Dortmund: Kollars beats Kramnik

by Patrick Zelbel
6/28/2023 – Dmitrij Kollars can celebrate having beaten a former world champion. In the No-Castling Masters, the German grandmaster defeated Vladimir Kramnik. Ruben Gideon Köllner leads the Sportland NRW Cup, while Alexander Donchenko won the all-important against Frederik Svane in the A-Open. | Screenshot: Former tournament director Jürgen Grastat makes the ceremonial first move

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The defending champion strikes

Last year, in the absence of Vladimir Kramnik, Dmitrij Kollars stunned spectators and pundits with his tournament victory at the NC World Masters of the Dortmund Chess Festival. Now, the German grandmaster obtained a marvellous victory over 10-time Dortmund winner.

Dimitrij Kollars | Photo: Michelle Lassak

Kollars didn’t come out of the opening at all well with white, after Jürgen Grastat made the first move for him. Grastat ran the International Dortmund Chess Days for 20 years as tournament director (1983 - 2002). Kollars then decided to create complications in the position. In the resulting entanglements, he came out on top, as he punished the former world champion’s mistakes to win the game in grand style.

“I still have a lot of adrenaline in me, but it feels good”, the young German said in the interview a few minutes after his victory. The whole interview (in German), including analysis, was uploaded to YouTube.

US star Fabiano Caruana had an inferior position and needed to fight hard for a long time, but he finally managed to hold a draw against Pavel Eljanov. He commented on the new rules after his first two games in the No-Castling Chess format:

It’s fun. All the games, all the openings are very interesting. You get a fight immediately. I mean, Kramnik’s game today for example was very chaotic, I didn’t know what was going on. You get some really fighting positions early on. So I like the concept.

The world number 3 is looking forward to the coming games. Now he is half a point ahead of Kollars and Kramnik atop the standings.

Standings - Round 2

All games

A-Open: Donchenko beats Svane

Very combatibe chess was seen in round 4 of the A-Open. On the first three boards, played on the tournament’s stage, only Alexander Donchenko could win in the end. He gained an early advantage against Frederik Svane, and finally made use of his extra exchange up. Matthias Bluebaum, on the other hand, had to survive a few difficulties and was able to escape with a draw against Leon Mendonca. Mendonca had opportunities to win the game in the middlegame.

The second player with 4 points from 4 games is Aryan Chopra, who won after 5½ hours against Arthur Guo. Thus, Donchenko and Chopra will meet on Wednesday at the top board of the A-Open.

Standings - Round 4

Rg. Name Pts. TB1 
1 Aryan Chopra, 4 9
2 Donchenko,Alexander, 4 7,5
3 Mendonca,Leon Luke, 3,5 9,5
4 Blübaum,Matthias, 3,5 9,5
5 Adams,Michael, 3,5 9
Kobo,Ori, 3,5 9
7 Pranav Anand, 3,5 7,5
8 Rathanvel,V S, 3,5 6,5
9 Samunenkov,Ihor, 3,5 6,5
10 Svane,Frederik, 3 10
11 Guo,Arthur, 3 9,5
12 Colpe,Malte, 3 9
13 Laurent-Paoli,Pierre, 3 8,5
Akesson,Ralf, 3 8,5
15 Svane,Rasmus, 3 8,5
16 Muthaiah AL, 3 8,5
17 Woelk,Tom-Frederic, 3 8,5
18 Feuerstack,Aljoscha, 3 8
19 Bailet,Pierre, 3 8
Samant Aditya S, 3 8
21 Ponomariov,Ruslan, 3 8
Meins,Gerlef, 3 8
23 Wagner,Dennis, 3 8
Safarli,Eltaj, 3 8
Garner,Isaac, 3 8

...328 Spieler

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Sportland NRW Cup: Köllner sole leader

In the Sportland NRW Cup, Ruben Gideon Köllner claimed yet another victory. With 3½ points from 4 games, the 19-year-old is now in the lead and has good chances of getting a grandmaster norm in the tournament.

Meanwhile, 11-year-old Hussain Besou continues to play impressively: the greatest young talent in Germany missed his second victory against a grandmaster and is well in the fight for tournament victory with 2½ points from 4 games.

The most famous German-speaking chess YouTuber, Georgios Souleidis, a.k.a. The Big Greek, is currently in second place. TBG benefited from a mishap in the opening by Jana Schneider, for whom not much has come together in Dortmund so far.

Standings - Round 4

Rg. Name Pkt.  Wtg1 
1 Köllner,Ruben Gideon, 3,5 3
2 Souleidis,Georgios, 3 2
3 Wagner,Dinara, 3 2
4 Karthik Venkataraman, 2,5 2
5 Besou,Hussain, 2,5 1
6 Petrovskiy,Vadim, 1,5 1
7 Saltaev,Mihail, 1,5 1
8 Bagrationi,Alexander, 1 1
9 De Winter,Arthur, 1 0
10 Schneider,Jana, 0,5 0

All games


Patrick Zelbel is the press officer at the Sparkassen Chess Trophy yearly event in Dortmund.