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1st GRENKE Chess Classic Baden-Baden 2013 (6)

Caruana leads, Naiditsch stars after 6 rounds of Baden Baden Classic

Arkadij Naiditsch has produced fascinating chess every round so far. Photo © Georgios Souleidis.

Arkadij Naiditsch has produced fascinating chess every round so far. Photo © Georgios Souleidis. |

Arkadij Naiditsch moved into joint second place alongside World Champion Viswanathan Anand and half a point behind the leader Fabiano Caruana after another imaginative game from the German number one. Naiditsch created a big mess out of the opening against the solid Daniel Fridman who had drawn all his games so far. Then he struck, finding a mind boggling, yet sound, sacrifice of a piece for a huge attack 21...Ndf3+! Fridman had to work hard on keeping his position together in the face of fascinating complications. Anand and Adams who had finished an interesting draw in a Ruy Lopez perferred to watch and analyse this game rather than their own. Anand made the interesting observation "No but the guy's on fire, he's been like this for weeks, also last year in Bundesliga, he's just win, lose, win, lose." A quick survey of his games since the start of the European Club Cup in October 2012 shows Naiditsch has played 51 games at all time controls of which he's won 32, drawn 9 and lost 10. Fridman eventually went wrong in pretty desperate time trouble but Naiditsch couldn't find the absolute killer blow until Fridman's 36.Bxc4? which was about setting a devilish trap (Rxh7+! in some lines) but Naiditsch wasn't fooled and with quite a bit more time than his opponent found 37..d5! and 40...Re4! to secure a brilliant win. Leader Fabiano Caruana was somewhat lucky to survive a lost position against Georg Meier who has had a number of great positions from the opening and today he was on top throughout until he couldn't find a way to punish 29...Bxd4? (30.bxc6! bxc6 31.Qf4! wins) after which the position traded to a draw. All three games were interesting and there are notes based on the press conferences below and I've added them to the PGN file too. Round 6 Standings: Caruana 4pts, Anand, Naiditsch 3.5pts, Adams, Fridman 2.5pts and Meier 2pts. Round 7 Pairings: 14th Feb 2013 2pm GMT: Meier-Fridman, Caruana-Anand and Adams-Naiditsch.

Daniel Fridman vs Arkadij Naiditsch

Fridman,Daniel (2667) - Naiditsch,Arkadij (2716) [E97]
1st GRENKE Chess Classic Baden-Baden GER (6.2), 13.01.2013

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.Be3 Ng4 9.Bg5 f6 10.Bh4 g5 11.Bg3 Nh6 12.dxe5 fxe5 13.h3 Kh8

Not quite a novelty but according to the official bulletin "Naiditsch and his friend Etienne Bacrot just burst into laughter when asked about theory after the game".

[13...g4 1-0 Jedlicka,A (2209)-Balhar,J (2311)/Pardubice CZE 2006/The Week in Chess 612 (43)]

14.c5 g4 15.hxg4 Bxg4 16.cxd6 cxd6

[16...Bxf3 17.Bxf3 cxd6 18.Ne2 Qd7 19.Bh5 Ng8 20.f4 Bh6 21.fxe5 Qg7 22.Qb3 dxe5 23.Rf7 Rxf7 24.Qxf7 Be3+ 25.Bf2 Qxf7 26.Bxf7 Bxf2+ 0-1 Lehmann,Z (2245)-Szilagyi,P (2410)/Budapest 1991/EXT 2004]

17.Nd2 Bc8 18.Nc4 Nd4 19.Ne3 Nf7 20.Nc2 Ng5

Arkadij Naiditsch


Daniel Fridman

Position after 20.Ng5

This position is very messy and now, rather forgivably, white misses something.


"A blunder" said Fridman.

[21.Qd3 was Fridman's post-game suggestion and a move he had been considering]


Arkadij Naiditsch

This is not a piece

Daniel Fridman

Position after 21...Ndf3+

A brilliant move that looks sound. At best white might be able to survive.

