Dortmund Round 1 - all square

Dortmund Round 1 - all square

| 8 | Chess Event Coverage

All games drawn in a cagey first round

It is sometimes said that in round-robin tournaments, it is more important not to lose in the first round than it is to actually win.  In a relatively short tournament like Dortmund this is especially true and the players clearly had this maxim in mind today with all games ending in draws as everyone erred on the side of caution.

However, the games were not without interest as the players probed for signs of weakness without taking any big risks. 

Mamedyarov took on Leko's Nimzo-Indian defense and produced what looks like a new idea with 12. Ne2 but he bailed out into a perpetual on move 24.

Kramnik failed to overcome the lowest rated player Gustafsson despite shocking him - and everyone else - by playing the Grunfeld defense.  The unbalanced, hypermodern Grunfeld is about as unlikely an opening for Kramnik's 'Classical' style of play as is possible.  Is Kramnik trying to avoid giving clues about his opening preparation to Anand ahead of their World Championship match?  In any case, the game ended in a drawn rook endgame by move 29.

Ivanchuk (pictured) achieved an opening edge in his game against Van Wely, but allowed the dreaded perpetual check to end the game on move 39. 

The game between Naiditsch and Nepomniachtchi was a sharp Sicilian Najdorf but also succumbed to a repetition on move 30.

Hopefully the players have now settled in and will feel more inclined to push for wins in the future rounds!

The results in round 1:

Gustafsson, Jan - Kramnik, Vladimir ½-½ 29 D85 Gruenfeld Defence
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar - Lékó, Peter ½-½ 24 E25 Nimzo Indian Saemisch
Ivanchuk, Vassily - Van Wely, Loek ½-½ 39 B84 Sicilian Scheveningen
Naiditsch, Arkadij - Nepomniachtchi, Ian ½-½ 30 B90 Sicilian Najdorf Variation





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