Dortmund 01: Carlsen beats Jakovenko

7/2/2009 – The Sparkassen Chess-Meeting, the most important traditional chess tournament in Germany, started with a fine victory by top seed Magnus Carlsen. The 18-year-old Norwegian GM out-maneuvered his opponent, Russia's top GM Dmitry Jakovenko, in a knight vs bishop ending and took the full point after 49 moves. The other games were drawn. Report with commentary.

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From 2nd to 12th July 2009 six of the world's strongest grandmasters are taking part in the annual Sparkassen Chess-Meeting – the 37th edition. Each player has to play two games against each other, one with white and one with black pieces. The winner of this tournament will be determined after ten rounds. Games start at 15:15 = 3:15 p.m. local time (CEST, = 17:15 Moscow, 14:15 p.m. London, 9:15 a.m. New York).

All games will be broadcast by the official web site's "Live Games" page and on the Playchess.com server with live audio commentary (by FM Valeri Lilov, with a 10 Ducat charge per evening). 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.

Participants (overview)

Player
Age
Nat.
Elo
Rank
Magnus Carlsen
18
NOR
2770
3
Vladimir Kramnik
33
RUS
2759
4
Dimitri Jakovenko
25
RUS
2753
7
Peter Leko
29
HUN
2751
9
Etienne Bacrot
26
FRA
2728
17
Arkadij Naiditsch
23
GER
2700
31
Average rating: 2744 (Category 20) – average age: 25.7 years

Round one

Round 1: Thursday, July 2nd, 15:00h
Peter Leko 
½-½
 Vladimir Kramnik
Magnus Carlsen 
1-0
 Dmitry Jakovenko
Arkadij Naiditsch 
½-½
 Etienne Bacrot

The first win of the 2009 Sparkassen Chess-Meeting in Dortmund was scored by top seed Magnus Carlsen. In a Ruy Lopez Berlin Defence. The 18-year-old Norwegian GM out-maneuvered his opponent, Russia's top GM Dmitry Jakovenko, in a knight vs bishop ending and took the full point after 49 moves. Before that Peter Leko and former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik had drawn their game, as did Arkadij Naiditsch or Germany and Etienne Bacrot from France.

Carlsen,M - Jakovenko,D [C67]
Sparkassen GM Dortmund GER (1), 02.07.2009 [FM Valeri Lilov]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6. The beginning of the Berlin Defence, which is a very popular weapon in the hands of the modern grandmasters. 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.Nc3 Ke8 10.h3 h5 The main continuation is 10...a5, but this move also deserves some attention since if white goes with g4-hxg4-hxg4, black's rook will get opened. 11.Ne2. An interesting idea by white that has been used several times before. White is getting the knight to the f4 square from where it can support the play on the central files. 11...Be7 12.Bg5 Be6 13.Nf4 Bd5 14.Bxe7 Kxe7 15.Ng5 Nd4 16.Rad1 Ne6 17.Ngxe6 Bxe6.

At first sight it looks like the position is equal. However, considering Black's inactive bishop on e6, we can admit that white has better chances. 18.h4 a5 19.a3 a4 20.Rfe1 g6 21.f3 Ra5 22.c3 Rb5 23.Re2 Ra8 24.Rd4 Raa5!? 25.Kf2 Rxe5 The following exchange forces the game into a drawish ending but nevertheless, Black has to solve problems. 26.Rxe5 Rxe5 27.Rxa4

27...Rb5. The simple 27...b5 would guarantee Black an easy draw. 28.b4. It was interesting to play 28.Rb4. The idea is when/if Black exchanges to re-take with the c-pawn and leave the c and a-pawns for the ending. 28...c5 29.Ra7 cxb4 30.cxb4

30...Kd7? The beginning of a wrong plan. Black had to neutralize White's knight with 30...Bc4 and then with a move like Kd6 prepare c7-c5. Once c5 is played, Black's rook will get out and the draw is simple. 31.Ne2 Now, white's is being very flexible and makes a lot of problems to Black's passive rook and inactive bishop. 31...Rb6 32.Ke3 Bc4 33.Nd4 Kd6

34.Ra5! The rook gets to the fifth rank and is going to exploit Black's advanced h5 pawn to his advantage. An opportunity of g2-g4 looks pretty opened now and White is going to get a passed pawn on the kingside. 34...Ra6 35.Rxa6+ bxa6 36.g4 hxg4. Allowing White to make a passed pawn was not the best decision for Black. It was much better to continue with Ke5 and try to hold the fifth line. 37.fxg4 Ke5 38.Nc6+

Now it's all clear. White's king comes forward and white's knight dominates the bishop. 38...Kf6 39.Kf4 Ke6 40.h5 gxh5 41.gxh5 Bd3 42.Ke3 Bf1 43.h6 Kf6 44.Ne5 Bb5 45.Kd4+- Ba4 46.h7 Kg7 47.Nxf7 Kxh7 48.Ng5+ Kg6 49.Ne6

1-0. [Click to replay]