22.gxf3 Qd7! 23.Be2 Rf6

[23...Nh3+ "Seriously go back." - Anand who was reluctant to look at his game! He also seems to be right in thinking that this may be the best continuation for black. 24.Kh1 Rf6 25.Ne3 (25.Bb5) 25...Rh6 26.Bh2 Nf4 (26...Qd8! 27.f4 Nxf4 28.Qd2 Qh4 and there is no escape.; 26...Qe7 27.Ncd5 Qh4 28.Bg3 Qh5 29.f4 Nxf2+ 30.Kg1 Nxd1 31.Bxh5 Nxe3 32.Nxe3 exf4 33.Rxf4 Rxh5 with a pull.) 27.Ng4 wins for white.]


Arkadij Naiditsch


Daniel Fridman

Position after 24.Nd5

The only move to keep things going. Fridman commented that finding this took took much time (about 25 minutes) and he was indeed in bad time pressure for the remaining moves up to the time control.

[24.Ne3 Qh3 25.f4 (25.Ng4 Bxg4 26.fxg4 Raf8 was the move Fridman missed in his initial calculations. This is the only good move in the position and totally crushing. This was Naiditsch's main line too apparently.) 25...Rh6 26.Bf3 Nxf3+ 27.Qxf3 exf4]

24...Rh6 25.f4 Nh3+ 26.Kg2 exf4

Arkadij Naiditsch


Daniel Fridman

Position after 26...exf4

[26...Nxf4+ 27.Kf3 Rh3 was looked at by Naiditsch.(27...Rh2 "If you find Rh2 you get disqualified immediately" - Fridman. 28.Bxh2? (28.Ke3 is probably a bit messy. 28...Bh6 29.Bxf4 exf4+ 30.Kd4 Qc6 31.Ncb4 Qc5+ 32.Kd3 Bd7) 28...Qh3+ 29.Bg3 Ng2 wins.) ]


[27.Nd4! is best but as Fridman commented missing this wasn't really a mistake as now he was under terrible time pressure. "It's not a blunder. There are too many moves and I only had 4 minutes" 27...Qf7 28.Qd3 fxg3 29.fxg3 Nf2 30.Rxf2 Rh2+ 31.Kxh2 Qxf2+ 32.Kh1 Qxd4 33.Qxd4 Bxd4 34.Rf1 Bd7 35.Rf7 Bc6 36.b4 is computer line that leads to equality.; 27.Bxf4 Nxf4+ 28.Nxf4 Be5 "I would guess" says Anand and he's right it is winning for black.; 27.Rh1 fxg3 28.fxg3 Be5 "Trying for Qg7 somewhere." - Anand. 29.Nce3 Qg7 and black is still on top, how much is unclear but it's miserable. 30.Bg4]


a nice move to play but Naiditsch wasn't 100% sure it was right.

[27...Be5 Anand's first thought. 28.f3 and white starts to block lines to his king. 28...Qg7+ 29.Kh1]

28.Bxf3 Ng5 29.Nf4 Rxh2+ 30.Kxh2

Arkadij Naiditsch


Daniel Fridman

Position after 30.Kxh2


[30...Qf7 Fridman also saw this which turns out to be a better and indeed winning move. 31.Rh1 (31.Qxd6 Nxf3+ 32.Kg3 Be5!!) 31...Qxf4+ 32.Kg2 Bxb2 with an overwhelming postion for black.]

31.Kg2 Bxf4 32.Rh1 Qg7 33.Kf1 Be6 34.Nd4 Bc4+ 35.Be2 Nxe4

Arkadij Naiditsch


Daniel Fridman

Position after 35...Nxe4


strictly speaking the losing blunder but Naiditsch still have plenty of time here and Fridman didn't.

[36.Nf3 Nxf2!; 36.Rg1! The move that would keep black's advantage to a minimum. 36...Qf6 37.Nf3 Qxb2 38.Qd4+ Be5 39.Qxb2 Bxb2 40.Rb1]

36...Nd2+ 37.Ke2 d5!

Arkadij Naiditsch


Daniel Fridman

Position after 37...d5

[37...Qxd4 38.Rxh7+ might even generate enough counterplay to hold. 38...Kxh7 39.Qh1+ Kg6 40.Rg1+ Bg5 41.Bd3+ Kf6 42.Qh5; 37...Nxc4 is also winning.]


again the best defence. Fridman's resistance level is remarkably high in this game.

