Baden-Baden's Title Hunt: Anand, Caruana, MVL On Top Boards

Baden-Baden's Title Hunt: Anand, Caruana, MVL On Top Boards

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
Dec 6, 2016, 9:37 AM |
17 | Chess Event Coverage

Last weekend, OSC Baden-Baden made its intentions clear: It wants to win back the title in the German league. For its matches on Saturday and Sunday, it had Viswanathan Anand, Fabiano Caruana, and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave on the top boards.

Last year, the unthinkable happened: For the first time in a decade, Baden-Baden did not win the Schachbundesliga. It was SG Solingen that finished first instead.

But Baden-Baden is ambitious as ever as became clear last weekend in (and against) Hockenheim. The town in northwest Baden-Württemberg, about 20 km south of Mannheim, is famous for hosting motor-racing events in the Hockenheimring. This weekend, it hosted chess matches with some of the strongest chess players in the world.

Baden-Baden's impressive line-up included three top-10 players, two more 2700+ players, and three players very close to 2700. They defeated the local team 3-5, and with the same players, they crushed SV Griesheim 1976 7.5-0.5 on the next day.

Vishy Anand played board three (!) and was held to a draw on Saturday by Baadur Jobava. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Peter Svidler also drew their games, but Fabiano Caruana managed to win a long game against Evgeny Tomashevsky on board one.

# Fed SV 1930 Hockenheim Rtg Fed OSG Baden-Baden Rtg Result
1 Evgeny Tomashevsky 2716 Fabiano Caruana 2823 0-1
2 Nikita Vitiugov 2726 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2804 1/2
3 Baadur Jobava 2702 Viswanathan Anand 2779 1/2
4 David W L Howell 2644 Peter Svidler 2753 1/2
5 Rainer Buhmann 2626 Radoslav Wojtaszek 2749 1/2
6 Ivan Saric 2652 Rustam Kasimdzhanov 2691 1/2
7 Alexander Moiseenko 2657 Etienne Bacrot 2689 1/2
8 David Baramidze 2603 Arkadij Naiditsch 2687 0-1

That's the number two, four and eight in the world playing for Baden-Baden! Here's a video celebrating what must have been one of the strongest line-ups ever in a club match.

The other win was scored by Arkadij Naiditsch, not a bad player either for a board eight.

As said, the match with Griesheim on Sunday was a walk-over. The only player who didn't win his game was Caruana—He was held to a draw by Swiss IM Nico Georgiadis.

That was good news for Magnus Carlsen, who had lost 13 Elo points by splitting 6-6 in the classical games with Sergey Karjakin.

On Saturday night, Carlsen's lead over world number-two Caruana was as low as 13.4 points in the live ratings, but because Caruana lost 3.9 points with that draw on Sunday, it's now 17.3.

But if Caruana does really well during the London Chess Classic (perhaps by "doing a Caruana"?), he could become the world number-one before the end of the year.

Caruana, not too far behind Carlsen anymore.

Here's Anand's smooth win on Sunday:

Schachbundesliga 2016-2017 | Round 6 Standings

Rk Team # + - = MP BP
1 OSG Baden-Baden 6 6 0 0 12 36.5
2 SG Solingen 6 6 0 0 12 34.5
3 SV 1930 Hockenheim 6 5 1 0 10 30
4 SV Muelheim Nord 6 5 1 0 10 28
5 SK Schwaebisch Hall 6 4 1 1 9 28.5
6 Hamburger SK 6 3 3 0 6 25
7 USV TU Dresden 6 2 2 2 6 25
8 SV Werder Bremen 6 3 3 0 6 24.5
9 SF Berlin 1903 6 2 3 1 5 25
10 SG Trier 6 1 3 2 4 22.5
11 DJK Aufwaerts Aachen 6 2 4 0 4 21.5
12 SG Speyer-Schwegenheim 6 2 4 0 4 19
13 FC Bayern Muenchen 6 1 4 1 3 18
14 SV Griesheim 1976 6 1 5 0 2 16
15 SK Koenig Tegel 6 0 4 2 2 15.5
16 MSA Zugzwang 82 6 0 5 1 1 14.5
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