Dortmund 04: Kramnik wins with black, leads with Carlsen

7/5/2009 – After a desperately uneventful round three the players suddenly all galvanised into fighting mode and delivered a supremely exciting round four. Vladimir Kramnik won his game with the black pieces against Arkadij Naiditsch, while Magnus Carlsen came very close to a black victory against Etienne Bacrot. Carlsen and Kramnik now lead with 2.5/4 points. Big pictorial review.

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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.

Round four

Round 4: Sunday, July 5, 15:00h
Arkadij Naiditsch 
0-1
 Vladimir Kramnik
Etienne Bacrot 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen
Dmitry Jakovenko 
½-½
 Peter Leko

There must have been something in the water, or, perhaps, the players had somehow recovered from heat exhaustion. Whatever the cause, today’s round witnessed a shift from yesterday, with hotly contested battles.

Naiditsch – Kramnik
The round four encounter saw Kramnik saddled with his second black in a row. Entering into a Petroff Defence, the game followed Cheparinov-Krush (2003). After a slight transposition, it deviated entirely on White’s 13th move, where Arkadi chose 13.Be3, while the reference game saw an immediate b4-push. Krush took 39 moves to bring home the point, but Kramnik vanquished his opponent in 27 moves. It was his first black win at tournament time controls since he played Topalov in September 2006. While the former World Champion was all smiles, Naiditsch chose to forego a post mortem analysis.

Bacrot – Carlsen
Engaging in the Botvinnik System of the Semi-Slav, Carlsen seemed destined for victory. Up until 23...Rxg7 the game represented a transposition of four games – most notably including Ponomariov-Shirov, Wijk aan Zee 2003, in which Shirov won. 24.Bd4 had only been seen once before, from an unlikely source, found in the form of Barber-LeBlanc (Canadian U18 Championship, 2004). LeBlanc chose 24...f5, ultimately winning, while Fritz suggests the move 24.Rh7, preventing 25.Bh3. In the end, Carlsen decided upon 24...Rc7. After a hard-fought struggle, Bacrot managed to build a fortress on his kingside, ensuring himself the half-point.

Jakavenko-Leko
In this game, the players chose to explore the main line Rubinstein of the Nimzo-Indian. Until 15...exd5, the game was a transposition of Dorfman-Khalifman (2001), where the point was split after 30 moves. Instead of 16.Rfc1, however, Jakavenko went for 16.Ne5. After some exploratory manoeuvres, a draw was agreed on move 22. As always, Jakavenko bore a smile, while Leko seemed equally satisfied with the outcome.

Michael von Keitz


Naiditsch,A (2697) - Kramnik,V (2759) [C42]
Sparkassen GM Dortmund GER (4), 05.07.2009
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d4 d5 6.Bd3 Bd6 7.0-0 0-0 8.c4 c6 9.Re1 Bf5 10.c5 Bc7 11.Nc3 Nd7 12.Qc2 Re8 13.Be3 h6 14.b4 Ndf6 15.h3 Qd7 16.Ne2 Bxh3 17.Ne5 Bxe5 18.dxe5 Rxe5 19.f3 Rae8 20.Bf4 Rh5 21.fxe4 dxe4 22.Bc4 Bxg2 23.Ng3 Bf3 24.Qb3 Rh4 25.Bd6 Qh3 26.Bxf7+ Kh7 27.Qb2 Ng4 0-1.

