Dortmund 8: Kramnik beats Carlsen, leads

7/10/2009 – And suddenly things have changed... After two relatively uneventful rounds Vladimir Kramnik was able to go into the lead at the Sparkassen tournament in Dortmund, after the leader since round one Magnus Carlsen blundered in a probably drawn position. Dmitry Jakovenko was able to defeat Etienne Bacrot in an 81-move marathon. Round eight report with pictorial impressions.

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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 eight

It seems that, in fact, the weather has no bearing on the play of these competitors. On yet another lacklustre day, some players managed to turn in sterling performances. Not the least of which was Kramnik, who took the opportunity to go into the lead, by knocking off Carlsen.

Round 8: Friday, July 10th, 15:00h
Vladimir Kramnik  
1-0
 Magnus Carlsen
Peter Leko 
½-½
 Arkadij Naiditsch
Dmitry Jakovenko 
1-0
 Etienne Bacrot

Leko-Naiditsch
These players locked horns in the Ragozin Defence of the Queen’s Gambit Declined, following the text of a number of games, including Gelfand-Jakavenko (Tal Memorial, 2007). Not unlike most other games that followed this sequence, the reference game was drawn, though hard-fought. Leko blazed his own path, choosing 17.Qh6 over the preferred 17.Qh4, and proceeded to a rapid conclusion with Naiditsch, shaking hands on the 27th move.

Leko,P (2756) - Naiditsch,A (2697) [D37]
Sparkassen GM Dortmund GER (8), 10.07.2009
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.Qh5 Nc5 16.Rb4 Qe5 17.Qh6 Rc8 18.a4 Qxe4 19.Qxf6 Rg8 20.Qf3 Rg4 21.Qh3 h5 22.Nb3 Qg6 23.Nxc5 Rxc5 24.Qf3 Rd5 25.g3 Rxb4 26.cxb4 Qc2 27.Qf4 Qxa4 draw.


Kramnik-Carlsen
This eighth round saw a former world champion defeat the proclaimed frontrunner of the next generation of superstars. Selecting the Queen’s Gambit Declined, by transposition, the players followed Epishin-Atalik (Bratto op, 2005), in which White dealt a shellacking to his unwitting opponent. With 15…Rd8, however, Carlsen deviated from the previously attempted 15…Bf6. For a time, Kramnik enjoyed an edge in the position, which he allowed to dwindle, encouraging many masters to remark that Carlsen would easily hold the draw. Then came 25…Qc7, a blunder which put Carlsen on the defensive. Kramnik began probing, repeating the position by way of Qh4-Qh6, but he soon realized he had something more than a draw by threefold. Starting with 29. Nb5, Kramnik squeezed the life out of Carlsen, who proved unable to procure a save, unlike the miracle Jakavenko pulled off yesterday.

Kramnik,V (2759) - Carlsen,M (2772) [D37]
Sparkassen GM Dortmund GER (8), 10.07.2009
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bf4 0-0 6.e3 c5 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.a3 Nc6 9.Qc2 Qa5 10.Rd1 Be7 11.Be2 dxc4 12.Bxc4 Nh5 13.0-0 Nxf4 14.exf4 g6 15.g3 Rd8 16.Rxd8+ Qxd8 17.Rd1 Bd7 18.f5 gxf5 19.Qd2 Qb6 20.Qh6 Be8 21.Ng5 Bxg5 22.Qxg5+ Kf8 23.Qh6+ Kg8 24.Qg5+ Kf8 25.Rd6

Black is under some pressure but should not have trouble holding on. 25...Qc5 is probably th best option to play in the above position. However Black blunders: 25...Qc7?? Now Kramnik has a decisive tactical blow: 26.Qh6+ Ke7 (26...Kg8 27.Rxe6!) 27.Qh4+ Kf8 28.Qh6+ Ke7 (putting some moves on the scoresheet) 29.Nb5 Qa5 30.b4 Nxb4 31.Rxe6+ fxe6 32.Qxe6+ Kd8 33.Qf6+ Kc8 34.Qxf5+ Kd8 35.Qf6+ Kc8 36.axb4 1-0.