[38.Bxd5 Re8+ (38...Qxd4? 39.Rxh7+ Kxh7 40.Qc2+ Kg7 41.Rg1+) 39.Kd3 Qg6+ 40.Kc3 Rc8+]

38...Re8+ 39.Kd1 Nxc4 40.Qc3 Re4!

Arkadij Naiditsch


Daniel Fridman

Position after 40...Re4!

after all this mess Naiditsch kills all play and converts to a winning endgame.

[40...Bd2 also wins according to the computer but there is far more to go wrong.]



41...Nxb2+ 42.Kc2 Re2+ 43.Kb3 Qxc3+ 44.Kxc3 Be5+ 45.Nd4 Re4

[45...Re4 46.Kxb2 Bxd4+ 47.Kb3 Bxa1 48.Rxa1 and two pawns up this is just a matter of technique.]


Viswanathan Anand draw Michael Adams

Anand,Viswanathan (2780) - Adams,Michael (2725) [C84]
1st GRENKE Chess Classic Baden-Baden GER (6.1), 13.01.2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.d3 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.a3 0-0 9.Nc3

"It was quite a clever old move order with this early 9.Nc3. I didn't think I had much option but to go for something like this. Of course the knight on b7 is a bit of a concern." - Adams. "The knight on b7 in comparison with the normal Ruy Lopez the queenside hasn't opened yet, there's no open c-file or a-file so until that happens black can live with this weakness." - Anand.


[9...Bg4 1-0 Kadric,V-Avdic,A/Sarajevo BIH 2012/The Week in Chess 914 (51)]

10.Ba2 c5 11.Nd5

[11.b4 cxb4 12.axb4 Nc6 13.Nd5 Nxd5 14.Bxd5 Qc7 15.c3 Bg4 16.h3 Bh5 17.g4 Bg6 18.h4 h5 19.Ng5 Bxg5 20.Bxg5 Rac8 21.gxh5 Bh7 22.Qg4 Kh8 23.h6 g6 24.Bf6+ Kg8 25.h5 Ne7 26.Bxe7 Qxe7 27.hxg6 Bxg6 28.Qxg6+ 1-0 Alonso Centeno,J-Tejedor Malfaz,R/Valladolid 1989/EXT 2009]

11...Nxd5 12.Bxd5 Bb7 13.b4 Bxd5 14.exd5 Nb7

Michael Adams


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 14...Nb7

"This is a kind of interesting position I get my pawn on d5 and he has a very bad bishop on b7 but my structure is damaged. I don't want to go c4 too early because I thought he could take and go e4 and f5 maybe." - Anand.


The themes are set.

15...Qc7 16.Re1 f5 17.Bg5

"Basically I tried to swap bishops because I think the black bishop is only holding things together for him." - Anand.

17...Rae8 18.a4 cxb4 19.cxb4 Bxg5 20.Nxg5 Nd8 21.axb5 axb5 22.Qd2?!

Michael Adams


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 22.Qd2

"Qd2 is a mistake, I was trying to be very... Usually when you make sophisticated moves like this you've lost track of what's going on." - Anand.

[22.Ra5 "We were looking at Ra5 here." - Trent. "Yes something like that would have still been something for white." - Anand. 22...h6 23.Nf3 Qb6 24.Qa1 Anand wasn't sure this was the right way for either side and didn't think the position was all that simple to play because of his pawn weaknesses.]

22...h6 23.Nf3 Qf7

[23...Qb7 Anand.]

24.Qa2 Qf6

"I'm never in time on the queenside, he always gets this counterplay on the kingside." - Anand.

25.Nd2 Nf7 26.Qa6

[26.Qb3 and neither side can make progress.]