Bacrot,E (2721) - Carlsen,M (2772) [D44]
Sparkassen GM Dortmund GER (4), 05.07.2009
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 b5 8.e5 g5 9.Nxg5 hxg5 10.Bxg5 Nbd7 11.g3 Bb7 12.Bg2 Qb6 13.exf6 c5 14.d5 0-0-0 15.0-0 b4 16.Na4 Qb5 17.a3 exd5 18.axb4 cxb4 19.Be3 Nc5 20.Qg4+ Rd7 21.Qg7 Bxg7 22.fxg7 Rg8 23.Nxc5 Rxg7 24.Bd4 Rc7 25.Nxb7 Rg6 26.Ra5 Qxb7 27.Bxd5 Qb8 28.Be5 Qb6 29.Bxc7 Qxc7 30.Rfa1 a6 31.Rxa6 Rxa6 32.Rxa6 c3 33.bxc3 bxc3 34.Be4 Qc4 35.Bf5+ Kd8 36.Ra1 Qe2 37.Kg2 Qe5 38.Rd1+ Ke7 39.Bb1 f5 40.h3 Kf6 41.Rd3 Qe4+ 42.Kh2 Qe1 43.Rf3 Qxb1 44.Rxc3 Qf1 45.Rf3 Ke5 46.Rf4 draw.

Jakovenko,D (2760) - Leko,P (2756) [E49]
Sparkassen GM Dortmund GER (4), 05.07.2009
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 0-0 5.Bd3 d5 6.a3 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 dxc4 8.Bxc4 c5 9.Nf3 Qc7 10.Ba2 b6 11.0-0 Bb7 12.Bb2 Nbd7 13.Qe2 cxd4 14.cxd4 Bd5 15.Bxd5 exd5 16.Ne5 Rac8 17.Rac1 Qb7 18.Qb5 Nb8 19.f3 a6 20.Qd3 b5 21.Bc3 Nc6 22.Bb4 draw.

Current standings:


Picture Gallery


Hungary's top GM Peter Leko prearing for battle in round four


Tools of the trade: mineral water, Dextro Energy tablet and a Dr Balke ginger fruit bar, which Peter adjusted just as carefully on the table as his scoresheet (perfectly vertical) and his pieces (precisely in the centre of each square)


No grandmaster in the world is neater than the Hungarian


Magnus Carlsen makes sure each piece is precisely adjusted


The secret of his success: pure OJ during every game


Dmitri Jakovenko vs Peter Leko


Etienne Bacrot vs Magnus Carlsen


German GM Arkadij Naiditsch, who won Dortmund in 2005


Arbiters: Alexander Bakh and Andrzej Filipowicz


Round four under way (two boards are for the Helmut-Kohls IM tournament)


Etienne Bacrot at a critical momen in his game against Magnus Carlsen


The Norwegian GM has just played 24...Rc7 instead of the expected 24...Rh7


German GM Arkadij Naiditsch struggling in his game against Vladimir Kramnik


Cool as a cucumber: former World Champion has played a very attractive sacrifice


GMs backstage provide the audience with running commentary via infrared headsets


Chief commentator Klaus Bischoff interviews guest Frederic Friedel of ChessBase


After the game, postmortem in the press center: Peter Leko analyses with...


Dmitri Jakovenko, right, and his second, GM Dennis Khismatullin, 24, from Ufa,
the capital of the Republic of Bashkortostan in Russia


Peter Leko's second Jan Gustafsson looks on


... and wife Sofi checks the analysis on a press room computer (just kidding – actually she was following the all-time marathon cliff-hanger Wimbledon final Federer vs Roddick and calling out the scores to the others)


An old friend: IM Otto Borik, who has edited the prestigious German chess monthly Schach-Magazin 64 since 1979

Pictures by Frederic Friedel and Michael von Keitz


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 
½-½
 Etienne Bacrot
Dmitry Jakovenko 
1-0
 Arkadij Naiditsch
Peter Leko 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen
Round 3: Saturday, July 4th, 15:00h
Magnus Carlsen 
½-½
 Vladimir Kramnik
Arkadij Naiditsch 
½-½
 Peter Leko
Etienne Bacrot 
½-½
 Dmitry Jakovenko
Round 4: Sunday, July 5, 15:00h
Arkadij Naiditsch 
0-1
 Vladimir Kramnik
Etienne Bacrot 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen
Dmitry Jakovenko 
½-½
 Peter Leko
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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