Nisipeanu Still Tops Dortmund After Wild 3rd Round

Nisipeanu Still Tops Dortmund After Wild 3rd Round

| 12 | Chess Event Coverage

The Sparkassen Chess Meeting is just three rounds old but has seen many great games already. After another spectacular round, GM Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu still leads.

Photo courtesy of Sparkassen Chess.

What a tournament has this turned into! The players in Dortmund are doing everything to get the fans hooked up.

Leader Nisipeanu can be happy with a draw against Hou, Caruana was on the verge of losing against Meier, So suffered another defeat vs Naiditsch and Kramnik let his knights dance against Nepomniachtchi. Need we say more?

Let's start with GM Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu, who enjoyed the luxury of a full-point lead during the first rest day. He continued energetically in his game with GM Hou Yifan, playing a typical Queen's Indian central pawn sacrifice.

He won the pawn back, but meanwhile the Hou could activate her pieces. If she had simply grabbed the b2-pawn on move 21, Nisipeanu would have had a tough afternoon. As it went, his attack quickly forced a perpetual.

Nisipeanu, after the game: “Somewhere I went wrong and then I was under pressure. I was trying to find for counterplay, and pressed for time my opponent then chose the safe option.”

Hou Yifan: “It was an interesting game, in which I always played under the pressure of the clock. I was trying to keep my king safe.”


An entertaining draw in Nisipeanu vs Hou. | Photo Dagobert Kohlmeyer.

GM Arkadij Naiditsch recently dropped below 2700, but he seems on his way back to where he belongs: being listed in the live ratings! After beating second seed Kramnik in the first round, he beat third seed GM Wesley So as well today.

White's opening wasn't very ambitious. In a queen's pawn position, So developed his pieces and then swapped pawns to play against hanging pawns.

Naiditsch's pieces were well placed, and after what seemed to be a pawn sacrifice, he could centralize his pieces beautifully while that pawn couldn't really be taken. Only a few moves later, So's position was beyond repair.

“My opponent played very fast and certainly underestimated the pawn push 18...d4,” said Naiditsch. “Then my position was good, and after some more inaccuracies by Wesley I could attack his king with all my pieces. There were many ways to win.”


Another loss for the U.S. grandmaster, another win
for the German GM. | Photo Dagobert Kohlmeyer.

The third round was on its way to become a very good one for the local players. While Nisipeanu had the initiative and Naiditsch was doing great too, GM Georg Meier had a big advantage against GM Fabiano Caruana.

The top seed had played a provocative setup; some hybrid between a Modern (...g6) and a Hippopotamus (knights on d7 and e7). With 7.h4 and 8.g4 Meier was saying “not impressed!” and rightly so. White was clearly better out of the opening, and around move 30 it must have been winning, though it was always really, really complicated.

Just before the time control Meier let it slip away. Caruana's queen suddenly entered his position and created serious counterplay. Objectively speaking it was still equal after move 40, but more mistakes followed.

Annotations by GM Dejan Bojkov


 Meier will have a hard time sleeping tonight.| Photo Dagobert Kohlmeyer.

After the game Caruana tweeted about his new cooperation with IM Lawrence Trent, who is officially his manager since the start of Dortmund.

Last, but certainly not least, the battle between the Russians: GM Vladimir Kramnik, who turned 40 five days ago, vs 24-year-old GM Ian Nepomniachtchi. Another wonderful game!

At first Kramnik seemed to be cruising to a quick win in typical style: he had prepared a pawn sacrifice in a Catalan, won it back and then another one to reach a much better ending. But somehow he failed to deliver the knockout, and slowly but surely Nepomniachtchi managed to equalize.

Well, almost. A new phase of the game started, where Kramnik skillfully used his pieces to create threats against his opponent's king. Especially those two knights made a wonderful little dance! 


Event manager Gerd Kolbe making the first move. | Photo Dagobert Kohlmeyer. 

Dortmund 2015 | Schedule & Results

Round 1  15:00 CET 27.06.15   Round 2  15:00 CET 28.06.15
Nepomniachtchi ½-½ Caruana   Caruana 0-1 So
Meier ½-½ Hou   Naiditsch 0-1 Nisipeanu
Kramnik 0-1 Naiditsch   Hou 0-1 Kramnik
Nisipeanu 1-0 So   Nepomniachtchi ½-½ Meier
Round 3  15:00 CET 30.06.15   Round 4  15:00 CET 01.07.15
Meier 0-1 Caruana   Caruana - Naiditsch
Kramnik 1-0 Nepomniachtchi   Hou - So
Nisipeanu ½-½ Hou   Nepomniachtchi - Nisipeanu
So 0-1 Naiditsch   Meier - Kramnik
Round 5  15:00 CET 03.07.15   Round 6  15:00 CET 04.07.15
Kramnik - Caruana   Caruana - Hou
Nisipeanu - Meier   Nepomniachtchi - Naiditsch
So - Nepomniachtchi   Meier - So
Naiditsch - Hou   Kramnik - Nisipeanu
Round 7  13:00 CET 05.07.15        
Nisipeanu - Caruana        
So - Kramnik        
Naiditsch - Meier        
Hou - Nepomniachtchi        


Dortmund 2015 | Round 3 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pts SB
1 Nisipeanu,LD 2654 3004 phpfCo1l0.png 1     ½ 1     2.5/3  
2 Naiditsch,A 2722 2858 0 phpfCo1l0.png 1     1     2.0/3 3.00
3 Kramnik,V 2783 2826   0 phpfCo1l0.png   1   1   2.0/3 2.00
4 Caruana,F 2805 2718       phpfCo1l0.png   0 ½ 1 1.5/3  
5 Hou Yifan 2676 2577 ½   0   phpfCo1l0.png     ½ 1.0/3 1.75
6 So,W 2778 2607 0 0   1   phpfCo1l0.png     1.0/3 1.50
7 Nepomniachtchi,I 2720 2627     0 ½     phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1.0/3 1.25
8 Meier,Geo 2654 2614       0 ½   ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1.0/3 1.00


The 43rd Sparkassen Chess Meeting takes place June 27-July 5 in the NRW Orchestra Center in central Dortmund. It is a single round robin with eight players. | Thanks to Dagobert Kohlmeyer | Games via TWIC  phpfCo1l0.png

Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

Between 2007 and 2013 Peter was running ChessVibes, a major source for chess news and videos acquired by in October 2013.

As our Director News & Events, Peter writes many of our news reports. In the summer of 2022, The Guardian’s Leonard Barden described him as “widely regarded as the world’s best chess journalist.”

In October, Peter's first book The Chess Revolution will be published!

Company Contact and News Accreditation: 

Phone: 1 (800) 318-2827
Address: PO Box 60400 Palo Alto, CA 94306

More from PeterDoggers
Arjun Erigaisi Briefly World #5 As Menorca Open Winner

Arjun Erigaisi Briefly World #5 As Menorca Open Winner

Isa Kasimi (Igors Rausis) 1961-2024

Isa Kasimi (Igors Rausis) 1961-2024