Surprise in first round of Dortmund

by Alejandro Ramirez
7/12/2014 – The Dortmund Sparkassen chess meeting has begun in Dortmund, Germany. With five chess super-stars and three powerful German players the tournament usually provides an interesting mix of top level chess and clashes between the locals and the foreigners, with the super GMs winning most of those points. However, as Meier proved today, that is not always the case.

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The traditional Dortmund Sparkassen Super-Tournament is now under way in Dortmund, Germany. The event is being held at the Orchestra Center and it features three of the top German players alongside five of the World super-elite.

The players of this year are no strangers to Dortmund. Russian powerhouse Vladimir Kramnik has won Dortmund no less than ten times! Peter Leko is the second seed and has won Dortmund three times, in 1999, 2002 and 2008. Meanwhile Ruslan Ponomariov has the 2010 edition of Dortmund under his belt.

The first seed of the tournament however is Fabiano Caruana. Thte list of foreign players is rounded off by Michael Adams who, despite his 42 years, showed the World that he is in top form by having a fantastic 2013.

The German players are headed by Arkadij Naiditsch, who surprised the world by winning the 2005 edition of Dortmund. Georg Meier will be playing his fourth edition of Dortmund and he is trying to gain more successes in his home land; he recently won the Bundesliga with OSG Baden-Baden. Last but not least David Baramidze will try to show the World that he belongs in these types of events.

The festival of course also includes a series of side events including a strong open tournament.

Round One

Round 01 – June 19 2014, 15:00h
David Baramidze 2616
Caruana, Fabiano 2789
Vladimir Kramnik 2777
Georg Meier 2518
Arkadij Naiditsch 2705
Michael Adams 2743
Peter Leko 2737
Ruslan Ponomariov 2723

Baramidze-Caruana was as long game, but the German player could not hold at the end

Vladimir Kramnik was very surprised by his opponent...

Georg Meier, with a big win!

The first round started with a great upset as Georg Meier had no problems dispatching Vladimir Kramnik... and with the black pieces! Meier's game was truly the highlight of today's round:

[Event "42nd GM 2014"] [Site "Dortmund GER"] [Date "2014.07.12"] [Round "1"] [White "Kramnik, V."] [Black "Meier, Geo"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A09"] [WhiteElo "2777"] [BlackElo "2632"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez, Alejandro"] [PlyCount "82"] [EventDate "2014.07.12"] [SourceDate "2014.01.04"] 1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 Nc6 4. Bg2 d5 {So far a Standard opening. White usually takes on d5 and plays a reverse English. Kramnik, however, sometimes likes to choose a less known path against weaker players.} 5. O-O {not the first time that Kramnik plays this, actually he has tried it against strong players.} d4 6. a3 $6 {However this is just strange.} (6. e3 {is a reverse Benoni - almost.} e5 7. exd4 cxd4 8. d3 {led to a true reverse Benoni in the game Kramnik-Caruana last year in Zurich. You can find the annotations to that game by Andreikin in the Megabase.}) 6... e5 7. d3 a5 8. e4 $6 {White is simply not challenging Black's space advantage. This reverse type of King's Indian is dubious at best. Black, unlike the normal KID, has not committed his king to the kingside and this is surprisingly important.} Be7 9. Ne1 {Moving White's knight and play f4 is probably White's only idea.} (9. Nh4 g6 {Leaves White without moves since f4 isn't desirable.} 10. f4 exf4 11. gxf4 (11. Bxf4 Nd7 12. Nf3 g5 $5 $15) 11... Nxe4 $17) 9... h5 $5 {An interesting approach. Black had several ways of playing that would have caused White a headache, but this one is rather logical. The point is that White can only attack on the kingside, but if it for some reason blows up it is only White's king that is on that side of the board.} 10. f4 h4 11. f5 {Surely not something Kramnik wanted to do, but what else? Black already holds a strong advantage only 10 moves into the game.} hxg3 12. hxg3 g6 $1 {Exact response!} 13. Nd2 (13. fxg6 fxg6 {opens up too many lines against White's own king. Black only has to 0-0-0 and bring his pieces to the kingside. Notice how useless White's army is. } 14. Bg5 Ng4 $19) 13... gxf5 14. exf5 Rg8 15. Qf3 Bd7 {Simple moves are good enough here.} 16. Rf2 Qb6 $1 {Certainly logical! The Black king runs to the queenside and then the attack will unfold naturally.} (16... Ng4 17. Rf1 Rg5 { and it's hard for White to keep the f5 pawn alive. However I like Meier's approach better.}) 17. Re2 O-O-O 18. Ne4 Qb3 {Surprisingly, the kingside is not the only place that White has problems.} 19. Nf2 a4 20. Bh6 Bf8 21. Bxf8 Rdxf8 22. g4 Rg7 23. Ne4 Nxe4 24. Qxe4 Rfg8 25. Bf3 f6 26. Rg2 {Black's domination is now obvious.} Nd8 27. Qe2 Bc6 28. Bxc6 bxc6 29. Qe4 Kc7 30. Nf3 Nf7 31. Rf1 Nd6 {With the fall of the pawn on g4 the game is over.} 32. Qe2 Rxg4 33. Rff2 Nxf5 {White is two pawns down and has the worst position. The German player mops up easily now.} 34. Nd2 Rxg2+ 35. Rxg2 Rxg2+ 36. Kxg2 Qxb2 37. Kf3 Nd6 38. Qh2 Qxa3 39. Ke2 Qb2 40. Qh7+ Kb6 41. Qe7 Nb7 {A surprisingly easy game for Meier!} 0-1

Mean while Caruana was the only other winner of the today. He beat Baramidze in a very long game. White made some mistakes in an equal bishop endgame that ended up costing him the full point.

Round One Games

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Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.


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