Carlsen leads at half-time in Dortmund

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
CarlsenAt half-time Magnus Carlsen has underlined his ambitions in Dortmund. He won his second White game against a Berlin Wall, this time against Arkadij Naiditsch who succumbed to the pressure and blundered an important pawn just after the time control. The other leader, Vladimir Kramnik, drew in 19 (!) moves against Dmitry Jakovenko while Peter Leko scored a nice victory against Etienne Bacrot.

The Sparkassen Chess Meeting takes place July 2-12 in Dortmund, Germany. Carlsen (2772), Jakovenko (2760), Kramnik (2759), Leko (2756), Bacrot (2721) and Naiditsch (2697) play a double round-robin.

Round 5

In his second 1.e4 game Carlsen teared down his second Berlin Wall of the tournament already. At first sight it looked like another smooth endgame victory by the Norwegian but in fact Naiditsch played quite a good game today and at one point he was even (slightly) better.

During the opening and early middlegame phase it was Carlsen who was dealing the cards, sacrificing a pawn with the thematic e5-e6 which yielded ample compensation. Naiditsch was put under heavy pressure but then started playing lots of strong moves in a row and at some point, objectively speaking Carlsen lost his advantage.

However, what the Norwegian was doing was continue to make life hard for Naiditsch, and eventually it paid off. Where he might have thought he was simply repeating moves, the German GM actually threw away a pawn just after the time control and from that moment Carlsen had no mercy and won the knight ending easily.

After saving his energy in the first four rounds, today we saw a different Leko: one in great shape, increasing a small opening advantage further and further and then finishing the game with a direct attack on Bacrot's monarque. Very nice!

Unfortunately somehow in every round there needs to be (at least) one short draw and this time it was the encounter between the two Russian participants, Kramnik and Jakovenko. Yet another small disappointment for the fans! Tomorrow is the first and only rest day in Dortmund.

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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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