Kramnik Beats Topalov In Siberia-SOCAR Clash

Kramnik Beats Topalov In Siberia-SOCAR Clash

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
Oct 23, 2015, 2:13 AM |
28 | Chess Event Coverage

On Thursday Siberia won the top encounter against SOCAR at the European Club Cup in Skopje, with Vladimir Kramnik beating Veselin Topalov on board one.

The two top seeded teams in Skopje faced each other in the fifth round. Both were on eight match points, and so was the local team Alkaloid.

SOCAR, the defending champions, came to the playing hall with Veselin Topalov, Anish Giri, Fabiano Caruana, Michael Adams, Teimour Radjabov and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. That's an impressive lineup, but what about Siberia?

Vladimir Kramnik, Levon Aronian, Alexander Grischuk, Li Chao, Wang Yue and Anton Korobov proved too strong for the Azeris: 3.5-2.5.

Bo. 2 SIBERIA (RUS) Rtg - 1 SOCAR (AZE) Rtg 3½-2½
1/1 GM Kramnik (w) 2777 - GM Topalov (b) 2813 1-0
1/2 GM Aronian (b) 2784 - GM Giri (w) 2798 ½-½
1/3 GM Grischuk (w) 2774 - GM Caruana (b) 2796 1-0
1/4 GM Li, Chao (b) 2750 - GM Adams (w) 2742 0-1
1/5 GM Wang Yue (w) 2724 - GM Radjabov (b) 2738 ½-½
1/6 GM Korobov (b) 2700 - GM Mamedyarov (w) 2736 ½-½

Obviously the game everyone was focusing on was Kramnik-Topalov. Ever since their 2006 World Championship match a game between these players is tense, and the two still don't shake hands with each other after all those years.

Topalov starts the clock while Kramnik and Aronian are checking the table for wires /
stroking the tournament cat / create your own caption in the comments.

This time the psychological warfare started before the game.

In rounds three and four Kramnik had played with an extra lamp attached to his table (the light in the playing hall is indeed not strong enough), something Ian Nepomniachtchi and Peter Svidler didn't object to. However, Topalov wanted to play without the lamp.

Kramnik's reaction, posted by Chess-News, was priceless: “That's okay, I'm even better in blindfold!”

Kramnik leads the way for Siberia: successful with the modest 3.e3.

“I played this a few times in the rapid and blitz championship,” Kramnik said about his modest third move. “Probably my opponent didn't notice these games. It's my new way of playing chess with white: trying to get a game.”

Also in the remainder of his analysis, the ex-world champion avoided any mention of “Veselin” or “Topalov.” Here's the game with light notes and below Kramnik's appearance in Chess.com's live broadcast:

On board two Anish Giri and Levon Aronian played a quick draw, and on five and six SOCAR's two Azerbaijani's Teimour Radjabov and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov split the point with Wang Yue and Anton Korobov respectively.

Michael Adams improved his score to 3.5/4 with an excellent technical win over Li Chao, but it didn't help SOCAR because Siberia's Alexander Grischuk defeated Fabiano Caruana.

Their Berlin Ending reached a similar material imbalance as in the seventh match game of the 2014 Carlsen-Anand match, with a knight and two pawns versus four pawns. With rooks on the board, Anand drew this.

The Berlin World Blitz Champion tore down Caruana's Berlin Wall.

As said, there was one more team that started with four wins: Alkaloid of Macedonia. They lost to the Padova team, Obiettivo Ricarcimento, with five draws and a lucky win for Peter Leko against Vassily Ivanchuk:

“I should have lost this one, and I should have won yesterday!” Leko said to Chess.com. And indeed, it seems that Caissa was being nice to him after the disaster that struck the Hungarian on Wednesday. He lost a middlegame where he was clearly better:

Ups and downs for Obiettivo's top board Peter Leko.

2015 European Club Cup | Round 5 Standings (Top 15)

Rk. SNo Team Games + = - TB1 TB2 TB3
1 2 SIBERIA (RUS) 5 5 0 0 10 126 22
2 6 AVE NOVY BOR (CZE) 5 4 0 1 8 119 23,5
3 1 SOCAR (AZE) 5 4 0 1 8 114 21,5
4 8 SHSM LEGACY SQUARE (RUS) 5 4 0 1 8 113 23
5 3 ALKALOID (MKD) 5 4 0 1 8 109 20,5
6 5 MEDNYI VSADNIK (RUS) 5 4 0 1 8 96 20,5
7 4 OBIETTIVO RISARCIMENTO PADOVA (ITA) 5 4 0 1 8 95 18
8 10 BEER-SHEVA (ISR) 5 4 0 1 8 93 21,5
9 9 ODLAR YURDU (AZE) 5 4 0 1 8 92 20,5
10 18 CHEDDLETON (ENG) 5 3 1 1 7 52 17
11 7 UNIVERZITY-BELORECHENSK (RUS) 5 3 0 2 6 87 21
12 11 SCHACHGESELLSCHAFT ZURICH (SUI) 5 3 0 2 6 81 17
13 14 LSG LEIDEN (NED) 5 3 0 2 6 73 19,5
14 16 RIEHEN (SUI) 5 2 2 1 6 71 17,5
15 24 RISHON LEZION (ISR) 5 3 0 2 6 67 15,5

(Full standings here.)

In the women's section Nona of Georgia is cruising to victory. There's a very good chance that they will leave the championship with 14 match points.

Thursday saw another clash between ex-world champions: Antoaneta Stefanova of the local Gambit Asseko-See club defeated Alexandra Kosteniuk of SHSM Moscow in a game that left theory on move five:

2015 European Club Cup (Women) | Round 5 Standings

Rk. SNo Team Games + = - TB1 TB2 TB3
1 1 NONA (GEO) 5 5 0 0 10 78,5 16
2 3 GAMBIT ASSEKO SEE (MKD) 5 4 0 1 8 55 15,5
3 4 UGRA (RUS) 5 3 1 1 7 43 12,5
4 8 BOSSA NOVA (BLR) 5 3 0 2 6 28,5 10,5
5 2 SHSM LEGACY SQUARE (RUS) 5 2 1 2 5 58 10,5
6 7 ASD CIRCOLO SCACCHI R.FISCHER CHIETI (IT 5 2 1 2 5 29 10
7 6 DE STUKKENJAGERS (NED) 5 2 0 3 4 37 8,5
8 10 RISHON LEZION (ISR) 5 2 0 3 4 25 8,5
9 5 SPB (RUS) 5 2 0 3 4 23,5 8,5
10 9 MIDLAND MONARCHS (ENG) 5 1 1 3 3 23,5 7,5
11 11 OSLO SCHAKSELSKAP (NOR) 5 1 1 3 3 9,5 5
12 12 HERZLIYA CHESS CLUB (ISR) 5 0 1 4 1 21 7

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