Dortmund: Caruana takes down Kramnik

by Patrick Zelbel
7/2/2023 – Going into the final day of action at the Dortmund Chess Festival, Fabiano Caruana, Frederik Svane and Dinara Wagner are leading the standings in the No Castling Masters, the A-Open and the Sportland NRW Cup, respectively. Caruana defeated Vladimir Kramnik in style to get a half point lead over the former world champion and Dmitrij Kollars. Kollars beat Pavel Eljanov with white in Saturday’s fifth round. | Photo: Michelle Lassak

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White wins

The players marshalling the black pieces had big problems in the fifth round of the NC World Masters at the 50th edition of the Dortmund Chess Festival. Fabiano Caruana and Dmitrij Kollars convincingly beat Vladimir Kramnik and Pavel Eljanov, both with white.

Kramnik spectacularly chose to play the Sicilian Dragon despite not being allowed to castle in the entire game. Caruana quickly took the initiative with 11.e5!

Kramnik reacted inaccurately and Caruana, the world no. 3 in classical chess, played a flawless game to score a valuable win. The opening move was played by DSB President Ingrid Lauterbach. She works as an honorary arbiter at the Dortmund Chess Festival.

On the other board, Dmitrij Kollars managed to use an idea he had prepared at home. In the post-game interview, the defending champion confessed that he had slept badly after his missed win against Caruana, but that did not prevent him from playing a near perfect game and scoring his second win of the event. Pavel Eljanov was left without chances after playing weakly in the opening.

A satisfied Kollars analysed his game afterwards (in German):

Standings - Round 5

All games

A-Open: Svane in the lead

The A-Open saw three German and three Indian grandmasters on the top three boards. The all-German duel between Alexander Donchenko against Rasmus Svane ended in a draw after Donchenko tried to make the most of his small advantage for a long time. The Indian duo of Raja Rithvik and Leon Luke Mendonca agreed to a draw earlier on board 3.

These results left the door open for Frederik Svane on the top board. With a fabulous preparation, lasting 22 moves in the open Sicilian, Svane obtained an advantageous middlegame position. After five hours, he was finally able to make use of his extra pawn in the rook ending against Aryan Chopra.

Svane now leads the field by half a point going into the last round and has the best chance of winning the first prize of €5,000.

Frederik Svane

Frederik Svane

Standings - Round 8

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Svane,Frederik, 7 39
2 Donchenko,Alexander, 6,5 41
3 Dudin,Gleb, 6,5 36
4 Aryan Chopra, 6 42
5 Mendonca,Leon Luke, 6 39,5
6 Adams,Michael, 6 39,5
7 Svane,Rasmus, 6 39
8 Kobo,Ori, 6 38
9 Guo,Arthur, 6 38
10 Raja Rithvik R, 6 37
11 Wagner,Dennis, 6 37
12 Seemann,Jakub, 6 36
13 Prohaszka,Peter, 6 35,5
14 Raja Harshit, 6 35
15 Pranav Anand, 6 34

...328 players

All games

Sportland NRW Cup: Wagner in first place

In the Sportland NRW Cup, it is certain that a GM norm will be earned by the end of the event. Dinara Wagner and Ruben Gideon Köllner won their games and are set to face each other in the final round. A score of 7/9 is needed to earn a GM norm — since Wagner is leading with 6½ points and Köllner stands a half point behind, it is impossible for both to miss on reaching the coveted score.

On Saturday, Wagner won after a long fight against her national team colleague Jana Schneider, while Köllner got the better of 11-year-old prodigy Hussain Besou.

Dinara Wagner

Dinara Wagner beat Jana Schneider in round 8

Standings - Round 8

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Wagner,Dinara, 6,5 5
2 Köllner,Ruben Gideon, 6 5
3 Karthik Venkataraman, 5,5 4
4 De Winter,Arthur, 4,5 3
5 Petrovskiy,Vadim, 3,5 2
6 Souleidis,Georgios, 3,5 2
7 Bagrationi,Alexander, 3,5 2
8 Besou,Hussain, 3,5 1
9 Saltaev,Mihail, 2,5 1
10 Schneider,Jana, 1 0

All games


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