On the Bundesliga, Vishy Anand, Mickey Adams and... Mario Basler

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After two more victories this weekend (one with the smallest possible margin against their big rival Werder Bremen) the team from Baden-Baden is very close to winning yet another Bundesliga title. Eric van Reem was in Bremen this weekend and reports about the two matches played by OSG Baden Baden on Saturday and Sunday.

Luke McShane, Vishy Anand and Anish Giri chatting, and playing, in the Bundesliga, in the Weser Stadium in Bremen, Germany

Close match decided by Michael Adams - OSG Baden Baden wins 4.5-3.5

Photos & report by Eric van Reem

It was the match chess lovers had hoped for: the clinch between the titans of the Bundesliga OSG Baden Baden and Werder Bremen was a nail-biting match in which 16 top grandmasters battled it out. In the end only one game was decided: Michael Adams won his game against Laurent Fressinet, the other seven games were drawn: 4,5-3,5. With this win, OSG Baden Baden will almost certainly defend its title.

In the 12th round of the German Bundesliga, the number one OSG Baden Baden with 20 points, met its biggest rival Werder Bremen (19) in the beautiful business lounge of the Weser Stadium, where normally the local football club with the same name meets his opponents.

The interior of the Weser Stadium | Photo by Henning Ihmels under the GNU Free Documentation License

One of the most famous goals ever scored in the stadium is the following:

In the lounge of the stadium, a text is dedicated to this goal, placed on one of the 'corners':

"When you do it really super, you can score directly with a corner kick. This is what Mario Basler did with his goal against Freiburg, which eventually resulted in a 5-1 home victory here in the Weser Stadium on 10 March 1995."

Since the football club had an away game against German Champ Borussia Dortmund on the same day (which they lost 1-0), the lounge was filled with top grandmasters today.

The defending champion from Baden Baden shocked the home team when World Champion Vishy Anand walked in, together with his manager Hans-Walter Schmitt and some of the other players. It was the first appearance of the World Champion in the Bundesliga since February 2010.

Anand, who is preparing for the world championship match against Boris Gelfand, which starts on 10 May, must have been surprised that he met Pavel Eljanov on the other side of the board, because it was the first Bundesliga game of the season for the Ukranian grandmaster as well.

World Champion Vishy Anand facing Pavel Eljanov on board 1

But we should not forget that some other formidable grandmasters showed up today: Shirov, Svidler, Nielsen, Adams, Naiditsch, Kasimdzhanov and Bacrot for Baden Baden; Efimenko, Fressinet, McShane, Roiz, Nyback, Hammer and Areshenko for Werder. And let’s not forget that in the same lounge another match was played between Emsdetten and Trier. Emsdetten played with five Dutch players, Anish Giri representing his team on board one.

Bremen and Baden Baden played some tight matches in the recent past, as you can see in the table below:

2010/2011 Baden-Baden – Werder Bremen 5-3
2009/2010 Baden-Baden – Werder Bremen 3-5
2008/2009 Baden-Baden – Werder Bremen 4-4
2007/2008 Baden-Baden – Werder Bremen 4.5-3.5
2006/2007 Baden-Baden – Werder Bremen 6-2
2005/2006 Baden-Baden – Werder Bremen 4-4
2004/2005 Baden-Baden – Werder Bremen 4.5-3.5

Unfortunately, this match could have been the last one on this level. In a press statement, published only shortly before the match against Baden Baden, the Werder Bremen officials describe a radical change of strategy. You can read the statement here (in German).

In short: Werder Bremen wants to focus on the youth in the future and the club wants to give young talents the chance to play in the Bundesliga team. They want to have a good and stable mixture of professional players and amateurs. Winning the Bundesliga will not be the top priority anymore.

Back to the match: what happened on board one between Anand and Eljanov? It did not take long until the game attracted many spectators in the playing hall due to the unusual position on the board. A pretty sharp game unfolded in which Anand seemed to have the upper hand, but Eljanov defended very well and even got a better position.

