Black Is OK In Dortmund

Black Is OK In Dortmund

| 11 | Chess Event Coverage

Black was very comfortable in the third round in Dortmund. All games ended in draws, and so Matthias Bluebaum and Radoslaw Wojtaszek are still tied for first place at the Sparkassen Chess Meeting.

The entrance of the Orchesterzentrum in Dortmund. | Photo: Georgios Souleidis.

Also after three rounds, top seeds Kramnik and Vachier-Lagrave are still waiting for their first win. The standings didn't change with four draws on Tuesday, with Black being surprisingly comfortable in each game.

2017 Sparkassen Chess Meeting | Round 3 Results

Fed Name Rtg Pts Result Pts Fed Name Rtg
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2791 1 ½ - ½ Matthias Bluebaum 2642
Wang Yue 2699 ½ ½ - ½ 1 Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu 2683
Vladimir Kramnik 2812 ½ ½ - ½ Radoslaw Wojtaszek 2736
Vladimir Fedoseev 2726 1 ½ - ½ 1 Dmitry Andreikin 2712

Wang Yue vs Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu was a typical example of modern chess, where one of the oldest openings in the book was treated in a fresh way. Black played an early ...h6 and ...g5 in the Queen's Gambit Declined, and also allowed his d-pawn to be isolated, but anything is possible these days when you have time to prepare with the help of a computer. It also helps if the line has Kramnik's stamp of approval!

The critical moment was move 25, when Wang refrained from winning a pawn, and Nisipeanu found a good move that forced some trades.

"This line is truly amazing," said Nisipeanu. "White seems to be better positionally, but since Kramnik has played it several times, it has to be good."



Instructive QGD play by Nisipeanu. | Photo: Georgios Souleidis.

Vladimir Kramnik's opening play vs Radoslaw Wojtaszek was surprisingly harmless. Not only did he go for the Colle System, but his 7.e4 seemed too early to pose serious problems for Black. Unlike the president of his country that day, Wojtaszek didn't make any surprise moves but just played solid throughout the game, and was always comfortably close to the draw.


Wojtaszek's healthy moves were enough to stay out of trouble. | Photo: Georgios Souleidis.

Playing the French vs a Frenchman was not just an opening pun by Matthias Bleubaum. The young German player knows a thing or two about the opening, just like his compatriot Rainer Buhmann, and played a very comfortable game as Black vs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.

Whereas MVL had beaten the same opponent with 1.Nf3 in this year's Grenke tournament, his 1.e4 got him very little. He did his best to make something out of it, by pushing both Garry (Gilbert?) the g-pawn and Freddy (Francois?) the f-pawn, but it never got very dangerous.


No problems whatsoever for Bluebaum. | Photo: Georgios Souleidis.

The all-Russian encounter between Vladimir Fedoseev and Dmitry Andreikin was the least interesting, to be honest. This 6...Qa5 Winawer often leads to trench warfare in which both sides maneuver from their own positions, but this game took it to another level as the pawn structures were fixed at an early stage.

"I played this line for the first time, and surprised my opponent," said Andreikin. Fedoseev can surely find someone to tell him how to treat this line—he has ex-FIDE World Champion and opening expert Alexander Khalifman as his second in Dortmund.


A successful surprise in the opening by Andreikin. | Photo: Georgios Souleidis.

2017 Sparkassen Chess Meeting | Round 3 Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pts SB
1 Bluebaum,Matthias 2642 2853 ½ ½ 1 2.0/3 3.00
2 Wojtaszek,Radoslaw 2736 2887 ½ ½ 1 2.0/3 2.25
3 Vachier-Lagrave,Maxime 2791 2687 ½ ½ ½ 1.5/3 2.75
4 Nisipeanu,Liviu-Dieter 2683 2710 ½ ½ ½ 1.5/3 2.25
5 Fedoseev,Vladimir 2726 2722 0 ½ 1 1.5/3 1.75
6 Andreikin,Dmitry 2712 2745 ½ ½ ½ 1.5/3 1.75
7 Kramnik,Vladimir 2812 2605 ½ 0 ½ 1.0/3 1.75
8 Wang,Yue 2699 2590 0 ½ ½ 1.0/3 1.50

The 45th Sparkassen Chess Meeting takes place 15-23 July, 2017 in the Orchesterzentrum NRW in Dortmund, Germany. 17 and 20 July are rest days. The time control is 100 minutes for 40 moves, then 50 minutes for 20 moves and then 15 minutes to end the game, with a 30-second increment from move 1.
The pairings for the fourth round, on Wednesday, are Bluebaum - Andreikin, Wojtaszek - Fedoseev, Nisipeanu - Kramnik, and Vachier-Lagrave - Wang Yue.

You can follow the games each day starting from 15:15 CEST (9:15 a.m. New York, 6:15 Pacific) in Live Chess.

Previous report:

Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

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