Kramnik beats Naiditsch, shares lead with Carlsen

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0 | Chess Event Coverage
KramnikIn a very good fourth round of the Sparkassen Chess Meeting in Dortmund, Kramnik beat Naiditsch with the black pieces. The Russian now shares the lead with Carlsen who drew with Bacrot, the same result as in Jakovenko-Leko.

The Sparkassen Chess Meeting takes place July 2-12 in Dortmund, Germany. Carlsen (2772), Jakovenko (2760), Kramnik (2759), Leko (2756), Bacrot (2721) and Naiditsch (2697) play a double round-robin.

Round 4

On the day that Roger Federer broke Pete Sampras' Grand Slam record, Vladimir Kramnik got rid of a strange statistic of his own: he hadn't won a classical game with Black since fall 2006! The Russian actually managed to win in a Petroff, which already speaks books: it wasn't Arkadij Naiditsch's day.

The German grandmaster, who scored a crushing victory with White against Kramnik last year, this time went for an innocuous line in which Black can comfortably develop his pieces. There wasn't even time for a Nc3-e2-g3 regrouping as Kramnik had already thrown in a textbook bishop sac on h3 which couldn't be accepted. Soon after that White was already dead lost anyway.

Bacrot-Carlsen was not bad either, as one of the most spectacular lines of the already quite spectacular Botvinnik Variation came on the board. If Ivanchuk-Shirov rings a bell, than you know already that we're talking about the famous Qg4-g7 sacrifice. However, then you probably also know that Shirov had refuted the line himself in a later game against Ponomariov. Bacrot went for it anyway and soon found himself fighting for a draw, but this turned out to be not such a difficult task.

Leko played his fourth short draw in a row, this time with the black pieces against Jakovenko, who apparently didn't have much faith in the middlegame position after 22 moves. This is the kind of game we've seen too often already, but luckily there was only one of those this time.

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