Kramnik beats Carlsen, takes over lead

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0 | Chess Event Coverage
KramnikOne mistake by Carlsen was enough for Kramnik to start a deadly attack on the king of the young Norwegian. In round 8 of Dortmund the Russian won in great style and took over the lead in the standings. Leko and Naiditsch drew their game and Jakovenko ground down Bacrot in 81 moves to score the second Russian point of the day.

The Sparkassen Chess Meeting takes place July 2-12 in Dortmund, Germany. Carlsen, Jakovenko, Kramnik, Leko, Bacrot and Naiditsch play a double round-robin. The rate of play is 40 moves in 100 minutes + 50 minutes for 20 moves + 15 minutes to end the game with 30 seconds increment per move from the start.

Round 8

In what was one of the best rounds of the tournament, Vladimir Kramnik took over the lead by beating Magnus Carlsen in their direct encounter. The Norwegian didn't equalize completely in his QGD since White had a space advantage, a lead in development and several ways to play for an attack.

Kramnik went for an interesting pawn sacrifice which objectively speaking shouldn't have resulted in more than equal play, but over the board it was difficult to defend. Carlsen erred on move 25 after which Kramnik obtained a devastating attack, which he finished off very smoothly.

After the game the former World Champion said: "At first sight Black's position looked very solid but the main problem was the development of his queenside. After pushing my f-pawn a lot of tactics entered the game. I guess my opponent miscalculated a few times. His queen to c7 was a big mistake and then it was easily won.“

By then Leko and Naiditsch had already finished; the Hungarian hadn't really found an improvement for White in the game Gelfand-Aronian, Nalchik 2009 and so Naiditsch could just follow Aronian's play, find a few accurate moves and the draw was in the pocket.

Jakovenko then tried to squeeze something out of almost nothing against Bacrot, for hours and hours, and his persistence eventually paid off. Just when the Frenchman had reached a drawn opposite-coloured bishops ending, no doubt tired after almost seven hours of play he just lacked the extreme accuracy that was needed to hold it.

With two more rounds to go, Kramnik suddenly has excellent chances to win his 9th (!) title in Dortmund. He didn't want to draw conclusions yet: "I'm taking it game after game. My black game against Jakovenko on Saturday will be tough, so who knows if I will end as the winner here."

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