Dortmund 03: Strange chess

by Alejandro Ramirez
6/30/2015 – It seems that some of the topsy-turvy play in Dortmund continues, even after the rest day. Both Caruana and So played bad games, but one of them managed to win his bout! Meier confused himself in a winning position against Caruana and dropped a full point. Naiditsch was not so kind and proceeded to demolish So. Kramnik tricked Nepomniachtchi, while Nisipeanu held on against Yifan.

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The 2015 Sparkassen Chess Meeting is taking place in Dortmund from the 27th of June to the 5th of July, 2015.

Round Three

Round 03 – June 30 2015, 15:00h
Meier, Georg 2654
0-1
Caruana, Fabiano 2805
Kramnik, Vladimir 2783
1-0
Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2720
Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter 2654
½-½
Hou, Yifan 2676
So, Wesley 2778
0-1
Naiditsch, Arkadij 2722

Meier, Georg 0-1 Caruana, Fabiano
Another bad game from America's newest transfer GM. He played some kind of risky and dubious opening, similar to a King's Indian, but he had no concept of what to do. Soon Meier found himself in a strategically winning situation, then in a really winning situation, but he started confusing himself and dropped the ball hard. Admittedly, the position was still complicated, but losing it so quickly was really surprising:

[Event "43rd GM 2015"] [Site "Dortmund GER"] [Date "2015.06.30"] [Round "3"] [White "Meier, Geo"] [Black "Caruana, F."] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A04"] [WhiteElo "2654"] [BlackElo "2805"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "n2q1r2/1p2n1k1/3p2pr/1N1Ppp1b/1P2P2P/4QP1B/P1R5/1K2N2R w - - 0 31"] [PlyCount "42"] [EventDate "2015.06.26"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 31. Qa7 fxe4 32. fxe4 Rf4 {White has more material, the better position... just look at that knight on a8! Black's rook on h6 is not very happy.} 33. Bg2 (33. Qxb7 {was way easier. The discomfort caused by the queen on the 7th means that the rook will have to return soon to defend.} Rxe4 34. Nd3 $1 {Locks the rook out of f4 and the game seems to be over.}) 33... Bd1 34. Rd2 Bg4 35. Qxb7 Rf7 36. Qa6 Nb6 37. Nd3 {Black has some counterplay, but two pawns are two pawns.} Nc4 38. Rc2 $2 (38. Rf2 $18) 38... Bc8 39. Qa8 Ne3 40. Re2 Nxg2 41. Rxg2 Qb6 {Things are far from easy now.} 42. a4 $2 {Weakening even further} Qe3 43. Rd1 Rf1 $2 (43... Qxe4 {keeps the pressure and picks off a very important pawn.}) 44. Rxf1 Qxd3+ 45. Rc2 Qxf1+ 46. Kb2 {Unfortunately for Caruana, he wins a piece but his initiative evaporates. White now has some counterchances.} Qe1 47. Qa7 $2 (47. Nc3 $1 {Is not a human move at all, however the point is simple. Once White solidifies the queenside from mating patterns, he is able to play Qb8,xd6 and create counterplay. I don't blame Meier for missing this, though, it is too computer like.}) 47... Qxb4+ 48. Ka2 Kf6 49. Rf2+ Nf5 {A nice detail.} 50. exf5 Bxf5 {Material is somehow equal, but White's king is much weaker than Black's} 51. Qa8 Rxh4 0-1

Caruana can count his lucky stars he isn't 0.5/3 right now

Kramnik, Vladimir 1-0 Nepomniachtchi, Ian
An interesting pawn sacrifice in the opening by Kramnik brought him a big advantage. He recovered the pawn and soon won another, but Nepo started fighting back. Outplaying White efficiently, Black was able to regain his lost pawn and the game seemed like it was heading towards a draw. However, Kramnik set up a clever trap and Nepo fell right in:

[Event "43rd GM 2015"] [Site "Dortmund GER"] [Date "2015.06.30"] [Round "3"] [White "Kramnik, V."] [Black "Nepomniachtchi, I."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A05"] [WhiteElo "2783"] [BlackElo "2720"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "R7/6k1/3N2p1/3n1p1p/2Nb3P/6P1/5PK1/3r4 w - - 0 42"] [PlyCount "27"] [EventDate "2015.06.26"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 42. Rd8 Ba1 43. Nb6 Nc3 44. Nbc8 Kf6 $2 (44... Nd5 $11) 45. Rd7 $1 Nd5 46. Nb6 $1 Be5 $2 (46... Nxb6 47. Ne8+ {is, of course, impossible.}) (46... Nc3 $1 {is still far from easy, but this is clearly just a computer move.}) 47. Nb7 { Suddenly Black is in danger of losing his knight. His saving resource fails:} Nc3 48. Nd8 $1 {A mate threat out of nowhere! The rooks cant be traded because of the deadly fork.} g5 49. Rxd1 Nxd1 50. Nd7+ Ke7 51. Nxe5 Kxd8 (51... gxh4 52. Nec6+ Kd7 53. gxh4 $18) 52. hxg5 Ke7 53. f4 {The endgame is easily winning. } Nc3 54. Kh3 Ne4 55. Kh4 1-0

