Top GMs Star In German Bundesliga
After the fifth weekend of the 2016-2017 season, the Bundesliga has a familiar face again: it's full of top stars, and Baden Baden is in the lead.
Photo: Georgios Souleidis. Read his Bundesliga report (in German) here.
You might remember that Baden Baden is not the reigning champion in the German league—and that's a rare thing. Last season, for the first time in a decade Baden Baden did not win the Schachbundesliga, but Solingen instead.
This year everything seems back to normal. After ten rounds, Baden Baden has its familiar big lead (three match points) as the only team to win all matches. Solingen is in third place, four points behind, and in between we find Schwäbisch Hall.
This team, named after a city about 50 km northeast of Stuttgart, isn't known for playing at the top. But this season they included two 2700 GMs in their line-up: GMs Dmitry Jakovenko and Ernesto Inarkiev. Both only played two games so far.
Solingen's top guns are GMs Anish Giri (who also played only one weekend so far), Pentala Harikrishna and Richard Rapport. As always, Baden Baden managed to contract several top 10 players, such as GMs Fabiano Caruana, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Vishy Anand.
March 18-19 was the fifth weekend, with rounds 9 and 10. On Saturday Baden-Baden defeated Werder Bremen, who used to be their biggest rival for many years. The first six boards ended in draws, and GM Georg Meier outplayed IM Alexander Markgraf in an endgame. GM Sergey Movsesian used an interesting sacrifice to beat GM David Smerdon:
On Sunday the leaders beat Hamburger SK with 5-3 as well. Meier won again as Black, and with GM Jan Gustafsson he decided matters on the last two boards yet again. Boards 3-6 were drawn, and both teams scored a win at the top.
First, the board one game. Hamburg's GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda easily refuted the time-trouble mistakes from his compatriot GM Radek Wojtaszek:
GM Michael Adams scored an excellent, technical win over another Polish player: GM Kamil Miton.
Speaking of technical wins, the following by GM David Navara was a great example in this category as well:
Another nice game from this weekend was GM Dennis Wagner (SV 1930 Hockenheim) vs GM Predrag Nikolic (SG Solingen). It's hard to play more aggressively than White did in this game! And look at that nice rook switch along the second rank. As it turns out, Wagner had won another game in this same line...
Schachbundesliga | Standings After Round 10
|2||SK Schwäbisch Hall||10||8||1||1||17||50|
|4||SV 1930 Hockenheim||10||7||1||2||15||49|
|5||SV Mülheim Nord||10||7||0||3||14||43|
|6||USV TU Dresden||10||5||2||3||12||46|
|7||SV Werder Bremen||10||6||0||4||12||45.5|
|10||DJK Aufwärts Aachen||10||4||1||5||9||36.5|
|11||SF Berlin 1903||10||3||2||5||8||40.5|
|13||SV Griesheim 1976||10||2||0||8||4||25|
|14||FC Bayern München||10||1||1||8||3||27.5|
|15||SK König Tegel||10||0||2||8||2||25.5|
|16||MSA Zugzwang 82||10||0||2||8||2||23.5|