Desperate Push for Qualification Continues

U.S. Chess Championships report by FM Mike Klein

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Round five of the U.S. Championship produced the most fighting chess so far at the 2011 U.S. Chess Championship and U.S. Women’s Championship. Players of the Black pieces won an astounding six games, and half of the games went into the sixth hour. Three-fourths of the games ended with a winner, and even the defending champion could not get an easy day off.

GM Robert Hess stretched his lead by getting a chess “turkey.” He won his third game in a row to move to four points, the most of any player in the U.S. Championship. The young grandmaster chose an opening against GM Gregory Kaidanov with low risk where his pawn majority could be pressed. “I got exactly what I wanted with three against two on the queenside,” Hess said. “It’s annoying to play for Black.” Hess said he had great respect for his veteran opponent, and referencing his opponent’s nickname, Hess said, “I wasn’t going to play something risky against Grisha.”

GM Sam Shankland, tied with Hess in Group B going into the round, did not attain such a stable position. He entered the preparation of GM Alexander Shabalov, and for 14 moves his opponent played automatically. After accepting an exchange sacrifice, Shankland found his pieces tied down and his supposed material advantage illusory. “None of my rooks ever did anything,” Shankland said.

Talking to Shabalov after the game, Shankland said, “You beat me like four games in a row with Black. It’s not fair.” Shabalov replied, “I would still trade places with you.” Shankland stays with three points, while Shabalov’s win got him to two out of five. Shabalov is still mathematically alive to finish in the top two of his group, if only barely. When asked what he has left to play for, Shabalov joked, “There’s always money!” Each place difference for the non-qualifiers is about $1,000 difference.

GM Larry Christiansen entered the round in sole possession of third place in the group, but he yielded that placement to GM Alexander Onischuk after losing their head-to-head battle. “I didn’t get so much from the opening even though I knew the line,” Onischuk said. Though the win puts him in third place for the time being, Onischuk was quick to explain that he has to work in the last two rounds. “Still it’s not clear if I’m going to qualify,” he said. Going into the tournament, Onischuk was a heavy favorite to be a qualifier to the semifinals.

In other Group B action, GM Yasser Seirawaran recovered from a slow start to win his first game of the event by besting GM Ben Finegold after the latter willingly entered a complicated but losing king-and-pawn endgame. Finegold felt frustrated after the game. While he resigned in a losing position, he said that the variation Seirawan prepared to continue with was not the best and would have led to a draw.

In Group A, both GM Yury Shulman and GM Gata Kamsky protected their lead by negotiating draws. Shulman’s draw versus good friend GM Varuzhan Akobian came without too much fuss, but Kamsky had to work for quite some time against GM Alexander Stripunksy. Kamsky closed the entire position by locking up the pawns but a determined Stripunsky fought hard to open an avenue for attack. After exhausting all resources, Stripunsky settled for a split point. Kamsky was highly critical of his own play, but both he and Shulman remain in the drivers’ seats with 3.5 out of five.

GM Ray Robson failed to catch up as his knight got ensnared on the a-file against 15-year-old IM Daniel Naroditsky. Robson extricated his knight, but at great cost, and his younger opponent eventually barreled down the edge of the board to win the game. “He defended like a tiger,” Naroditsky said. “He was down to five seconds each move but he found the best move each time.” Both Naroditsky and Robson now sit at 2.5. The even score is outstanding for the former but represents a missed opportunity for the latter.

GM Alexander Ivanov and GM Jaan Ehlvest also drew their complicated queen versus two rooks ending.

St Louis Krush

Irina Krush

In the U.S. Women’s Championship, IM Irina Krush moved into sole possession of the lead for the first time in the tournament by winning her fourth game in a row. Krush outmaneuvered FM Alisa Melekhina in an equal ending to get to four points. Melekhina insisted she is playing well but is not finding any luck in her games. Early tournament leader WGM Sabina Foisor suffered her first hiccup of the event. She lost to IM Rusudan Goletiani, but Foisor remains tied for second place with two rounds to go.

Equaling Foisor with 3.5 out of five is WFM Tatev Abrahamyan, who won for the first time ever against IM Anna Zatonskih. Despite having an extra queen, bishop, and pawn about to promote, Abrahamyan almost threw away the win. “I finally play one good game and I can’t finish it well!” she said. After her king took a long walk to the other side of the board, Abrahmyan found shelter and netted the point. Zatonskih will need to move quickly in rounds six and seven to qualify for the semifinals.

WGM Camilla Baginskaite won her third game to continue to come back from an opening-round loss. Her victory over WIM Irina Zenyuk moved her to 3.5 and with a great chance to qualify. The top four women are Krush with 4/5 and then Foisor, Abrahamyan and Baginskaite with 3.5/5.

In round six, the young Naroditsky will face defending champion Kamsky. Asked what his strategy was, Naroditsky joked that he would be “groveling,” a term chess players use to mean they are hoping for a draw. Christiansen will be desperate against Hess, and Shulman will try to keep place against Robson.

The top four women need to do little more than to play for draws, so Zatonskih will need to find a way to win as Black against Goletiani.

Official website / Round 1 report / Round 2 report / Round 3 report / Round 4 report / Videos

Live games with computer analysis

53rd Torneo di Capodanno in Reggio Emilia – Round Five

Vassily Ivanchuk defeated Michele Godena, other games drawn

After winning the postponed game versus David Navara on January 1st, Alexander Morozevich took up on the leader Francisco Vallejo Pons in round five of Reggio Emilia tournament. The Spanish Grandmaster was probably surprised in the opening as he spent loads of time until the move 16. However, he managed to find a good continuation and make a draw in the endgame.

Michele Godena appeared solid with white against Vassily Ivanchuk, but black was persistent and eventually broke his opponent into making a couple of dubious moves. Ivanchuk wins the game and moves ahead to the second place with 3 points.

The 1st Rapid “Torneo di Capodanno Reggio Emilia” was held on January 2nd with the participation of strong Italian and foreign players. The winner was WGM Yulia Kochetkova, second place was for FM Andrea Stella, a rising young Italian player, and 3rd place for Italian women Olympic player IM Olga Zimina, all with 6.5 out of 8.

