Dortmund Rd1 – Kramnik strikes in first round

7/21/2011 – With so much elite chess taking place at once, spectators might get whiplash as they glance from one board to the next, but one thing is clear: Dortmund is never to be missed. The lineup is mouthwatering with legends, fighters, and talents-on-the-rise, and the games were to their credit. Kramnik locked horns with Ponomariov and emerged the sole victor in round one. Round one report.

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From Thursday July 21 to Sunday July 31, 2010 the 39th edition annual Sparkassen Chess-Meeting is taking place in Dortmund, Germany. It is a six-player round robin, in which each player has to play two games against each of the others, one as White and one as Black. Draw offers are not allowed – a game can only be declared a draw, by the arbiter, if there is no possible win for one side, or if a position is repeated three times. The winner of the tournament will be determined after ten rounds.

Games start at 15:00h = 3 p.m. local time (CEST, = 17:00 Moscow, 14:00 p.m. London, 9:00 a.m. New York). All games will be broadcast by the official web site's "Live Games" page and on the Playchess.com server. 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.

Participants

Player
Title
Nat.
Born
Rating
Kramnik, Vladimir
GM
RUS
1975
2781
Nakamura, Hikaru
GM
USA
1987
2770
Ponomariov, Ruslan
GM
UKR
1983
2764
Le, Quang Liem
GM
VIE
1991
2715
Giri, Anish
GM
NED
1994
2715
Meier, Georg
GM
GER
1987
2656

Round one

Round 1: Thursday, July 21, 15:00h
Georg Meier 
½-½
 Le Quang Liem
Vladimir Kramnik 
1-0
 Ruslan Ponomariov
Anish Giri 
½-½
 Hikaru Nakamura 

One can only commisserate with the chess fans, who suddenly find themselves with so much elite chess at the same time that they hardly know where to focus their attention. Now, concurrently with the World Team Championship in Ningbo, and the Biel International, we are also treated to the unmissable Dortmund, celebrating its 39th edition(!) and bringing an exciting roster of players. Alongside Valdimir Kramnik, who has celebrated so many victories here, there is American-on-the-rise Nakamura, a rejuvenated Ponomariov, who not only won the event in 2010, but is also in one of the best phases of his chess career. Qualifying for a second straight time, is the only two straight time winner of the Aeroflot Open, Quang Liem Le, also the first Vietnamese player to break the 2700 barrier, followed by 17-year-old Anish Giri also recently inducted into that elite status, and finally Georg Meier, a top German GM, afforded a chance to sharpen his claws and gain experience at this level.


Anish Giri, first appearance in Dortmund


Also playing in Dortmund for the first time: US GM Hikaru Nakamura

In their first game of the tournament, Giri and Nakamura played a Queens Gambit declined, however this was nothing like the Valium being served at the recent Candidates. Not that you would expect it considering the players involved, but it is certainly worth reiterating, as their game was complex, sharp, and tense. Despite Nakamura's attempts to confuse and overpower his young adversary, he actually got himself into serious trouble, and things might gave gone very bad had Giri seized a few of the opportunities that came his way. A game well worth seeing.

