Dortmund 7: All games drawn, Carlsen leads

7/10/2009 – Two games – Magnus Carlsen vs Peter Leko and Etienne Bacrot vs Vladimir Kramnik – ended in relatively uneventful draws. The third encounter, between Arkadij Naiditsch and Dmitry Jakavenko, developed into a drama in which the German GM let an advantage slip away, then got an unexpected gift from Jakavenko, but failed to capitalise on it. Round seven report.

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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 seven

Another day with a smattering of showers, and three more draws to the good. Will the doldrums never end? Naiditsch finally showed some signs of life, but victory continues to elude him. With rain in the forecast for the rest of the tournament, expect Carlsen to coast to victory, without much resistance from his competitors.

Round 7: Thursday, July 9th, 15:00h
Etienne Bacrot 
½-½
 Vladimir Kramnik
Arkadij Naiditsch 
½-½
 Dmitry Jakovenko
Magnus Carlsen 
½-½
 Peter Leko

Carlsen-Leko
Carlsen and Leko played into the Anti-Marshall Systems of the Closed Ruy Lopez, in which they followed a handful of games, most notably including Nisipeanu-Inarkiev (2008) – a fairly tame draw between players of equal rating. Leko deviated on the 12th move, playing 12…Bd6, instead of Inarkiev’s 12…h6. The result was no different, however, as Leko never achieved more than a slight edge in the position, and agreed to a draw on the 22nd move.


Magnus Carlsen vs Peter Leko in round seven

Bacrot-Kramnik
Up until Black’s 24th move, this game followed the text of a game between two obscure National Masters from the Czech Republic, Nosek-Riha (2004), in yet another Petroff Defence. Today, Bacrot opted to swap pawns with 25.cxd5, where Nosek chose a rook manoeuvre, with 25.Re3. After some mild excitement, the reference game was a draw by agreement. Bacrot and Kramnik contributed some moves to theory, and – with neither ever possessing a sizeable advantage – ended it with repetition on the 38th move.

Naiditsch-Jakavenko
This encounter promised some possibility of excitement, and it delivered, despite the indecisive result. After falling prey to Carlsen in the opening round, Jakavenko took his frustrations out on Naiditsch in a display of excellent endgame technique. With the bitter taste of defeat still clinging to his lips, Naiditsch came prepared for battle today. In this seventh round, the players chose to test their mettle in the Yugoslav Attack of the Sicilian Dragon, following a transposition of Martin del Campo-Leon Hoyos (Carlos Torre Wimbledon, 2006). In the reference game, Martin del Campo chose 18.a4, ultimately seeing his queenside ripped open, and his exposed king yielding the point to his opponent. Naiditsch selected 18.Qf2, instead allowing Black to play 18…a4. For a time, Jakavenko enjoyed a slight edge, but the tides slowly turned in White’s favour, and by move 44 Naiditsch was comfortably ahead.


Arkadij Naiditsch with very good winning chances in round six

Naiditsch,A (2697) - Jakovenko,D (2760) [B35]
Sparkassen GM Dortmund GER (7), 09.07.2009
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 g6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Bc4 0-0 8.Bb3 d6 9.f3 Bd7 10.Qd2 Nxd4 11.Bxd4 b5 12.Nd5 Nxd5 13.exd5 Bxd4 14.Qxd4 a5 15.a3 Qc7 16.0-0-0 Rfc8 17.Rd2 Bf5 18.Qf2 a4 19.Ba2 b4 20.g4 b3 21.Bxb3 Bxg4 22.fxg4 axb3 23.c3 Ra4 24.Rf1 f6 25.Qe3 Qd7 26.h3 Rf8 27.Re2 Ra7 28.Rf4 Rb7 29.Re4 Rf7 30.Re6 Qb5 31.Qd4 f5 32.Kd2 Rc7 33.a4 Qa5 34.Ke1 Qa6 35.gxf5 Rxf5 36.R6e4 Qb7 37.Qb4 Qa7 38.R2e3 Kf7 39.Qxb3 Rb7 40.Qa2 Qa6 41.c4 Qa5+ 42.Ke2 Qa6 43.Kd1 Rf1+ 44.Kc2 Rh1 45.a5 Rh2+ 46.Re2 Rxh3

47.b4? Fritz felt this was played too soon, as 47.Qa1 would have provided the queen with more scope, e.g. 47...Rh5 and now 48.b4. White should be close to winning. 47...Rxb4 48.Rxe7+ Kg8 49.Rc7 Kf8 50.Rc6

Now it is actually Black that is better, but Jakovenko plays a capital blunder: 50...Qa8?? 51.Qa1 (threatening 52.Qh8+) 51...Kg8 52.Qf6 Rbb3 53.Re7? Naiditsch fails to secure the kill, playing this perfectly reasonable looking move as opposed to 53.Rxd6, which would have created a serious threat against the black queen on the back rank. After this final inaccuracy the German GM slowly watched his edge slip, and resigned himself to the draw on the 70th move.

53...Rbc3+ 54.Qxc3 Rxc3+ 55.Kxc3 Qxa5+ 56.Kb3 Qd8 57.Rb7 Qf8 58.Rcc7 g5 59.c5 g4 60.cxd6 Qf3+ 61.Kb4 Qe4+ 62.Kc5 Qc2+ 63.Kb6 Qb3+ 64.Ka7 Qa3+ 65.Kb8 Qxd6 66.Ka8 Qa3+ 67.Kb8 Qd6 68.Ka8 Qa3+ 69.Ra7 Qf8+ 70.Kb7 draw.

Michael von Keitz, photos by André Schulz

Current standings:


Seven rounds played, three to go: Magnus Carlsen still leads the field


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 
½-½
 Dmitry Jakovenko
Peter Leko 
1-0
 Etienne Bacrot
Magnus Carlsen 
1-0
 Arkadij Naiditsch
Round 6: Wednesday, July 8th, 15:00h
Vladimir Kramnik 
½-½
 Peter Leko
Dmitry Jakovenko 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen
Etienne Bacrot 
½-½
 Arkadij Naiditsch
Round 7: Thursday, July 9th, 15:00h
Etienne Bacrot 
½-½
 Vladimir Kramnik
Arkadij Naiditsch 
½-½
 Dmitry Jakovenko
Magnus Carlsen 
½-½
 Peter Leko
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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