Dortmund Round 9: Love Shak, But Super Pono

Dortmund Round 9: Love Shak, But Super Pono

| 10 | Chess Event Coverage

The key game in the penultimate round at Dortmund was the clash between leader Ruslan Ponomariov and one of his closest pursuers, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.

Mamedyarov clearly had murder in mind as pulled out the utterly astonishing 5. g4 in a mainline QGD. This ultra-agressive pawn thrust has hardly ever been played in this position before.

An unfazed Ponomariov calmly castled into the attack, collected the sacrificed pawn, and managed to simplify the position with a series of exchanges to secure a draw, thereby keeping the tournament lead.

Kudos to Mamedyarov for great boldness and invention, and to Ponomariov for his precise response.

Cool under pressure: Ponomariov closes in on his first Dortmund title (photo by Georgios Souleidis)


Elsewhere, Vladimir Kramnik gave the Pirc a run out against Naiditsch, but an ambitious sacrifice was met with accurate defence and he went down to his second defeat of the event.

In the last game to finish, Le Quang Liem slipped up against Leko to allow the Hungarian a clear advantage. However, after over 100 tense moves the draw was eventually agreed.

Quang Liem and Leko have a long day at the office (photo by Georgios Souleidis)


The standings with one round remaining:

1  Ponomariov, Ruslan UKR 2734 6
2  Le Quang Liem VIE 2681 5
3  Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar AZE 2761 5
4  Naiditsch, Arkadij GER 2684 4
5  Kramnik, Vladimir RUS 2790 4
6  Leko, Peter HUN 2734 3


The draw for the final round:

 Ruslan Ponomariov   Le Quang Liem 
 Vladimir Kramnik  Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 
 Peter Leko  Arkadij Naiditsch




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