Baden-Baden retains German title with a struggling world champ on board 1
For the seventh year in a row, the Bundesliga team OSG Baden-Baden won the German Team Championship. However, the last Bundesliga weekend was a bit bumpy for the star team from Baden-Baden: after an unexpected 4-4 against the team from Eppingen in the penultimative round with a shock loss of world champion Vishy Anand against Sergey Tiviakov, the planned party was delayed one day. In the last round on Sunday however, OSG Baden-Baden crushed Hockenheim 7-1, securing the title.
By Eric van Reem
Saturday – SC Eppingen shocks OSG Baden-Baden
The playing hall in Baden-Baden
The home team of Baden-Baden had everything prepared for a victory party on Saturday, but the opponents from SC Eppingen, number three on the table, proved to be a really tough opponent. In the end the match ended 4-4, but the favorites were on the brink of losing the match.
Once again world champion Vishy Anand showed up to play two Bundesliga games. He arrived in a typical Baden horse-drawn carriage with his manager Hans-Walter Schmitt to play against Sergey Tiviakov. Certainly not everybody expected Anand to play just a few weeks before the world championship in Moscow, which will start on 10 May.
Anand played with the black pieces against Tiviakov, who played a smooth game. The Dutchman obtained a nice advantage, which he gradually expanded. Anand did not find any counterplay and after 44 moves the world champion resigned. It was a textbook game, which shows how to take advantage of the weak square “d5”.
In an interview for the official website, Tiviakov said that Anand obviously did not know the variation 3…Nd7 at all and that black made a lot of mistakes:
11…b6 is a serious mistake, black has too many weaknesses in his position. It was an easy game for me today.
Tiviakov said that he did not know that he would face Anand on Saturday:
I just came from Russia the day before the match against Baden-Baden, had to arrange some things at home in Groningen and travelled for more than 10 hours to Baden-Baden. I had no time to prepare anything.
Things went wrong for the home team also on the second board: Paco Vallejo of Spain lost against Hungarian GM Peter Acs.
Therefore the lower boards had to secure at least a draw. Schlosser won against Vogt and top scorer Arkadij Naiditsch managed to equalize the score by winning against Robert Ruck.
The other games ended in a draw, although all games were hard-fought. In the other match in Baden-Baden on Saturday, SG Trier easily won against SV Hockenheim.
Baden-Baden 1870: the first Super Tournament
The German city of Baden-Baden is famous for its spas, its therapeutic waters and its casino, but the picturesque city has also played host to some of the greatest chess tournaments in history. Back in 1870 a tournament was organized, that can be regarded as the first “super tournament”. It was the first tournament in which only top international players were invited: Adolf Anderssen, Wilhelm Steinitz, Joseph Blackburne and Gustav Neumann, to name just a few. Quite interesting to know is the following: it was the first tournament in which chess clocks were used (20 moves had to be made per hour), and it was the first time that draws counted as half points. Anderssen won the tournament with 11/16, before Steinitz with 10,5/16. More information about the players and the tournament can be found here.
A group photo of the participants in 1925
Another memorable tournament in the history of chess is Baden-Baden 1925, with players like Alekhine, Reti, Nimzowitsch, Torre, Tarrasch and Grünfeld. Alekhine won with the phenomenal score 16/20. In recent history, in 1992 Anatoly Karpov won a round robin tournament in Baden-Baden with 9,5/11.
Sunday: Easy 7-1 win for the champs against Hockenheim
After the draw on Saturday, the players of OSG Baden-Baden were sent to bed early by team captain Sven Noppes to prepare for the final round against Hockenheim, starting at a chess-player unfriendly time: 10.00 AM. Arkadij Naiditsch was the first player to win. He won both games this weekend and had a great +7 score this season: 11/15.
Anand played his last game before the world championship match in May against Rainer Buhmann and he quickly gained a small plus. However, the world champion had difficulties to convert his advantage and he even had some problems after 46. Ne1. However, Buhmann did not find the right plan and Anand won the game in the end.
Baden-Baden players Peter Heine Nielsen of Denmark (l.) and Etienne Bacrot of France
The final score was 7-1, securing the title and with a convincing win OSG Baden-Baden ended the season with a bang.
SV Hockenheim had enough reason to celebrate as well, as their Elisabeth Pähtz scored her first GM norm after drawing with GM Laszlo Gonda. SC Hansa Dortmund, USV TU Dresden, SC 1950 Remagen and SK König Tegel relegated to the second league.
|5||SV Wattenscheid 1930||15||8||2||5||18||64|
|8||SV 1930 Hockenheim||15||5||4||6||14||56.5|
|9||SV Mülheim Nord||15||5||3||7||13||60.5|
|10||SF Berlin 1903||15||5||3||7||13||56.5|
|11||SK Turm Emsdetten||15||5||2||8||12||54.5|
|13||SC Hansa Dortmund||15||3||4||8||10||48|
|14||USV TU Dresden||15||4||0||11||8||52|
|15||SC 1950 Remagen||15||2||3||10||7||53|
|16||SK König Tegel||15||3||1||11||7||43.5|
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