bxf5 e4 26. c4 Re5 27. Bg4 bxc4 28. Rxc4 a5 29. Be2 f5 30. Ra4 Ra8 31. a3 Kf8 32. Rd1 g5 33. Rdd4 Rae8 34. Rxa5 f4 35. gxf4 gxf4 36. Ra6 Ke7 37. Ra7+ Kf6 38. Rd7 Bc5 39. Rc4 Bf8 40. Rxh7 {Areshchenko,A (2673)-Wojtaszek,R (2608) Budva 2009 1/2-1/2 (108)}) 11. Kb1 $2 a4 $1 12. Nc1 a3 $1 {and White's king is open to the elements.} 13. b3 Nxe3 14. Qxe3 Bg5 15. f4 Bh6 16. Nd3 Nc6 17. h4 Nd4 {Caruana flagged this as an inaccuracy. Naiditsch's response: "I thought I'm just winning!" Another view on the situation was provided by the World Champion Vishy Anand, who liked White: "My hand is itching to take on d4, and it's just very pleasant for White. Black's pieces look uncoordinated and he has a very bad bishop on h6". Anand would already have played the exchange sacrifice on move 19, but it was even better when Caruana played it on move 22. } 18. Nb4 Bg4 19. Rd2 Rc8 20. Nbd5 f5 21. Bc4 Kh8 22. Rxd4 exd4 23. Qxd4 Bf3 24. Re1 fxe4 25. Nb5 Rc6 26. c3 Qd7 27. Nxa3 Qh3 28. Rg1 Qh2 29. Nb5 Ra8 30. a3 e3 31. Re1 e2 32. Qe3 Qg2 $2 {In time trouble Naiditsch faltered with} ({ instead of} 32... Qxg3 $1) 33. Nd4 Rxc4 34. bxc4 Bh5 35. Nxe2 Re8 {and collapsed after} 36. Ne7 g5 $2 {"Blunder" perhaps isn't the correct word for this move, as neither player had much faith in Black's chances of survival after the only move,} (36... g6 $1 {Computer evaluations are of little help when you're on the stage with your clock's flag about to fall.}) 37. fxg5 Bf8 38. Nf4 $1 {Meier: "It's over. That's why I came - to see some bloodshed and violence!"} (38. Nf4 {Trying to keep hold of the material with} Qf3 {fails to the simple} 39. Qxf3 Bxf3 40. Neg6+ hxg6 41. Rxe8) 1-0

That dramatic reversal of fortune put Fabiano Caruana back in the world Top Ten and leaves him in the driving seat of the inaugural GRENKE Chess Classic on 2.5/3. Anand, Naiditsch and Fridman are a point behind on 1.5, while Adams and Meier have one point each.

The game of the day in round four on Sunday will be Adams-Caruana. Can the multiple English Champion hold back the rising Italian star? Find out by following the live coverage on the GRENKE Chess website from 15:00 CET.

Report: Colin McGourty Photos: Georgios Souleidis

Video commentary of round three by Lawrence Trent

Schedule and results

1st round on 07 February 2013 at 15:00
Naiditsch Arkadij 2716
½-½
Fridman Daniel 2667
Adams Michael 2725
½-½
Anand Vishy 2780
Caruana Fabiano 2757
1-0
Meier Georg 2640
2nd round on 08 February 2013 at 15:00
Fridman Daniel 2667
½-½
Meier Georg 2640
Anand Vishy 2780
½-½
Caruana Fabiano 2757
Naiditsch Arkadij 2716
1-0
Adams Michael 2725
3rd round on 09 February 2013 at 15:00
Adams Michael 2725
½-½
Fridman Daniel 2667
Caruana Fabiano 2757
1-0
Naiditsch Arkadij 2716
Meier Georg 2640
½-½
Anand Vishy 2780
4th round on 10 February 2013 at 15:00
Fridman Daniel 2667   Anand Vishy 2780
Naiditsch Arkadij 2716   Meier Georg 2640
Adams Michael 2725   Caruana Fabiano 2757
5th round on 11 February 2013 at 15:00
Caruana Fabiano 2757   Fridman Daniel 2667
Meier Georg 2640   Adams Michael 2725
Anand Vishy 2780   Naiditsch Arkadij 2716
6th round on 13 February 2013 at 15:00
Fridman Daniel 2667   Naiditsch Arkadij 2716
Anand Vishy 2780   Adams Michael 2725
Meier Georg 2640   Caruana Fabiano 2757
7th round on 14 February 2013 at 15:00
Meier Georg 2640   Fridman Daniel 2667
Caruana Fabiano 2757   Anand Vishy 2780
Adams Michael 2725   Naiditsch Arkadij 2716
8th round on 15 February 2013 at 15:00
Fridman Daniel 2667   Adams Michael 2725
Naiditsch Arkadij 2716   Caruana Fabiano 2757
Anand Vishy 2780   Meier Georg 2640
9th round on 16 February 2013 at 15:00
Anand Vishy 2780   Fridman Daniel 2667
Meier Georg 2640   Naiditsch Arkadij 2716
Caruana Fabiano 2757   Adams Michael 2725
10th round on 17 February 2013 at 13:00
Fridman Daniel 2667   Caruana Fabiano 2757
Adams Michael 2725   Meier Georg 2640
Naiditsch Arkadij 2716   Anand Vishy 2780

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 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.


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