Naiditsch Conquers Kramnik City: Dortmund R1

Jun 27, 2015, 12:21 PM |

There was some despair in the first round of Dortmund's Sparkassen Chess Meeting, but there was enough happiness to balance it out.

At the end of a wonderful 57-move-long game against Vladimir Kramnik, German No. 1 Arkadij Naiditsch earned a point and saved the day (I was pretty depressed before this), giving the 10-time Dortmund winner a 0/1 start. I was not expecting this, and I thought that at best, Naiditsch might be able to escape with a draw, but I was very much wrong. (Fun Fact: The last time Naiditsch won Dortmund was ten years ago, when he was nineteen.)

I'm not much of a fan of Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu, the German No. 2, so one could say that I'm not all that happy about him beating Wesley So in the round's first finished game. I don't have much to say here, though.

Some (including myself) believe that Fabiano Caruana has trouble with "outsiders". And today, that seemed to be the case. After a depressing performance at the Capablanca Memorial, Ian Nepomniachtchi was able to draw his game against Fabiano even though most people would have expected him to lose.

The last game to finish was Meier vs. Hou. For most of the game, I was pretty depressed to say the least. But after finding and administering the perpetual out of a worse position, Hou Yifan saved herself a draw. I was quite happy, and even that is an understatement.

Hopefully this tournament is more predictable than the one we were all focused on just a couple of days ago!