Last test before Mexico World Championship
The 35th Sparkassen Chess-Meeting is taking place on 23rd June – 1st July at the Dortmund theater. World Champion Vladimir Kramnik, who won Dortmund seven times, is back to defend his last-year trophy. His participation was in question after the strong respiratory infection, but antibiotics enabled him to start on time. Furthermore, we can’t see any sign of fatigue in his play, after the first round draw against Anand, he knocked Boris Gelfand in the 2nd.
The tournament format is, again, eight players in the single round-robin. Somewhere in between 10-players all play all and 6-players in double round-robin, this is probably the worst choice. Seven rounds is simply too short, and losing one game is a luxury that everyone will try to avoid. Usually, plus two or plus three is enough to win the tournament.
But Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, fearless 21-years old attacker, is not bothering himself with tournament math. In approximately equal position against Evgeny Alexeev, he sacrificed an exchange without any obvious compensation. Young Russian kept his coolness and routinely avoided all the traps to win the game.
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Magnus Carlsen
First round Mamedyarov surprised Arkadij Naiditsch with a rare and unpretentious line in Two Knights opening. Best German player, and shocking 2005 Dortmund winner, didn’t react too well and allowed doubling pawns, which cost him the game. We should mention that last year Naiditsch tried the same opening with White against Magnus Carlsen, and got crushed pretty fast.
Magnus Carlsen is not only one of the most active chess professionals, but he also matured a lot during the last year. Some chess authors wrote him off after the bad performance at Corus in January, saying that he needs couple of years more to properly enter 2700 club. Norwegian prodigy went to Linares, lined his pieces and pressed the clock. A fantastic tournament, where he missed the trophy only in the last round, brought him back in the focus. Strong resistance against favored Levon Aronian in Candidate Matches only confirmed his excellent shape. This is a chance to win his first super-tournament, and he will surely fight till the very last round.
Peter Leko and Vishy Anand
Of course, the favorite number one, alongside Vladimir Kramnik, is FIDE top-rated Vishy Anand. He will also play in Leon on July 4-9th, but the tournament of his life could be the Mexico World Championship. Another two Mexico participants, Boris Gelfand and two-times Dortmund winner Peter Leko, are shaping their form for the September.
June 25th, Round 3:
Magnus Carlsen – Evgeny Alekseev draw
Boris Gelfand – Viswanathan Anand draw
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov – Vladimir Kramnik draw
Peter Leko – Arkadij Naiditsch draw
June 26th, Round 4:
Vladimir Kramnik – Magnus Carlsen 1-0
Viswanathan Anand – Arkadij Naiditsch 1-0
Boris Gelfand – Shakhriyar Mamedyarov draw
Evgeny Alekseev – Peter Leko draw
Round 4 Standings:
1. Vladimir Kramnik (RUS 2772) 3.0
2-3. Viswanathan Anand (IND 2786) and Evgeny Alekseev (RUS 2679) 2.5
4-5. Peter Leko (HUN 2738) and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE 2757) 2.0
6-7. Boris Gelfand (ISR 2733) and Magnus Carlsen (NOR 2693) 1.5
8. Arkadij Naiditsch (GER 2654) 1.0
Round 5 report
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov video interview