Dortmund R1: Ponomariov and Mamedyarov start with wins

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
PonomariovIn the first round of the Sparkassen Chess-Meeting 2010 in Dortmund, Germany, which started yesterday, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Ruslan Ponomariov had a great start with wins over Arkadij Naiditsch and Peter Leko respectively. Elo-favourite Vladimir Kramnik drew his game against 19-year old Liem Quang Le.

The elite tournament in Dortmund is a double round robin, lasting until July 25th. The tournament is played under the Sofia rule, which means a draw can only be declared after intervention from the arbiter.

The first round no doubt contained a small surprise: Vladimir Kramnik couldn't beat young Quang Le with the white pieces. Looking at the game, one gets the impression the Vietnamese close-to-2700 GM simply held himself very well in a relatively quiet Slav encounter. Kramnik naturally tried for a long time to achieve something in a QR vs. QR ending, but in the end he gave up his winning attempts and the peace was signed.

Liem Quang Le (photo by Georgios Souleidis)

Naiditsch-Mamedyarov was a much more explosive duel. In a razor-sharp 6.Bc4 Najdorf, Mamedyarov played the strong theoretical move 12...d5! - which is already known since Topalov-Short, Amsterdam 1996 - after which Naiditsch's initiative seems to have simply faded away into nothingness. It leaves one wondering what the German had actually prepared.

Ruslan Ponomariov said he wanted to surprise Leko in the opening (he played the Scotch), but his experienced opponent didn't seem too impressed. However, at move 17, Leko made a mistake (according to Pono) by exchanging queens, after which White seems to be better.

Ruslan Ponomariov (photo by Georgios Souleidis)

According to Ponomariov, the decisive mistake was 29...a5? after which White was clearly on top in the resulting rook ending. Today, Pono faces another tough client: Vladimir Kramnik, but judging from his fine play yesterday, he seems up to the challenge. The other games are Leko-Mamedyarov and Quang Le-Naiditsch.

Vladimir Kramnik (photo by Georgios Souleidis)

Games start daily at 15.00 CET and can be followed live here.

Dortmund Games round 1

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