Reports | February 07, 2013 20:41

Grenke Chess Classic: Caruana starts with a win

Caruana beats Meier in round 1

Fabiano Caruana took an early lead at the Grenke Chess Classic in Baden-Baden on Thursday, beating Georg Meier with the white pieces in a French Defence, Rubinstein Variation. Superb opening preparation gave the Italian a slightly better position but a big time advantage, and at some point Meier started to make inevitable mistakes. Both Adams-Anand and  Naiditsch-Fridman ended in draws.

Caruana beats Meier in round 1 | All photos © Georgios Souleidis, more here

February used to be the month of the Linares super tournament, but unfortunately it has disappeared from the calendar. However, we'll have three big events this month: Zurich at the end, Reykjavik in the middle and now the Grenke Chess Classic, which started on Thursday. Two players will play in both Baden-Baden and Zurich: Vishy Anand and Fabiano Caruana.

The Grenke Classic is a double round robin with 10 rounds and one rest day on Tuesday the 12th. The time control is 40 moves for 100 minutes followed by 20 moves in 50 minutes followed by 15 minutes to finish the game, with a 30-second increment from the start. Since draw offers before move 40 are not allowed, we're going to see a lot of long games!

In the first round Fabiano Caruana immediately washed away the bad vibes which might have been left from his previous tournament, Tata Steel in Wijk aan Zee last month. There, the Italian basically had his first bad tournament in a long time, and consequently he dropped big time in the rankings. In Baden-Baden's first round he looked like the good old Caruana again:

PGN string

Fabiano Caruana starts with a good win, and leads by half a point

World Champion Vishy Anand, on his turn, played his first good tournament in a long time in Wijk aan Zee, and he'll surely like to continue the same way in both Baden-Baden and Zurich. Against Adams, he seemed to be equalizing comfortably out of the opening, but after a risky rook manoeuvre his position became slightly unpleasant.

PGN string

Only a week after finishing shared 5th in Gibraltar, Michael Adams drew with the World Champ

Arkadij Naiditsch and Daniel Fridman, the numbers 1 and 2 on the German Elo list, drew the least entertaining game of the round. Fridman was doing fine against Naiditsch' choice of opening, which is all the rage these days: the Scotch Four Knights. Without the anti-draw rule the game would probably have finished a bit earlier.

PGN string

A balanced game between Germany's top players

Grenke Chess Classic 2013 | Pairings

Round 1 07.02.13 15:00 CET   Round 6 13.02.13 15:00 CET
Naiditsch ½-½ Fridman   Fridman - Naiditsch
Adams ½-½ Anand   Anand - Adams
Caruana 1-0 Meier   Meier - Caruana
Round 2 08.02.13 15:00 CET   Round 7 14.02.13 15:00 CET
Fridman - Meier   Meier - Fridman
Anand - Caruana   Caruana - Anand
Naiditsch - Adams   Adams - Naiditsch
Round 3 09.02.13 15:00 CET   Round 8 15.02.13 15:00 CET
Adams - Fridman   Fridman - Adams
Caruana - Naiditsch   Naiditsch - Caruana
Meier - Anand   Anand - Meier
Round 4 10.02.13 15:00 CET   Round 9 16.02.13 15:00 CET
Fridman - Anand   Anand - Fridman
Naiditsch - Meier   Meier - Naiditsch
Adams - Caruana   Caruana - Adams
Round 5 11.02.13 15:00 CET   Round 10 17.02.13 13:00 CET
Caruana - Fridman   Fridman - Caruana
Meier - Adams   Adams - Meier
Anand - Naiditsch   Naiditsch - Anand

Grenke Classic 2013 | Round 1 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.


achja's picture

"White now has a pawn and an attack." should be something like "Caruana got his pawn back, and with an attack" as it is 5 against 5 pawns after 26.Nxd4.

Peter Doggers's picture


Thomas Oliver's picture

Another little correction: Kramnik's "little novelty" 10.h3 in the Scotch Four Knights is from his Tal Memorial game against Aronian - not the match in Zurich where Levon had deviated with 5.-Bc5 leading to a "less positional game".

Indeed this line seems to become popular also at a somewhat lower level - I think I saw it in games from the German Bundesliga and/or Moscow Open. But objectively it's probably just as drawish as the Petroff or Berlin endgame.

Born's picture

That sounds a bit paranoid to me..

brabo's picture

True. For amateurs it is a very easy line to play without study. I even wrote a blogarticle about it last year: So also in Belgium the line is very popular.

Peter Doggers's picture

Thanks, corrected.

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