Live games with computer analysis

Official website

53rd Reggio Emilia index page

Reggio Emilia Ivanchuk 1

Vassily Ivanchuk

Reggio Emilia rapid

WGM Yulia Kochetkova, FM Andrea Stella and IM Olga Zimina

Round 5 results:

Alexander Onischuk – Nigel Short draw

Fabiano Caruana – Vugar Gashimov draw

Francisco Vallejo Pons – Alexander Morozevich draw

Sergei Movsesian – David Navara draw

Michele Godena – Vassily Ivanchuk 0-1

Round 5 standings:

1. Francisco Vallejo Pons ESP 2698 – 4.0

2. Vassily Ivanchuk UKR 2764 – 3.0

3-8. Alexander Morozevich RUS 2700, Vugar Gashimov AZE 2733, Fabiano Caruana ITA 2709, Sergei Movsesian SVK 2721, Nigel Short ENG 2680 and Alexander Onischuk USA 2683 – 2.5

9. David Navara CZE 2708 – 2.0

10. Michele Godena ITA 2549 – 1.0

Russia Superfinal – Round Five

Alisa Galliamova still crushing, Alexander Grischuk takes the lead in men section

Sanan Sjugirov defeated the defending champion Peter Svidler in the fifth round of the 2009 Russian Superfinal Championship, helping Alexander Grischuk to leapfrog and take a clear first place with 3.5 points. Svidler opened with the usually reliable Caro-Kann, but something went terribly wrong and his fort broke down after only 20 moves. In the final position white has multiple threats against the weak black pawns and shaky King.

Grischuk beat Alexander Riazantsev who after this round remains the only player bellow 50% score. It was a nice exchange sacrifice for a complete domination over the board. Other games were also very interesting, Artyom Timofeev sacrificed an exchange and then a whole Rook for a mass of passed pawns, while Nikita Vitiugov convincingly punished his opponent’s opening experiment. (Replay the games bellow)

Alisa Galliamova keeps the pace in the women section and wins fifth consecutive game, this time against Marina Romanko. Nadezhda Kosintseva is slowing down, and with another draw falls a full point behind the leader. Ttaiana Kosintseva surges forward, Romanko and Stepovaia are firmly tied to the bottom of the crosstable.

Alexander Grischuk sq 3

Alexander Grischuk

Round 5 results (men):

Grischuk – Riazantsev 1-0

Sjugirov – Svidler 1-0

Timofeev – Khismatullin 1-0

Jakovenko – Vitiugov 0-1

Alekseev – Tomashevsky draw


1. Alexander Grischuk – 3.5

2-3. Peter Svidler and Nikita Vitiugov – 3.0

4-9. Sanan Sjugirov, Artyom Timofeev, Denis Khismatullin, Dmitry Jakovenko, Evgeny Alekseev and Evgeny Tomashevsky – 2.5

10. Alexander Riazantsev – 0.5

Round 5 results (women):

Galliamova – Romanko 1-0

Kosintseva, N – Manakova draw

Bodnaruk – Pogonina 0-1

Kosintseva, T – Zaiatz 1-0

Gunina – Stepovaia 1-0


1. Alisa Galliamova – 5.0

2. Nadezhda Kosintseva – 4.0

3-4. Valentina Gunina and Natalia Pogonina – 3.5

5. Tatiana Kosintseva – 3.0

6. Anastasia Bodnaruk – 2.5

7-8. Maria Manakova and Elena Zaiatz – 1.5

9. Marina Romanko – 0.5

10. Tatiana Stepovaia – 0.0

Round 4 report

Follow the games live on the official website.

Nigel Short Storming Through Sigeman

Short wins the tournament with 4.5 out of 5

English Grandmaster Nigel Short convincingly won his second trophy at the Sigeman Co Chess Tournament, full point and a half ahead of the second placed IM Nils Grandelius. What makes his win even more significant is that the tournament consisted of only five games. Going back to the first round report by GM Stellan Brynell, we read – “In today’s edition of Sydsvenskan, the biggest newspaper in southern Sweden, Lars Grahn noted that during the opening ceremony Nigel Short mentioned that if he played a single lifeless draw during the five rounds, the organisers should have the right to demand that the starting fee be paid back”. Short kept his promise.

To the delight of the local audience, second place goes to 16-years old Swedish hope IM Nils Grandelius. He played extremely well and signed wins against top Grandmasters Ivan Sokolov and Emanuel Berg. Tomi Nybäck of Finland pulled a nice win in the final round to reach 50% score and shared third place.

Nigel Short sq

Nigel Short, photo by Carla Amse


IM Nils Grandelius, photo (c) Calle Erlandsson

Tiger Hillarp Persson sq

Tiger Hillarp Persson

Round 5 results:

GM Tiger Hillarp Persson (SWE 2618) – IM Nils Grandelius (SWE 2491) draw

GM Ivan Sokolov (BIH 2669) – GM Nigel Short (ENG 2674) 0-1

GM Emanuel Berg (SWE 2610) – GM Tomi Nybäck (FIN 2655) 0-1

Final standings:

1. GM Nigel Short – 4½

2. IM Nils Grandelius – 3

3-4. GM Tomi Nybäck, GM Ivan Sokolov – 2½

5. GM Tiger Hillarp Persson – 1½

6. GM Emanuel Berg – 1

Round 4 report

Official website

European Women Chess Championship

Melia Salome and Lilit Mkrtchian catching the leaders

IM Melia Salome won the Georgian derby against GM Nana Dzagnidze in yesterday’s round of the European Women Chess Championship to break through to the top four. Dzagnidze enjoyed some advantage with White pieces and probably missed a better continuation while Salome was trying to redeploy the passive Bishop. Another inaccuracy, probably in time trouble, allowed Black to capture a vital pawn and then ruthlessly convert the material into full point.

Lilit Mkrtchian made a good appearance from the Black side of the Caro-Kan to enter the leading pack. Grandmasters Hoang Thanh Trang and Monika Socko played an exciting game on the top board, but Black had a good counterplay after the Trompovsky opening and final draw was a fair result. Also take note of GM Arakhamia-Grant’s brilliant attack against IM Sopio Gvetadze (game bellow).

