Reports | August 04, 2013 15:34

Adams draws quickly with Kramnik, wins 41st Dortmund

Adams draws quickly with Kramnik, wins 41st Dortmund

Michael Adams won the 41st Sparkassen Chess Meeting in Dortmund after playing a quick draw with Vladimir Kramnik in Sunday's final round. The 41-year-old Englishman finished on 7/9 (TPR 2923) which was half a point more than Vladimir Kramnik, who won ten times in Dortmund, but not in 2012 and not in 2013. In the final round Arkadij Naiditsch defeated Igor Khenkin and Fabiano Caruana won against Daniel Fridman.

Photos courtesy of the Sparkassen Chess Meeting

Adams finished Dortmund as the only player who remained undefeated. Kramnik was the first to compliment the Englishman:

Adams' win was fully deserved. He's a very strong player. It's not for nothing that for the past two decades he's been among the best players in the world.

Adams himself said:

I didn't expect such a result. In chess one cannot say in advance how things will go. I prepared every game thoroughly and just wanted to do my best. Besides, my opponents were nice to me. Of course I'm happy that everything worked out so well.

Adams needed a draw for clear first, and he got it very quickly. Kramnik's opening choice revealed ambitious intentions, but somehow he got himself into a position where he had to allow a repetition of moves. (Earlier in the tournament we erroneously criticised the tournament for allowing such short draws, which was nonsense of course. The rules don't prevent this; it's part of chess.)

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Adams won 20.9 rating points (!) and is now 12th in the live ratings. Kramnik recovered well from his bad performance at the Tal Memorial: the Russian performanced at a level of 2866 and won back 10 rating points. He changed places in the rankings with Fabiano Caruana (3rd and 5th), who lost 16.7 points. The Italian limited the damage with a good win over Daniel Fridman in the final round; quite a theoretical Classical French.

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Wang Hao, who had lost two games in a row, also finished his tournament victoriously. On his 24th birthday, the Chinese grandmaster defeated Georg Meier using several tactics in a queenless middlegame that started as an English/Réti.

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At the start of the round, Vice-President of the German Chess Federation
Michael Langer gave a present to Wang Hao, who turned 24 today

Arkadij Naiditsch got a big advantage out of the opening thanks to good preparation. Igor Khenkin often plays the same lines, so it was no surpise that he would go for 3...c5 in the Advance Caro-Kann. It seems that after this game he needs to fix his repertoire again.

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Adams and Kramnik were the only two players who finished on a plus score. Together with Naiditsch, Peter Leko scored 50% after drawing with Dmitry Andreikin. This game followed what is one of the absolute main lines of the Nimzo-Indian these days, and which leads to a drawn ending right from the opening.

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Michael Adams at the closing ceremony


Dortmund 2013 | Schedule & results

Round 1 15:00 CET 26.07.13   Round 2 15:00 CET 27.07.13
Khenkin ½-½ Leko   Leko ½-½ Caruana
Meier 1-0 Naiditsch   Adams 1-0 Andreikin
Kramnik 1-0 Wang Hao   Wang Hao 1-0 Fridman
Fridman ½-½ Adams   Naiditsch ½-½ Kramnik
Andreikin 0-1 Caruana   Khenkin ½-½ Meier
Round 3 15:00 CET 28.07.13   Round 4 15:00 CET 29.07.13
Meier ½-½ Leko   Leko ½-½ Adams
Kramnik ½-½ Khenkin   Wang Hao 1-0 Caruana
Fridman ½-½ Naiditsch   Naiditsch 1-0 Andreikin
Andreikin ½-½ Wang Hao   Khenkin ½-½ Fridman
Caruana 0-1 Adams   Meier 0-1 Kramnik
Round 5 15:00 CET 30.07.13   Round 6 15:00 CET 01.08.13
Kramnik 1-0 Leko   Leko ½-½ Wang Hao
Fridman ½-½ Meier   Naiditsch 0-1 Adams
Andreikin 1-0 Khenkin   Khenkin ½-½ Caruana
Caruana ½-½ Naiditsch   Meier ½-½ Andreikin
Adams 1-0 Wang Hao   Kramnik 1-0 Fridman
Round 7 15:00 CET 02.08.13   Round 8 15:00 CET 03.08.13
Fridman ½-½ Leko   Leko 1-0 Naiditsch
Andreikin 1-0 Kramnik   Khenkin 1-0 Wang Hao
Caruana ½-½ Meier   Meier ½-½ Adams
Adams 1-0 Khenkin   Kramnik 1-0 Caruana
Wang Hao 0-1 Naiditsch   Fridman ½-½ Andreikin
Round 9 13:00 CET 04.08.13        
Andreikin ½-½ Leko        
Caruana 1-0 Fridman        
Adams ½-½ Kramnik        
Wang Hao 1-0 Meier        
Naiditsch 1-0 Khenkin        

