Kramnik beats Nakamura in 4th round Dortmund

0 | Chess Event Coverage
Kramnik beats Nakamura in 4th round DortmundIn Sunday's round Vladimir Kramnik extended his lead to a full point in Dortmund. The Russian grandmaster defeated Hikaru Nakamura with the black pieces, while Ruslan Ponomariov had to be satisfied with a draw against Georg Meier. The game between Anish Giri and Le Quang Liem also ended in a draw.

General info

The 39th Sparkassen Chess Meeting takes place July 21-31, 2011 in the City Theater of Dortmund, Germany. Like Biel, it's a 6-player double round robin event. This year Vladimir Kramnik, Hikaru Nakamura, Ruslan Ponomariov, Anish Giri, Le Quang Liem and Georg Meier play. For the second time Dortmund uses an anti-draw rule: the players are not allowed to offer a draw during the game. The game will be declared a draw when a win for either side is not possible any more, or in case of a three-fold repetition.

Round 4

In his first tournament after Kazan, Vladimir Kramnik is showing good, inspired and versatile chess. We like the comment that was already posted before we published the complete report, by andorsm. Indeed one could say that Kramnik defeated Ponomariov in Alekhine style, Meier with a half-correct Tal-like sacrifice and Nakamura using Capablanca-like technique!

Concentration on stage: Nakamura vs Kramnik

Concentration: Nakamura vs Kramnik

But, again, we should add that Nakamura is really having trouble finding his best form. After a reasonable opening he spent a lot of time on the clock today, probably trying to find a way to play for a win. But eventually the ending that was reached was dead equal and then, basically the American just self-destructed:

Nakamura-Kramnik Dortmund, 2011

25. Rb3 Obviously 25. Be3 Rxc3 (25... Nd5? 26. Rxb7) 26. Bxb6 axb6 27. Rxb6 is a dead draw, but apparently Nakamura was still looking for more. 25... h5 26. Be3 Nd5

27. Bd4?! 27. Bxa7 Rxc3 (27... Nxc3 28. Rxb7 Nxa2 29. Rb8) 28. Rxc3 Nxc3 29. a3 still draws easily. 27... b6! 28. f4 Rc4

29. Kf1?! After this White's position is becoming really passive. 29. Ra3 a5 30. Rb3 a4 31. Rb2 was probably a better chance. 29... Ra4! 30. Rb2 Kh7 and Kramnik won this ending with fine play.

Nakamura: struggling so far in Dortmund

Nakamura: struggling so far in Dortmund

Ruslan Ponomariov fell half a point more behind after drawing with Georg Meier. The Ukrainian was outplaying his opponent in an ending with opposite-coloured bishops and rooks, and won a pawn before the first time control. But that was all he got; Meier simply defended very well and didn't allow his opponent to make any progress. Eventually the German could give his bishop as all white pawns disappeared from the board. A while after, the infamous BR-R ending was reached, but Ponomariov didn't try it for long since Meier had lots of time on the clock to find one of the two theoretical defences.

Ponomariov: second, a point behind Kramnik

Ponomariov: second, a point behind Kramnik

Anish Giri tried the fianchetto variation against Le Quang Liem's Grünfeld, but there was just no way of breaking through. The open c-file sped up the process of exchanges, until only light-squared bishops were left on the board, with a symmetrical pawn structure. Just like in the recent Morozevich-Pelletier game in Biel, it didn't matter for Black that all his pawns got stuck on the colour of the bishops, because there were so many of them! The white king simply didn't have an entry point.

View from above: the city theater in Dortmund

View from above: the city theater in Dortmund

Games round 4

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Dortmund 2011 | Schedule & results
Round 1 21.07.11 15:00 CET Round 6 27.07.11 15:00 CET
Meier ½-½ Le Quang Liem Le Quang Liem - Meier
Kramnik 1-0 Ponomariov Ponomariov - Kramnik
Giri ½-½ Nakamura Nakamura - Giri
Round 2 22.07.11 15:00 CET Round 7 28.07.11 15:00 CET
Le Quang Liem ½-½ Nakamura Nakamura - Le Quang Liem
Ponomariov 1-0 Giri Giri - Ponomariov
Meier 0-1 Kramnik Kramnik - Meier
Round 3 23.07.11 15:00 CET Round 8 29.07.11 15:00 CET
Kramnik ½-½ Le Quang Liem Le Quang Liem - Kramnik
Giri 1-0 Meier Meier - Giri
Nakamura 0-1 Ponomariov Ponomariov - Nakamura
Round 4 24.07.11 15:00 CET Round 9 30.07.11 15:00 CET
Giri ½-½ Le Quang Liem Ponomariov - Le Quang Liem
Nakamura 0-1 Kramnik Nakamura - Meier
Ponomariov ½-½ Meier Giri - Kramnik
Round 5 25.07.11 15:00 CET Round 10 31.07.11 13:00 CET
Le Quang Liem - Ponomariov Le Quang Liem - Giri
Meier - Nakamura Kramnik - Nakamura
Kramnik - Giri Meier - Ponomariov

Dortmund 2011 | Round 4 Standings

Photos © Georgios Souleidis


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