WWCC Lilit Mkrtchian

IM Lilit Mkrtchian

Top round 5 results:

GM Hoang Thanh Trang HUN 2483 - GM Socko, Monika POL 2449 ½-½

GM Dzagnidze, Nana GEO 2518 - IM Melia, Salome GEO 2422 0-1

IM Khurtsidze, Nino GEO 2421 - GM Lahno, Kateryna UKR 2488 ½-½

WGM Shadrina, Tatiana RUS 2416 - IM Mkrtchian, Lilit ARM 2460 0-1

IM Kovalevskaya, Ekaterina RUS 2442 - IM Foisor, Cristina-Adela ROU 2412 ½-½

IM Gvetadze, Sopio GEO 2377 - IM Arakhamia-Grant, Ketevan SCO 2500 0-1

IM Ushenina, Anna UKR 2499 - WGM Motoc, Alina ROU 2358 ½-½

IM Dworakowska, Joanna POL 2352 - WGM Pogonina, Natalija RUS 2467 0-1

WGM Grabuzova, Tatiana RUS 2332 - IM Lomineishvili, Maia GEO 2437 ½-½

IM Ovod, Evgenija RUS 2430 - WFM Gritsayeva, Oksana UKR 2341 1-0

WGM Shumiakina, Tatiana RUS 2324 - IM Khukhashvili, Sopiko GEO 2416 ½-½

WIM Charochkina, Daria RUS 2316 - IM Rajlich, Iweta POL 2399 0-1

WGM Kovanova, Baira RUS 2386 - WIM Solovjova, Valentina RUS 2324 1-0

WGM Nebolsina, Vera RUS 2312 - WGM Zawadzka, Jolanta POL 2385 0-1

WIM Iljushina, Olga RUS 2269 - WGM Stepovaia, Tatiana RUS 2379 ½-½

IM Zaiatz, Elena RUS 2364 - WGM Kochetkova, Julia RUS 2315 ½-½

WGM Demina, Julia RUS 2361 - Balaian, Alina RUS 2037 1-0

WFM Fominykh, Maria RUS 2279 - IM Muzychuk, Anna SLO 2540 ½-½

WFM Girya, Olga RUS 2315 - IM Kosintseva, Tatiana RUS 2497 0-1

IM Paehtz, Elisabeth GER 2455 - WGM Zakurdjaeva, Irina RUS 2295 1-0

Top round 6 pairings:

IM Melia, Salome GEO 2422 - GM Hoang Thanh Trang HUN 2483

IM Mkrtchian, Lilit ARM 2460 – GM Socko, Monika POL 2449

IM Arakhamia-Grant, Ketevan SCO 2500 - IM Khurtsidze, Nino GEO 2421

GM Lahno, Kateryna UKR 2488 - WGM Kovanova, Baira RUS 2386

WGM Pogonina, Natalija RUS 2467 - WGM Demina, Julia RUS 2361

IM Rajlich, Iweta POL 2399 - IM Kovalevskaya, Ekaterina RUS 2442

IM Foisor, Cristina-Adela ROU 2412 - IM Ovod, Evgenija RUS 2430

WGM Zawadzka, Jolanta POL 2385 - IM Ushenina, Anna UKR 2499

WGM Cherednichenko, Svetlana UKR 2367 - GM Dzagnidze, Nana GEO 2518

IM Kosintseva, Tatiana RUS 2497 - IM Zaiatz, Elena RUS 2364

WGM Motoc, Alina ROU 2358 - IM Paehtz, Elisabeth GER 2455

WGM Romanko, Marina RUS 2451 - IM Vasilevich, Irina RUS 2340

IM Lomineishvili, Maia GEO 2437 - WGM Shumiakina, Tatiana RUS 2324

IM Khukhashvili, Sopiko GEO 2416 - WIM Iljushina, Olga RUS 2269

WIM Majdan, Joanna POL 2351 - WGM Shadrina, Tatiana RUS 2416

WGM Kochetkova, Julia RUS 2315 - WFM Bodnaruk, Anastasia RUS 2384

WGM Stepovaia, Tatiana RUS 2379 - WFM Fominykh, Maria RUS 2279

WFM Tomilova, Elena RUS 2300 - IM Gvetadze, Sopio GEO 2377

GM Peng, Zhaoqin NED 2461 - WGM Grabuzova, Tatiana RUS 2332

IM Muzychuk, Anna SLO 2540 - WGM Kadziolka, Beata POL 2295

Round 1 report

Round 3 report

Official website

A day in Gibraltar

Gibtelecom Chess Festival Round Five Report

The British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar is steeped in history – much of it military. The name Gibraltar comes from the Arabic name Jabal Tāriq meaning “mountain of Tariq” named after the Berber Umayyad general Tariq ibn-Ziyad who led the initial Moorish incursion into the Iberia peninsular in 711.

The Battle of Gibraltar occurred in 1607 during the 80 years war, which saw the entire Spanish fleet destroyed by the Dutch in a little over 4 hours. Then, in 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession British and Dutch troops captured The Rock in the name of the Hapsburg claimant to the throne, Archduke Charles. However, Gibraltar was eventually ceded to Britain by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 – and has remained in British hands ever since.

Since then, Gibraltar has been the subject of many sieges but it’s geography makes its military capture difficult. Indeed, The Rock was vital to the Allies Mediterranean and North African campaign in the second world war. The Axis plans to take The Rock, codenamed Operation Felix, never came to fruition.

So perhaps it is fitting that a fighting game such as chess should find a home in Gibraltar – I’m sure that many players wish their defences were as impenetrable as The Rocks!

There are no players left on maximum points after Vasilios Kotronias drew with Michael Roiz. But this was no “Grandmaster” draw as peace only broke out after 76 moves. Slovenian GM Alexander Beliavsky joined Kotronias in the lead on 4½/5 by defeating Nana Dzagnidze by proving that his bishop was better than her knight in the endgame. There are no less than 12 players just half a point behind the leaders. Joining Roiz on 4/5 are Socko and Gashimov (draw in 30) and Golod and Avrukh (draw in 77).

Others made it to the 4 point score group in emphatic fashion. On board 7, Swiss GM Vadim Milov (2669) took advantage of some over-ambitious play by IM Mohamad Al Sayed of Qatar (2488) to score a resounding victory. 1.c4 c6 2.Nf3 d5 3.e3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Bg4 5.cxd5 Bxf3 6.gxf3 cxd5 7.f4 Nc6 8.Bg2 e6 9.0–0 Bd6 10.b3 A fairly pedestrian opening has brought about an even position. 10…Qa5 11.a3 d4?! While there is nothing wrong with this move, it does betray a certain reluctance on Black’s part to castle short and continue to build his position patiently. 12.Ne2 d3 13.Ng3 h5 The second indication that Black may be looking for a quick knock-out. 14.Bb2 h4 15.Ne4 Nxe4 [Black would do better to pull back with 15...Be7 although White could well exploit Black's over-extended pawn structure with 16.Nxf6+ Bxf6 17.b4 Qb6 18.Bxf6 gxf6 19.Rc1 h3 20.Bxc6+ bxc6 21.Qf3 Rc8 22.Rc5] 16.Bxe4 Qb5 17.a4 Qa6 18.Rc1 f5 19.Bf3 White is in no hurry to trade on c6. 19…Rg8 20.Kh1