[Event "39th GM"] [Site "Dortmund GER"] [Date "2011.07.21"] [Round "1"] [White "Giri, A."] [Black "Nakamura, Hi"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D37"] [WhiteElo "2701"] [BlackElo "2770"] [PlyCount "108"] [EventDate "2011.07.21"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. Rc1 Nbd7 7. cxd5 exd5 8. e3 c6 9. h3 Re8 10. Bd3 Nf8 11. O-O Ng6 12. Bh2 Bd6 13. Bxd6 Qxd6 14. Qc2 Re7 ( 14... Be6 15. a3 a5 16. Na4 Nd7 17. Rb1 Ngf8 18. b4 axb4 19. axb4 b5 20. Nc5 Nb6 21. Ra1 f6 22. Nxe6 Qxe6 23. Nd2 Nc4 24. Nb3 Qe7 25. Nc5 g6 26. e4 Kg7 27. Qc3 Nd7 28. exd5 cxd5 29. Rxa8 Rxa8 30. Re1 {1-0 (96) Kasparov,G (2812)-Karpov, A (2619)/Valencia 2009/CBM 132 Extra (96)}) 15. Rb1 Bd7 16. b4 b6 17. b5 cxb5 18. Bxb5 Bc8 19. Bd3 Bb7 20. Rfc1 Ne4 21. Qa4 f5 22. Nb5 Qd8 23. g3 a6 24. Nc3 b5 25. Qb3 Rc8 26. Ne2 Rc4 27. h4 Rec7 28. Rc2 Nf8 29. Nf4 h6 30. h5 Qe8 31. Rbc1 Nd7 32. a4 bxa4 33. Qb2 (33. Qa3 $1 {would lead to an endgame that is very favorable to White.} Rxc2 34. Rxc2 Rxc2 35. Bxc2 Ndf6 36. Ne5 a5 37. Bxa4 Qf8 38. Qb3 Qb4 39. Qxb4 axb4 {and White stands much better thanks to Black's pawn weaknesses and bad bishop.}) 33... Rxc2 34. Rxc2 Qc8 35. Ne1 ({White had a winning sequence with} 35. Rxc7 Qxc7 36. Qb4 $1 Ndf6 37. Ng6 $1 Kh7 38. Nfh4 {and White is winning.}) 35... Ndf6 36. Qb6 Rc6 37. Qa5 Rxc2 38. Nxc2 Qe8 39. Be2 Kh7 40. Kg2 Qe7 41. Bd3 Qd7 42. Qb4 Nd6 43. Ne1 Bc8 44. Nf3 a5 45. Qxa5 Nc4 46. Qc5 a3 47. Nh4 (47. Ne5 {was the only way to try and keep the advantage.} Qe8 (47... Nxe5 $2 48. dxe5 a2 49. e6 a1=Q (49... Qa4 50. Bxf5+) 50. Bxf5+ Kg8 51. exd7) 48. Nxd5 Nxd5 49. Bxc4 Bb7 {and here White has a rather remarkable continuation, which admittedly is almost impossible to find over the board. Even the engines don't suggest it in any good time constraint.} 50. Bxd5 $3 a2 51. Bxb7 a1=Q {and despite the extra queen, White is the one holding the cards due to the exceptional ability to coordinate attacking patterns against Black's king. Ex:} 52. Ng6 Qb1 53. Bd5 Qbb5 54. Nf8+ Kh8 55. Qd6 {and Black has problems.}) 47... a2 48. Bxf5+ Qxf5 49. Nxf5 a1=Q 50. Qxc8 Nd2 51. Nh4 Qf1+ 52. Kh2 Qxf2+ 53. Kh3 Qf1+ 54. Kh2 Qf2+ 1/2-1/2


German GM Georg Meyer, in his first Dortmund Super-GM participation


Vietnamese super-talent Le Quang Liem, who finished second last year

Georg Meier and Le Quang Liem played a well fought Gruenfeld, but neither ever really achieved anything and they eventually drew after 38 moves.

[Event "39th GM"] [Site "Dortmund GER"] [Date "2011.07.21"] [Round "1"] [White "Meier, Georg"] [Black "Le, Quang Liem"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteTitle "GM"] [BlackTitle "GM"] [WhiteElo "2656"] [BlackElo "2715"] [ECO "D81"] [Opening "Gruenfeld"] [Variation "Russian variation"] [WhiteFideId "4675789"] [BlackFideId "12401137"] [EventDate "2011.07.21"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Qb3 dxc4 5. Qxc4 Bg7 6. e4 O-O 7. Be2 a6 8. Nf3 b5 9. Qb3 c5 10. dxc5 Be6 11. Qc2 Nbd7 12. c6 Nb8 13. Ng5 Nxc6 14. Nxe6 fxe6 15. Nxb5 Rc8 16. Nc3 Nd4 17. Qd3 Nd7 18. O-O Nc5 19. Qd1 Nxe2+ 20. Qxe2 Qd3 21. Re1 Qxe2 22. Rxe2 Nd3 23. Kf1 Nxb2 24. Bxb2 Bxc3 25. Rd1 Bxb2 26. Rxb2 Rb8 27. Rdb1 Rxb2 28. Rxb2 Rc8 29. Rb6 Rc1+ 30. Ke2 Rc2+ 31. Ke3 Rxa2 32. Rxe6 Kf7 33. Rb6 Ra3+ 34. Kf4 Ra2 35. Kg3 Ra3+ 36. Kf4 Ra2 37. Ke3 Ra3+ 38. Kf4 Ra2 1/2-1/2


Nine-times winner of Dortmund: Vladimir Kramnik


Last year's winner Ruslan Ponomariov

After a Candidates phase that was as frustrating for Kramnik as it was for his fans, the question was what kind of form and mood he would be in at Dortmund. Ponomariov on the other hand has been in some of his best form ever, so the match promised to be a good one and it did not disappoint. A King's Indian was on today's schedule, and to be fair, Ponomariov missed a chance to get a good game and advantage. However, that one window of opportunity was all he got, as the nine-time winner of Dortmund once more showed that there is just something about the event or locale that just clicks with him, and he played a brilliant game to score the tournament's first win.

