Dortmund Round 6: Red-hot Bologan extends lead

8/7/2003 – Be on the lookout for this man. He's armed (with novelties) and dangerous (in any type of position). We've run out of superlatives for Viktor Bologan's performance in Dortmund. He won again on Wednesday to build an insurmountable lead with an incredible 5/6 score. This win came against Naiditsch's Marshall Gambit. Anand is back in the fight (for second place) after beating Leko. Report and analysis are now up.

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Bologan beats Naiditsch again, leads by 1.5

Round 6: Wed. Aug. 6, 15:00h
T. Radjabov
1/2
V. Kramnik
V. Bologan
1-0
A. Naiditsch
P. Leko
0-1
V. Anand

The sharp style that Viktor Bologan has cultivated for success in open tournaments usually means taking a few losses with your wins. By some alchemy he has managed to extract the wins and eliminate the losses in Dortmund, the strongest tournament of his life. In round six he beat Naiditsch for the second time and extended his lead to 1.5 points over Kramnik when the champ played a short draw with Radjabov.

The betting website Betsson had Viktor "Seabiscuit" Bologan as a 40 to 1 longshot before the tournament started. These days you'd get better odds on the star of Terminator and Kindergarten Cop becoming the governor of California. Bologan still has to face Kramnik and Anand with black, but such a huge lead, and his form, make him the odds-on favorite now.


Standings after round six

Anand was also in the winner's circle again. For the second day in a row he won with the black pieces. He got the better of Leko in a sharp Najdorf Sicilian and finished the Hungarian off with a sudden mating attack after Leko blundered on the final move of the time control. This brought the pre-event favorite up to an even score and third place in the standings.


Why are these women smiling? Check the results! Aruna Anand and Margarita Bologan.

It looked like Naiditsch was going to equalize against Bologan in a typically sharp Marshall Gambit. But the Slim Shady spirit failed him at a key moment and he grabbed the wrong pawn, probably missing a nice mating tactic that netting White the exchange and the game. Bologan faced the Marshall a few months ago against Onischuk and picked the popular 15.Re4 line. Here he threw Naiditsch off with 15.Qf3, a virtually unknown sideline in the morass of Marshall theory.

This had the benefit of making the young German think for himself and you have to wonder why he didn't stick with the normal themes of this line with 15...Bg4 16.Qg2 Qh5. Still, Black was doing okay after some intriguing h-pawn pushing. (If 26.g4 h3!? 27.Qxh3 Nf4! 28.Qh4 Rxd4 29.Be3 Bxg4 30.fxg4 Ne2+ 31.Rxe2 Rxg4+ nets the queen for two minors and a rook in a wild position.)

Things started to fall apart for Naiditsch when his queen zigged to h5 when it could have zagged to f6 on move 26. Then on move 29 he probably should have taken the h-pawn with his queen instead of getting his rook stuck in traffic (and weakening his back rank) with 29...Rxd4. He may have missed the power of 30.Bg5! and the later 33.Re8! which set up some brutal tactics.

This diagram is analysis after 34...Qxf3+ (instead of the game's 34...Rxf3). Here White plays 36.Rxf8+ and if 36...Kxf8 37.Rc8 is checkmate!

After the game Bologan said, "Normally, I avoid this with the anti-Marshall 8.h3, but today I decided to go for the main lines." He also criticized Black's 15th move: "It's passive. It loses a tempo and I should be winning. You can't play the Marshall a tempo down. I won mostly because of the opening."

So far in Dortmund, Radjabov's games with white are even shorter than he is. The 16-year-old agreed to another quick draw with white in round six. His games with the first move have lasted 28, 20, and 23 moves so far.

For Kramnik it was his fifth draw in a row after his first-round win over Radjabov. He seems headed toward another +2 second place finish. He essayed the unusual but recently fashionable 4...Bb4 against Radjabov, who is the only 1.d4 player in the field. (Kramnik is the only other player to open a game with anything other than 1.e4.)