Gibraltar r5 1

20…g5? White’s patience is rewarded with another questionable pawn advance. [Had Black castled long, it is White who would have broken through first. 20...0–0–0? 21.b4 Bxb4 22.Qb3 Qb6 (22...Bd6 23.Qb5) 23.Qxe6+ Kb8 24.Rxc6! bxc6 25.Be5+ Kb7 26.Rc1 Rc8 27.Bd4 Qa6 28.Rxc6! winning.] 21.fxg5 Rxg5 22.Bf6 Rg8 23.Bxc6+ bxc6 24.Qh5+ The premature pawn advances have taken their toll. Black’s king is defenceless. 24…Kf8 25.Rg1 Black resigns. 1–0

And on board 10, the highest rated Swedish player, GM Emmanuel Berg (2606), scored a comfortable win against Theo Hommeles (2410) of the Netherlands. 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bg5 e6 7.Qd2 The Richter/Rauzer Attack. 7…a6 8.0–0–0 Bd7 9.f3 b5 10.Nxc6 Bxc6 11.Ne2 Rc8 12.Nd4 Bb7 13.Kb1 Be7 14.h4 h6 15.Be3 Nd7 16.g4 Ne5 17.Be2 Bxh4?!

Gibraltar r5 2

[The more reliable continuation is 17...d5 18.exd5 Bxd5 19.Nf5 0–0=] 18.Rxh4!? An interesting exchange sacrifice that gives White active play. 18…Qxh4 19.Nxb5 0–0 [Black is worried about getting his king caught in the centre. Still, 19...axb5 20.Qxd6 Nc4 21.Qd7+ Kf8 22.Qxb7 Rd8 23.Rxd8+ Qxd8 would let his king reach safety.] 20.Nxd6 Rc7 21.c4 White is putting his faith in his queenside pawn majority and the pair of bishops. [21.Bf4 Ng6 22.Nf5 exf5 23.Bxc7 fxe4 24.fxe4 Bxe4 25.Ba5 is another option.] 21…Rd7 22.c5 Bc6?! [Black's best chance at counterplay lies in applying immediate pressure to the base of White's pawn chain with 22...Qh3 . This also sets up a combination based on the bishop check on e4 if White chooses to defend passively. 23.Rf1?! Rxd6 24.cxd6 Nxf3= Instead, White should opt for 23.Qc3 Qg2 24.Re1 Nxf3 25.Bxh6 gxf6 26.Bxf3 with a slight advantage.] 23.Bd4 Qh2 24.f4 Bxe4+ Black has no choice but to go for this forcing line. The resulting queen trade increases the power of White’s connected passed pawns. 25.Nxe4 Nc6 26.Nd6 Nxd4 27.Bxa6 Qxd2 28.Rxd2 Nc6 29.Bb5

29…Rc7 30.Bxc6 Rxc6 31.b4± White judges correctly that the queenside pawns cannot be stopped. 31…Rb8 32.Rb2 Kf8 33.a4 Ke7 34.Kc2 h5 35.gxh5 Rh8 36.Kb3 Rxh5 37.a5 Rh4 It is too late. Nor would blockading the a-pawn have been any better as White will simply support his pawn advance with Kc4 and Kb5. 38.Ra2 Rxd6 39.cxd6+ Kxd6 40.a6 Rh8 41.Rc2 Drives the final nail into Black’s coffin 1–0

Two boards farther down, two of the strongest women players, GM Pia Cramling (2548) of Sweden and IM Jovanka Houska (2392) of England were locked in a titanic struggle which saw the following position appear after White’s 47th move.

Gibraltar r5 3

47…Nxa5 Black sees the opportunity to create a fortress and sacrifices her knight to eliminate two more pawns. 48.Qxa5 Rxf4 49.Qd2 g5 50.g3 Re4 51.Qb2 White is threatening to penetrate into f6 causing Black’s position to crumble. Black prevents this with 51…d4 52.Kg2 Kg7 53.Kf2 e5?! [More accurate is 53...h5 54.Qb5 Kg6 55.Qe8 h4 56.Qg8+ Kf6 One way or other, Black will now seize control of f4 thereby completing the fortress.] 54.Qb7 Re3 55.Qe7 Re4 56.Qd7 Re3 57.Qc7 Kg8 58.Qc8+ Kh7? [White would find it impossible to make progress against correct defence after 58...Kg7 59.h4 gxh4 60.Qg4+ Kf6 61.gxh4 e4 62.Qf4+ Kg6 63.Qd6+ (63.h5+ Kxh5 64.Qxf7+ Kg4 65.Qd7+ Kg5 66.Qxd4 Rf3+ 67.Ke2 Kf5 68.Qd5+ Kf4 69.Qd6+ Kf5 70.Qxh6 Ke5=) 63...f6 64.Qxd4 Rf3+ 65.Ke2 f5 66.Qd6+ Kh5 67.Qf6 f4 68.Kd2 Rf2+ 69.Kc3 e3 70.Kd4 e2 71.Qe7 f3=] 59.Qf8 Kg6 60.Qg8+ Kf6 61.Qh7 Ke6 62.Qxh6+ The loss of this pawn is critical as White can now create a passed h-pawn. 62…f6 63.Qf8 e4 64.Qe8+ Kd6 65.Qb5 Rc3 66.Qb4+ Kd5 67.Qb7+ Ke5 68.Qe7+ Kd5 69.h4 Rf3+ 70.Kg2 gxh4 71.gxh4 White’s h-pawn is on its way. 71…d3 72.h5 Kd4 73.h6 d2 74.h7 Ke3 75.Qc5+ Ke2 76.Qc4+ Ke3 77.Qd5 Rf2+ 78.Kg3 Rf3+ 79.Kg2 Rf2+ 80.Kg1 Rf5

Gibraltar r5 4

81.Qxf5! An elegant finish. Black ends up with an extra pawn but cannot stop the h-pawn from queening. 81…d1Q+ 82.Qf1 Qg4+ [82...Qh5 83.Qf2+ Kd3 84.Qg3+ Kd4 85.Qg7+-] 83.Kh2 Qg7 84.Qg1+ Black resigns 1–0

Peter Svidler won nicely against Mikhail Gurevich, whilst French GM Arnaud Hauchard will no doubt be delighted to have defeated reigning champ Hikaru Nakamura. GM Berkes and GM Del Rio also won to complete the twelve on 4/5.