Leko,P - Kramnik,V [E04]
Sparkassen GM Dortmund GER (1), 02.07.2009 [FM Valeri Lilov]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3 dxc4 5.Bg2 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 a5 7.Qc2 Bxd2+ 8.Qxd2. An interesting and pretty much new idea for white. He wants to keep his queen on the diagonal, making b7-b5 a bit more problematic. However, the time lost can be used by Black to get equality. 8...c6 9.a4 b5 10.axb5 cxb5 11.Qg5 0-0 12.Qxb5 Ba6 13.Qa4 Qb6 14.Nbd2

Black has a bad pawn structure at the moment, but the active pieces which he gets totally compensate his weaknesses. 14...Bb5 15.Qa3 Nc6 16.0-0 Rab8 17.Rfc1. Forcing equality. It was more ambitious to play 17.Rfd1. 17...Nxd4 18.Nxd4 Qxd4 19.Nf3 Qb6 20.Qxa5 Qxa5 21.Rxa5 Bc6 22.Rxc4 Bxf3 23.Bxf3 Rxb2 24.h4 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]


Naiditsch,A - Bacrot,E [C89]
Sparkassen GM Dortmund GER (1), 02.07.200 [FM Valeri Lilov]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.c3 d5 Black chooses to play the Marsall attack which is very active and interesting attacking system for Black. 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 c6 12.d3!? Bd6 13.Re1 Bf5 14.Qf3 Qh4 15.g3 Qh3 16.Bxd5 cxd5 17.Qxd5 Rad8.

The exchange gave Black some advantage in development and more pieces attacking. However, fortunately for White, Black needs to play only the most precise moves. Otherwise he can lose his compensation.18.Qg2 Qxg2+? The queen had to retreat – 18...Qh5, after which black was keeping the opportunities to attack against white's king. It is obvious now that in the endgame, the pair of bishops won't be sufficient compensation for the extra pawn of White. 19.Kxg2 Bxd3 20.Be3 Be4+ 21.f3+/- Bc6 22.Nd2 Rfe8 23.Nb3 f6 24.Nd4 Bb7

25.g4?! It was much better to continue with 25.Nf5! Bf8 26.Bd4 keeping good activity and neutralizing Black's bishops. 25...Bc5 26.b4? That move misses the advantage. Now, the backward's pawn at c3 cannot be repaired. White can never get a passed pawn. 26...Bxd4 27.Bxd4 Rxe1 28.Rxe1 Kf7 29.Bc5 Rd7= 30.h4 Bd5 31.a3 Be6 32.Bd4 Bc4 33.Kg3 Re7 34.Rd1 Bb3 35.Rd2 Re1 36.h5 Rd1 37.Re2 Rd3 38.Kf4 Bd5 39.Re3 Rxe3 40.Kxe3 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]


Schedule and results

Round 1: Thursday, July 2nd, 15:00h
Peter Leko 
½-½
 Vladimir Kramnik
Magnus Carlsen 
1-0
 Dmitry Jakovenko
Arkadij Naiditsch 
½-½
 Etienne Bacrot
Round 2: Friday, July 3rd, 15:00h
Vladimir Kramnik 
-
 Etienne Bacrot
Dmitry Jakovenko 
-
 Arkadij Naiditsch
Peter Leko 
-
 Magnus Carlsen
GamesReport
Round 3: Saturday, July 4th, 15:00h
Magnus Carlsen 
-
 Vladimir Kramnik
Arkadij Naiditsch 
-
 Peter Leko
Etienne Bacrot 
-
 Dmitry Jakovenko
GamesReport
Round 4: Sunday, July 5, 15:00h
Arkadij Naiditsch 
-
 Vladimir Kramnik
Etienne Bacrot 
-
 Magnus Carlsen
Dmitry Jakovenko 
-
 Peter Leko
GamesReport
Round 5: Monday, July 6th, 15:00h
Vladimir Kramnik 
-
 Dmitry Jakovenko
Peter Leko 
-
 Etienne Bacrot
Magnus Carlsen 
-
 Arkadij Naiditsch
GamesReport
Round 6: Wednesday, July 8th, 15:00h
Vladimir Kramnik 
-
 Peter Leko
Dmitry Jakovenko 
-
 Magnus Carlsen
Etienne Bacrot 
-
 Arkadij Naiditsch
GamesReport
Round 7: Thursday, July 9th, 15:00h
Etienne Bacrot 
-
 Vladimir Kramnik
Arkadij Naiditsch 
-
 Dmitry Jakovenko
Magnus Carlsen 
-
 Peter Leko
GamesReport
Round 8: Friday, July 10th, 15:00h
Vladimir Kramnik  
-
 Magnus Carlsen
Peter Leko 
-
 Arkadij Naiditsch
Dmitry Jakovenko 
-
 Etienne Bacrot
GamesReport
Round 9: Saturday, July 11th, 15:00h
Dmitry Jakovenko 
-
 Vladimir Kramnik
Etienne Bacrot 
-
 Peter Leko
Arkadij Naiditsch 
-
 Magnus Carlsen
GamesReport
Round 10: Sunday, July 12th, 15:00h
Vladimir Kramnik 
-
 Arkadij Naiditsch
Magnus Carlsen 
-
 Etienne Bacrot
Peter Leko 
-
 Dmitry Jakovenko
GamesReport

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Topics: Dortmund 2009
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