Dortmund R3: Mamedyarov joins Ponomariov in first place

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Mamedyarov (c) Georgios SouleidisThe 3th round showed some interesting, some aggressive and some tenacious chess. Shakriyar Mamedyarov beat Le Quang and is now in shared first place.

Report by Daan Zult

Arkadij Naiditsch played an excellent game against tournament leader Ponomariov. In a Berlin Wall, Pono played 15... Kb7, a move intended to improve upon a game between Nisipeanu and Sasikiran in 2006. To the amateur eye it seemed he did, because Pono won a pawn and gave Naiditsch a double f-pawn.

Naiditsch-Ponomariov (photo by Georgios Souleidis)

However, Naiditsch had more than enough compensation up his sleeve because of his active piece play.

Unfortunately for him, the German went for the maneuvre 28.Ng2 followed by 29.Ne3, where he missed the promising continuation 28.Bc1! with the idea 29.Rxf7 and the bishop covers the check on e3.

After 28...Nh7 29.Ne3, Naiditsch still had some pressure, but Ponomariov’s position became very solid. However, Pono chose to open up the position, professionally transposing his slightly cramped position into a rook+bishop vs rook endgame, which he confidently converged into a draw.

Shakh Mamedyarov confronted his young Vietnamese opponent Quang Le with some intimidating 2760 aggression. With 12.Nh4 Mamedyarov unbalanced the position, where he got the bishop pair and some central space for a double h-pawn and a slightly weakened king position. After some subtle moves, Mamedyarov continued his agression and opened the position for his bishops and acquired a strong passed pawn on e6.

Mamedyarov finished the game with the nice move 49.Qf3! luring the a8 rook to the seemingly active square d8, where a few moves later (after 52.e7) it turned out to be misplaced.

Kramnik - Leko seems to be a typical top level draw at first sight. However, on closer inspection, we see that Leko played an excellent game and only faltered on the 40th move. Until than, even though the game was in the realms of Kramnik’s beloved Catalan, Leko acquired the better chances with a long term pawn sacrifice.

Kramnik - Leko (photo by Georgios Souleidis)

The position made Kramnik decide to desperately sacrifice his bishop with 39.Bxf6, hoping for a perpetual check.

Unfortunately for Leko, he unnecessarily let Kramnik have his perpetual after 39...gxf6 40.Qd5, which could have been avoided with 40... Rg4. Instead Leko played 40... Bd3? ruining an excellent chance for victory.

Peter Leko and the tournament stage (photo by Georgios Souleidis)

After three rounds we're already seeing a substantial gap between the number 1 and 2 and 3 to 6 of the standings. Ponomariov and Mamedyarov share first place with 2.5 points while the others have only 1 point. However, with seven more rounds to go, the tournament is far from decided.

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

Dortmund Games round 3

Game viewer by ChessTempo


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