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Caruana Wins Dortmund, Now World Number 3

  • FM MikeKlein
  • on 7/20/14, 8:51 AM.

GM Fabiano Caruana clinched first place at the Sparkassen Chess Meeting in Dortmund, Germany with a round to spare. It was his second title in three years.

In doing so, he crested 2800 for the first time and is now the third highest-rated player in the world. He is only the seventh player in history to top 2800.

Assuming he plays no more events before the Olympiad in August, his rating will become officially 2801, only four points behind GM Levon Aronian.

In round six, he beat defending champion GM Michael Adams. Caruana moved to 5/6 and since no one had more than 3.5/6, he could not be caught. Today he drew GM Peter Leko to finish with 5.5/7 and a 1.5-point margin over Leko, who finished tied for second at 4/7.

Here's the clinching game. Caruana's play was straightforward for the Berlin -- use the kingside majority while not allowing Black's queenside pawns or bishop pair to do any damage.

The draw against Leko in the final round was simply a formality. What really won the event for Caruana was his very fast start. He opened with 3.5/4, including wins over GM David Baramidze, GM Ruslan Ponomariov, and GM Georg Meier.

Here is the round four win. Caruana thought that after 34. f6 White stood better, even though the fearless engines may disagree. Black needed to play 37...Rg6 to have any chance to survive.

The other big story from the event was GM Vladimir Kramnik's demise. As previously reported, he was upset in round one, then failed to convert two winning positions in the next two rounds.

GM Vladimir Kramnik (left) "managed" to draw GM Fabiano Caruana in round five. It was the only game in which he didn't lose rating points. (photo: Dagobert Kohlmeyer)

His event didn't get better, as he drew in rounds 4-6 and then lost the final round to end with 2.5/7 and second-to-last place. The 10-time winner of Dortmund lost nearly 17 rating points and is only decimal points away from falling out of the world top ten. His 2760 rating is his lowest in five years.

In the final round, Kramnik played lifelessly as Ponomariov won a pawn and converted.

Kramnik resigned rather than see mate in three executed on the board (a clever "staircase" -- 57. Rf7+ Kg6 58. Rf8+ Kh7 59. Rh8#).

If you include the final four rounds at his previous tournament (Norway 2014), he is now +0 = 6 -5 in his last 11 games, which is a rating loss of 32 points.

Also notable is the strong performance of Meier. After the opening round upset of Kramnik, he went on to play .500 chess and finish in joint second with Leko with 4/7.

The final placement list can be viewed here.

16806 reads 56 comments
8 votes


  • 15 months ago


    Looks like Caruana will improve even more, he has the attitude to keep it up. Carlsen's performances are still far but not feared Wink; big question mark is Aronian as he can unpredictably change his strength of play, maybe KMagic is right about his motivation.

  • 15 months ago


    @MrMars: Ever heard of sarcasm...?

  • 15 months ago


    Great job GM Carusna! Is he really #2 in the world what about the young man GM Sergey Karjakin who just beat Caruana?

  • 15 months ago


    for the moment, he poses the biggest threat to Carlsen's crown!

  • 15 months ago


    Mr Mars, you don't seem to understand normal humanl communication.  You label Caruana a prick simply because he chose an understated way of expressing his delight rather than your Mars-approved form.  You post says way more about you than it does about Caruana.

  • 15 months ago


  • 15 months ago


    Wesley So Won also the ACP Tourney

  • 15 months ago


    great  caruna

  • 15 months ago


    It's crazy to think he wasn't in the Candidates tournament this year!!

    If he was I think he'd be challenging Carlsen in November, which would have been a much more compelling event, given Caruana will likely be World #2 by then. Having said that, Vishy still deserves this one last shot as well.

    He'll likely rise to around 2850 in the next year or so. It's hard to see anyone else challenging Carlsen for the title, other than perhaps Karjakin.

  • 15 months ago

    FM MikeKlein

    I don't think Caruana is playing before the Olympiad (I have to guess that he isn't), so his 2800 rating seems like it will be official in a few weeks.

  • 15 months ago


    I forsee Carlsen vs Caruana be just like Karpov vs Kasparov.

  • 15 months ago


    Thank you very much!!, Topalov was the one I didn't know.

  • 15 months ago


    2700chess.com is a live ratings site and thus lists live ratings. Caruana's achievement here is for his official FIDE rating, which typically only updates for players with the completion of tournaments. In short, the latter achievement is harder, as one gets far fewer chances (usually one per tournament, rather than one per game).


    In terms of the FIDE 2800 rating achievement the seven players are now Kasparov, Kramnik, Topalov, Anand, Carlsen, Aronian, and Caruana, in terms of achievement date by ascending order. In terms of the age each player was when they first made this achievement the ascending order is Carlsen, Caruana, Kramnik, Kasparov, Aronian, Topalov, and Anand.


    Here's one source that hasn't been updated for Carauna yet: http://chessaccount.wordpress.com/chess-records/worlds-youngest-to-attain-gm-2600-2700-2800-and-wc-1st-update/

  • 15 months ago


    Yes,perhaps he can challenge Carlsen at some point in the future.

  • 15 months ago


    well done fabiano you've done really well

     keep the good work going

  • 15 months ago


    Who are the other 6 who have topped 2800?,does anyone know?,I can only think of 5 others.

  • 15 months ago


    According to 2700chess.com, Caruana first broke 2800 on June 5th of this year.

  • 15 months ago


    Fabiano is a rare find, a chess prodigy who studys the game diligently; yet, one of the most humble players on the circuit.  His potential is immeasurable, his ascendancy inevitable.     

  • 15 months ago


    Fantastic result!

    Go Fabiano!

  • 15 months ago


    This guy could actually challenge Carlsen.

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