[Event "39th GM"] [Site "Dortmund GER"] [Date "2011.07.21"] [Round "1"] [White "Kramnik, V."] [Black "Ponomariov, R."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E94"] [WhiteElo "2781"] [BlackElo "2764"] [PlyCount "83"] [EventDate "2011.07.21"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Be2 O-O 6. Nf3 e5 7. O-O exd4 8. Nxd4 Re8 9. f3 c6 10. Kh1 Nbd7 11. Be3 a6 12. Nc2 Ne5 13. f4 Neg4 14. Bg1 h5 15. Bf3 Be6 16. b3 Qa5 17. Qe1 b5 18. c5 b4 19. Na4 Bc4 ({Ponomariov misses a chance to seize the initiative with} 19... Nxe4 $1 20. Bxe4 (20. Qxe4 Bxb3) 20... Bd5 $15) 20. Qxb4 Qxb4 21. Nxb4 Bxf1 22. Rxf1 Nxe4 23. Nb6 Ra7 24. cxd6 Nxd6 25. Bxc6 Re2 26. N6d5 Nc8 27. h3 Nh6 28. Rc1 Nf5 29. Bb5 $3 {A fantastic move by Kramnik putting him in the driver's seat.} ({He sidesteps the obvious} 29. Bxa7 Nxa7 30. Bb7 a5 31. Ba6 Rd2 32. Nd3 Rxa2 {and the position is equal.}) 29... Ng3+ 30. Kh2 Nf1+ 31. Rxf1 axb5 32. Bxa7 Nxa7 {With a player of Kramnik's calibre and technique, this is as good as gold.} 33. Kg3 Nc8 34. Rd1 Bf8 35. Kf3 Rb2 36. g4 Kg7 37. gxh5 Nd6 38. hxg6 fxg6 39. Nc7 Kf7 40. Nd3 Rxa2 41. Ne5+ Kf6 42. Nd7+ (42. Nd7+ Kf7 43. Nxf8 Kxf8 44. Rxd6) 1-0

Schedule and results

Round 1: Thursday, July 21, 15:00h
Georg Meier 
½-½
 Le Quang Liem
Vladimir Kramnik 
1-0
 Ruslan Ponomariov
Anish Giri 
½-½
 Hikaru Nakamura 
Round 2: Friday, July 22, 15:00h
Le Quang Liem 
   Hikaru Nakamura
Ruslan Ponomariov 
   Anish Giri
Georg Meier 
   Vladimir Kramnik
Round 3: Saturday, July 23, 15:00h
Vladimir Kramnik 
   Le Quang Liem
Anish Giri 
   Georg Meier
Hikaru Nakamura 
   Ruslan Ponomariov 
Round 4: Sunday, July 24, 15:00h
Anish Giri 
   Le Quang Liem
Hikaru Nakamura 
   Vladimir Kramnik
Ruslan Ponomariov 
   Georg Meier
Round 5: Monday, July 25, 15:00h
Le Quang Liem 
   Ruslan Ponomariov 
Georg Meier 
   Hikaru Nakamura
Vladimir Kramnik 
   Anish Giri
Round 6: Wednesday, July 27, 15:00h
Le Quang Liem 
   Georg Meier
Ruslan Ponomariov 
   Vladimir Kramnik
Hikaru Nakamura 
   Anish Giri
Round 7: Thursday, July 28, 15:00h
Hikaru Nakamura 
   Le Quang Liem
Anish Giri 
   Ruslan Ponomariov 
Vladimir Kramnik 
   Georg Meier
Round 8: Friday, July 29, 15:00h
Le Quang Liem  
   Vladimir Kramnik
Georg Meier 
   Anish Giri
Ruslan Ponomariov 
   Hikaru Nakamura
Round 9: Saturday, July 30, 15:00h
Ruslan Ponomariov 
   Le Quang Liem
Hikaru Nakamura 
   Georg Meier
Anish Giri 
   Vladimir Kramnik
Round 10: Sunday, July 31, 15:00h
Le Quang Liem 
   Anish Giri
Vladimir Kramnik 
   Hikaru Nakamura
Georg Meier 
   Ruslan Ponomariov 

Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 11 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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Topics Dortmund 2011
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