[Event "Schachbundesliga 2011/2012"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2012.03.17"]
[Round "12.1"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Eljanov, Pavel"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2817"]
[BlackElo "2683"]
[Annotator "ChessVibes"]
[PlyCount "94"]
[EventDate "2012.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:24:00"]
[BlackClock "1:07:00"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. a4 e6 6. e4 Bb4 7. e5 Nd5 8. Bd2 b5
9. axb5 Bxc3 10. bxc3 cxb5 11. Ng5 h6 ({Anand might have been inspired by the
following (rapid) game:} 11... Nc6 12. Qh5 Qe7 13. h4 b4 14. Bxc4 bxc3 15. Bc1
Ncb4 16. O-O a5 17. Ba3 Rb8 18. Bxd5 exd5 19. e6 g6 20. exf7+ Qxf7 21. Rfe1+ {
1-0 Morozevich,A (2763)-Khairullin,I (2638)/Jurmala 2012}) 12. Qh5 g6 13. Qh3
f5 $6 $146 {An unsuccessful novelty - Eljanov couldn't remember his
preparation.} (13... Kf8 14. Ne4 Kg7 15. g4 Bb7 16. Bg2 Nd7 17.
O-O a5 18. Nd6 Bc6 19. f4 f5 20. gxf5 gxf5 21. Rf3 Nf8 22. Rg3+ Ng6 23. Bxd5
exd5 24. Rxg6+ Kxg6 25. Qxf5+ {1-0 (25) Andreev,K (2330)-Karasik,M/St
Petersburg 1997}) 14. exf6 e5 15. f7+ ({Strong would have been}
15. g4 $1 Qxf6 ({or} 15... Nxf6 16. Bg2 $1 Bxg4 17. Qe3) 16. Ne4 Qe7 17. dxe5
Qxe5 18. Bg2 {followed by castling kingside.}) 15... Kf8 16. Ne6+ Ke7 17. Nxd8
Bxh3 18. gxh3 Rxd8 19. dxe5 Kxf7 20. Bg2 Nc6 21. O-O Nxe5 22. f4 Nd3 23. f5
gxf5 24. Rxf5+ Ke6 25. Rh5 a5 26. Rxh6+ Ke5 27. Be1 N5f4 28. Bg3 Kf5 29. Rf1
Kg5 30. Rb6 Rab8 31. Ra6 Rf8 32. h4+ Kg4 33. Bf3+ Kh3 34. Bd1 $2 (34. Rxa5)
34... Rg8 35. Rf3 Rbd8 {Now it's White who has to be careful.} 36. Kf1 Ne5 37.
Rxf4 Rxd1+ 38. Ke2 Rgd8 39. Rxa5 R1d2+ 40. Ke3 Ng4+ 41. Ke4 Re8+ (41... b4 $1
42. cxb4 c3 {would have been very difficult to defend for White.}) 42. Kf5 Ne3+
43. Kg6 Nd5 44. Rxb5 Nxf4+ 45. Bxf4 Rd3 46. h5 Rxc3 47. h6 Rb3 1/2-1/2

After the game, Anand commented:

It was a very complicated game. I thought I had an advantage and I had some ideas, but it was hard to play, because his knights controlled many important squares. I was very unhappy with 34.Bd1? and I think black had some chances after that. After the time control I was safe again.

 

Video by Georgios Souleidis: Vishy Anand

Eljanov confirmed that it was a very complicated game and he was happy with the draw:

I completely forgot my preparation after 12.Qh5, so I was happy to get back into the game at all. I might have had some chances, but in the end I was happy with the result.

Video by Georgios Souleidis: Pavel Eljanov

Pavel Eljanov and Vishy Anand after the game, with Peter Svidler

Another key game in the match was the crazy game on board seven, between Peter Heine Nielsen (Denmark) and Tomi Nyback (Finland. ) The Danish Grandmaster bashed out his moves quickly: after 28 moves Nielsen still had 1 hour and 30 minutes left, Nyback only seven. However, after 28…Be8, Nielsen went into “deep thinking mode” for more than an hour and uncorked 29.g5. Peter Svidler, who had just finished his game against Efimenko (draw) was “worried” about white’s position. He was right, because Nielsen blundered with 30. Bd5??. However, Nyback missed 30…Rc1! and offered a draw just a few moves later. A narrow escape for Baden Baden!