Gibraltar r5 5

Caleta Hotel, Venue of 7th Gibtelecom Chess Festival

Gibraltar r5 6

Plaque Commemorating Operation Torch, the Allies campaign in North Africa in which Gibraltar was key

Gibraltar r5 7

Gibraltar r5 8

Some things in Gibraltar have a distinctly British look!

Gibraltar r5 9

Although the main street is definitely Mediterranean

Full details can be found on the tournament website

Report compiled by Sean Hewitt and John Saunders with games annotated by Sunil Weeramantry.

Mikhail Tal Memorial – Alexander Morozevich Still On Top

Ponomariov and Mamedyarov win in round five

Shakhryar Mamedyarov square 1

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

Alexander Morozevich drew Alexei Shirov yesterday and retained the lead after the fifth round of Mikhail Tal Memorial. Ruslan Ponomariov moves up on the crosstable after scoring a fine win against Peter Leko’s Marshall Attack. Pono employed a “naive” 18. Bc2, which apparently drops the pressure along the a2-g8 diagonal and allows easy f5-f4 for Black. This is exactly what Leko tried to do, but White gave a pawn back to exchange the Queens. In spite of White’s pair of Bishops, Leko was probably holding even before missing powerful 34. Rf1! after which Black position collapses.

Azeri star Shakhriyar Mamedyarov mentioned on a couple of occasions that opening repertoire with Black is his weakest point. Against Gata Kamsky, however, he reached a perfectly playable Sheveningen Sicilian without problems. At one point, Kamsky went for enterprising 21. Bg7!? instead of regular 21. Bc3, but the problem was that Black is not forced to take the Bishop. Mamedyarov seized the advantage with correct 21…Bxc2! and converted later into full point.

Round 5 results:

Morozevich, Alexander – Shirov, Alexei draw

Ponomariov, Ruslan – Leko, Peter 1-0

Ivanchuk, Vassily – Kramnik, Vladimir draw

Kamsky, Gata – Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 0-1

Gelfand, Boris – Alekseev, Evgeny draw

Round 5 standings:

1. Alexander Morozevich – 3.5

2-4. Vassily Ivanchuk, Ruslan Ponomariov and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov – 3.0

5-7. Boris Gelfand, Vladimir Kramnik and Peter Leko – 2.5

8-9. Gata Kamsky and Evgeny Alekseev – 2.0

10. Alexei Shirov – 1.0

Round 6 pairings:

Shirov, Alexei – Alekseev, Evgeny

Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar – Gelfand, Boris

Kramnik, Vladimir – Kamsky, Gata

Leko, Peter – Ivanchuk, Vassily

Morozevich, Alexander – Ponomariov, Ruslan

Official website

High Five!

Vassily Ivanchuk took all points in the first half of 2008 Mtel Masters

Mtel Masters 2008: General page / Photos from Mtel

Mtel Masters live: Day 1 / Day 2 / Day 3 / Topalov – Ivanchuk / Radjabov – Aronian

Report: Round 1 / Round 2 / Round 3 / Round 4

Round 5 results:

Aronian Levon 2763 ARM 0 – 1 Ivanchuk Vassily 2740 UKR

Cheparinov Ivan 2695 BUL ½ – ½ Radjabov Teimour 2751 AZE

Topalov Veselin 2767 BUL 1 – 0 Bu Xiangzhi 2708 CHN

Wednesday (14 CET): Live game commentary by GM Vladimir Dimitrov and live blog with the Chessdom team in Sofia. See you there!

Levon Aronian tried to keep Vassily Ivanchuk’s king in the center by sacrificing a pawn but it hit him back in the head because the beautifully placed black Queen was destroying white’s pieces’ coordination. The last resort was to try and give up a Bishop to collect some queenside pawns. Ivanchuk then transposed to the position where he had two Rooks and a Bishop against white’s lonely Queen, and once the black King reached safety, Aronian was forced to resign. Ivanchuk won all games in the first half of the Mtel Masters, leaving the 2nd placed Topalov 1.5 points behind.

Mtel Masters cage 6

The games are taking place inside the soundproof glass aquarium

Veselin Topalov was in great mood today and simply blasted Bu Xiangzhi off the board after black made a few inaccuracies in the Slav defence. Topalov is now 2nd with 3.5 points, point and a half behind Ivanchuk, but with same distance ahead of rest of the field. Ivan Cheparinov – Teimour Radjabov finished in a draw with perpetual check, since black successfully defended in the bayonet variation of the King’s Indian defence.

More news coming in today, FIDE once again extended the deadline to receive bids for Kamsky – Topalov WCC semi-final match.

Current standings:

1. Ivanchuk Vassily 2740 UKR – 5.0

2. Topalov Veselin 2767 BUL – 3.5

3-4. Radjabov Teimour 2751 AZE and Cheparinov Ivan 2695 BUL – 2.0

5.Aronian Levon 2763 ARM – 1.5

6. Bu Xiangzhi 2708 CHN – 1.0

Round 6 pairings (Tuesday is rest day):

Ivanchuk Vassily 2740 UKR – Radjabov Teimour 2751 AZE

Bu Xiangzhi 2708 CHN – Cheparinov Ivan 2695 BUL

Topalov Veselin 2767 BUL – Aronian Levon 2763 ARM

Mtel Masters Bu Cheparinov

Bu Xiangzhi and Ivan Cheparinov

Mtel Masters Radjabov 2

Teimour Radjabov

Mtel Masters Ivanchuk 1

Vassily Ivanchuk

Mtel Masters Topalov

Veselin Topalov

Mtel Masters Aronian 3

Levon Aronian

Gregory Kaidanov takes the lead at the Gausdal Classics

Lie beat Chanda and the two are now tied on the 2nd place

Round 5 of the 2008 Gausdal Classics’ GM-group A saw the substitution on the top as earlier leader Chanda Sandipan lost to Kjetil Lie, while Gregory Kaidanov gradually outplayed Øystein Hole from slightly better endgame to earn a full point. GM Lie was inspired to attack on the Sheveningen Sicilian and clinched the win with a pretty final attack, see the game bellow.

gausdal 2008

GM Gopal started aggressively with black, even sacrificing a pawn in order to give more air to the pair of bishops, but GM Macieja never lost the control and was able to make a draw. Eric Moscow persistently defended slightly weaker endgame against IM Krush to finally reach a deserved draw. Irina Krush now has to score 3 points out of four remaining games in order to obtain GM norm.

More Gausdal Classics coverage on the official website.

