Dortmund 2010: Ponomariov beats Kramnik

7/16/2010 – The organizers of Dortmund have to be extra pleased this year. Their roster may be lacking a few of the absolute top Elos, which is usually the best way to keep the general public’s attention, but the players are clearly all in prime fighting mood. In round two all three games had the potential for full point scores, in the end it was only Ruslan Ponomariov who beat top seed Vladimir Kramnik. Report.

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From Thursday July 15 to Sunday, July 25, 2010 the 38th edition annual Sparkassen Chess-Meeting is taking place in Dortmund, Germany. It is a six-player round robin, in which each player has to play two games against each other, one with white and one with black pieces. Draw offers are not allowed – a game can only be declared a draw, by the arbiter, if there is no possible win for one side, or if a position is repeated three time. The winner of this tournament will be determined after ten rounds. Games start at 15:00h = 3 p.m. local time (CEST, = 17:00 Moscow, 14:00 p.m. London, 9:00 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, in German, by Dennis Breder (July 15-18), Niclas Huschenbeth (19-21), Merijn van Delft (22, 24, 25) and Julian Zimmermann (July 23).

Round 2: Friday, July 16, 15:00h
Peter Leko 
½-½
 Shak. Mamedyarov
Le Quang Liem 
½-½
 Arkadij Naiditsch
Ruslan Ponomariov 
1-0
 Vladimir Kramnik

In the first round, no less than two out of three games ended in decisive results, but the second round could have raised the bar to three in three had the middlegames all followed to their logical outcomes.

Top German Naiditsch was paired as black against Quang Liem Le, and seemed not to have completely recovered from the previous day’s fiasco. The Vietnamese prodigy deviated first in a QGD Ragozin Defense, and his opponent quickly went astray getting himself into deep trouble. Perhaps excited by the prospect of his first win in a tournament of this level, he returned the favor with several inaccuracies that allowed Arkadij to salvage the game and a draw was agreed on move 35.

Le Quang Liem (2681) - Naiditsch,A (2684) [D37]
Sparkassen GM Dortmund GER (2), 16.07.2010
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.e4 Bb4 6.Bg5 c5 7.Bxc4 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Bxc3+ 9.bxc3 Qa5 10.Bb5+ Bd7 11.Bxf6 gxf6 12.Bxd7+ Nxd7 13.0-0 a6 14.Rb1 Qc7 15.Qf3 [Usual is 15.Qh5 Nc5 16.Rb4 Qe5] 15...0-0-0 16.Rb4 Nc5 17.Rfb1 e5 18.Rc4 Rd6 19.Nb3 b6 20.Qf5+ Kd8 21.Nxc5 bxc5 22.h4 Ke7 23.Rxc5 Qxc5 24.Rb7+ Ke8 25.Rb8+ Ke7 26.Rxh8 Rd1+ 27.Kh2 Rd2 28.Rc8 Qxf2 29.Rc7+ Kf8 30.Qc8+ Kg7 31.Qg4+ Kf8 32.Rc8+ Ke7 33.Rc7+ Kf8 34.Rc8+ Ke7 35.Rc7+ 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]

Ponomariov is undoubtedly one person who is even more elated than the organizers. After an energetic win over Leko in the first round, he now faced Kramnik in the second, and there are no comfortable games against him.

Ponomariov,R (2734) - Kramnik,V (2790) [E00]
Sparkassen GM Dortmund GER (2), 16.07.2010

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 Bb4+ 4.Bd2 Be7 5.Bg2 d5 6.Nf3 0-0 7.0-0 c6 8.Qc2 b6 9.Rd1 Ba6 10.Ne5 Qc8. Though not a novelty per se, this move has only been played once before, whereas 10...Nfd7 is the usual continuation. 11.Nc3 Nbd7 12.Rac1N Nxe5 13.dxe5 Nd7 14.cxd5 cxd5. White's pieces are now beautifully positioned, and a number of tactical themes are starting to rear their ugly heads based on the g2-a8 diagonal as well as discovered attacks based on a timely knight move. 15.Bf4. White is threatening e4 which would maximize the power of his artillery. 15...g5








16.Bxd5! Strong and precise, the Ukrainian forces Kramnik's hand. 16...exd5 17.Nxd5 Qd8. The queen could not be taken with 17...Qxc2?? since after 18.Nxe7+ Kg7 19.Rxc2 gxf4 20.Rxd7 White's two extra pawns would be more than enough. 18.Nc7 Rc8








This was the final mistake, and Ponomariov does not miss his chance. Better was 18...gxf4 19.Qf5! Bc8 20.Nxa8 fxg3 21.hxg3 Nc5 22.Rxd8 Bxf5 23.Rxf8+ Bxf8 though White's chances are still preferable thanks to his rook and two pawns for the two pieces. 19.e6! fxe6 20.Qc6 Qe8 21.Qxe6+ Qf7. In truth, Kramnik could easily have resigned her as the next moves are forced, after which he is left with a dead lost endgame. Still, he may have continued just as easily for the benefit of the public, as to the fact he had no desire to have a 21-move loss listed in his curriculum. 22.Qxf7+ Kxf7 23.Nxa6 gxf4 24.Rxc8 Rxc8 25.Rxd7 Rc2 26.Nb4 Rxb2 27.Nc6 Rxe2 28.Rxa7 f3 29.h4 h5 30.Rxe7+ Rxe7 31.Nxe7 Kxe7 32.g4 hxg4 33.Kh2 Ke6 34.Kg3 Kf5 35.a4 Ke4 36.Kxg4 1-0. [Click to replay]


