Dortmund's 41st Sparkassen Chess Meeting Under Way

Dortmund's 41st Sparkassen Chess Meeting Under Way

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The 41st edition of the Sparkassen Chess Meeting in Dortmund, Germany started on Friday with a gripping first round. Favourites Fabiano Caruana (Italy) and Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) started with wins, against Dmitry Andreikin (Russia) and Wang Hao (China) respectively. The third winner was Georg Meier (Germany, who defeated his compatriot Arkadij Naiditsch. Igor Khenkin (Germany) vs. Peter Leko (Hungary) and Daniel Fridman (Germany) vs. Michael Adams (England) both ended in a draw.

It's one of the longest running big tournaments in the calendar: the Sparkassen Chess Meeting in Dortmund, the 8th largest German city, located in North Rhine-Westphalia, along the Ruhr river. As always the venue is the city theater. The 10-player round robin runs July 26th – 4 August with one rest day on July 31st. The participants are Fabiano Caruana (ITA, 2796), Vladimir Kramnik (RUS, 2784), Wang Hao (CHN, 2752), Michael Adams (ENG, 2740), Peter Leko (HUN, 2737), Dmitry Andreikin, (RUS, 2727), Arkadij Naiditsch (GER, 2710), Daniel Fridman (GER, 2629), Georg Meier (GER, 2610), and Igor Khenkin (GER, 2605).

The tournament was held for the first time in 1973, when it was won by Heikki Westerinen of Finland. Over the years the tournament grew into a world class event where almost all of the best players competed, including Garry Kasparov, Anatoly Karpov, Viswanathan Anand, Judit Polgar and Vladimir Kramnik.

Kramnik won the tournament in Dortmund a record ten times, and he's surely going to try hard to win it again, if only to wash away the bad memories of the Tal Memorial. In what was his worst tournament in many years, the 14th World Champion finished on last place with 3/9 and didn't win a single game. In the very first round in Dortmund, Kramnik could enjoy the sweet taste of victory again, helped by his opponent Wang Hao. A pawn down, Black was certainly not lost yet when he blundered a full rook. Isn't it comforting that a 2700 sometimes misses a double attack as well?

Horst Metzing, former director of the German Chess Federation, executes the first move for Vladimir Kramnik

Kramnik might still be top favourite, but top seed this year is Fabiano Caruana of Italy. He also won his first game, with Black against Dmitry Andreikin, who had been such a solid player at that Tal Memorial last month. Andreikin did start with the solid 4.e3 in the Grünfeld, but his 14.h4!? revealed more ambitious intentions. Perhaps he was intending 17. Nxh7 Kxh7 18. hxg6+ Kxg6 19. Bd3+ f5 20. Qg4+ Kf7 21. Bxf5, which is probably too optimistic anyway. In the game things remained about equal until White allowed 30... Rh8! (31. Rxg6 fails to 31 ...Rag8) when Black got a very strong initiative.

Georg Meier defeated Arkadij Naiditsch in another Grünfeld. White's edge in this ending was very small, but Naiditsch let his opponent make it bigger and bigger. Still, it seems that with 40...Kxh5 could have still drawn this game.

Khenkin-Leko, the third Grünfeld of the day, was always about equal.

More interesting was Fridman-Adams, which went all the way to a pawn ending. Usually you cannot afford being a pawn down in pawn endings, but this was an exception.

Dortmund 2013 | Pairings & results

Round 1 15:00 CET 26.07.13   Round 2 15:00 CET 27.07.13
Khenkin ½-½ Leko   Leko - Caruana
Meier 1-0 Naiditsch   Adams - Andreikin
Kramnik 1-0 Wang Hao   Wang Hao - Fridman
Fridman ½-½ Adams   Naiditsch - Kramnik
Andreikin 0-1 Caruana   Khenkin - Meier
Round 3 15:00 CET 28.07.13   Round 4 15:00 CET 29.07.13
Meier - Leko   Leko - Adams
Kramnik - Khenkin   Wang Hao - Caruana
Fridman - Naiditsch   Naiditsch - Andreikin
Andreikin - Wang Hao   Khenkin - Fridman
Caruana - Adams   Meier - Kramnik
Round 5 15:00 CET 30.07.13   Round 6 15:00 CET 01.08.13
Kramnik - Leko   Leko - Wang Hao
Fridman - Meier   Naiditsch - Adams
Andreikin - Khenkin   Khenkin - Caruana
Caruana - Naiditsch   Meier - Andreikin
Adams   Wang Hao   Kramnik - Fridman
Round 7 15:00 CET 02.08.13   Round 8 15:00 CET 03.08.13
Fridman - Leko   Leko - Naiditsch
Andreikin - Kramnik   Khenkin - Wang Hao
Caruana - Meier   Meier - Adams
Adams - Khenkin   Kramnik - Caruana
Wang Hao - Naiditsch   Fridman - Andreikin
Round 9 13:00 CET 04.08.13        
Andreikin - Leko        
Caruana - Fridman        
Adams - Kramnik        
Wang Hao - Meier        
Naiditsch - Khenkin        

Dortmund 2013 | Round 1 standings

# Player Rating 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Points SB
1 Caruana,Fabiano 2796 * 1 1.0/1 0.00
2 Kramnik,Vladimir 2784 * 1 1.0/1 0.00
3 Meier,Georg 2610 * 1 1.0/1 0.00
4 Adams,Michael 2740 * ½ 0.5/1 0.25
5 Leko,Peter 2737 * ½ 0.5/1 0.25
6 Fridman,Daniel 2629 ½ * 0.5/1 0.25
7 Khenkin,Igor 2605 ½ * 0.5/1 0.25
8 Wang,Hao 2752 0 * 0.0/1 0.00
9 Andreikin,Dmitry 2727 0 * 0.0/1 0.00
10 Naiditsch,Arkadij 2710 0 * 0.0/1 0.00

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