Dortmund, Rd. 3: Kramnik in the style of Tal

by Johannes Fischer
7/12/2016 – Round three of the Sparkassen Chess-Meeting in Dortmund was a delight for spectators. This was to a huge part due to Vladimir Kramnik, ten times winner in Dortmund, who really seems to be inspired by the flair of this tournament. The former World Champion played with White against Rainer Buhmann and initiated a brilliant sacrificial attack in the spirit of Mikhail Tal. But Buhmann defended well and saved a draw!

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Follow the games live on

Whatever the players did during the rest day in Dortmund - it seemed to have recharged their batteries. Which led to hard fought and exciting games in round three.

Players and officials

The most spectacular game was played by Vladimir Kramnik and Rainer Buhmann. The former World Champion seemed to be well prepared against Buhmann's French Defense and entered a sharp line in which he sacrificed two pieces for a strong attack. To keep the fire of the attack going Kramnik continued to sacrifice material to mate Black's king. But Buhmann refused to get mated and the game finally ended in a draw.


Against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu opted for a popular line that  led to a position in which White has an exchange for a pawn but has hardly any winning chances and is not at all in danger to lose.

Fabiano Caruana played with Black against Evgeny Najer and showed the attacking potential of the Caro-Kann.


Leinier Dominguez was the second winner of the round after defeating Ruslan Ponomariov in an ending after 75 moves and almost seven hours of play.

Results of round 3

Brd Title Name ELO Res. Title Name ELO
1 GM Evgeniy Najer 2681 0 - 1 GM Fabiano Caruana 2804
2 GM Liviu Dieter Nisipeanu 2674 ½ - ½ GM Maxime Vachier Lagrave 2788
3 GM Leinier Dominguez Perez 2732 1 - 0 GM Ruslan Ponomariov 2715
4 GM Vladimir Kramnik 2801 ½ - ½ GM Rainer Buhmann 2651

Games of rounds 1 to 3



Standings after three rounds

Rg. Title Name Nation Elo Perf. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pkt. Wtg.
1 GM Maxime Vachier Lagrave
2788 +92     ½ ½ 1       2.0 / 3 3.00
2 GM Leinier Dominguez Perez
2732 +110     ½     1 ½   2.0 / 3 2.75
3 GM Vladimir Kramnik
2801 -77 ½ ½         ½   1.5 / 3 2.50
4 GM Liviu Dieter Nisipeanu
2674 +95 ½       ½ ½     1.5 / 3 2.50
5 GM Fabiano Caruana
2804 -89 0     ½       1 1.5 / 3 1.75
6 GM Ruslan Ponomariov
2715 -19   0   ½       1 1.5 / 3 1.75
7 GM Rainer Buhmann
2651 -33   ½ ½         0 1.0 / 3 1.75
8 GM Evgeniy Najer
2681 -78         0 0 1   1.0 / 3 1.00


Official 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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Mr TambourineMan Mr TambourineMan 7/15/2016 11:28
Kramnik in the style of Tal? No, Tal would have won those games!
keram1969 keram1969 7/13/2016 10:47
the board is ok , i use big monitor 27"
spirum spirum 7/13/2016 08:51
as you play the moves yoy have to scroll down the text, not so good
Pionki Pionki 7/13/2016 07:21
Suggestions for improvements of the chess board.
1. The buttons (forward, back etc.) should be smaller and should be placed vertically on the left hand side of the board. That way it would be possible to use the entire height of smartphone's screen to display the board in a horizontal position of the device and use the buttons at the same time. It would be a great convenience for users of small devices.
2. It should be possible to rotate the board to start with blacks at the bottom. (I presume that placing whites at the bottom is an inheritance from the bygone era, when boards were only printed in books and magazines. That was a long time ago.)
jajalamapratapri jajalamapratapri 7/13/2016 06:11
Kramnik was lucky to escape with a draw. Move 26 annotated with "!" is a blunder and loses.
footloose4 footloose4 7/13/2016 02:01
Says 1-0 for the Caruana game instead of 0-1.