Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting 2015
Posted: 27 June 2015 07:38 PM  
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From June 27th to July 5th some of the top players gather in Dortmund, Germany for the classic Sparkassen Chess meeting, which this year counts its 43th editions.

Dortmund has been King Vlad’s kingdom for two decades, as the Russian former World Champion has won this event 10 times. Last time Vladimir won in Dortmund was 2011. Defending champion is the American Fabiano Caruana, who recently swtiched back to his original chess federation, to now again represent the U.S.A.
This year the competition is quite strong, and Kramnik will have to play good games in order to grab his 11th title.
Here is the line-up:
Fabiano Caruana (USA, 2805), Wesley So (USA, 2778), Vladimir Kramnik (RUS, 2783), Ian Nepomniachtchi (RUS, 2720), Arkadij Naiditsch (GER, 2722), Hou Yifan (CHN, 2676), Georg Meier (GER, 2654), Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu (GER, 2654).

Play starts June 27th at 9:10AM EDT - 15:10 Paris, Berlin - 14:00 London

ICC will relay the games and provide the Game Of The Day video recap service for each round.

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Posted: 27 June 2015 07:41 PM   [ # 1 ]  
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Round 1

Dortmund opens with two upsets: Kramnik lost to Naiditsch and Wesley So lost to Nisipieanu. Nepomniachtchi drew Caruana, who wasn’t able to convert a promising position. Meier missed to realize a German grand slam today, drawing his game agains the strong Chinese GM Hou Yifan.

HERE is IM John Watson’s video recap

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Posted: 28 June 2015 07:17 PM   [ # 2 ]  
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Round 2

Kramnik won his game against Hou Yifan, bouncing back immedately after the rather shocking loss in round 1. Same thing with Wesley So, who managed to beat Fabiano Caruana, in an all-america battle. Nisipeanu, who recently switched federation to now represent Germany, won agains sthe strong German GM Naiditsch, and is now leading solo with 2/2, a full point ahead the howling pack with Kramnik, So, Nepomniachtchi, Meier, and Naiditsch. Fabiano Caruana and Hou Yifan close the list with 0.5/2.

HERE is GM Alex Yermolinsky’s video recap.

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Posted: 30 June 2015 05:53 PM   [ # 3 ]  
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Round 3

After the loss in the first round, King Vlad seems to have found his game again, and now marches straight on with two wins in a row. Today his victim was the young and strong fellow Russian GM with the unpronounceable name, Ian Nepomniachtchi. Kramnik took advantage of a poorly played endgame by Nepo, and won the game. Caruana won with Meier, escaping from a slightly worse position. Wesley So played a rather ugly game - which Ronen analyzes in the video - almost unexplicabily, losing to the strong German GM Arkadij Naiditsch. Hou Yifan was able to keep the leader Nisipeanu to a draw. After three rounds, Nisipeanu leads with 2.5, followed by Kramnik and Naiditsch with 2. Then Caruana with 1.5 and the rest of the players with 1.

HERE is GM Ronen Har-Zvi’s video recap.

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Posted: 01 July 2015 04:50 PM   [ # 4 ]  
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Round 4

His Majesty King Vlad won his third game in a row, catching up with Nisipeanu at the top of the standings. Vladimir had to work hard to win though; Meier is showing an excellent opening preparation, getting almost always ahead of his opponents in the first 25 moves. Unfortunately, Georg has not been able to convert his brilliant opening play, and after 4 rounds sits alone in last position, with only 0.5 points. Fabiano won again, against the strong German GM Arkadij Naiditsch, keeping up the pace with the leading duo. Caruna is only half a point behind Kramnik and Nisipeanu. Hou-So was an interesting game, with the young Chinese getting the initiative and pressing the American, getting him into a mating net, but Welsey was able to find a perpetual check, which allowed him to draw the game. Tomorrow is a rest day. Play resumes Friday July the 3rd, at 9:10AM EDT - 15:10 Rome, Paris - 14:10 London.

HERE is GM Ben Finegold’s video recap.

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Posted: 03 July 2015 05:00 PM   [ # 5 ]  
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Round 5

Kramnik has been known for being a strong positional player, but in the last couple of years he’s changed his style radically, and his new style was paying off for him in Dortmund, with three wins in the last three games. Until today, when he decided to press a bit too much to win with Caruana and - had it happened - put a hand on the 11th trophy. But Caruana, with the black pieces, wasn’t impressed at all and - though Kramnik missed a golden opportunity to save the game - went on to win. Fabiano and Vladimir swapped position in the standings, which now sees Nisipeanu, who today drew Meier rather quickly, and Caruana leading with 3.5/5, followed by Kramnik with 3. So and Naiditsch at 2.5 points, then Hou Yifan with 2. The other decisive game of the round was So vs. Nepomniachtchi. A strange game, especially in the middle of it, when the players played some unexplicable moves. GM Yasser Seirawan, who was watching the game on ICC, kibitzed “guessing the last three moves by white would be like winning the lottery!” when Wesley played Bd3, Rd1 and Bd2. On the other side of the board, Nepo decided to sac an exchange, which seemes to be not sound at all. Despite some burps, the game went on to be quite interesting, and So managed to win it, getting back to a 50% score. Hou Yifan is having a good event, and today she played a nice game with Naiditsch. At some point the young Chinese GM seemed to get the upper hand, but Naiditsch defended well, eventually getting a better position. Hou Yifan was though able to hold, and drew a great game. With two rounds to go, nothing is decided, but now Kramnik needs to find into himself all the strenght he’s capable of, to bounce back and try to win Dortmund once again.

HERE is GM Joel Benjamin’s video recap.

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Posted: 04 July 2015 04:59 PM   [ # 6 ]  
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Round 6

Fourth win in a row for Fabiano “the Fab” Caruana. The young American now leads the tournament in happy loneliness, half a point ahead the early leader Nispeanu, and tomorrow the two GMs play each other in the last round. Caruana also celebrates his coming back into the not-anymore-so-exclusive 2800’s club, which now counts 5 players. Nisipeanu escaped a dramatic loss against King Vlad, in a 6.5 hours 83 moves game, to keep his chances alive until tomorrow. Meier and So drew, and Naiditsch lost to Nepomniachtchi, who despite not having a good tournament, is still able to sting when he gets a chance to. Tomorrow last round starts 2 hours earlier, at 7AM EDT, and all the eyes will be pointed on Caruana-Nisipeanu, to see whether a draw will give Fabiano the third victory in this prestigious tournament, or Liviu-Dieter will fight to the end and try to win his first Dortmund.

HERE is GM Speelman’s video recap.

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Posted: 05 July 2015 05:49 PM   [ # 7 ]  
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Round 7

Fifth win and final victory for the American prodigal son, Fabiano Caruana. In a spectacular game against his direct rival for the success in Dortmund - the Romanian GM playing for Germany Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu, Fabiano finished the tournament with an amazing 5.5/7. Nisipeanu opened with the Evans Gambit(!), an ancient, romantic and not-much used opening and Caruana was able to come out of the opening with a decent position. The tactic at the end was truly remarkable, and gave Fabiano the win and this third Sparkassen Chess title. Congratulations to Fabiano! Kramnik pushed hard to win against Wesley So, playing boldly without compromises, but his attempt to grab a clear second spot in the standings backfired, and So was able to win, playing a precise and brilliant endgame. Hou Yifan drew Nepomniachtchi, and Naiditsch drew Meier. It’s been an exciting tournament, with a great - and indefatigable - Caruana showing that he belongs up there, in the Olympus of 2800 players.

HERE is GM Larry Christiansen’s video recap.

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