Dortmund ends with three draws and a win

by Johannes Fischer
7/18/2016 – After six rounds Maxime Vachier-Lagrave was certain to win the Grandmaster Tournament in Dortmund, but four of the eight participants still wanted or had to fight in the seventh and last round. Ruslan Ponomariov and Fabiano Caruana drew in 18 moves, Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu and Rainer Buhmann in 27. Leinier Dominguez Perez tried to beat Vachier-Lagrave but without success. Vladimir Kramnik was the only winner of the round. He defeated Evgeniy Najer with energetic play.

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A serious Maxime Vachier-Lagrave before his game against Leinier Dominguez.
But "MVL" had every reason to smile.

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave showed good form in Dortmund an won convincingly. Scoring 5.5/7 he was 1.5 points ahead of Vladimir Kramnik, Fabiano Caruana and Leinier Dominguez Perez who shared places two to four. In Dortmund Vachier-Lagrave even climbed to place two on the virtual world ranking list. With 2810.8 points he is narrowly ahead of Kramnik (2808.3) and Caruana (2806.5).

But even though the French grandmaster had won the tournament with one round to go, he could not take it easy in the seventh and last round as his opponent Leinier Dominguez showed no intention to settle for a quick draw. But despite all aggression the Cuban grandmaster never had any serious winning chances and the game finally ended in a draw.

Six draws and one win: Leinier Dominguez Perez had a solid and good performance

After six draws Vladimir Kramnik finished the tournament with a win.

Kramnik had again and again tried to win in the first six rounds but had to settle for six draws. But against Evgeniy Najer he finally succeeded. In a complicated game he put Najer under constant pressure until Najer cracked.

Evgeniy Najer - four losses, two draws and one win. The winner of the
Aeroflot Open in Moscow 2016 will not be too happy about his result in Dortmund.

Ruslan Ponomariov and...

...Fabiano Caruana settled for a quick peace in the final round. 18 moves, and the game was over.

Rainer Buhmann

As the lowest-rated player German grandmaster Rainer Buhmann had a difficult tournament. It did not become any easier when he had to play with Black against the Elo-heavyweights Kramnik, Caruana and Vachier-Lagrave. With 1.5/7 he finished last but all in all showed a respectable performance.

Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu, the German number one, did not win in a single game in Dortmund
Thus, in his last 59 games he has not suffered a single loss.

Results of the seventh and last round

Leinier Dominguez Perez - Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 1/2-1/2
Ruslan Ponomariov - Fabiano Caruana 1/2-1/2
Rainer Buhmann - Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu 1/2-1/2
Vladimir Kramnik - Evgeniy Najer 1-0

All games


Final result

The playing venue

Tournament director Stefan Koth

Photos: Georgios Souleidis

Tournament page...


Johannes Fischer was born in 1963 in Hamburg and studied English and German literature in Frankfurt. He now lives as a writer and translator in Nürnberg. He is a FIDE-Master and regularly writes for KARL, a German chess magazine focusing on the links between culture and chess. On his own blog he regularly publishes notes on "Film, Literature and Chess".


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