Meier Misses Opportunity vs Carlsen In Grenke
In mutual time trouble, Meier missed a brilliant win. | Photo: Eric van Reem/Grenke Chess Classic.

Meier Misses Opportunity vs Carlsen In Grenke

It is a rare and special thing to be able to defeat the world champion in classical chess. Players who do so belong to an elite group, termed the "Chigorin Club." For a player outside the world's top 50 to have such a chance is doubly rare.

GM Georg Meier could have etched his name in this pantheon today with a beautiful combination beginning 39.Rh1 Qe7 40.Rxh7+! In mutual time trouble both players understandably missed the critical 41...Kg6 42.Rh6+!! mating the hapless Black monarch.

Georg Meier, Grenke Chess

GM Georg Meier was non-chalant about the missed chance. | Photo: Eric van Reem/Grenke Chess Classic.

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Levon Aronian had just reached a sharp and dynamic middlegame in a Ruy Lopez when Aronian played 18...c5, missing 19.Nxe6! from Vachier-Lagrave. Unfortunately for the ambitions of the French number-one, Aronian found the correct rejoinder, 21...Rxf3! and the game soon resolved to a fairly drawn endgame.

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Levon Aronian, Grenke Chess

Two creative sportsmen sit down to another duel. | Photo: Georgios Souleidis/Grenke Chess Classic.

Arkadij Naiditsch must have been rubbing his hands together with glee when he played 23.Rxg7! against Matthias Bluebaum. The quiet 24.0-0-0! which followed left Bluebaum facing a wide array of threats.

Unfortunately, the drawing margin is wide in chess, and after strong attacking play by Naiditsch and good defense by Bluebaum, the position resolved to an endgame in which Naiditch obtained an advantage with the bishop pair and three pawns compensating for an exchange deficit.

Both optically and objectively the position was strong for Naiditsch, but it was difficult to keep Bluebaum's rook under wraps. Once it became active, a draw became quite likely and was eventually agreed on move 65.

Arkadij Naiditsch, Matthias Bluebaum, Grenke Chess

Arkadij Naiditsch must feel he missed a win today, but it's not easy to identify a concrete winning line. | Photo: Georgios Souleidis/Grenke Chess Classic.

The remaining two games between Hou Yifan and Nikita Vitiugov and Viswanathan Anand and Fabiano Caruana were also drawn after Vitiugov neutralized Hou Yifan's slight positional pressure and Anand and Caruana's complicated fireworks resolved in many exchanges.

2018 Grenke Chess Classic | Round 5 Standings

Place Player Elo FED Score 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2789 3.5 . . ½ ½ 1 . ½ 1 .
2 Caruana, Fabiano 2784 3.5 . . ½ . ½ ½ 1 . 1
3 Vitiugov, Nikita 2735 3.5 . . . . ½ 1 ½ ½ 1
4 Carlsen, Magnus 2843 3.0 ½ ½ . . . ½ . 1 ½
5 Aronian, Levon 2794 3.0 ½ . . . ½ . 1 ½ ½
6 Anand, Viswanathan 2776 2.0 0 ½ ½ . ½ . . ½ .
7 Bluebaum, Matthias 2631 2.0 . ½ 0 ½ . . ½ . ½
8 Naiditsch, Arkadij 2701 1.5 ½ 0 ½ . 0 . ½ . .
9 Hou Yifan 2654 1.5 0 . ½ 0 ½ ½ . . .
10 Meier Georg 2648 1.5 . 0 0 ½ ½ . ½ . .

The Grenke Chess Classic is a 10-player round robin held in Karlsruhe (rounds 1-3) and Baden-Baden (rounds 4-9), Germany, The time control is 100 minutes for 40 moves, then 50 minutes for 20 moves and then 15 minutes to finish the game, with a 30-second increment from move 1. Draw offers before move 40 are not allowed.


Previous report:

More from NM SamCopeland
Iranians Darini, Hejazipour Win IoM Trips In Titled Tuesday

Iranians Darini, Hejazipour Win IoM Trips In Titled Tuesday

Petrosian Wins Titled Tuesday Ahead Of Giri, Caruana

Petrosian Wins Titled Tuesday Ahead Of Giri, Caruana