Kramnik Shows Duda Who's Boss In Dortmund R4
Kramnik defeated Duda in round 4. | Photo: Georgios Souleidis/Official site.

Kramnik Shows Duda Who's Boss In Dortmund R4

| 10 | Chess Event Coverage

On Wednesday, Vladimir Kramnik scored his first win in Dortmund, and it was a big one: The 14th world champion beat the tournament leader, Jan-Krzysztof Duda. The two are now sharing the lead at the Sparkassen Chess Meeting together with Vladislav Kovalev and Ian Nepomniachtchi

To say that our headline of yesterday's news report jinxed it would be too much. Still, Duda lost his very next game after he made such a strong impression in the first three rounds.

In round four, Vladimir Kramnik fought himself back into the race for his 11th title in Dortmund. He got out of the opening with a slight edge, despite being the one with a doubled d-pawn. Jan-Krzysztof Duda lost his own central pawn, but soon got clear compensation.

22...Rc8, however, was a big mistake, where 22...g5! would have provided enough counterplay. As it went, Kramnik could enter the seventh rank. He won another pawn when the rook ending was already winning.

The tournament is now wide open.


Duda Kramnik Dortmund 2018

Kramnik felt he was better out of the opening. "My opponent must have mixed up something," he said. "The position exists with the rook on e8 for Black, but with the rook on f8 it should be even better for White." | Photo: Georgios Souleidis.

Anish Giri recovered quickly from his unnecessary loss to Kovalev in the previous round. The Dutchman inflicted the third consecutive loss upon Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu, who now finds himself in last place with half a point.

Nisipeanu has always been a 1.e4 player who goes for the Open Sicilian, but one of the problems is the Najdorf, especially in the hands of a super-GM. Giri showed why the classical 6.Be2 line lacks punch, and was slightly better by the time the queens left the board. A big miscalculation on move 30 sealed Nisi's fate. 

Giri Nisipeanu  Dortmund 2018

"21...a5 was important, before he blocks that square with his knight," said Giri. | Photo: Georgios Souleidis.

Ian Nepomniachtchi was brave enough to play his 2...Bf5 line against the  theoretician Radek Wojtaszek. The latter must have noticed that the Russian GM had played it five times before this year, including last week in Jerusalem.

Wojtaszek's play made sense, as his pawn center was huge. It's possible that the luxury of choice prevented the Polish GM from finding the most dangerous plan. After 23...f5, the worst was over for Nepomniachtchi.

Nepomniachtchi Wojtaszek Dortmund 2018

Nepomniachtchi wasn't as fast as yesterday, but still had 52 minutes more on the clock than Wojtaszek at the end of the game. | Photo: Georgios Souleidis.

After four rounds, Georg Meier is the only player left who drew all his games; on Wednesday he split the point with Vladislav Kovalev. It was the fourth game between the two, and the fourth time Meier had White. After two classical wins and a draw in a blitz game, this one was drawn as well, in a Catalan. It was probably the least interesting game played so far in Dortmund.

Kovalev Meier Dortmund 2018

Meier said he was somewhat surprised by Kovalev's choice of the main line Catalan, which he hadn't played before. | Photo: Georgios Souleidis.

Dortmund 2018 | Round 4 Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pts SB
1 Kovalev,Vladislav 2655 2814 ½ ½ ½ 1 2.5/4 5.5
2 Kramnik,Vladimir 2792 2782 1 ½ ½ ½ 2.5/4 4.5
3 Nepomniachtchi,Ian 2757 2799 ½ ½ ½ 1 2.5/4 3.5
4 Duda,Jan-Krzysztof 2737 2801 ½ 0 1 1 2.5/4 3.25
5 Meier,Georg 2628 2740 ½ ½ ½ ½ 2.0/4 4.25
6 Giri,Anish 2782 2678 0 ½ ½ 1 2.0/4 2.75
7 Wojtaszek,Radoslaw 2733 2640 ½ ½ 0 ½ 1.5/4
8 Nisipeanu,Liviu-Dieter 2672 2429 ½ 0 0 0 0.5/4

Round-five pairings, Friday, July 20 at 3 p.m. (6 a.m. Pacific, 9 a.m. Eastern): Duda-Meier, Nepomniachtchi-Kramnik, Giri-Wojtaszek and Kovalev-Nisipeanu. You can follow the games in Live Chess.

Games via TWIC.

Earlier posts:

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