Caruana wins 40th Sparkassen Chess Meeting in Dortmund
Fabiano Caruana won the Sparkassen Chess Meeting in Dortmund on Sunday. The Italian grandmaster edged out Sergey Karjakin on tiebreak after both players finished on 6/9. The first tiebreak rule, number of black games, was the same for the players but Caruana scored three victories and Karjakin only two.
Fabiano Caruana with flowers and the trophy | All photos © Georgios Souleidis courtesy of the official website
An exciting final weekend in Dortmund saw five leaders before the final round, and two players finishing on top: Fabiano Caruana and Sergey Karjakin. The former was declared winner on tiebreak. Vladimir Kramnik, who won his tenth title in Dortmund last year, had to be satisfied with a shared third place, together with Ruslan Ponomariov, Arkadij Naiditsch and Peter Leko.
Kramnik saw his chances for an eleventh win evaporate in the penultimate round. Despite bringing an interesting novelty on move 8 in a Berlin Ruy Lopez, the Russian lost his game against Fabiano Caruana, who said:
Before the round I felt this plan [Kramnik's early Nc6-e7 - CV] doesn't work, because White controls the centre. But afterwards I only played logical moves. After he let my pieces enter his position, I was winning.
Peter Leko defeated Mateusz Bartel, who repeated a line in the French which Caruana also played against Leko, in round 4. The Hungarian said:
I had to avoid my opponent's preparation, so I chose a different plan. Then he committed too many inaccuracies.
Ruslan Ponomariov had excellent chances to repeat his 2010 success after beating Jan Gustafsson in round 8. The 27-year-old Ukrainian won a fine strategical endgame.
This game reminded us a bit of the following classic.
Caruana was the first winner on Sunday. In a little analysed Grünfeld ending his opponent Bartel made an early mistake.
Karjakin got a strong attack in a Caro-Kann against Gustafsson and finished the game with an easy tactic based on a double attack.
Kramnik also finished his game against Meier with a nice combination:
Ponomariov was in the best position before the last round, because of his tiebreak: he had played five games with Black. However, the Ukrainian couldn't break the defence of Daniel Fridman.
Naiditsch and Leko played the game of the day. With a win the German player could have overtaken Caruana based on his five Black games.
The traditional group photo at the closing ceremony
Afterwards tournament winner Caruana said:
My play was very shaky at the beginning. Especially the first two games I played very badly. Then it went rather normal, apart from the game against Leko which I could have lost. In the second half of the tournament I played much better and especially the game against Kramnik was a highlight for me. It was an interesting game and I played really well. Ultimately, I am very happy with the tournament victory since it came somewhat unexpectedly in the last round. Basically everything went to my advantage.
The Sparkassen Chess Meeting was very interesting this year. I played pretty well, but if you want to win a tournament, then you have to make use of your opportunities. That I did not beat Peter Leko is just crazy, there were so many winning ways. This shows that I was tired at the end of the tournament. In this game I missed my chance to win the tournament, or at least share the top spot.
The rest of the tournament was normal in my opinion. The defeat against Caruana can happen. Perhaps it was not my day, but he played really well. I was also tired from the day before. Probably the game against Leko was the longest I've ever played. When it was finished, I looked at the clock and it was almost 23.00! I was really tired the next day. However, and I am repeating myself, Caruana played really well. In the end it was my fault.
Thanks to Georgios Souleidis, who wrote daily round reports in German at the official website.
Schedule and results
|Round 1||15:00 CET||13.07.12||Round 2||15:00 CET||14.07.12|
|Round 3||15:00 CET||15.07.12||Round 4||15:00 CET||16.07.12|
|Round 5||15:00 CET||17.07.12||Round 6||15:00 CET||19.07.12|
|Round 7||15:00 CET||20.07.12||Round 8||15:00 CET||21.07.12|
|Round 9||13:00 CET||22.07.12|
Dortmund 2012 | Crosstable
Dortmund 2012 | Final standings
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