13-Year-Old Keymer Wins Grenke Open Ahead Of 49 GMs
A big crowd in Karlsruhe welcoming the stars. | Photo: Eric van Reem/Grenke Chess Classic.

13-Year-Old Keymer Wins Grenke Open Ahead Of 49 GMs

| 65 | Chess Event Coverage

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave today joined Nikita Vitiugov in the lead at the Grenke Chess Classic in Karlsruhe. The Frenchman beat Hou Yifan with the black pieces. The big news was 13-year-old IM Vincent Keymer of Germany winning the super strong Grenke Open with a 8/9 score.

The last day of chess in Karlsruhe saw MVL reaching plus two, and a shared first place, and Caruana winning his first game (vs Meier) after starting with two draws. During the one and only rest day, tomorrow, everyone will move to Baden-Baden for the remainder. Everyone, except for the more than a thousand amateurs who played in the open tournament that took place over the weekend in the same playing hall, which finished today—see the end of this report.

Round 3 Grenke Chess Classic 2018

The podium included a few boards from the Open as well. | Photo: Georgios Souleidis/Grenke Chess Classic.

Candidates' winner Fabiano Caruana beat Georg Meier with the black pieces from an Exchange Ruy Lopez, about as rare as the French Advance these days. Black never castled and got attacking chances right out of the opening, but his win could have been smoother.

“I prepared this idea, four years ago,” said Caruana about 10...g5 & 11...Rg8, which reminded of Vladimir Kramnik's similar concept vs Levon Aronian at the Candidates'. And like Aronian, Meier's initial reaction was good, but in the long run he couldn't stand the pressure towards his king.

Caruana did find a mating attack eventually, but only after he missed some quicker wins. “This was incredibly careless. I was not happy that I made it so messy.”


Caruana at Grenke 2018Caruana won his first game at Grenke. | Photo: Georgios Souleidis/Grenke Chess Classic.

The other win of the day was scored by Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, who outplayed Hou Yifan with the black pieces from a double-double fianchetto. Her 10.Qc3 looked a bit odd, but Aronian had used the same maneuver (queen goes to e1) to get a promising position against MVL last year at the Leuven Grand Chess Tour.

Vachier-Lagrave improved upon that game obviously, but things remained about equal. If anyone was better it was White, said MVL: "I thought I was out of problems but she turned out to pose more and more."

It was equal when Hou blundered a double attack on move 33, and it was basically over right away.

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave at Grenke 2018

Vachier-Lagrave, in shared first place now. | Photo: Eric van Reem/Grenke Chess Classic.

Matthias Bluebaum vs Magnus Carlsen lasted 60 moves, but was mainly interesting for its opening phase. The German GM played Svetozar Gligoric's 7.Be3 against the King's Indian, which brought back memories of Garry Kasparov to some of the older fans.

But the modern 10.Bf2 was played instead, which Carlsen himself had used six years ago to beat Alexander Grischuk. In today's game, lots of pieces were traded until a QN vs QN ending was reached. Carlsen tried it for long, but it was just too equal and Bluebaum made no errors.

Carlsen vs Bluebaum at Grenke 2018

A solid Bluebaum held Carlsen to a draw today. | Photo: Georgios Souleidis/Grenke Chess Classic.

Both Anand-Aronian and Naiditsch-Vitiugov were not too exciting and can be found in the PGN file.

2018 Grenke Chess Classic | Round 3 Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts SB
1 Vachier-Lagrave,Maxime 2789 2989 ½ 1 1 2.5/3 2
2 Vitiugov,Nikita 2735 2939 ½ 1 1 2.5/3 2
3 Carlsen,Magnus 2843 2811 ½ ½ 1 2.0/3 2
4 Caruana,Fabiano 2784 2827 ½ ½ 1 2.0/3 2
5 Aronian,Levon 2794 2828 1 ½ ½ 2.0/3 1.75
6 Naiditsch,Arkadij 2701 2653 ½ ½ 0 1.0/3 2.5
7 Bluebaum,Matthias 2631 2666 0 ½ ½ 1.0/3 2
8 Anand,Viswanathan 2776 2626 0 ½ ½ 1.0/3 1.25
9 Meier,Georg 2648 2492 0 0 ½ 0.5/3 1
10 Hou,Yifan 2654 2524 0 0 ½ 0.5/3 0.5

The Grenke Chess Classic is a 10-player round robin held in Karlsruhe (rounds 1-3) and Baden-Baden (rounds 4-9), Germany, The time control is 100 minutes for 40 moves, then 50 minutes for 20 moves and then 15 minutes to finish the game, with a 30-second increment from move 1. Draw offers before move 40 are not allowed.

It was another player who dominated the news in Karlsruhe today. The ultra-strong open tournament held in the same playing hall, which had Etienne Bacrot, Richard Rapport, Wang HaoDmitry Andreikin, Rustam Kasimdzhanov, Loek van Wely, Anton Korobov, and Alexei Shirov as the top seeds, was won by 99th(!) seeded IM Vincent Keymer. At only 13 years old, he was the only player to score 8/9. (It also happened to be an 1.5-point overscore of a GM norm.)

Admittedly, this reporter had never heard of Keymer before and from looking at the reactions on Twitter today, I was not the only one. As it turns out, since November last year the young IM is being coached by GM Peter Leko of Hungary, once the world's most promising prodigy himself. (Funnily enough, Keymer finished his tournament with victories against two Hungarian grandmasters.)

Keymer & Leko Grenke 2018

Keymer with his coach Leko. | Photo: Eric van Reem/Grenke Chess Classic.

Keymer was born 15 November 2004 in Mainz, the city that hosted rapid and Chess960 tournaments for many years. The main organizer of these tournaments, Hans-Walter Schmitt, is now Keymer's manager, and the boy is also sponsored by Grenke.

Keymer finished in sole first place after beating GM Richard Rapport in the final round:

Leko was over the moon about the success of his pupil, who finished ahead of more than 50 grandmasters. "I'm unable to think now. I'm just so happy for Vincent [Keymer] and so pleasantly shocked. To make 8/9 in this open is just unbelievable. I think Magnus would be very happy."

With this victory Keymer qualified for next year's Grenke Chess Classic, but he said that his rating might be too modest for now, and he'll decide later.

2018 Grenke Open | Final Standings (Top 20)

# Fed Title Name Rtg Pts Buchh
1 IM Keymer, Vincent 2403 8 52.5
2 GM Korobov, Anton 2664 7.5 56
3 GM Gordievsky, Dmitry 2630 7.5 54.5
4 GM Shirov, Alexei 2651 7.5 52
5 GM Lagarde, Maxime 2587 7 57
6 GM Bindrich, Falko 2602 7 54
7 GM Sadzikowski, Daniel 2583 7 53.5
7 GM Firat, Burak 2453 7 53.5
9 GM Antal, Gergely 2540 7 52.5
9 IM Valsecchi, Alessio 2510 7 52.5
11 GM Andreikin, Dmitry 2712 7 52.5
12 IM Santos Latasa, Jaime 2549 7 52
13 GM Kollars, Dmitrij 2534 7 51.5
13 IM Grinberg, Eyal 2448 7 51.5
15 GM Wang, Hao 2713 7 51
15 GM Heimann, Andreas 2574 7 51
15 GM Malakhatko, Vadim 2536 7 51
18 GM Landa, Konstantin 2613 7 50.5
19 GM Bacrot, Etienne 2718 7 50
20 IM Lampert, Jonas 2532 7 49.5

(Full final standings here.)

Games via TWIC.

Previous reports:

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