[Event "Schachbundesliga 2011/2012"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2012.03.17"]
[Round "12.7"]
[White "Nielsen, Peter Heine"]
[Black "Nyback, Tomi"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2687"]
[BlackElo "2627"]
[Annotator "ChessVibes"]
[PlyCount "80"]
[EventDate "2012.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:51:00"]
[BlackClock "0:02:23"]

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. d4 Bg7 4. Nc3 d5 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 c5 7. dxc5 Qa5 8. Rc1
dxc4 9. Bxc4 Qxc5 10. Bb3 Nc6 11. O-O Qa5 12. h3 Bf5 13. Qe2 Ne4 14. Nd5 e5 15.
Bg5 Nxg5 16. Nxg5 Qd8 17. h4 h6 18. g4 Bd7 19. Ne4 Qxh4 20. f3 Kh8 21. Rf2 f5
22. Rh2 Qd8 23. Rxh6+ Bxh6 24. Qh2 Kg7 25. Rxc6 fxe4 $146 (25... Bxc6 26. Qxe5+
Kh7 27. Ndf6+ Rxf6 28. Nxf6+ Kh8 29. Ng8+ Kh7 30. Nf6+ Kh8 31. Ng8+ {1/2-1/2
(31) Cmilyte,V (2503)-Lahno,K (2557)/Tbilisi 2012}) 26. Qxe5+ Kh7 27. Nf6+ Rxf6
28. Rxf6 Be8 29. g5 Rc8 30. Bd5 $4 Bxg5 $2 (30... Rc1+ $1 31. Kg2 (31. Kh2 Bg7)
31... Qc8 $1 $19) 31. Qxg5 Kg7 32. Rf5 exf3 33. Qg3 Qe7 34. Rxf3 Rc1+ 35. Rf1
Rxf1+ 36. Kxf1 Qf6+ 37. Kg1 Qxb2 38. Qc7+ Kh6 39. Qf4+ Kg7 40. Qc7+ Kh6 1/2-1/2

Video by Georgios Souleidis: Peter Heine Nielsen

Peter Heine Nielsen vs. Tomi Nyback

In the only decisive game, Michael Adams had a microscopic advantage after a Ruy Lopez against Laurent Fressinet. In his typical boa constrictor style, Adams gradually improved his position and eventually won the game after 66 moves and 6,5 hours of play, securing his team a 4.5-3.5 win.

[Event "Schachbundesliga 2011/2012"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2012.03.17"]
[Round "12.3"]
[White "Adams, Michael"]
[Black "Fressinet, Laurent"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2733"]
[BlackElo "2696"]
[PlyCount "131"]
[EventDate "2012.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:10:17"]
[BlackClock "0:09:10"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. Bxc6 dxc6 6. Nbd2 Bg4 7. h3 Bxf3 8.
Qxf3 Nd7 9. Qg3 Qf6 10. Nc4 O-O 11. O-O Rfe8 12. a4 Nf8 13. Bg5 Qe6 14. Bd2 Ng6
15. b4 Bf8 16. Qg4 b6 17. g3 f6 18. Bc3 Bd6 19. Ne3 Kh8 20. Kg2 a6 21. Qf3 Ne7
22. h4 b5 23. Rfb1 Qd7 24. h5 h6 25. Qg4 Qxg4 26. Nxg4 Nc8 27. Bd2 Nb6 28. a5
Nd7 29. c4 c5 30. cxb5 axb5 31. bxc5 Nxc5 32. Rxb5 Nxd3 33. Ra4 Ra6 34. Rc4 c5
35. Ne3 Rea8 36. Rc3 Nb4 37. Nc4 Be7 38. Rb3 Nc6 39. Rb6 Nb4 40. Kf3 R6a7 41.
Be3 Kg8 42. Rb2 Rc7 43. Kg4 Kf7 44. Rb1 Nc6 45. R1b5 Nd4 46. Rb1 Nc6 47. R6b5
Nd4 48. Rb7 Rxb7 49. Rxb7 Ke6 50. Bd2 Ra6 51. Bc3 Bf8 52. f4 exf4 53. gxf4 f5+
54. exf5+ Kd5 55. Ne5 Ne2 56. Be1 Bd6 57. Rxg7 Nxf4 58. Nf7 Nd3 59. Nxd6 Nxe1
60. Ne8 Rxa5 61. Rd7+ Kc6 62. Rd6+ Kb5 63. f6 Ra7 64. Re6 Nd3 65. f7 Ra4+ 66.
Kg3 1-0

Mickey Adams and Laurent Fressinet jus after their game finished

The other match in Bremen between Emsdetten and Trier ended 4.5-3.5.

OSG Baden-Baden vs Turm Emsdetten

Baden Baden against The Netherlands? Turm Emsdetten played with no less than five players from the neighboring country in Bremen and faced the strong team from Baden Baden on Sunday. Emsdetten scored an important win on Saturday against Trier, but now they faced Baden-Baden, the team that played with the same line-up as on Saturday.