GM-group A round 5 results:

GM Kjetil A Lie – GM Chanda Sandipan 1-0

IM Øystein Hole – GM Gregory Kaidanov 0-1

Eric Moskow – IM Irina Krush draw

GM Bartlomiej Macieja – GM Geetha Naraynan Gopal draw

GM Vyacheslav Ikonnikov – GM Vasilios Kotronias draw

GM-group A round 5 standings:

1. GM Gregory Kaidanov (USA 2596) – 4.0

2-3. GM Chanda Sandipan (IND 2585) – 3.5

2-3. GM Kjetil A Lie (NOR 2558) – 3.5

4-7. GM Geetha Naraynan Gopal (IND 2562) – 2.5

4-7. IM Irina Krush (USA 2479) – 2.5

4-7. GM Bartlomiej Macieja (POL 2599) – 2.5

4-7. GM Vasilios Kotronias (GRE 2611) – 2.5

8. GM Vyacheslav Ikonnikov (RUS 2578) – 2.0

9-10. IM Øystein Hole (NOR 2387) – 1.0

9-10. Eric Moskow (USA 2229) – 1.0

Games from GM-group A

Russian team chess championship round 5

Results, standings, games


Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Round 4

chessdom logo

Ural are firmly holding the lead after five rounds following their win in the derby match against Economist 1. It wasn’t all easy though, Teimour Radjabov beat Evgeny Alexeev but Gata Kamsky lost to Pavel Eljanov. Alexei Dreev brings the key point in the longest game on the 6th board.

Finally one decided game among the participants of the forthcoming FIDE Grand Prix, Peter Svidler broke Boris Gelfand’s Petroff defence to lead Finek Gazprom in the demolition of Moscow “64″. Vugar Gashimov was also successful and his win made the difference that rose Shatar Buryatia to the 2nd place in the crosstable. Vassily Ivanchuk wins Ukrainian derby against Ruslan Ponomariov and Alexander Morozevich forced legendary Anatoly Karpov to resignation way after the 100th move.

Round 5 results:

Finek Gazprom (Sankt Petersburg) – 64 (Moscow) 4.5-1.5

GM Peter Svidler – GM Boris Gelfand 1-0

GM Vadim Zvjaginsev – GM Sergey Rublevsky 0-1

GM Sergey Movsesjan – GM Ian Nepomniachtchi 1-0

GM David Navara – GM Pentala Harikrishna 1-0

GM Maxim Turov – GM Wang Hao draw

GM Vassily Yemelin – GM Evgeny Bareev 1-0

Spasio-Swiss (Moscow) – TPS Saransk (Saransk) 2.5-3.5

GM Ruslan Ponomariov – GM Vassily Ivanchuk 0-1

GM Igor Khekin – GM Konstantin Sakaev draw

GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov – GM Andrei Volotkin draw

GM Ernesto Inarkiev – GM Mikhail Kobalia 0-1

GM Vladislav Tkachiev – GM Sergey Volkov draw

GM Denis Khismatullin – GM Evgeniy Najer 1-0

Economist 2 (Saratov) – SHSM (Moscow) 2-4

GM Dimitry Andreikin – GM Alexander Onischuk draw

GM Alexander Evdokimov – GM Ivan Popov draw

GM Alexei Iljushin – GM Vladimir Potkin draw

GM Evgeny Shaposhnikov – GM Michal Krasenkow draw

GM Sergey Djachkov – GM Boris Savchenko 0-1

GM Alexander Kovchan – GM Stanislav Novikov 0-1

Tomsk 400 – South Ural (Chelyabinsk) 4-2

GM Alexander Morozevich – GM Anatoly Karpov 1-0

GM Sergey Karjakin – GM Alexander Riazantsev draw

GM Dimitry Jakovenko – GM Viktor Korchnoi draw

GM Loek Van Wely – GM Igor Kurnosov draw

GM Artyom Timofeev – GM Evgeny Sveshnikov 1-0

GM Andrei Belozerov – GM Evgeny Romanov draw

Politekhnik (Nizhny Tagil) – Shatar Buryatia 2.5-3.5

GM Zahar Efimenko – GM Vugar Gashimov 0-1

GM Alexander Areshchenko – GM Bu Xiangzhi draw

GM Boris Grachev – GM Kamil Milton draw

GM Igor Lysyj – GM Anton Shomoev draw

GM Dimitri Bocharov – GM Farukh Ammonatov draw

GM Dimitry Kokarev – GM Alexander Lastin draw

Economist 1 (Saratov) – Ural (Yekaterinburg) 2.5-3.5

GM Evgeny Alekseev – GM Teimour Radjabov 0-1

GM Evgeny Tomashevsky – GM Alexei Shirov draw

GM Pavel Eljanov – GM Gata Kamsky 1-0

GM Ni Hua – GM Alexander Grischuk draw

GM Michael Roiz – GM Vladimir Malakhov draw

GM Alexander Moiseenko – GM Alexei Dreev 0-1

Current Standings

Team / Match points / Game points (click here for the team lists)

1. Ural (Yekaterinburg) 10 (20.0)

2. Shatar Buryatia 8 (16.5)

3. Finek Gazprom (Sankt Petersburg) 7 (17.0)

4-6. Economist 1 (Saratov) 6 (16.5)

4-6. SHSM (Moscow) 6 (16.5)

4-6. TPS Saransk (Saransk) 6 (15.5)

7. 64 (Moscow) 5 (14.0)

8. Spasio-Swiss (Moscow) 4 (14.0)

9-10. Politekhnik (Nizhny Tagil) 3 (13.5)

9-10. Economist 2 (Saratov) 3 (12.0)

11. Tomsk 400 2 (13.0)

12. South Ural (Chelyabinsk) 0 (11.5)

Selected games from round 5:

Reggio Emilia round 5

Zoltan Almasi takes sole lead

David Navara started to move forward after beating legendary Viktor Korchnoi in the fifth round. From the White side of the Tarash line in French defence, which Korchnoi knows better than his own backyard, Navara gained strong initiative on the kingside after Black’s sloppy Kf8-Kg8. Striking 28. c4!! marked the decisive advantage for Navara, who quickly finished game with couple of accurately calculated blows.

Navara Korchnoi

David Navara – Viktor Korchnoi

Mihail Marin employed rare 10…g6 in the Open Ruy Lopez against Zoltan Almasi. Curiously, Viktor Korchnoi already played this against Anatoly Karpov in their 1978 WCh match, but also against Almasi on 2002. Almasi deviated from this game with 12. Nd4, but Marin replied with new move Qd7. However, resulting structural damage, combined with the weakness on c6, proved to be too much for Marin and he was forced to give over right before the time control.

