Grenke R5: Carlsen Catches Naiditsch, Anand Stumbles Again

Grenke R5: Carlsen Catches Naiditsch, Anand Stumbles Again

GM Magnus Carlsen defeated GM David Baramidze on Saturday and is now the co-leader at the Grenke Chess Classic together with GM Arkadij Naiditsch.

GM Viswanathan Anand was doing well against GM Levon Aronian but again stumbled as he miscalculated a pawn push in the center. Adams-Bacrot and Naiditsch-Caruana ended in draws.

A draw with Black against Aronian and a white win against Adams was all according to plan. Then things went suddenly terribly wrong in the third round against Naiditsch, but two rounds later GM Magnus Carlsen is back in business.

Where he “needed” his opponent to blunder the other day, this time Carlsen clearly played better in the ending than his opponent. Like in Wijk aan Zee, the World Champion bounced back from a loss with more than one win.

Carlsen vs Baramidze. | Photo Georgios Souleidis.

GM David Baramidze played the opening well; a Breyer Ruy Lopez where the immediate fianchetto of the king's bishop is the new trend, according to Carlsen. Black was still doing OK on move 28, but from that point he started to make mistakes.

Quite a complicated ending that was handled strongly by the world champion! 

Two wins in a row, and back in the lead. | Photo Georgios Souleidis.

Poor GM Vishy Anand gave away a good position yet again. In a Ragozin, the ex-World Champion developed a promising kingside attack. However, in just one move the tables turned completely.

GM Lev Aronian used the same variation in which he had lost to Carlsen as Black in Wijk aan Zee. However, also with the white pieces things didn't really go according to plan.

Aronian-Anand: a Ragozin. | Photo Georgios Souleidis.

23...Nh6 can be called a blunder where 23...hxg3 24.hxg3 Kg7 is good for Black. In the game Aronian grabbed his chance immediately with 24.e4! and then Anand also missed the best chance to equalize. “I think Vishy was taken aback by the abrupt change of position,” said Nigel Short.

Here's the game annotated by GM Dejan Bojkov:

Aronian: Slightly lucky, but also strong calculation. | Photo Georgios Souleidis.
Anand: “taken aback by the abrupt change of position?” | Photo Georgios Souleidis.

Tournament leader GM Arkadij Naiditsch said “it's too early to have a tournament strategy.” Going for the Marshall Ruy Lopez as White is usually a way to play for two results — a solid and logical strategy!

GM Fabiano Caruana, who used to play this before the Berlin became his main weapon, quickly won back the gambit pawn but didn't equalize easily. As Naditisch pointed out after the game, with 37.Bf3 White could have kept an advantage. At first sight it's not so easy to see that White's bishop pair does give him something!

Naditisch: A solid opening, some chances for more, but a draw. | Photo Georgios Souleidis.

In the longest game of the round it's fair to say that GM Mickey Adams escaped with a draw. The English was better after the opening and could have won a pawn on move 25, but at some point he got outplayed by GM Etienne Bacrot.

The French GM, on his turn, missed two excellent chances around move 55, one of them being a forced win. However, that included a counter-intuitive bishop move to h6, after White had already blocked that diagonal with f2-f4. Not easy to see.

A long and tiring game between Adams & Bacrot. | Photo Georgios Souleidis.

2015 Grenke Classic | Round 5 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pts SB
1 Naiditsch,Arkadij 2706 2908 phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 3.5/5 8.00
2 Carlsen,Magnus 2865 2869 0 phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ 1 1 3.5/5 6.25
3 Caruana,Fabiano 2811 2816 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 ½ 3.0/5
4 Adams,Michael 2738 2738 ½ 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 2.5/5 5.50
5 Bacrot,Etienne 2711 2743 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ 2.5/5 5.25
6 Aronian,Levon 2777 2756 ½ 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ 2.5/5 5.00
7 Anand,Viswanathan 2797 2627 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png 1.5/5
8 Baramidze,David 2594 2519 0 0 0 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1.0/5

The playing hall. | Photo Georgios Souleidis.
Commentary by GMs Klaus Bischoff & Sebastian Siebrecht. | Photo Georgios Souleidis.

Here are the pairings for the last two rounds:

Round 6 (8 February)
Anand - Baramidze
Caruana - Carlsen
Bacrot - Naiditsch
Aronian - Adams

Round 7 (9 February)
Adams - Anand
Naiditsch - Aronian
Carlsen - Bacrot
Baramidze - Caruana

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