Leko and Anand resumed a debate in the Najdorf that had its most recent installment in this year's Melody Amber blindfold tournament. With his eyes on the board this time, Leko varied with 17.Na4, heading to d5 via b6. After the game Anand called the new move "a strong novelty and added, "I had the feeling I was worse but I always had counterplay"

Anand did a soft-shoe dance called the Queen's Rook Shuffle. He played ..Rc8, ..Rc7, ..Rc6, ..Rc8, and then later, the big finale, ..Ra8! and ..Ra7! Don't try this at home kids, these people are trained professionals.

White was pushing the play and had a little plus for most of the game, but wasn't making any progress and seemed to have trouble deciding on a plan. (I hope to live long enough to understand 32.a3. Taking time for a luft in this sharp position?! Even more confounding is that a few computers like this move too, at least for a moment! I guess the Beatles were right, all we need is luft.) Meanwhile Anand played steady defense, grabbed a pawn, and watched a frustrated Leko implode as his clock ticked down.

Here we are before White's 40th move, the graveyard of giants. (See diagram below) Black is trying to consolidate after his h2 pawn grab and White still has some pressure. But it's hard to imagine how opening the a1-h8 diagonal for the black bishop is going to help White!

Perhaps it was even harder to imagine the sudden mating attack Black whips up with the help of the rook minding its own business over on a7.

Leko played 40.Rxf4? and the Madras Tiger pounced with 40...Qh1+ Ach nein! Ist eine zwischenschach! (That's German for "forgot about my king, didn't I?") Leko saw it coming after he hurriedly played the final move of the time control and left the board so he wouldn't give anything away with the look of horror creeping into his face. But Anand rarely pardons tactical mistakes.

Anand said afterward that he had been looking at playing the check after recapturing on f4 and then discovered he could change the order with a winning attack.

41.Ka2 exf4 42.Rg4 Bg7 43.b4 a5 There's that rook again! 44.Kb3 axb4 45.Kxb4 Qe1+ 46.Kb3 Qc1 and White resigned. Fritz sez mate in nine.

Much more analysis and game commentary is now available on the replay page.

Mig

Results and schedule

Round 1: Thurs. July 31, 15:00h
V. Kramnik
1-0
T. Radjabov
A. Naiditsch
0-1
V. Bologan
V. Anand
1/2
P. Leko
Round 6: Wed. Aug. 6, 15:00h
T. Radjabov
1/2
V. Kramnik
V. Bologan
1-0
A. Naiditsch
P. Leko
0-1
V. Anand
Games – Report
Round 2: Friday. Aug. 1, 15:00h
V. Anand
0-1
T. Radjabov
P. Leko
1/2
A. Naiditsch
V. Bologan
1/2
V. Kramnik
Round 7: Thurs. Aug. 7, 15:00h
P. Leko
T. Radjabov
V. Anand
V. Bologan
A. Naiditsch
V. Kramnik
Games – Report
Round 3: Sat. Aug. 2, 15:00h
T. Radjabov
1/2
P. Leko
V. Bologan
1-0
V. Anand
V. Kramnik
1/2
A. Naiditsch
Round 8: Fri. Aug. 8, 15:00h
T. Radjabov
A. Naiditsch
V. Kramnik
V. Anand
V. Bologan
P. Leko
Games – Report
Round 4: Sun. Aug. 3, 15:00h
A. Naiditsch
1-0
T. Radjabov
V. Anand
1/2
V. Kramnik
P. Leko
0-1
V. Bologan
Round 9: Sat. Aug. 9, 15:00h
V. Bologan
T. Radjabov
P. Leko
V. Kramnik
V. Anand
A. Naiditsch
Games – Report
Round 5: Mon. Aug. 4, 15:00h
T. Radjabov
1/2
V. Bologan
V. Kramnik
1/2
P. Leko
A. Naiditsch
0-1
V. Anand
Round 10: Sun. Aug. 10, 12:30h
T. Radjabov
V. Anand
A. Naiditsch
P. Leko
V. Kramnik
V. Bologan
Games – Report

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