Dortmund 2013 | Final standings


Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


Anonymous's picture

Kramnik the Fighter!

dirkbredemeier's picture

Adams chose a clever Variation (3. c3). Kramink did his best in playing the sicillian. In the end he was worse, so against a above-2700-player like Adams playing on and not taking the repetition would have been suicide. No sense to blame Kramnik for the short draw.

Impressive result for Adams, not a bad result for Kramnik.

Anonymous's picture

Kramnik played a line where the best he can get already at move 9 in a must win game is an immediate draw, not a success.

Anonymous's picture

Yes, this opening was an unmitigated disaster for Kramnik. He wanted a complicated position with chances for both sides so he could induce Adams to make errors, win the game, and win the Dortmund tournament.

Instead Kramnik got tricked by Adams' move order and either had to take an immediate draw or play an position with an *enormous* disadvantage (+1.29 according to Houdini 3 after 14 ... Nb6-d7) against a 2760 in fantastic form. Kramnik wisely took the draw.

An opening disaster when you need a win to win the tournament. The fact that Kramnik had second place already wrapped up make it even worse, i.e., losing would *not* have changed his position in the final standings.

Caissa's picture

I wonder if Kramnik would have done the same in the Candidates' last round ...

Sergio Henrique Riedel's picture

I totally agree with this post. Kramnik had already the second place before the last round, and he hadn`t nothing to lose playing for a win. Unfortunately for Kramnik, Adams surprised him.

ShockeR's picture

Im incredibly disappointed in both players.. -.-

Anonymous's picture

it's because you don't know how to play chess. Nothing to be scared of. Many people are like you.Smiling and talking non sense.

ShockeR's picture

You are just talking nonsense.

But that's not something weird these days. 80% of the internet users are like You. Sad, sad people..

daniel's picture

Sad to burst your bubble, but Adams played perfectly. Kramnik, of course, did not.

filiusdextris's picture

That's like three times in the last year where Kramnik needed a last-round win and his severe lack of aggressive opening preparation did him in.

Very happy for Adams today.

Anonymous's picture

I'm sure you have those "aggressive opening preparations" with you and that's why you're here talking (...) rather than playing a +2700 rated tournament.

filiusdextris's picture

What does my talent or lack thereof have to do substantively with my point - on topic please.

Anonymous's picture

He made an objective statement.

Kramnik had must-win games with Black in the last round here against Adams and against Ivanchuk at the Candidates Tournament and did not even come close to winning them because of deficiencies in his Black repertoire.

Anonymous's picture

As "objective" as your abilities to "close to winning" "against Adams and against Ivanchuk".

Thomas Oliver's picture

I agree that Kramnik's black repertoire against 1.e4 is pretty limited. But which (2700+) player does have "aggressive opening preparation" with black that gives decent winning chances or at least a "full game" if the opponent is perfectly happy with a draw?

Well done Mickey Adams. But I can't help suspecting that, with roles reversed, Kramnik would be severely criticized for steering the game towards a quick draw.

Caissa's picture

It´s simple. Look at Carlsen, Kamsky, Nakamura ... just deviate from the book at an early stage and just play chess.

Bob's picture

Hooray for Adams, who has shown a lot of classy chess recently.