26...e4 27.dxe4 fxe4 28.Qxb5 e3 29.fxe3 Rxe3

Michael Adams


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 29...Rxe3


[30.Qf1 Qd4 31.Rxe3 Qxe3+ 32.Qf2 Looking close to a draw according to Adams.; 30.Nf3 Rxf3 31.gxf3 Ne5 32.Rf1 Nxf3+ 33.Kh1 Qb2 "I thought this was reasonable for white but luckily I saw this move." - Anand when black indeed stands better as he has to return the exchange. 34.Rxf3 Qxa1+ 35.Kg2 Qb2+ 36.Kg3 Qe5+ 37.Kg2 Qg5+ 38.Rg3 Qd2+ 39.Kh3 Qf2 40.Qd3 Rf5 41.Qd1 Qf4 42.b5 Qe4 shows just how uncomfortable for white this would be.]

30...Rxe1+ 31.Rxe1 Qc3 32.Qe3 Qxb4 33.Nf3

It's very drawish. - Anand.


33...Qc5 34.Qxc5 dxc5 35.Re7

Exact according to Anand.

[35.Rc1 Rc8 36.Nd4 Nd6 is also equal. 37.Nc6 Ra8]

35...Rd8 36.Ne5 Nxe5 37.Rxe5 Kf7 38.d6 c4 39.Re7+ Kf6 40.Rc7 Rxd6 41.Rxc4 1/2-1/2

Georg Meier draw Fabiano Caruana

Meier,Georg (2640) - Caruana,Fabiano (2757) [D12]
1st GRENKE Chess Classic Baden-Baden GER (6.3), 13.01.2013

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 Bf5 5.Nc3 e6 6.Nh4 Bg6 7.Be2 Nbd7 8.0-0 Ne4 9.g3 Nd6 10.b3 Be7 11.Nxg6 hxg6 12.Qd3!?

[12.Qc2 Nf6 13.Rd1 Qc7 14.Bf1 0-0-0 15.Bg2 Rh5 16.c5 Nf5 17.h3 Rdh8 18.e4 dxe4 19.Bf4 Qd8 20.g4 Rxh3 21.gxf5 Rxc3 22.Qxc3 Nd5 23.Qc1 gxf5 24.Kf1 Rh4 25.Be5 Qh8 26.Ke1 Rg4 27.Bf1 Rg1 28.Qc4 Qh4 29.Ke2 Bg5 30.Rdb1 f4 31.Rb2 f3+ 32.Kd1 e3 33.Ke1 e2 34.Rxe2 Rxf1+ 0-1 Inarkiev,E (2675)-Shirov,A (2741)/Poikovsky RUS 2008/The Week in Chess 714]

12...Nf6 13.Bf3 g5

Fabiano Caruana


Georg Meier

Position after 13...g5

"This was probably not the corrected idea for black. It was a bit ambitious. The problem is that the pawn on g4 just turns out to be weak. Although it could work out well under the right circumstances.... If I put my pawn on f5." - Caruana.

14.Bg2 g4 15.Rd1 Qc7

[15...Qa5 16.Bd2 dxc4 17.bxc4 Qh5 18.c5 Qxh2+ "The pawn on h2 doesn't matter I'm just going to get crushed in the centre." - Caruana. 19.Kf1 Nc8 20.Qb1 Rb8 21.Bxc6+]


"I didn't see any ideas for black. That was kind of the problem. The position looks normal I just didn't see any plan for black." - Caruana.


Fabiano Caruana


Georg Meier

Position after 16...Rd8


[17.Qe2 "That's why I should go Qe2 before Rac1 because [now] he has a chance to clarify the situation. But anyway the queen belongs there." Meier. 17...0-0 "I probably would castle." - Caruana.]

17...Qa5 18.c5 Nf5 19.a3 Qc7

[19...Nh6 20.b4 (20.e4! Meier) 20...Qc7 21.b5 (21.e4! Meier) 21...Nh7 22.e4 f5 and black gets what he wants.]

20.Qe2 Nh6 21.e4 dxe4 22.Nxe4 Nxe4 23.Bxe4 0-0 24.b4 Bf6 25.a4

Fabiano Caruana


Georg Meier

Position after 25.a4

[25.d5 is interesting but probably loses some of white's advantage.]


