Reports | July 18, 2012 20:06

Dortmund R5: Karjakin, Kramnik and Ponomariov share lead

Sergey Karjakin, Vladimir Kramnik and Ruslan Ponomariov share the lead at the Sparkassen Chess Meeting. The three GMs are on 3.5/5. Wednesday is a rest day; four more rounds will be played in Dortmund.

The stage of the Schauspielhaus Hiltropwall in Dortmund | All photos © Georgios Souleidis, more here

Event Sparkassen Chess Meeting | PGN
Dates July 13-22, 2012
Location Dortmund, Germany
System 10-player round robin
Players Kramnik, Karjakin, Caruana, Ponomariov, Leko, Bartel, Gustafsson, Naiditsch, Meier, Fridman
Rate of play 40 moves in 100 minutes, then 20 moves in 50 minutes, then 15 minutes to finish the game with 30 second increment from move 1.

Round 3

In the third round (see our first report for the first two rounds) there were no less than four decisive games. Kramnik outplayed Bartel from an English Opening and won a pawn. However, the Polish grandmaster fought hard, and only after the first time control Kramnik's passed a-pawn became a decisive factor.

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Vladimir Kramnik, who is trying to win his 11th Dortmund title

Ruslan Ponomariov scored a nice attacking victory, with Black against Georg Meier. In a Slav Defence, the Ukrainian directed most of his pieces to the kingside and opened up the position there. In timetrouble, Meier couldn't find the best defence and after an exchange sacrifice by Ponomariov the white king was defenceless.

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Ruslan Ponomariov

Fabiano Caruana scored his first victory in this third round. Against Daniel Fridman he reached a promising ending, holding the bishop pair. At some point the 19-year-old Italian won his opponent's h-pawn, and eventually his own h-pawn decided the game.

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Fabiano Caruana vs Daniel Fridman

Peter Leko also celebrated his first victory, against Jan Gustafsson. According to the official website the German GM "committed suicide" in a Ruy Lopez, where a bishop move to g4 in the opening was a strategic mistake. "You cannot play that. I get control of the center and I am much better," said the Hungarian afterwards. Leko gave his opponent no chance. With subtle maneuvers he eventually won a pawn on the a-file and soon Gustafsson had to resign.

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Peter Leko vs Jan Gustafsson 

Round 4

All games in the fourth round ended in draws. In timetrouble Peter Leko missed an excellent chance to beat Fabiano Caruana. He could have reached a (winning) ending with two bishops against a rook.

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Peter Leko vs Fabiano Caruana

Round 5

Sergey Karjakin is known to be an expert in the Advance Variation of the Caro-Kann, and he showed it in his game against Daniel Fridman. On move 18 the fresh Rapid World Champion brought a theoretical novelty and soon after Fridman started to make mistakes.

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Sergey Karjakin vs Daniel Fridman

Fabiano Caruana defeated Jan Gustafsson from a Ruy Lopez that started quietly. In timetrouble it was impossible for "Gusti" to find his way in the wild complications. 

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Fabiano Caruana vs Jan Gustafsson

Mateusz Bartel and Arkadij Naiditsch played the longest game of the day. In the middlegame the Polish GM sacrificed an exchange, but Naiditsch managed to meet the threats against his king and reach an ending. The material was greatly reduced and Bartel could put up strong resistance with his bishop pair. But, after seven hours of play, at move 108, he overlooked a tactic and had to resign.

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Mateusz Bartel vs Arkadij Naiditsch

Thanks to Georgios Souleidis who writes 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
Fridman ½-½ Gustafsson   Gustafsson 0-1 Kramnik
Leko ½-½ Ponomariov   Bartel 0-1 Karjakin
Caruana ½-½ Naiditsch   Naiditsch ½-½ Meier
Meier 1-0 Bartel   Ponomariov 1-0 Caruana
Karjakin ½-½ Kramnik   Fridman ½-½ Leko
Round 3 15:00 CET 15.07.12   Round 4 15:00 CET 16.07.12
Leko 1-0 Gustafsson   Gustafsson ½-½ Bartel
Caruana 1-0 Fridman   Naiditsch ½-½ Kramnik
Meier 0-1 Ponomariov   Ponomariov ½-½ Karjakin
Karjakin ½-½ Naiditsch   Fridman ½-½ Meier
Kramnik 1-0 Bartel   Leko ½-½ Caruana
Round 5 15:00 CET 17.07.12   Round 6 15:00 CET 19.07.12
Caruana 1-0 Gustafsson   Gustafsson - Naiditsch
Meier ½-½ Leko   Ponomariov - Bartel
Karjakin 1-0 Fridman   Fridman - Kramnik
Kramnik ½-½ Ponomariov   Leko - Karjakin
Bartel 0-1 Naiditsch   Caruana - Meier
Round 7 15:00 CET 20.07.12   Round 8 15:00 CET 21.07.12
Meier - Gustafsson   Gustafsson - Ponomariov
Karjakin - Caruana   Fridman - Naiditsch
Kramnik - Leko   Leko - Bartel
Bartel - Fridman   Caruana - Kramnik
Naiditsch - Ponomariov   Meier - Karjakin
Round 9 13:00 CET 22.07.12        
Karjakin - Gustafsson        
Kramnik - Meier        
Bartel - Caruana        
Naiditsch - Leko        
Ponomariov - Fridman        

Dortmund 2012 | Round 5 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

Peter, Good report, excellent games included...Much thanks.

bronkenstein's picture

+1 , the high quality of reports @ Chessvibes got me ´converted´ to always checking it first (instead of few other sites I used to) as soon as i ´discovered´ it =)

Anonymous's picture

3 world champions in this tournament and so far they are really playing like it. Just look at the games Ponomariov-Caruana, Gustafsson-Kramnik and Karjakin-Fridman. Leko seems to be getting better again as well. But in the end the German players will decide who wins.

iLane's picture

Three world champions? Could you name them please...?! :o

bronkenstein's picture

2 ex and one rapid, in fact =) But their class shows, that was the point i guess.

redivivo's picture

"3 world champions in this tournament and so far they are really playing like it"

It's easier to play like a World Champion in a tournament like this one than in a much stronger event.

Anonymous's picture

Blablabla redivivo. Everyone knows you can't stand a tournament without Carlsson. But Kramnik, Karjakin, Ponomariov, Leko and Caruana still have to play one another this tournament. Kramnik-Pono and Karjakin-Kramnik are excellent games too. And these champs don't have to rely on exhausting their lower rated opponents in order to win, they just outplay them.
Having said that, it would have been nice to have a tactician like Morozevich or Aronian thrown in the mix.

redivivo's picture

"Everyone knows you can't stand a tournament without Carlsson"

I don't care the least if Carlsen plays Biel or Dortmund or both or none of them, there are much stronger tournaments this year. But beating players like Bartel and Gustafsson just doesn't equal playing World Champion level chess.

Anonymous's picture

Once again you are omitting the fact that they also have to play one another. And Leko, and Caruana.
Try trolling a bit less obvious.

Goendi's picture

Very sportif player this Polish GM ! I believe in his game against Naiditsch he could have claimed a draw even in the end position where he resigned...

Niima's picture

How so?

Anonymous's picture

Ruslan always looks like a boy in his father's clothes. His shirts are always a tad too large :-))

vosuram's picture

Peter, why did you stop coverage of Dortmund?

Peter Doggers's picture

I didn't, just not every day.

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