Jakavenko-Bacrot
In today’s round, these warriors engaged in a gladiatorial battle deriving from the Marshall Attack of the Closed Ruy Lopez, which, up until the 25th move, represented a transposition of Naiditsch-Onischuk (EU-Cup, 2008). Ultimately, however, Bacrot allowed the game to follow its own course, opting for 25…h5 over Onischuk’s 25…Be7. Things remained calm for a few moves, before Jakavenko earned a comfortable edge from Bacrot’s 29…Ne3+. Unfortunately, after a series of accurate moves on Jakavenko’s part, his advantage began to evaporate on 43.Kf3, where Fritz felt retreating to shelter with 43.Kh1 was more advisable. By the time 45.Kg4 was played, White’s edge was entirely non-existent, and Black should have continued with 45…Bxh2. Understandably wary, Bacrot opted instead for 45…Bc7, returning Jakavenko’s positional advantage. With continued play, Bacrot spurned a potential repetition on the 54th move, in search of something more. This allowed White to preserve his advantage, which he nevertheless allowed to fizzle, and the game seemed headed for a draw. Then came 76...Bg3, in a position where 76...Bb8 was vital, and, from there, Jakavenko surgically eliminated his opponent’s chances. By the 81st move, Bacrot had seen enough, and threw in the towel.

Jakovenko,D (2760) - Bacrot,E (2721) [C89]
Sparkassen GM Dortmund GER (8), 10.07.2009
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 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 c6 12.d4 Bd6 13.Re1 Qh4 14.g3 Qh3 15.Qe2 Bg4 16.Qf1 Qh5 17.Be3 Rae8 18.Nd2 Re6 19.f3 Nxe3 20.Qf2 Nd5 21.fxg4 Qxg4 22.Qf3 Qg5 23.Rxe6 fxe6 24.Ne4 Qg6 25.Qd3 h5 26.Bc2 Bf4 27.Re1 h4 28.Nf2 Qxd3 29.Nxd3 Be3+ 30.Kg2 Bd2 31.Re2 Ne3+ 32.Kh3 hxg3 33.Kxg3 Nf1+ 34.Kh3 Rf6 35.Ne5 Bc1 36.Ng4 Rf3+ 37.Kg2 Rf4 38.Bb3 Rxg4+ 39.Kxf1 Rg6 40.Bxe6+ Kf8 41.b4 Rf6+ 42.Kg2 Rg6+ 43.Kf3 Rf6+ 44.Kg3 Bf4+ 45.Kg4 Bc7 46.Bd7 Rd6 47.Bf5 a5 48.a3 Rf6 49.h4 g6 50.Be4 axb4 51.axb4 Kg7 52.Bg2 Kh6 53.Re8 Bf4 54.Re2 Bc1 55.Bf3 Kg7 56.Kg3 Kf7 57.Kg2 Bf4 58.Kf2 Re6 59.Be4 Rf6 60.Kg2 Bh6 61.Ra2 Ke7 62.Bf3 Kd7 63.Ra6 Ke7 64.Ra7+ Kd8 65.Ra6 Ke7 66.Ra2 Kd7 67.Re2 Kd6 68.Bg4 Kd5 69.Re5+ Kc4 70.Rc5+ Kd3 71.d5 Bf8 72.Rxc6 Rxc6 73.dxc6 Bd6 74.Kf3 Kxc3 75.Ke4 Kxb4 76.Kd5

Bacrot has defended tenaciously and the game should probably be a draw after 76...Bb8. Unfortunately the French GM misses it: 76...Bg3? 77.Bf3 Ka5 78.Ke6 79.Be4 Kb5 80.Kd7 Kc5 81.Bxg6 1-0.

Current standings:


Dortmund impressions

By André Schulz


Who will go in the lead? Competition outside the playing hall


Frontal nudity: Pan, companion of nymphs, in a Dortmund park


The sign explains: Pan, god of shepherds and flocks, son of Hermes and god of fertility,
half human, half goat, causes panic with his sudden flute play. Good excuse.


The beer coachman – a monument by Artur Schulze-Engels


Dortmund is a city enthralled by football (European version, a.k.a. soccer)


A fan shop for the local team of Borussia Dortmund


Remember the rhinos? Far from being endangered they crop up all over the city


Rhinocerotidae in all shapes, colours and implausible poses


A real feast for rhinophiles (lovers of odd-toed ungulates)


Blues Brothers entertainment in the Fall in the chess venue


The old and the new – architectural encounters in Dortmund


Nobel shopping arcades in the city center


The town square with open-air restaurant service


A grandmaster and the children: Helmut Pfleger, official commentator, takes a break


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  
1-0
 Magnus Carlsen
Peter Leko 
½-½
 Arkadij Naiditsch
Dmitry Jakovenko 
1-0
 Etienne Bacrot
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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