Dortmund: Kramnik on 4.5/5 after beating Giri

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Dortmund: Kramnik on 4.5/5 after beating GiriAfter beating Anish Giri in the 5th round on Monday Vladimir Kramnik finished the first half of the Sparkassen Chess Meeting in Dortmund with a superb 4.5/5. Le Quang Liem is in clear second place after beating Ruslan Ponomariov. Georg Meier and Hikaru Nakamura drew a marathon game of 150 moves.

General info

The 39th Sparkassen Chess Meeting takes place July 21-31, 2011 in the City Theater of Dortmund, Germany. Like Biel, it's a 6-player double round robin event. This year Vladimir Kramnik, Hikaru Nakamura, Ruslan Ponomariov, Anish Giri, Le Quang Liem and Georg Meier play. For the second time Dortmund uses an anti-draw rule: the players are not allowed to offer a draw during the game. The game will be declared a draw when a win for either side is not possible any more, or in case of a three-fold repetition.

Round 5

Vladimir Kramnik might be out of a World Championship cycle for the first time since God knows when, but so far he's been playing like a World Champion in Dortmund. His score of 4.5 out of 5 in the first half is good for a 3103 performance but, more importantly, the Russian is just 3.1 points shy of a 2800 rating in the live list.

Round 5 in Dortmund

Round 5 in Dortmund in progress

In the 5th round Kramnik defeated Anish Giri with remarkable ease, although we tend to think that it wasn't really a fair battle. Let's face it: he used an old analysis that he had prepared for his World Championship match against Kasparov in 2000! Come on, that's cheating, Vlad! ;-)

Kramnik-Giri Dortmund, 2011

13. h4N According to the official website, afterwards Kramnik said that he could 'finally' use this move, after all those years. However, in the same position he played 13. Bb5 against Mamedyarov at the Tal Memorial in Moscow last year. 13... Nc6 14. e5 Bd7?! Better was 14... Rd8 15. Bg5 Rd5 16. Bc4 Rd7 17. Bb5 Rd5 18. Bxc6 bxc6 19. Rxc6 Bb7 with counterplay (Giri). 15. Rb1 b6 16. h5 Ne7 17. hxg6

17... fxg6?! A strategic mistake, but even after 17... hxg6 White has good possibilities on the kingside according to Kramnik. In the game Giri didn't manage to find enough counterplay.

Kramnik vs Giri

Kramnik beats Giri using 11-year-old analysis

The only player who didn't lose against Kramnik in this first half is Le Quang Liem. Fittingly, the Vietnamese grandmaster is in sole second place. On Monday he profited from what seems to have been a one-move blunder by Ruslan Ponomariov.

Le Quang Liem-Ponomariov Dortmund, 2011

31... Qb6? Mixing up the move order perhaps? 31... cxd5 32. exf5 (32. Nxd5 Bxd5 33. Rxd5 fxe4 34. Qd4 Qb6!) 32... Qb6! 33. Qxb6 Ndxb6 34. f6 Ne3 35. Rc1 Re5 36. Bf3 d4 looks OK for Black. 32. Qxb6 Ndxb6 33. dxc6 Rxd1+ 34. Nxd1 fxe4 34... bxc6 35. exf5. 35. cxb7+ Kb8 36. Nc3 and White won after showing excellent technique.

Le Quang Liem

Le Quang Liem: again solid and strong in Dortmund

The game Meier-Nakamura was a fascinating affair. It started with one of the absolute main lines of the King's Indian Defence, which means that spectacle is guaranteed. But there was also the psychological warfare of Nakamura hoping to improve his thus far disappointing play, and trying to beat the lowest seed. In doing so, the American avoided a move repetition which led to a lost position. Then, Meier didn't play accurately himself, and only got a slightly better position which he tried to win until move 150 (!) but to no avail.

Georg Meier

Georg Meier missed an excellent chance to beat Hikaru Nakamura

Tuesday is the first and only rest day, when traditionally the players will be available for autograph signing in the sponsor's customer centre. For the fans in Dortmund: this starts at 15:00 CET and there will be prizes to win, such as iPods touch and iPods shuffle.

Games round 5

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Dortmund 2011 | Schedule & results
Round 1 21.07.11 15:00 CET Round 6 27.07.11 15:00 CET
Meier ½-½ Le Quang Liem Le Quang Liem - Meier
Kramnik 1-0 Ponomariov Ponomariov - Kramnik
Giri ½-½ Nakamura Nakamura - Giri
Round 2 22.07.11 15:00 CET Round 7 28.07.11 15:00 CET
Le Quang Liem ½-½ Nakamura Nakamura - Le Quang Liem
Ponomariov 1-0 Giri Giri - Ponomariov
Meier 0-1 Kramnik Kramnik - Meier
Round 3 23.07.11 15:00 CET Round 8 29.07.11 15:00 CET
Kramnik ½-½ Le Quang Liem Le Quang Liem - Kramnik
Giri 1-0 Meier Meier - Giri
Nakamura 0-1 Ponomariov Ponomariov - Nakamura
Round 4 24.07.11 15:00 CET Round 9 30.07.11 15:00 CET
Giri ½-½ Le Quang Liem Ponomariov - Le Quang Liem
Nakamura 0-1 Kramnik Nakamura - Meier
Ponomariov ½-½ Meier Giri - Kramnik
Round 5 25.07.11 15:00 CET Round 10 31.07.11 13:00 CET
Le Quang Liem 1-0 Ponomariov Le Quang Liem - Giri
Meier ½-½ Nakamura Kramnik - Nakamura
Kramnik 1-0 Giri Meier - Ponomariov

Dortmund 2011 | Round 5 Standings

Photos © Georgios Souleidis


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