Dortmund Round 9

Dortmund Round 9

| 5 | Chess Event Coverage

Dmitry Jakovenko (pictured) is perhaps a less familar name to western chess fans than his peers, but the 26 year old recently surpassed all his compatriots to become the top ranked Russian in the world, at #5 on the rating list.

So when Jakovenko clashed with Vladimir Kramnik, rated just one place below him at #6, there was even more at stake than possible victory in the tournament.

Jakovenko fought hard against Kramnik's Petroff defence, bravely sacrificing the exchange, first temporarily, and then permanently.  Kramnik held his nerve to rebuff all the threats to his king, eventually advancing his queenside pawns to launch a counterattack.

By this point Jakovenko was in time-trouble, and both players missed 33...Rd7! which exploits white's weak back rank to win.  Despite this, Kramnik still had some winning chances, but took the pragmatic decision to exchange queens to ensure a draw, leaving him as sole leader with just one round to go.

A breathtaking struggle!  Jakovenko v Kramnik in the battle of the Russians (pic from official site).

Magnus Carlsen needed a win against Naiditsch to recover from his loss to Kramnik in round 8, but despite some enterprising play in the super-sharp Sveshnikov, the draw was a fair result.

Bacrot and Leko decided to give themselves another rest day, with a 17-move non-game.

The standings with one round to go:

Kramnik, Vladimir   RUS   2759   
Carlsen, Magnus  NOR  2772 5
Leko, Peter  HUN  2756 5
Jakovenko, Dmitry  RUS  2760 5
Bacrot, Etienne  FRA  2721  
Naiditsch, Arkadij  GER  2697 3

The draw for the last round is below.  Games start at the earlier time of 13.00 local time (CET).

Kramnik, Vladimir - Naiditsch, Arkadij
Carlsen, Magnus - Bacrot, Etienne
Leko, Peter - Jakovenko, Dmitry

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