Stars Gather In Berlin For Bundesliga Chess
Spot the top GMs! | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Stars Gather In Berlin For Bundesliga Chess

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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22 | Chess Event Coverage

Superstars like Fabiano Caruana, Shakhriyar MamedyarovMaxime Vachier-Lagrave, Vishy Anand and Levon Aronian were among the players in Berlin this weekend, where the Bundesliga teams gathered for three joint-rounds, organized once again by the Berlin chess club.

This year's Schachbundesliga (the German team championship) is a close affair, especially after the end of this weekend! A star-studded Baden-Baden team was held to 4-4 twice, and now shares the lead with Solingen.

The long weekend started on Friday, when Baden-Baden defeated Schachfreunde Deizisau despite losses for both Caruana and MVL on top boards. Playing his first classical game since the London Chess Classic, Caruana went down against the former world championship contender Peter Leko:

Gata Kamsky and Peter Leko vs Fabiano Caruana and Vachier-Lagrave Bundesliga
Gata Kamsky and Peter Leko both won vs Caruana and Vachier-Lagrave! | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Leko explains the game for a video on the Grenke YouTube channel.

MVL was brought by another former world championship candidate. Gata Kamsky showed his class in a Taimanov Sicilian where White's opening play didn't look particular challenging. However, the big mistake came later.

Vachier-Lagrave Kamsky Bundesliga
Vachier-Lagrave resigns vs Kamsky, as watched by many spectators. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

The two aces Anand and Aronian were among the players who won, and avoided real damage for the team. The latter went 1.e4, didn't mind battling it out against Georg Meier's French defense and won quickly:

Sergei Movsesian explains the game for a video on the Grenke YouTube channel.

Baden-Baden continued with a tie against SV 1930 Hockenheim consisting of eight draws, and on Sunday it played 4-4 once again vs SC Viernheim, led by Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. However, it was Anton Korobov who scored the biggest scalp as he brought down Anand in just 27 moves:

Anton Korobov Bundesliga
Anton Korobov won surprisingly quickly against Anand. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Solingen reached the same number of match points by winning two matches against Düsseldorfer SK and SV 1920 Hofheim—they had a free day on Saturday as the team DJK Aufwärts Aachen wasn't present in Berlin.

Solingen's GM Jan Smeets, who retired from tournament play a few years ago and now works at the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, scored 2/2 this weekend. He outplayed his compatriot IM David Miedema (playing for Düsseldorf) nicely in a Sveshnikov:

Jan Smeets Bundesliga 2019
Jan Smeets. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

With four or five more rounds to play for the teams, nothing has been decided yet.

Bundesliga | Round 11 Standings

# Team Played + = - MP BP
1 OSG Baden-Baden 10 8 2 0 18 55
2 SG Solingen 10 9 0 1 18 51
3 SV 1930 Hockenheim 10 8 1 1 17 54
4 Hamburger SK 10 6 3 1 15 45
5 SV Werder Bremen 11 6 2 3 14 50.5
6 Schachfreunde Deizisau 10 6 1 3 13 49.5
7 SC Viernheim 10 4 4 2 12 42
8 USV TU Dresden 10 5 1 4 11 39
9 SV Mülheim Nord 11 3 2 6 8 41
10 SF Berlin 1903 10 4 0 6 8 38
11 BCA Augsburg (N) 11 3 2 6 8 35
12 SG Turm Kiel (N) 10 2 3 5 7 32.5
13 Düsseldorfer SK 1914/1925 10 2 0 8 4 29
14 SV 1920 Hofheim 10 0 1 9 1 29
15 MSA Zugzwang 82 11 0 0 11 0 25.5
16 DJK Aufwärts Aachen 0 0 0 0 0 0


Meanwhile, the women's Bundesliga finished this weekend as it only has 12 teams in the competition and thus 11 rounds (and six boards per team, instead of eight).

Also here the favorite was Baden-Baden, who brought GMs Alexandra Kosteniuk and Antoaneta Stefanova to Berlin. However, the team had dropped some points earlier in the season and lost to SK Schwäbisch Hall this weekend, who finished in second place behind champion SC 1957 Bad Königshofen.

One of Bad Königshofen's star players was WGM Dina Belenkaya of Russia, who scored 8.5/9.
One of Bad Königshofen's star players was WGM Dina Belenkaya of Russia, who scored 8.5/9. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Kosteniuk found a nice mating combination in her game on Friday:

Kosteniuk Stefanova Bundesliga Baden-Baden
Kosteniuk and Stefanova, teammates in the Bundesliga for Baden-Baden. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

A top performer this year was Iranian IM Sarasadat Khademalsharieh, the double silver winner at the World Rapid and Blitz. She scored a perfect 7/7 for her team, Hamburger SK.

Her biggest win this season was against... Kosteniuk! That was back in January:

Sarasadat Khademalsharieh Bundesliga
The rising star in women's chess, Sarasadat Khademalsharieh of Iran. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Women Bundesliga | Final Standings

# Team Played + = - MP BP
1 SC 1957 Bad Königshofen 11 9 2 0 20 48
2 SK Schwäbisch Hall 11 9 0 2 18 48.5
3 Hamburger SK 11 8 2 1 18 44.5
4 OSG Baden-Baden 11 7 2 2 16 45
5 Rodewischer Schachmiezen 11 7 1 3 15 39.5
6 Schachfreunde Deizisau 11 4 3 4 11 31.5
7 SK Lehrte 1919 11 3 3 5 9 25.5
8 SV 1920 Hofheim 11 4 0 7 8 28.5
9 TuRa Harksheide 11 3 0 8 6 26.5
10 Karlsruher SF 1853 11 2 2 7 6 22.5
11 Rotation Pankow 11 1 2 8 4 22
12 FC Bayern München 11 0 1 10 1 14


For the second time, the strong Emanuel Lasker Blitz Tournament was held as well this weekend. The winner was Caruana, who seems to be improving his speed chess skills more and more with a crushing win vs Harikrishna in St. Louis, and now this. The American GM scored 14/16.

Lasker Blitz 2019 Caruana
Caruana drawing lots of attention at the Lasker Blitz... | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
Caruana wins Emanuel Lasker Blitz 2019
...and winning it in the end. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Gerhard Grundhammer contributed to this report.

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