Turm Emsdetten played with Giri, Mchedlishvili, Spoelman, Ipatov, Swiercz, Brandenburg, Janssen and Pruijssers

Vishy Anand played on board one against Anish Giri, the only 2700+ player in the Emsdetten squad. After 22 moves Giri offered a draw, which was accepted by the World Champion.

[Event "Schachbundesliga 2011-12"]
[Site "Bremen GER"]
[Date "2012.03.18"]
[Round "13.1"]
[White "Giri, Anish"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E15"]
[WhiteElo "2722"]
[BlackElo "2817"]
[PlyCount "43"]
[EventDate "2011.10.14"]
[WhiteTeam "SK Turm Emsdetten"]
[BlackTeam "OSG Baden-Baden"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Ba6 5. b3 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 Be7 7. Bg2 c6 8. O-O
d5 9. Qc2 Nbd7 10. a4 O-O 11. Rd1 Bd6 12. Be1 Qe7 13. Nbd2 Rfc8 14. e4 Bb4 15.
e5 Ne8 16. Nf1 Bxe1 17. Rxe1 Bb7 18. cxd5 cxd5 19. Qd2 a5 20. Ne3 Nb8 21. Bf1
Ba6 22. Rec1 1/2-1/2

Giri will play the European Individual Chess Championship in Plovdiv, which starts on Monday 19 March. In Bulgaria, he will meet some of the players that played in Bremen this weekend:  Bacrot, Naiditsch, Efinemko, Fressinet, Roiz and Nyback to name just a few.

Although Baden Baden played with no less than six 2700+ players against Emsdetten, they had to work hard for their win. Dariusz Swiercz had the upper hand against Etienne Bacrot after the opening. The Frenchman used a lot of time and was down to 1 minute after only 19 moves. However, Bacrot somehow managed to keep his position and the game eventually ended in draw. Swiercz told us after the game that 16. fxe5! instead of 16.Qc6?! would have been much better and possibly winning.

[Event "Schachbundesliga 2011-12"]
[Site "Bremen GER"]
[Date "2012.03.18"]
[Round "13.5"]
[White "Swiercz, Dariusz"]
[Black "Bacrot, Etienne"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B06"]
[WhiteElo "2585"]
[BlackElo "2705"]
[PlyCount "67"]
[EventDate "2011.10.14"]
[WhiteTeam "SK Turm Emsdetten"]
[BlackTeam "OSG Baden-Baden"]

1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nc3 d6 4. Bg5 a6 5. f4 b5 6. Nf3 Bb7 7. Bd3 Nd7 8. e5 c5
9. Be4 Bxe4 10. Nxe4 Qa5+ 11. c3 cxd4 12. Qxd4 dxe5 13. Qd5 Rd8 14. O-O-O Ngf6
15. Bxf6 Bxf6 16. Qc6 b4 17. fxe5 Bxe5 18. Nxe5 Qxe5 19. Nd6+ exd6 20. Rhe1 O-O
21. Rxe5 Nxe5 22. Qxa6 bxc3 23. bxc3 Rc8 24. Qxd6 Rxc3+ 25. Kb1 Re3 26. Qc7 Kg7
27. a4 Ra8 28. a5 Rb3+ 29. Kc2 Rb5 30. Ra1 Ra6 31. Kd1 Rd5+ 32. Ke1 Nc6 33. Qb7
Re5+ 34. Kf2 1/2-1/2

Dariusz Swietcz vs. Etienne Bacrot

Adams (again!) and Nielsen won their games with the black pieces. Kasimdzahnov had an edge against Pruijssers and could have finished the game elegantly with 34. Qxe7! Qxe7 35.a7, but he played 34. Qxa7 instead and had to fight a few hours more to secure the win in a complicated endgame.

