Kramnik beats Ponomariov in first round Dortmund

0 | Chess Event Coverage
Kramnik beats Ponomariov in first round DortmundNine-times winner Vladimir Kramnik defeated last year's winner Ruslan Ponomariov in the first round of the Sparkassen Chess Festival in Dortmund, Germany. The other games, Meier-Le Quang Liem and Giri-Nakamura, ended in draws.

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.

The grandmasters in Dortmund

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.

Traditionally the drawing of lots for the Dortmund tournament takes place months in advance. It was done on April 7th, and so the players could already start preparing concretely. And then, on July 21st, the tournament finally started.

In the first round, nine times winner Vladimir Kramnik defeated last year's winner Ruslan Ponomariov in an excellent game. It started with the King's Indian Defence. "I didn't expect this. We got a very complicated position with numerous possibilities for both sides. Perhaps my opponent could have held the balance in the end, but it was very difficult," said the Russian.

Vladimir Kramnik in Dortmund

Local hero Georg Meier and Le Quang Liem drew their game already after about an hour playing. In a Grünfeld (Moscow Variation) the German grandmaster thought he could surprise his opponent with a new move. The Vietnamese had done his homework and managed to equalized comfortably. The resulting rook ending didn't give any winning chances.

The stage in the Dortmund Theater

Anish Giri and Hikaru Nakamura, both playing in Dortmund for the first time, started with a draw in a Queen's Gambit Declined. The young Dutchman managed to get some play on the queenside without allowing too much counterplay on the other side of the board. After the time control it seemed that he started to get the upper hand, but with some precise moves the American found a way to finish the game with perpetual check.

Games round 1

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 - Nakamura Nakamura - Le Quang Liem
Ponomariov - Giri Giri - Ponomariov
Meier - Kramnik Kramnik - Meier
Round 3 23.07.11 15:00 CET Round 8 29.07.11 15:00 CET
Kramnik - Le Quang Liem Le Quang Liem - Kramnik
Giri - Meier Meier - Giri
Nakamura - Ponomariov Ponomariov - Nakamura
Round 4 24.07.11 15:00 CET Round 9 30.07.11 15:00 CET
Giri - Le Quang Liem Ponomariov - Le Quang Liem
Nakamura - Kramnik Nakamura - Meier
Ponomariov - 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 1 Standings

Photos © Georgios Souleidis


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