"haha, look at that swindle!" Kramnik won with a devious trap

Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter ½-½ Hou Yifan
The Chinese player outplayed Nisipeanu, but she was unable to strike at the correct time and allowed him back in the game:

[Event "43rd GM 2015"] [Site "Dortmund GER"] [Date "2015.06.30"] [Round "3"] [White "Nisipeanu, LD."] [Black "Hou Yifan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E16"] [WhiteElo "2654"] [BlackElo "2676"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "65"] [EventDate "2015.06.26"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4 b6 4. g3 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 a5 6. Bg2 Bb7 7. O-O O-O 8. Bf4 Be7 9. Nc3 Na6 10. d5 Bb4 11. Nb5 $6 {White's sacrifice does not yield good results. Yifan seizes over the initiative with a good follow up:} exd5 12. Nh4 c6 $1 13. Nd6 Bxd6 14. Bxd6 Re8 {Despite the weaknesses on the dark squares, it will soon become clear that Black's pieces enter the fray very quickly.} 15. cxd5 Ne4 16. dxc6 (16. Bxe4 Rxe4 17. f3 Re8 {is close to equal, but Nisipeanu had to already be thinking about that.}) 16... dxc6 17. Bf4 Qf6 {g5 is a threat.} 18. Be3 c5 {Black is doing quite well despite the pair of bishops. Her pieces are simply better placed.} 19. Qd7 Bc6 20. Qg4 Nb4 21. Rad1 (21. a3 Nc2 22. Rad1 g6 $1 {and b2 is still weak, while f5 is taken away from the white knight.}) 21... Qe6 $2 (21... Qxb2 $1 {The time to be brave and take the pawn was now. Nisipeanu's initiative on the kingside simply does not compensate.}) 22. Nf5 g6 23. Nh6+ Kg7 24. Qh4 {White has sufficient counterplay now.} Nc2 25. Ng4 Nxe3 26. fxe3 $1 {Otherwise Black is better again. The inclusion of the rook on the f-file is more important than the structure.} (26. Nxe3 h5 {with a little more pleasant position for Black.}) 26... h5 27. Bxe4 Qxe4 {White is getting mated, but he has a perpetual just on time.} (27... Bxe4 28. Nf6 {doesn't help Black much.}) 28. Qf6+ Kg8 29. Qxf7+ Kh8 30. Qf6+ Kg8 31. Qf7+ Kh8 32. Qf6+ Kg8 33. Qf7+ 1/2-1/2

Nisipeanu keeps his lead, but he was certainly against the ropes today

So, Wesley 0-1 Naiditsch, Arkadij
A very bad game from the American player, simply underestimating all of his opponent's chances:

