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39th Dortmund Chess Meeting 2011 (4)

Kramnik extends his lead and compounds Nakamura misery

Kramnik won again in Round 4 or Dortmund against Nakamura. Photo © Georgios Souleidis.

Kramnik won again in Round 4 or Dortmund against Nakamura. Photo © Georgios Souleidis. |

Vladimir Kramnik now leads the 39th Chess Meeting top group with 3.5/4 after defeating Hikaru Nakamura in round 4. Kramnik took advantage of Nakamura's indecision as to what he was playing for. Nakamura didn't have anything but didn't take a firm decision to play for a draw and drifted into bad trouble almost before he knew it by which stage it was possibly too late to put right. Ponomariov-Meier and Giri-Le Quang Liem were fairly straightforward draws. Rd5 Pairs: 25th July, 2pm UK time: Le-Ponomariov, Meier-Nakamura, Kramnik-Giri.

Nakamura against Kramnik

Nakamura against Kramnik. Photo © Georgios Souleidis Dortmund 2011

Hikaru Nakamura contrived to lose a simplified and equal position as white against Vladimir Kramnik. One should never underestimate Kramnik's appetite for an ending with a slight advantage and it seems to me that Nakamura just drifted into trouble by not realising that the draw was the best he could hope for and just going for it. Probably 27.Bxa7 or 27.Rxb7 instead of 27.Bd4 was the final chance for an easy draw after which his position declined fairly steadily. I didn't like 28.f4 nor 29.Kf1 but there is no doubting that Kramnik would have played on for a while anyhow as his position was favourable. After 30.Rb2 I don't think the position can be held at all.

Hikaru Nakamura

Hikaru Nakamura. Photo © Georgios Souleidis Dortmund 2011

Apparently I have resolved that if I cannot win a game of chess, I must do everything within my power to lose instead. Good game plan!

Nakamura on Twitter

Some quick first impressions on the game.

Nakamura,Hikaru - Kramnik,Vladimir [E21]
39th Dortmund GM Dortmund GER (4), 24.07.2011

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Nf3 c5 5.g3 cxd4 6.Nxd4 0-0 7.Bg2 d5 8.Qb3 Bxc3+ 9.bxc3 Nc6 10.cxd5 Na5 11.Qc2 Nxd5 12.0-0 Qc7 13.Re1

Seems to be new.

[13.Nb5; 13.e4]

13...Bd7 14.e4 Nb6 15.e5 Ba4 16.Qd3 Qc4 17.Qf3

[17.Qxc4 Nbxc4 18.Rb1 and white at least has the two bishops.]

17...Nc6 18.Re4 Nxd4 19.Rxd4 Bc6 20.Rxc4 Bxf3 21.Rc7 Bxg2 22.Kxg2 Rab8 23.Rb1

[23.Ba3 Rfc8 24.Bd6 Rxc7 25.Bxc7 Rc8 26.Bxb6 axb6 27.Rb1 Rxc3 28.Rxb6 with a draw.]

23...Rfc8 24.Rxc8+ Rxc8 25.Rb3 h5 26.Be3 Nd5

Vladimir Kramnik


Hikaru Nakamura

Position after 26...Nd5


It seems that this move can only get white into trouble.

[27.Bxa7 Nxc3 28.a3 Nd5 29.Rxb7 Rc3 30.a4 Ra3 31.f4 Rxa4 and although white's pawns are over-extended he should hold.; 27.Rxb7 Nxe3+ 28.fxe3 Rxc3 29.Kf3 Ra3 30.Rb2 Kh7 31.Kf4 Ra4+ 32.e4]

27...b6 28.f4?!

I don't like this extension of the kingside and putting another pawn on the same square as his bishop, the e-pawn is safe for the moment but the position already isn't that simple for white to play.


28...Rc4 29.Kf1?!

Although there may be ways of holding the position I think Nakamura's position quickly becomes more difficult after this.


29...Ra4 30.Rb2

I rather suspect that this position is impossible to hold, if it wasn't before.


30...Kh7 31.Kf2 Kg6 32.Rc2 Ra3 33.h3 b5 34.Rb2 a6 35.Rc2 Kf5 36.Kf3 b4 37.g4+ hxg4+ 38.hxg4+ Kg6 39.Ke4 bxc3 40.Rh2 Ra4 41.Rf2 a5 42.Kd3 c2 43.f5+ Kg5 44.Bb2 Nb4+ 45.Kc3 Rxa2 46.Rf1 Kxg4 47.fxe6 fxe6 0-1

Ruslan Ponomariov

Ruslan Ponomariov. Photo © Georgios Souleidis Dortmund 2011

Ruslan Ponomariov allowed Georg Meier to equalise more or less straight out of the opening and the simplification and presence of opposite coloured bishops did nothing to dispell this assesssment. Further trades at the expense of a pawn allowed Meier to defend a Rook and Bishops of opposite ending down to rook and bishop vs rook ending all of which were drawn.

Anish Giri

Anish Giri. Photo © Georgios Souleidis Dortmund 2011

Anish Giri didn't get very much if anything against Le Quang Liem with a fairly biteless symmetrical fianchetto setup from both sides. Heavy pieces were traded down the c-file and a draw was agreed soon after that.

Note that the organisers are delaying the broadcast of moves by 15 minutes each round to help against possible computer cheating.

39th GM Dortmund (GER), 21-31 vii 2011 cat. XX (2731)
1 2 3 4 5 6
1. Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2781 * * 1 . ½ . . . 1 . 1 . 3062
2. Ponomariov, Ruslan g UKR 2764 0 . * * . . 1 . ½ . 1 . 2822
3. Le, Quang Liem g VIE 2715 ½ . . . * * ½ . ½ . ½ . 2 2727
4. Giri, Anish g NED 2701 . . 0 . ½ . * * 1 . ½ . 2 2726
5. Meier, Georg g GER 2656 0 . ½ . ½ . 0 . * * . . 1 2547
6. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2770 0 . 0 . ½ . ½ . . . * * 1 2547
Round 4 (July 24, 2011)
Ponomariov, Ruslan - Meier, Georg ½-½ 91 E31 Nimzo Indian Leningrad
Giri, Anish - Le, Quang Liem ½-½ 47 E60 King's Indian without Nc3
Nakamura, Hikaru - Kramnik, Vladimir 0-1 47 E21 Nimzo Indian 4.Nf3

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