Leko also had huge winning chances against Mamedyarov, and after 35 moves he
had reached the following position:

Leko,P (2734) - Mamedyarov,S (2761) [E62]
Sparkassen GM Dortmund GER (2), 16.07.2010

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0-0 5.Nc3 d6 6.Nf3 c6 7.0-0 Qa5 8.e4 Qh5 9.Ng5 Qxd1 10.Rxd1 e5 11.d5 h6 12.Nf3 cxd5 13.cxd5 Bd7 14.Nd2 Rc8 15.Bf1 Bf8 16.f3 Na6 17.Nc4 Nb4 18.Ne3 Nh7 19.h4 Be7 20.Bd2 f5 21.a3 Na6 22.exf5 gxf5 23.Bb5 Bxb5 24.Nxb5 Rf8 25.g4 fxg4 26.fxg4 Rf4 27.Nf5 Rxg4+ 28.Kh2 Bf8 29.Bxh6 Nf6 30.Bxf8 Kxf8 31.Rac1 Nc5 32.Nbxd6 Nce4 33.Nxe4 Rxe4 34.d6 Rd8








35.Rc7? Unfortunately he missed 35.Rf1! which would have sealed Black's fate after 35...Kf7 36.Rc7+ Ke6 37.Re7+ Kd5 38.Rxb7+–. 35...Rf4 36.Ne7? Better was 36.Ne3 Rxh4+ 37.Kg3 Rd4 38.Rh1 R8xd6 39.Rh8+ Ng8 with some chances still. 36...Rxh4+ 37.Kg3 Rg4+ 38.Kh3 Rg7 39.Rxb7 Ne4 40.Rf1+ Ke8 41.Rb4 Rxd6 42.Nf5 Rh7+ 43.Kg4 Rg6+ 44.Kf3 Nd2+ 45.Ke2 Nxf1 46.Rb8+ Kf7 47.Rb7+ Kg8 48.Rb8+ Kf7 49.Rb7+ Kg8 50.Rb8+ Kf7 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]

Though only one win instead of three, all three games showed exemplary fighting spirit, and were a credit to the participants.

All photos: Georgios Souleidis

Current standings


Schedule and results

Round 1: Thursday, July 15, 15:00h
Ruslan Ponomariov 
1-0
 Peter Leko
Vladimir Kramnik 
½-½
 Le Quang Liem
Arkadij Naiditsch 
0-1
 Shak. Mamedyarov 
Round 2: Friday, July 16, 15:00h
Peter Leko 
½-½
 Shak. Mamedyarov
Le Quang Liem 
½-½
 Arkadij Naiditsch
Ruslan Ponomariov 
1-0
 Vladimir Kramnik
Round 3: Saturday, July 17, 15:00h
Vladimir Kramnik 
   Peter Leko
Arkadij Naiditsch 
   Ruslan Ponomariov
Shak. Mamedyarov 
   Le Quang Liem 
GamesReport
Round 4: Sunday, July 18, 15:00h
Arkadij Naiditsch 
   Peter Leko
Shak. Mamedyarov 
   Vladimir Kramnik
Le Quang Liem 
   Ruslan Ponomariov
GamesReport
Round 5: Monday, July 19, 15:00h
Peter Leko 
   Le Quang Liem 
Ruslan Ponomariov 
   Shak. Mamedyarov
Vladimir Kramnik 
   Arkadij Naiditsch
GamesReport
Round 6: Wednesday, July 21, 15:00h
Peter Leko 
   Ruslan Ponomariov
Le Quang Liem 
   Vladimir Kramnik
Shak. Mamedyarov 
   Arkadij Naiditsch
GamesReport
Round 7: Thursday, July 22, 15:00h
Shak. Mamedyarov 
   Peter Leko
Arkadij Naiditsch 
   Le Quang Liem 
Vladimir Kramnik 
   Ruslan Ponomariov
GamesReport
Round 8: Friday, July 23, 15:00h
Peter Leko  
   Vladimir Kramnik
Ruslan Ponomariov 
   Arkadij Naiditsch
Le Quang Liem 
   Shak. Mamedyarov
GamesReport
Round 9: Saturday, July 24, 15:00h
Le Quang Liem 
   Peter Leko
Shak. Mamedyarov 
   Ruslan Ponomariov
Arkadij Naiditsch 
   Vladimir Kramnik
GamesReport
Round 10: Sunday, July 25, 15:00h
Peter Leko 
   Arkadij Naiditsch
Vladimir Kramnik 
   Shak. Mamedyarov
Ruslan Ponomariov 
   Le Quang Liem 
GamesReport

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 the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse PGN games. New and enhanced: CB Light 2009!

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Topics Dortmund 2010
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