April 20, 2010 0:17

Kramnik top seed in Dortmund again

Dortmund 2009Nine times already did he win in Dortmund, and this year Vladimir Kramnik will be defending his title, again as the top seed. The organizers announced the participants today; besides Kramnik the field has Mamedyarov, Ponomariov, Leko, Naiditsch and Aeroflot-qualifier Le Quang Liem.

The 38th edition of the Dortmund chess festival takes place July 15-25 in the city theater of Dortmund, Germany. With Kramnik, Mamedyarov, Ponomariov, Leko, Naiditsch and Le Quang Liem the tournament boasts of an average rating of 2734. Just like last year (and just like the Kings Tournament in Bazna in June) the tournament is a 6-player, double round-robin.

For the first time Dortmund uses the Sofia rule. This is stated in the press release (without calling it the Sofia rule):

Draw ban: In this year 's edition the grandmasters are not allowed to offer a draw during the game. The game will be declared a draw when a win for either side is not possible anymore, or in case of a three-fold repetition. This rule guarantees that all games will be fought out till the end, whereby the attractiveness of the event is increased.

Well, that last sentence may fool the mainstream media, but chess fans know better. Although having a positive influence on the fighting spirit, the Sofia rule certainly doesn't guarantee fighting chess. If both players want to draw, they'll find a way, as we've seen many times in recent years.

Traditionally the drawing of lots for the Dortmund tournament always takes place months in advance. This means the players can already start preparing concretely, since the full schedule is known already:

Dortmund 2010 | Schedule

Dortmund 2010


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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers


Alexander's picture

We don't care about tournaments, we want more news about an Indian Chess Champion driving through crazy Balkans in flight from a volcano eruption!

CAL|Daniel's picture

Nice Kramnik-Le Round1. Lets see what the new guy is made of!

gg's picture

The only opponent Kramnik has that is ranked higher than 15th is Mamedyarov, and in spite of his high rating he is maybe not a top 15 player either, so this shouldn't be too hard for Kramnik.

Farshad's picture

Why Carlsen is absent ?

acirce's picture

Yeah Ponomariov, Mamedyarov and Lékó can't play chess can they? Plus somebody like Naiditsch would never pull an upset.

aun1's picture

so ponomariov gets an invite to dormund and the kings tournament? based on what?

noyb's picture

A better question still is why do they continue to tolerate Naiditsch? Yes, he won it once several years ago, but maybe it's time to let another promising German player take a turn?

christos (greece)'s picture

'Mamedyarov ... in spite of his high rating he is maybe not a top 15 player": I don't understand this, he is no 6 in the live list, how can he not be a top 15 player? Besides, watching him play sometimes I get the feeling he plays like a computer.
He is a very strong player.

Furthermore, you obviously underestimate Ponomariov and Leko.

And finally, I remember some years ago, when he was about 13, Le Quang Liem had a blitz rating of 3300+ in ICC. And now he has won Aeroflot. I don't think you realize how hard it is to win this tournament.

Thomas's picture

At every supertournament, people immediately start criticizing the field, saying that player X or Y shouldn't have been invited ... .

Ponomariov: As I already wrote in the Bazna thread, he didn't get THAT many invitations recently. It is probably coincidence that he now gets two in a row (I don't think it's a coordinated action by the Romanian and German organizers). Maybe his appearance fee demands are comparatively moderate?

Naiditsch: Like it or not, he is the highest-rated German player. And he is a local guy from Dortmund.

Peter Doggers's picture

And he won the tournament in 2005, ahead of Van Wely, Topalov, Svidler, Kramnik, Adams and Leko...

Thomas's picture

On second thought: Maybe Ponomariov's result at the World Cup also put him in the spotlight again - like it or not, he reached the final and almost qualified for the candidates tournament .... . I don't know when organizers start putting the field together, it may well take a few months to have all contracts signed and the field to be announced.
Also related to the World Cup: Should Malakhov also get one or two high-level invitations?

ChessGirl's picture

Ponomariov was invited to Bazna just a few weeks ago, he might have just fooled the poor Romanians into thinking he can actually play chess.
Malakhov played very well last year, I agree with Thomas it would be nice seeing him in some of these tournaments.

Mig's picture

When the drawing of lots takes place is largely meaningless in a double round-robin. The problem was when it was a single round-robin a few years ago and Dortmund still did the draw early and behind closed doors. Not kosher.

gg's picture

"I don’t understand this, he is no 6 in the live list, how can he not be a top 15 player?"

Mamedyarov wasn't top 15 on any of last year's rating lists.He picked up lots of points on lower boards in team events and is suddenly 6th thanks to that but has never scored a good result in a strong tournament and won't win Dortmund either.

Georgios Souleidis's picture

"...did the draw early and behind closed doors. Not kosher."
Behind closed doors??? Not kosher???
German journalists of the biggest local newspapers were invited to the press conference. Some of them came and took part at the drawing of lots. Of course this wasn´t a big celebration, just a nice intro for the tournament. So everything is allright.

Serdal's picture

The funniest thing for me: On the Dortmund home page there is a text presenting Leko as someone who is 'at his best'. I assume it is the same Leko as the one that won Dortmund 2001 and that was (with Kasparov, Anand and Kramnik) in the inner circle of the chess elite...

Peter Zhdanov's picture

Kramnik has a decent chance to win Dortmund for the 10th time :-)

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