Greco's picture

Great performance for Adams. I hope its a new beginning for this exremely talented player

Tal's picture

Congratulations Mickey. You played a great tournament.

Stephen's picture

Congratulations to Adams. Along with Gelfand, a resurgence of the over 40s ?

noyb's picture

Complete lay-down by Kramnik, akin to a fighter taking a dive. Quite disappointing!

Angus's picture

Kramnik tried to mix it up by offering an Accelerated Dragon, but Adams played it cool (understandable when he only needed a draw) by playing 3.c3. This avoids the sharpest lines. This should not have come as a surprise to Kramnik. Adams often plays Bb5 Sicilians featuring this move and it suits his style more than the open Sicilian 3.d4 approach. Later on 6.cxd4 was again a solid move rather than inviting complications with 6.Qb3 or 6.Qxd4. This game reflects the tournament situation. I don't think it's fair to criticise the quick draw its just that Adams diffused any hope of complications extremely well. More great play by him. Excellent performance.

Fishy's picture

Ouch...Kramnik draw in 11 moves...!?
A complete disgrace for chess :(

Anonymous's picture

You underestimate Adams. He is cool under pressure and knows well how to punish excessively ambitious play. Kramnik's decision to take the draw when he did was logical.

Anonymous's picture

It was typical, but NOT logical based on the tournament standings. Second place was in the bank, so he should play on, even down a full pawn, rather than accept a draw. The only reason to take a draw is to preserve some ELO points. I call that a weak excuse.

It's true the position on the board warranted a draw, but the game was not played in a vacuum, it was part of a tournament where he could only gain by playing on. So the "logical" decision is to lose a pawn and continue. His decision was emotional.

Anonymous's picture

Care to share your experience on how you used to conclude your tournaments?

jussu's picture

Yep, I'm sure there are about a hundred players in the World who would be overjoyed to hear you recepies how to force a win against Adams with black pieces. Go ahead, share your tricks!

Montcalm's picture

Tara will please the little mickey properly!

Anonymous's picture

When Adams took over the lead, I was afraid that it will be similar to his brief leading in Alekhine´s Memorial this year, luckily I was wrong. Nice one, Mickey =)

Bronkenstein's picture

PS twas me upthere

Anon's picture

When will you guys understand that what these greats are playing is not chess? Its a contagious mutation, also good to follow from a safe distance.

Anon's picture

Many congratulations to Michael Adams, something to tell grandchildren about.

Merlinovich's picture

I think many underestimate what a great tournament Kramnik had here. Performance of 2867 is worthy of respect. He was outsmarted by Adams in the last round, to either accept an inferior position after 9...a5?! 10.d5 or to accept the draw after 9...d6 10.a5 Be6 11.Qb5+ Bd7 12.Qb3 Be6. It was a cunning "checkmate" to Kramnik's ambitions of fighting for first.

This gives Adams a performance of 2923, simply outstanding, congratulations!

Jon's picture

Yeah, a peak that reach Carlsens rating... ;)

Anonymous's picture

Gelfand winning tal memorial at 45 and Mickey winning Dortmund at 41. Definitely vishy is gonna get motivated for the wch match later this year!!!

Crow T Robot's picture

Cheers Mr. Adams!

Stephen's picture

As an old fart, I now feel more motivated to play chess.

Bob's picture


septimus's picture

Leko spoiled his consistency with a win and a loss. Pity.

RG13's picture

In a sane world Kramnik's +4 should have been good enough to win his favorite tournament once again. Adams choosing this event to play out of his mind is just another example of an unjust universe! ;-)

Anonymous's picture

Yes, Kramnik was the moral winner and unjust that he didn't win

Anonymous's picture

Why are there no tournaments in chess - for gay players only?

Frits Fritschy's picture

That might be because - according to the late Dutch grandmaster Donner - all chess players are latent homosexuals. Didn't you know?
Which makes me wonder why it is still permitted to write chess books in Russia.

village idiot's picture

Valodya managed to draw playing more than 10 moves, that alone is a big success for him.

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