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The Summer of Carlsen & Kramnik

Photo © Georgios Souleidis

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What exactly is it about Dortmund that brings out the very best in Vladimir Kramnik? Having won in the German city a record nine times in the past, victory in the 2011 edition of the tournament was sealed at the weekend with a round to spare that gave the Russian former world champion his tenth title.

Yet despite his margin of victory, Kramnik didn't rest on his laurels in the final round but instead went for broke against a faltering Hikaru Nakamura in an effort to again enter the "2800 club", only to see it all backfire as he turned what could have been a miserable performance for his opponent into just a bad one. Kramnik sacrificed a knight against Nakamura for the prospects of a long-term attacking initiative, only to see his opponent dig deep into his reserves of resourceful moves to keep the upper-hand that he converted for an easy win (you can see how it all unfolded in Alex Yermolinky's free Game of the Day below).

Date
Tournament
Host Game
FREE
7/31
GM Alex Yermolinsky Kramnik-Nakamura
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It was Kramnik's only loss of the tournament, and his +3 score of 7/10 - a full 1.5-points ahead of his closest rival, Quang Liem Le of Vietnam - fell just seven Elo points short of breaking 2800 at 2792.8 on theunofficial live rating list. The loss though proved to be Nakamura's salvation. At one point the US #1 looked to be heading out of the top ten, but he rallied with wins against the German Georg Meier in the penultimate round and then Kramnik to finish on a -1 score of 4.5/10 to pull himself out of the cellar and stay in the top ten, though down two spots to #8 on the live list.

N Name FED FIDE 1 2 3 4 5 6 PTS TPR
1 Kramnik, Vladimir RUS 2781
.
½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 0 1 1 7 2870
2 Le, Quang Liem VIE 2715 ½ ½
.
1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 2770
3 Ponomariov, Ruslan UKR 2764 0 ½ 0 ½
.
1 0 1 1 ½ ½ 5 2724
4 Giri, Anish NED 2701 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 1
.
½ ½ 1 ½ 5 2737
5 Nakamura, Hikaru USA 2770 0 1 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½
.
½ 1 2687
6 Meier, Georg GER 2656 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 0
.
3 2597

And late last week in Biel, the 3,1, 0 scoring system more than favored play-to-win Magnus Carlsen, who, on 19/30, won the title ahead of a resurgent Alexander Morozevich on 17 points, as the Russian reinforced his return to elite status once again with a second top-notch performance in as many months. The win moved Carlsen up two points on the live list to 2823 and Morozevich storming up the charts with a big hike in his rating of over 30 points to 2724.7.

N Name FED FIDE 1 2 3 4 5 6 PTS TPR
1 Carlsen, Magnus NOR 2821
.
½ ½ 0 ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 19 2835
2 Morozevich, Alexander RUS 2694 ½ ½
.
1 1 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 1 17 2821
3 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime FRA 2722 1 ½ 0 0
.
½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 12 2706
4 Shirov, Alexei ESP 2714 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½
.
1 1 ½ ½ 12 2707
5 Caruana, Fabiano ITA 2711 0 ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 0 0
.
½ 1 10 2636
6 Pelletier, Yannick SUI 2590 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 0
.
5 2539

The logjam of World Team Championship, Biel and Dortmund running at the same time also ended what has arguably been the busiest period ever on ICC for the Chess.FM team. During a long, hot summer of elite chess, the team not only had live commentary coverage of Biel and Dortmund, but GM Alex "Iron Man" Yermolinsky also had 15 (yes, count them: 15!) Game of the Days covering all three of WTCC, Biel and Dortmund! GOTD is reserved for ICC members only, but we have the Dortmund last round Kramnik-Nakamura clash available in full for non-members, and also a 5 min free preview of the other 14. To view all of the other Gotds from Alex Yermolinsky in full,sign up to join ICC today!

The Chess.FM team is now heading for a well-earned summer break, but we'll be back storming the airwaves in late September with live commentary coverage of the San Paulo/Bilbao Grand Slam Final (Carlsen, Anand, Aronian, Karjakin, Nakamura, plus one as yet-to-be named wildcard, rumored to be Kramnik). Play runs 25 September through 1 October in San Paulo, with the Grand Slam circus then moving to Bilbao for the final leg, running 5-11 October.

In August, ICC will though have plenty of action direct from the home of chess in Russia with live coverage of the games from the Russian SuperChampionship, 8-15 August in Moscow (featuring a star-studded field of Karjakin, Kramnik, Grischuk, Svidler, Nepomniachtchi, Morozevich et al) and then the FIDE World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk, August 28 through 21 September (Karjakin, Ivanchuk, Mamedyarov, Ponomariov, Grischuk, Radjabov, Kamsky and Svidler!). So grab the best seats in the house for the live games from the Russian Superfinal and FIDE World Cup, followed by the best in live commentary from the Chess.FM team from the San Paulo/Bilbao Grand Slam Final bysigning up to join ICC today!

Tournament Times  Game of the Day

Date
Tournament
Host Game Preview Members
7/30
GM Alex Yermolinsky Nakamura-Meier
7/29
GM Alex Yermolinsky Pelletier-Morozevich
7/28
GM Alex Yermolinsky Morozevich-Caruana
7/27
GM Alex Yermolinsky Vachier-Lagrave-Pelletier
7/26
GM Alex Yermolinsky Ganguly-Svidler
7/25
GM Alex Yermolinsky Morozevich-Shirov
7/24
GM Alex Yermolinsky Seirawan-Mamedyarov
7/23
GM Alex Yermolinsky Aronian-Harikrishna
7/22
GM Alex Yermolinsky Carlsen-Caruana
7/21
GM Alex Yermolinsky Hess-Negi
7/20
GM Alex Yermolinsky Morozevich-Carlsen
7/19
GM Alex Yermolinsky Polgar-Mamedov
7/18
GM Alex Yermolinsky Pelletier-Carlsen
7/17
GM Alex Yermolinsky Areshchenko-Shoker

Tournament Times Trivia Winners

The Game of the Day Email Trivia Contest! Premium Game of the Day Trivia!
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ICC presents the daily trivia contests, where each day an ICC member will win 1 and 3 month membership extensions.
The II New in Chess Trivia Contest!
Premium 'New in Chess' TRIVIA!
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ICC and New in Chess present The New in Chess' Trivia Contest, where each day an ICC member will win a 1 year subscription to NIC!
Date ICC 1 month ICC 3 months
7/21
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7/22
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7/23
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7/24
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Masciarelli
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7/25
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7/27
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7/28
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7/29
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7/30
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7/31
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Date NiC subscription
7/17
Smeagol
7/18

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7/19
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7/20
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7/21
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7/22
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7/23
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7/25
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7/27
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7/28
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7/29
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7/30
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7/31
Sensei

 

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