[Event "Schachbundesliga 2011-12"]
[Site "Bremen GER"]
[Date "2012.03.18"]
[Round "13.8"]
[White "Kasimdzhanov, Rustam"]
[Black "Pruijssers, Roeland"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A80"]
[WhiteElo "2678"]
[BlackElo "2475"]
[PlyCount "117"]
[EventDate "2011.10.14"]
[WhiteTeam "OSG Baden-Baden"]
[BlackTeam "SK Turm Emsdetten"]

1. d4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. O-O O-O 6. c4 d6 7. Nc3 Qe8 8. b3
Na6 9. Ba3 c6 10. Qd3 Rb8 11. e4 fxe4 12. Nxe4 Nxe4 13. Qxe4 Bf5 14. Qe3 Qd7
15. Rfe1 Rbe8 16. Rac1 Nc7 17. Bb2 Bg4 18. Ng5 h6 19. Ne4 g5 20. Bc3 Rf7 21. d5
Bxc3 22. dxc6 bxc6 23. Rxc3 Ne6 24. b4 a5 25. bxa5 c5 26. h3 Bf5 27. g4 Bxe4
28. Qxe4 Nd4 29. a6 Kg7 30. Ra3 Qa7 31. Rb1 e6 32. Rb7 Rxb7 33. Qxb7+ Re7 34.
Qxa7 (34. Qxe7+ $1 Qxe7 35. a7 $18) 34... Rxa7 35. Bb7 Kf6 36. Kf1 Ke7 37. h4
Nc2 38. Rh3 Nb4 39. hxg5 hxg5 40. Bc8 Ra8 41. Rh7+ Kf6 42. Bb7 Ra7 43. Rh6+ Kf7
44. Bc8 Ra8 45. Bxe6+ Kg7 46. Rh5 Rxa6 47. Bc8 Rxa2 48. Rxg5+ Kf6 49. Rf5+ Kg6
50. Kg2 Nd3 51. Kg3 Ne5 52. Be6 Rd2 53. f3 Rd4 54. Bd5 Kg7 55. f4 Rd3+ 56. Kh4
Ng6+ 57. Kg5 Nh8 58. Rf6 Rd4 59. f5 1-0

The post-mortem of Kasimdzhanov vs Pruijssers with Anand and Giri kibitzing

The other games ended in a draw, the match ended 5.5-2.5.

In the other match in Bremen between Werder Bremen and Trier, Laszlo Gonda beat  Zaher Efimenko in a beautiful game. However, that was not enough to shock the home team. Bremen won the match convincingly in the end.

[Event "Schachbundesliga 2011-12"]
[Site "Bremen GER"]
[Date "2012.03.18"]
[Round "13.2"]
[White "Gonda, Laszlo"]
[Black "Efimenko, Zahar"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A37"]
[WhiteElo "2520"]
[BlackElo "2703"]
[PlyCount "69"]
[EventDate "2011.10.14"]
[WhiteTeam "SG Trier"]
[BlackTeam "Werder Bremen"]

1. Nf3 c5 2. c4 Nc6 3. Nc3 g6 4. g3 Bg7 5. Bg2 d6 6. O-O e6 7. a3 Nge7 8. b4
O-O 9. Rb1 b6 10. e3 Bb7 11. Qb3 Qd7 12. Bb2 f5 13. Ne2 e5 14. d4 e4 15. Nd2
cxb4 16. axb4 d5 17. f3 Nd8 18. fxe4 dxe4 19. d5 Bxb2 20. Qxb2 Rf7 21. Bxe4
fxe4 22. Rxf7 Nxf7 23. Nxe4 Qf5 24. Nf6+ Kh8 25. Ng4+ Kg8 26. h3 Qg5 27. Nf4
Bc8 28. Ne6 Bxe6 29. dxe6 h5 30. Rf1 Ne5 31. Qxe5 Qxe5 32. Nxe5 a5 33. Rf7 Nf5
34. Nd7 Kh8 35. Nf6 1-0

Hungarian grandmaster Laszlo Gonda (2536) played a brilliant game

Bundesliga 2011-2012 | Round 13 standings

#ClubR+=-MPBP
1OSG Baden-Baden1312012467.5
2Werder Bremen1310122163
3SC Eppingen139222059
4SG Solingen139131959.5
5SF Katernberg137151549.5
6SV Wattenscheid 1930136251453
7SV 1930 Hockenheim135441452.5
8SG Trier136161354.5
9SF Berlin 1903135351349
10SV Mülheim Nord135261251
11SK Turm Emsdetten134271046
12Hamburger SK134271045.5
13SK König Tegel13319739.5
14USV TU Dresden133010640.5
15SC Hansa Dortmund13148637.5
16SC 1950 Remagen131210441.5

The last Bundesliga weekend is in one month from now, with the 14th round on Saturday, Aprl 14th and the 15th and final round on Sunday the 15th. The team of OSG Baden-Baden will probably secure a new Bundesliga title in its home town against Eppingen and Hockenheim.

Visitors watching the games in a separate room

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