[Event "43rd GM 2015"] [Site "Dortmund GER"] [Date "2015.06.30"] [Round "3"] [White "So, W."] [Black "Naiditsch, A."] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D37"] [WhiteElo "2778"] [BlackElo "2722"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "72"] [EventDate "2015.06.26"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Nbd7 5. e3 Be7 6. b3 O-O 7. Bb2 b6 8. Bd3 Bb7 9. Qc2 c5 10. cxd5 exd5 11. O-O a6 12. Rfd1 Re8 13. Rac1 Bd6 14. Bf5 Rc8 15. dxc5 bxc5 16. Qd3 Rc7 17. Na4 Qe7 18. Qc3 d4 19. exd4 Bxf3 20. Qxf3 cxd4 21. Ra1 $2 {A move that is too mysterious to understand. So clearly is being ambitious and wants to take on d4, but he grossly underestimates Black's initiative.} (21. Rxc7 Qe1+ {is not playable either.}) (21. g3 Rxc1 22. Bxc1 Ne5 23. Qg2 $11 {is still rather unclear.}) 21... Ne5 22. Qh3 g6 $1 23. Bd3 Nd5 $1 {Black's knights start swarming the position. So regrets having such inactive pieces, like the knight on a4 and the rook on a1. Naiditschs's attack strikes at the right time.} 24. Bxd4 $2 {A clear oversight.} (24. Bf1 {is passive, ugly, but holds for now.}) 24... Nxd3 $2 (24... Nf4 {seems to simply win material.} 25. Qh6 Qf6 $1 {A very difficult move to find, but one that would have ended the game immediately. The point is that Bf8 is a very difficult move to defend against!} (25... Nfxd3 $4 26. Rxd3 $14) 26. Bxe5 (26. h4 Bf8 27. Qg5 Qxg5 28. hxg5 Nexd3 {is over.}) 26... Rxe5 $19 {Bf8, Rh5... too many threats.}) 25. Qxd3 Nf4 {Black's attack is strong regardless.} 26. Qxa6 $2 {Grabbing this pawn seems suicidal, though. A hard move to understand.} (26. Qf3 Ne2+ 27. Kf1 Nxd4 28. Rxd4 Be5 29. Re4 {is ugly for White, but was best case scenario.}) 26... Qg5 27. g3 Ne2+ 28. Kf1 Qg4 29. Be3 Rxe3 {Other moves also won.} 30. Qa8+ Kg7 31. Rxd6 Re4 {White's king is simply getting mated here. Qh3 is a big threat.} 32. Kg2 Nf4+ 33. Kg1 Nh3+ 34. Kg2 Rc2 35. Rf1 Nf4+ 36. Kg1 Qf3 {A very bad game from So, who completely underestimated his opponent's chances.} 0-1

A crushing victory for Naiditsch

Standings

Pictures: Dagobert Kohlmeyer

Replay Round Three Games

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Schedule

Round 01 – June 27 2015, 15:00h
Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2720
½-½
Caruana, Fabiano 2805
Meier, Georg 2654
½-½
Hou, Yifan 2676
Kramnik, Vladimir 2783
0-1
Naiditsch, Arkadij 2722
Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter 2654
1-0
So, Wesley 2778
Round 02 – June 28 2015, 15:00h
Caruana, Fabiano 2805
0-1
So, Wesley 2778
Naiditsch, Arkadij 2722
0-1
Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter 2654
Hou, Yifan 2676
0-1
Kramnik, Vladimir 2783
Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2720
½-½
Meier, Georg 2654
Round 03 – June 30 2015, 15:00h
Meier, Georg 2654
0-1
Caruana, Fabiano 2805
Kramnik, Vladimir 2783
1-0
Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2720
Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter 2654
½-½
Hou, Yifan 2676
So, Wesley 2778
0-1
Naiditsch, Arkadij 2722
Round 04 – July 01 2015, 15:00h
Caruana, Fabiano 2805 - Naiditsch, Arkadij 2722
Hou, Yifan 2676 - So, Wesley 2778
Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2720 - Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter 2654
Meier, Georg 2654 - Kramnik, Vladimir 2783
Round 05 – July 02 2015, 15:00h
Kramnik, Vladimir 2783 - Caruana, Fabiano 2805
Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter 2654 - Meier, Georg 2654
So, Wesley 2778 - Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2720
Naiditsch, Arkadij 2722 - Hou, Yifan 2676
Round 06 – July 03 2015, 15:00h
Caruana, Fabiano 2805 - Hou, Yifan 2676
Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2720 - Naiditsch, Arkadij 2722
Meier, Georg 2654 - So, Wesley 2778
Kramnik, Vladimir 2783 - Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter 2654
Round 07 – July 04 2015, 15:00h
Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter 2654 - Caruana, Fabiano 2805
So, Wesley 2778 - Kramnik, Vladimir 2783
Naiditsch, Arkadij 2722 - Meier, Georg 2654
Hou, Yifan 2676 - Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2720

Links

The games will be 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 13 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

 


Topics Dortmund

Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
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thlai80 thlai80 7/2/2015 01:26
@Logos, actually the report reads alright. I thought words like swindled, tricked, cheapo are commonly used even in chess books. They simply used to mean the winning player setting up an easy trick I. Which the opponent walked right into it. By no means that Kramnik is a cheat. These words do not carry the same meaning, which for example if applied to a bank cashier would mean he/she is basically cheating customer of their money. Even Aronian used to called himself a chess swindler and rely on cheap tricks himself.
BeachBum2 BeachBum2 7/1/2015 10:22
@ Logos: I think this is more about positioning of this web site...
If it for a few "IM and above" level people who might enjoy some "dry" chess theory with little personal opinions etc - yep, I'm wrong and it might be Ok for everything to remain "professionally boring and correct".
If this is for a more broad range of people (like me) who only occasionally play chess now and looking for something fun - there should be some stories, emotions and so on. When I quickly scan headlines - I'm much more inclined to go through the moves of some "X was winning but blundered badly and lost!" then through some "regular GM draw". For once, I'm curious to see if I would recognize the blunder or "bad moves" etc...
Plus, occasionally playing on some yahoo or playchess or whatever online places, I'm so used to people calling opponents assholes (and worse) than I guess when somebody just says "bad move" in comments it is no longer even sounds impolite to me.
Logos Logos 7/1/2015 09:43
@BeachBum2

"All this American "political correctness" nonsense..."