[25...a6 both players thought black should play this "pretty decent for black" - Caruana. 26.b5 axb5 27.axb5 Rd7 and attack d4 with everything. A much better version than the game. Black should be able to hold this. - Caruana. 28.Rd3 "Just doesn't work now." Caruana. But this isn't entirely clear. (28.bxc6 bxc6 29.Qa6 Rc8 maybe still with a little something. 30.Bc3) 28...Rfd8 is the better way for equality. (28...cxb5 29.Bxb7!) 29.Rcd1 cxb5 30.Qe1 Nf5 31.Qb4]

26.b5 Re7 27.Rd3 Red7 28.Rcd1 Nf5 29.Qxg4

Fabiano Caruana


Georg Meier

Position after 28.Qxg4


The pawn is immune but other moves are hard to suggest.

[29...Nxd4 30.Bxc6! Nxc6 (30...bxc6 31.Bxd4 Bxd4 (31...e5 32.Bxe5 wins 32...Rxd3 33.Bxc7 Rxd1+ 34.Kg2 and white will make a new queen.) 32.Rxd4 Rd5 33.Rxd5 exd5 34.Qb4 Rb8 35.Re1 Qd8 36.Qf4 Rc8 37.Qd4 cxb5 38.axb5 Qa5 39.Re7 Qxb5 40.Qxd5 Qb1+ 41.Kg2 Qg6 42.Rxa7 Qc6 43.Qxc6 Rxc6 44.Ra8+ Kh7 45.Ra5 wins) 31.Bxf6 mates.; 29...a6 30.bxa6 bxa6 and black can have at least some hopes of hanging on. 31.Bc3?! (31.Bxf5 exf5 32.Qxf5 Rd5 33.Qf3 Qa5 and there is still work to do as black has got a bit active.) 31...Nxd4 32.Qh5 Kf8 33.Kg2 Ke7]


[30.Bxf5 Bxb2 was the line Meier was trying to make work. He looked at it "more than once" and then just "had to make a move." 31.b6 axb6 32.cxb6 Qc8 33.Bxe6 Rxd3 34.Bxc8 Rxd1+ 35.Kg2 R1d4 with a draw. "I think we were both only analyising this." - Caruana. eg 36.Qh3 Rxa4 37.Bxb7 Rb4 38.Bxc6 Rxb6; 30.bxc6! bxc6 31.Qf4 Qxf4 (31...Qb7 32.Qd2! again will pick up the piece after Bxf5.) 32.gxf4 g6 33.Bxf5 wins the piece.]

30...Nxd4 31.Rxd4 Rxd4 32.Rxd4 Rxd4 33.Bh7+ Kxh7 34.Qxd4 Kg8 35.b6 axb6 36.cxb6 Qe7 37.a5 Qa3 38.Qe5 Kh7 39.h4 Qd3 40.Kg2 Qc4

Time control and the worst is over. In fact it's probably equal.

41.Kf3 Qd3+ 42.Kg2 Qc4 43.Qc7 Qe4+ 44.Kg1 Qe1+ 45.Kg2 Qe4+ 46.Kg1 Qe1+ 47.Kg2 Qe4+ 1/2-1/2


1st GRENKE Chess Classic Baden Baden GER (GER), 7-17 ii 2013 cat. XIX (2714)
1 2 3 4 5 6
1. Caruana, Fabiano g ITA 2757 * * ½ . 1 . ½ . ½ . 1 ½ 4 2819
2. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2780 ½ . * * 1 . ½ ½ ½ . ½ . 2762
3. Naiditsch, Arkadij g GER 2716 0 . 0 . * * 1 . ½ 1 1 . 2763
4. Adams, Michael g ENG 2725 ½ . ½ ½ 0 . * * ½ . ½ . 2666
5. Fridman, Daniel g GER 2667 ½ . ½ . ½ 0 ½ . * * ½ . 2665
6. Meier, Georg g GER 2640 0 ½ ½ . 0 . ½ . ½ . * * 2 2608
Round 6 (February 13, 2013)
Anand, Viswanathan - Adams, Michael ½-½ 41 C84 Ruy Lopez Centre Attack
Fridman, Daniel - Naiditsch, Arkadij 0-1 45 E97 King's Indian Classical
Meier, Georg - Caruana, Fabiano ½-½ 47 D12 Slav Defence

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