5-Game Winning Streak, 3rd Dortmund Title For Caruana

5-Game Winning Streak, 3rd Dortmund Title For Caruana

| 14 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Fabiano Caruana started with 0.5/2 but then won five games in a row to win the Sparkassen Chess Meeting for the third time. In the last round he defeated GM Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu with a beautiful combination.

GM Wesley So played a splendid endgame and defeated GM Vladimir Kramnik on his own territory: the Berlin.

GM Georg Meier once again spoiled several wins in his game with GM Arkadij Naiditsch. GM Hou Yifan and GM Ian Nepomniachtchi finished with a draw.

Photo Sparkassen Chess.

After the last round of the Norway Chess tournament, many players hung around in the hotel bar, until the early hours, playing bughouse. One of them was Fabiano Caruana, who only had a few hours of sleep before boarding his plane to Germany.

He had one day to recover, and then on Saturday he had to appear at the board in Dortmund. Caruana drew his game with Nepomniachtchi, but the next day he lost, as White, to So. Wasn't it asking for trouble, to play two strong tournaments back-to-back?

Well, apparently not. The rest days after the second and after the fourth round must have been very helpful: Caruana duly won his next five games to finish 1.5 points ahead of the pack!

His performance rating was an impressive 2938, and he gained 11.3 rating points to comfortably return to the 2800+ range.

In the last round Fabiano Caruana defeated Dieter Nisipeanu surprisingly quickly. The latter pleased the public with his choice of the Evans Gambit, but didn't get any advantage — Caruana was simply too well prepared for that.

The game followed Nakamura-Anand, London 2014 for 11 moves, when Nisipeanu deviated. Caruana continued with the strategy behind the 7...Qd7/8...Bb6 system: returning the pawn and focusing on quick development.

White traded queens and entered the ending with an extra pawn, but in fact he was already worse there. Caruana continued strongly, calculated deeply and beat his opponent with a pretty combination.

Caruana decided the tournament about three hours into the round. | Photo Dagobert Kohlmeyer.

What a way to finish your tournament! The final combination was very similar to a famous combination from chess history, as Caruana mentioned in a tweet himself:

Caruana is referring to Martin Ortueta Esteban vs Jose Sanz Aguado, Madrid 1933 — a game full of mystery, as Tim Krabbé points out on his website. The combination itself cannot be published often enough:

Nisipeanu can still be satisfied with his tournament. He was leading for most of the time and eventually finished on plus one in this strong field with a 2783 performance, gaining 13 Elo points.

Vladimir Kramnik has to wait another year before he can try to win his 11th title in Dortmund. The 14th world champion ended his tournament badly: after spoiling his rook ending against Nisipeanu, he was outplayed, in another ending, by Wesley So.

It was a fascinating Berlin, where first So and then Kramnik sacrificed a pawn. The Russian then gave a piece for three connected passed pawns, but from that point So started to play very, very well. This was So's best game in Dortmund.

Kramnik thus finished on 50 percent and lost 6.4 rating points, whereas So limited the damage to only -0.9.

Annotations by GM Dejan Bojkov

So beats Kramnik in a Berlin ending. | Photo Dagobert Kohlmeyer.

In the final round, poor Georg Meier had a similar experience as in so many other games in Dortmund: he was OK out of the opening, his advantage grew, but eventually he didn't get more than a draw. As it turned out his advantage was winning at several moments.

Arkadij Naiditsch must have underestimated the power of Black's exchange sacrifice; with a bishop on b7 and a pawn on f3 the compensation seemed clear. Perhaps White had counted on closing the diagonal with d4-d5, which worked in the game, but only because Meier didn't find 24...Re4!. 

A tournament full of spoiled chances for Meier. | Photo Dagobert Kohlmeyer.

In the last round Hou Yifan came close to winning her first game. In a 6.Be2 Najdorf she got a slight edge out of the opening, and then gave up an exchange in return for a passed pawn on d7 protected by a bishop on b5. 

White was always the one who was playing for a win, but Nepomniachtchi was just in time to create enough counterplay.

Hou vs Nepomniachtchi. | Photo Dagobert Kohlmeyer.

Dortmund 2015 | Schedule & Results

Round 1  15:00 CET 27.06.15   Round 2  15:00 CET 28.06.15
Nepomniachtchi ½-½ Caruana   Caruana 0-1 So
Meier ½-½ Hou   Naiditsch 0-1 Nisipeanu
Kramnik 0-1 Naiditsch   Hou 0-1 Kramnik
Nisipeanu 1-0 So   Nepomniachtchi ½-½ Meier
Round 3  15:00 CET 30.06.15   Round 4  15:00 CET 01.07.15
Meier 0-1 Caruana   Caruana 1-0 Naiditsch
Kramnik 1-0 Nepomniachtchi   Hou ½-½ So
Nisipeanu ½-½ Hou   Nepomniachtchi ½-½ Nisipeanu
So 0-1 Naiditsch   Meier 0-1 Kramnik
Round 5  15:00 CET 03.07.15   Round 6  15:00 CET 04.07.15
Kramnik 0-1 Caruana   Caruana 1-0 Hou
Nisipeanu ½-½ Meier   Nepomniachtchi 1-0 Naiditsch
So 1-0 Nepomniachtchi   Meier ½-½ So
Naiditsch ½-½ Hou   Kramnik ½-½ Nisipeanu
Round 7  13:00 CET 05.07.15        
Nisipeanu 0-1 Caruana        
So 1-0 Kramnik        
Naiditsch ½-½ Meier        
Hou ½-½ Nepomniachtchi        


Dortmund 2015 | Final Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pts SB
1 Caruana,Fabiano 2805 2938 phpfCo1l0.png 0 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 5.5/7
2 So,Wesley 2778 2767 1 phpfCo1l0.png 0 1 1 0 ½ ½ 4.0/7 14.50
3 Nisipeanu,Liviu-Dieter 2654 2783 0 1 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 4.0/7 12.75
4 Kramnik,Vladimir 2783 2716 0 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 0 1 1 3.5/7
5 Nepomniachtchi,Ian 2720 2675 ½ 0 ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ ½ 3.0/7 10.25
6 Naiditsch,Arkadij 2722 2675 0 1 0 1 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 3.0/7 10.00
7 Hou,Yifan 2676 2629 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 2.5/7 8.25
8 Meier,Georg 2654 2632 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 2.5/7 8.25


The 43rd Sparkassen Chess Meeting took place June 27-July 5 in the NRW Orchestra Center in central Dortmund. It was a single round robin with eight players. | Thanks to Dagobert Kohlmeyer | Games via TWIC  phpfCo1l0.png


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