Zoltan Almasi square

Zoltan Almasi

Ni Hua steadily increased space advantage against Sergey Tiviakov’s Scandinavian defence to finally reach a positive transformation in the pawn structure. Concentrated heavy pieces on the kingside allowed cute sacrifice 36. Rxg7 to force Black’s resignation.

Round 5 results:

David Navara (CZE 2656) – Viktor Korchnoi (SUI 2611) 1-0

Zoltan Almasi (HUN 2691) – Mihail Marin (ROM 2551) 1-0

Hua Ni (CHN 2641) – Sergey Tiviakov (NED 2643) 1-0

Michele Godena (ITA 2535) – Konstantin Landa (RUS 2678) draw

Vugar Gashimov (AZE 2663) – Pentala Harikrishna (IND 2668) draw

Round five standings:

1. Zoltan Almasi (HUN 2691) 3.5; 2-5. Konstantin Landa (RUS 2678), Pentala Harikrishna (IND 2668), Hua Ni (CHN 2641) and Vugar Gashimov (AZE 2663) 3.0; 6-9. Mihail Marin (ROM 2551), Sergey Tiviakov (NED 2643), David Navara (CZE 2656) and Viktor Korchnoi (SUI 2611) 2.0; 10. Michele Godena (ITA 2535) 1.5;

Tournament website

Magistral Ciudad de Pamplona, round 5

many players tied on 2nd place with 50 percent score

Ibragim Khamrakulov was the only one to score a win in the 5th round of Ciudad de Pamplona and reach 50% score. On the Black side of Queen’s Indian against Alexander Beliavsky, and in virtually harmless position, Khamrakulov played a squence of resolute moves (15…Qc8, 16…Bb4, 17…Qe8!) to grab the initiative. Beliavsky didn’t defend precisely and was forced to resign on 27th move.

The game between Baadur Jobava and Maxim Rodstein will attract plenty of attention from opening theoriticians. Rodstein defended in Semi-Slav Botvinnik variation in which even Kramnik and Topalov were defeated. Fierce tactical battle emerged after Jobava improved the line with 21. Rfc1. At the end of the day, Rodstein forced perpetual check in the Queens endgame.

Gabriel Sargissian – Wang Yue and Sergei Movsesian – Francisco Vallejo Pons also finished in draws. Vallejo Pons is leading the race with 3.5 points after five rounds, Gabriel Sargissian is knocked on the bottom end with 1.5, while all the others are standing in the middle with 2.5.

Round 5 results

Alexander Beliavsky (SLO 2646) – Ibragim Khamrakulov (ESP 2604) 0-1

Baadur Jobava (GEO 2644) – Maxim Rodstein (ISR 2615) draw

Gabriel Sargissian (ARM 2673) – Wang Yue (CHN 2703) draw

Sergei Movsesian (SVK 2670) – Francisco Vallejo Pons (ESP 2660) draw

Round 5 standings

1. Francisco Vallejo Pons (ESP 2660) 3.5; 2-7. Alexander Beliavsky (SLO 2646), Ibragim Khamrakulov (ESP 2604), Baadur Jobava (GEO 2644), Maxim Rodstein (ISR 2615), Wang Yue (CHN 2703) and Sergei Movsesian (SVK 2670) 2.5; 8. Gabriel Sargissian (ARM 2673) 1.5;

Tal Memorial – Round 5

Vladimir Kramnik moving into sole lead

Vladimir Kramnik beautifully converted microscopic advantage in the Knights endgame against Alexei Shirov to take the sole lead after five rounds of Tal Memorial 2007. Other game were drawn, but not without fireworks.

Shirov square Kramnik 2 square

Alexei Shirov and Vladimir Kramnik

Dmitry Jakovenko tried to attack someone for the first time, but Peter Leko is not only ultra-solid defender, he’s also capable of counterattack. Jakovenko still managed to save a draw after employing some imagination.

Gata Kamsky handled Chebanenko Slav defence without prejudice and played active in the center to slowly exchange pieces for slightly better endgame. It seemed like his Bishop will outpower Evgeny Alexeev’s Knight, still white Rook and pawn mass allowed him to escape with a draw.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Boris Gelfand engaged in a popular line of Meran defence that was wildly explored in early 90′s. Timely exchange sacrifice allowed Gelfand to take a central pawn and achieve wonderful activity. Mamedyarov captured less important b-pawn, but his Rooks were lacking open files and he had to agree on moves repetition.

Ivanchuk square 3 Carlsen square

Vassily Ivanchuk and Magnus Carlsen

Magnus Carlsen could have been a bit over-aggressive in Sveshnikov Sicilian and that can be dangerous against a player like Vassily Ivanchuk. White won a pawn and transefered into Queens and Bishops endgame. Nevertheless, Carlsen defended tenaciously and managed to achieve perpetual check being two pawns down.

Tomorrow is rest day.

Round five results:

Vladimir Kramnik 2785 – Alexei Shirov 2739 1-0

Dmitry Jakovenko 2710 – Peter Leko 2755 draw

Evgeny Alekseev 2716 – Gata Kamsky 2714 draw

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2752 – Boris Gelfand 2736 draw

Vassily Ivanchuk 2787 – Magnus Carlsen 2714 draw

Round five standings:

1. Vladimir Kramnik 2785 3.5

2-3. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2752 and Magnus Carlsen 2714 3.0

4-6. Peter Leko 2755, Evgeny Alekseev 2716 and Boris Gelfand 2736 2.5

8-10. Dmitry Jakovenko 2710, Alexei Shirov 2739, Gata Kamsky 2714 and Vassily Ivanchuk 2787 2.0

Linex Magic joins the leaders at the European Club Cup

Anand plays his first game for OSC Baden-Baden e.V.

With every round the European Club Cup chess championship get more and more exciting. Round 5 saw three top derbies and one “local”. Besides, on board 1 for OSC Baden-Baden e.V. entered the world champion Viswanathan Anand.

Alkaloid – Linex Magic – Merida

The current leaders Alkaloid had a difficult match against the gaining speed Linex Magic – Merida. On board one the clashed was a flashback of the Mtel Masters 2007 – Mamedyarov – Kamsky. Mamedyarov was building his way to victory move by move. Kamsky was defending well in a difficult position until the endgame where he seemed to be giving his pawns away and was totally outplayed by Mamedyarov.