Comments by the article's author? If that is the case, it is not about So, it is about trying to sound exciting by characterizing players as "swindlers" or other such terms, when all is needed is good analysis and thoughtful insights. Instead, we get lazy journalism.
BeachBum2 BeachBum2 7/1/2015 07:30
If I do something that causes my team to loose a point (or "almost") I'm be the first to say "bad pass by me" (or "set" or whatever - volleyball) to my partner. People standing around the court would sometimes say something "not too pleasant" about it too. And they do not have to be better then me to comment on my game. This is sport. This is not for super politically correct little girls with touchy feelings. All this American "political correctness" nonsense... If people want chess to be sport, they need to behave like athletes and be "tough". Yes, looks like So played badly in this game (while he will surely beat me with his eyes closed). He is a very good player, he will have a lot of cool wins ahead.
Supposedly Supposedly 7/1/2015 07:28
Strange title
Aighearach Aighearach 7/1/2015 07:10
"Both Caruana and So played bad games," and Ramirez wrote a disrespectful report... again!

He doesn't like even 50% of the players, why is he the one bringing news to the fans of those players? It is guaranteed he'll offend us, because he doesn't like the players and doesn't care that we do!
fusoya fusoya 7/1/2015 05:44
And let's not forget "inexplicable" : )
fusoya fusoya 7/1/2015 05:43
There are some little idiomatic issues--"dropping the ball hard." Those I don't mind.

More annoying is the fact that anything other than perfection is "bad" "mysterious" and "Strange" to the great 3200 maestro Ramirez.
ivan3ivanovich ivan3ivanovich 7/1/2015 09:53
@solskytz

27.Qf1 Ne2+ 28.Kh1 Bxh2 winning the Queen after 29.Rd3 (29.Kxh2?? Qh4#) Nf4 30.Kxh2 Qh4+ 31.Kg1 Ne2+
solskytz solskytz 7/1/2015 08:50
What was the clincher had Wesley So played 27. Qf1?
Logos Logos 7/1/2015 07:29
Strange comments by Ramirez. Kramnik "swindled" Nepomniatchi? Why? If you play an endgame using your pieces effectively thus forcing errors, that is a swindle? The author often comes across as biased.
Lorfa Lorfa 7/1/2015 06:17
Odd that Nc3 was a computer move in two games.

Also, I didn't think 47. Nc3 seemed computer at all in Meier - Caruana. Qe1 attacks two pawns, one with check, Nc3 defends both pawns.
sranj sranj 7/1/2015 05:06
Maybe the organizers can get more elegant chairs for the players than they have here..
johnmk johnmk 7/1/2015 03:12
The annotations by Ramirez are a little sloppy. In the Kramnik-Nepo game he writes
" 48.Nd8! A mate threat out of nowhere! The rooks cant be traded because of the deadly fork." But actually the deadly fork is no more losing than the game continuation: either way Black ends up losing a pawn.
alekhina alekhina 7/1/2015 02:36
In this report the author mentioned the word "bad" three times to Wesley So's game.
DBRussell DBRussell 7/1/2015 01:49
Go Nisipeanu!

Leave some Dortmunds for the underdogs, Kramnik!

bronkenstein bronkenstein 7/1/2015 12:30
For a moment, looking at Arkadij on that pic, I confused him for Boleslavsky!?

Anyway, his very inspired game was, it seems, not much more than a "bad game" (sub-title intro) "very bad game" (game intro) or, if you prefer, again "very bad game" (game comments) by So, with couple more reflections on how bad So played (in case you didn`t notice). Did I mention that it was just a bad game by So?

Vlad reached practically winning position amazingly quickly, likely rather remembering than calculating based on speed of performing moves, being outplayed back to equality in midgame and finally triumphing in the endgame, deservedly I would say.

Caruana played with fire and, unlike computers and experts, I like his game. Of course, I won`t try to defend it analyticaly - let`s just say that Lasker or Tal would be proud.
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