However, that could not help Alkaloid, since Linex proved to be really magical. Michael Adams defeated Kiril Georgiev, Rublevsky did not have any problem against Volkov, GM Cheparinov won against GM Nedev and IM Candelario Manuel Perez defeated yet another GM – Dragoljub Jacimovic. GM Sargissian could not get the victory against GM Kozul, but eben in that case Linex Magic – Merida won the match 1½:4½.

Ural Sverdlovskaya – Ashdod City Club

The second seeded Ural Sverdlovskaya took on the solid team of Ashdod City Club. Board 1 clash between Teimour Radjabov and Pavel Eljanov finished a draw. WCC participant Alexander Grischuk had no problems against Boris Avrukh, and GM Shirov and GM Dreev gave the convincing 4½:1½ victory to Ural Sverdlovskaya. This makes the team first in the current standings, with the same points as Linex Magic – Merida and Tomsk, but better tiebreak.

Tomsk-400 – 1. Novoborsky SK

The 200+ average ELO difference counted for Tomsk-400 as they passed over 1. Novoborsky SK. Tomsk won on all boards, it 2 match points, 6 game points, and second place in the current standings.

All eyes were set on OSC Baden-Baden e.V. – Cannes Echecs, where the World Champion Viswanathan Anand appeared on board 1 for the German team. He played with Kazhgaleyev (ELO 2599) and finished a draw in 22 moves. This draw theoretically substracts 3 points from Anand’s rating and brings him under 2800. However, there is a lot of time until the next rating list update.

OSC Baden-Baden e.V did not have any problems, even though the top three boards (Anand, Svidler, and Carlsen) were held to draws. GM Bacrot, GM Nisipeanu, and GM Nielsen had no problems and the match finished 4½:1½.

Chess Club Zeljeznicar Sarajevo – Bosna Sarajevo

Round 5 of the European Club Cup had a strong “local” derbies. Chess Club Zeljeznicar Sarajevo (board 1 Predrag Nikolic) met the 4th seeded Bosna Sarajevo (board 1 Vassily Ivanchuk). Even though the games were very exciting, there was no surprise and Bosna Sarajevo won 1,5:4,5.

Standings after 5 rounds

1 Ural Sverdlovskaya 9 MP 24,0 GP

2 Tomsk-400 9 MP 23,0 GP

3 Linex Magic – Merida 9 MP 21,0 GP

4 Economist SGSEU-1 Saratov 8 MP 22,5 GP

5 Keystone 8 MP 22,0 GP

6 OSC Baden-Baden e.V. 8 MP 21,5 GP

7 Clichy Echecs 92 8 MP 20,0 GP

8 Alkaloid 8 MP 20,0 GP

9 Bosna Sarajevo 8 MP 20,0 GP

10 Gros Xake Taldea 7 MP 18,0 GP

11 Ashdod City Club 7 MP 18,0 GP

12 Chess Club Zagreb 6 MP 22,0 GP

13 Herzliya Chess Club 6 MP 22,0 GP

14 Schachfreunde Reichenstein 6 MP 19,5 GP

15 Utrecht 6 MP 19,0 GP

16 Bank King Yerevan 6 MP 18,5 GP

17 Chess Club Zeljeznicar Sarajevo 6 MP 18,5 GP

18 Aquaprofit Chess Club Nagykanisza 6 MP 18,5 GP

19 Cercle d’Echecs de Strasbourg 6 MP 18,5 GP

20 Reykjavik Chess Club 6 MP 18,0 GP

Biel 2007 – Round 5

Carlsen won derby game against Onischuk to take the sole lead

Beloved Semi-Slav didn’t help Alexander Onischuk against Magnus Carlsen’s inspired play. Norwegian bravely bolted b7 pawn and with series of unique moves, particularly nice was 29.b4 and 30. a4, took the full point. This leaves him in an early lead, full point ahead of competition.

Once again, Bu Xiangzhi annoyed his opponent by spinning the Queen along the “a” and “b” files. Prior to that, Motylev tried pawn sacrifice, but it didn’t work well and he suffered 2nd consecutive defeat. Other games were drawn without too much happening.

Carlsen square Bu Xiangzhi 1

Magnus Carlsen and Bu Xiangzhi

Round 5 results:

Yannick Pelletier – Teimour Radjabov draw

Loek van Wely – Alexander Grischuk draw

Magnus Carlsen – Alexander Onischuk 1-0

Bu Xiangzhi – Alexander Motylev 1-0

Judit Polgar – Boris Avrukh draw

Round 5 standings:

1. Magnus Carlsen (Norway 2710) 4.0

2-3. Alexander Onischuk (USA 2650) and Boris Avrukh (Israel 2645) 3.0

4-7. Bu Xianghzi (China 2685), Judit Polgar (Hungary 2707), Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan 2746) and Alexander Grischuk (Russia 2726) 2.5

8-9. Yannick Pelletier (Switzerland 2583) and Alexander Motylev (Russia 2648) 2.0

10. Loek van Wely (Netherlands 2679) 1.0;

Biel Round 3 report

Biel Round 4 report

Kramnik seeking new trophy

Dortmund Chess Meeting 2007 – Round 5

World Champion Vladimir Kramnik is on a good way to win his 8th Dortmund Sparkassen. Currently he is leading with 3.5 points out of 5, with “easy” schedule in the remaining two rounds. Kramnik will face Arkadij Naiditsch, whom he beat at the last-year Olympiad, in round 6 with White pieces. Last round he is playing Black against Russian champion Evgeny Alexeev. The two have never played before.

Kramnik moves

Vladimir Kramnik

Viswanathan Anand and Evgeny Alekseev, who just saved tough position against Naiditsch in 5th round, are half point behind Kramnik. Dortmund Chess Meeting goes as expected, with only five decided games out of 20 played. The main problem is obviously the clumsy 8-player single round-robin, where players are not eager to take too much risk.

Chessvibes has videos and interviews from Dortmund.

Round 6 Results:

Vladimir Kramnik – Arkadij Naiditsch 1-0

Boris Gelfand – Peter Leko 0-1

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov – Magnus Carlsen draw

Viswanathan Anand – Evgeny Alekseev draw

Round 6 Standings:

1. Vladimir Kramnik (RUS 2772) 4.5

2-4. Viswanathan Anand (IND 2786), Peter Leko (HUN 2738) and Evgeny Alekseev (RUS 2679) 3.5

5. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE 2757) 3.0

6. Magnus Carlsen (NOR 2693) 2.5

7. Boris Gelfand (ISR 2733) 2.0

8. Arkadij Naiditsch (GER 2654) 1.5

Final Report