Reports | July 15, 2012 13:25

Kramnik brilliancy marks start of 40th Dortmund


A brilliant game by Vladimir Kramnik, who played the King's Indian (!) against Jan Gustafsson, was the biggest news of the 40th Sparkassen Chess Meeting's first two rounds. The tournament runs July 13-22 in Dortmund, Germany and the Russian is in the lead together with Ruslan Ponomariov, Sergey Karjakin and Georg Meier.

Gustafsson-Kramnik | 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 ?
Prize fund ?

The 40th jubilee edition of the Sparkassen Chess Meeting in Dortmund had a relatively quiet start with four draws and a win by Georg Meier over Mateusz Bartel in Friday's first round. The 24-year-old grandmaster from Trier profited from a few early mistakes by his opponent and also played well in the technical phase.

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Georg Meier vs Mateusz Bartel

In the second round, Ruslan Ponomariov played a strong strategical game and defeated Fabiano Caruana in 26 moves. Bartel also lost his second game. The 27-year-old grandmaster from Poland played inaccurately in the opening and his opponent Sergey Karjakin immediately seized the initiative. (The Russian, who came to Dortmund straight from Astana, had Sergey Shipov take his cup of the Rapid World Championship to Moscow!) The final phase was full of tactics:

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However, the game of the tournament so far is the following. Kramnik only played the KID occasionally in the 90s and is more known for slaying it himself!

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A little brilliancy by Vladimir Kramnik

Games rounds 1-2

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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 - Gustafsson   Gustafsson - Bartel
Caruana - Fridman   Naiditsch - Kramnik
Meier - Ponomariov   Ponomariov - Karjakin
Karjakin - Naiditsch   Fridman - Meier
Kramnik - Bartel   Leko - Caruana
Round 5 15:00 CET 17.07.12   Round 6 15:00 CET 19.07.12
Caruana - Gustafsson   Gustafsson - Naiditsch
Meier - Leko   Ponomariov - Bartel
Karjakin - Fridman   Fridman - Kramnik
Kramnik - Ponomariov   Leko - Karjakin
Bartel   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 2 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.


NN's picture

Kramnik has played brilliantly on many occasions recently. I wish him to return to world no 1.

Jurgen's picture

It is a nice game..., but brilliant? Just a good win in Smyslov style...

miguelanjelo's picture

It is a good win..., but in Smyslov's style? It was a nice game in Kasparov's style

Chris's picture

computer style :)

KVB's picture


Parag's picture

Kramnik was awesome!!!!! No doubt at all...

Anonymous's picture

the " rook " sacrifice took me by surprise. And Kramnik end game was just perfect. beautiful to watch

redivivo's picture

No one is as good as Kramnik against 2600s, from the start of 2011 he is +11 -0 =2 in 13 games against players below 2700, amazing stats.

Thomas's picture

For such statistics, Kramnik benefitted a bit from the fact that McShane was rated 2671 when he beat him in London, but 2706 when he lost in Tal Memorial ... .

On to the game itself: engines insist that white could have forced a draw with 20.Rc7 Bd4 21.Re7 Nxd5 22.Re8+ Kg7 23.Kh1 Nxe3 24.Rc1 (the saving resource) Nd5 25.Rxc8 Rxc8 26.Rxc8 Nc3 27.Rxc3 Bxc3 with opposite-colored bishops. Various sources either (like Chessvibes) don't mention this line at all, or imply that it's impossible to find over the board. While I don't blame Gustafsson, I wonder how impossible it really is - could one get there by process of elimination (everything else is losing or at least dangerous)? If the new plan starting with 13.-a5 is played again, it might just lead to a seemingly spectacular, but possibly prearranged draw!?

This doesn't take much away from Kramnik's original concept - but would the game still be called a brilliancy if it finished like that?

bronkenstein's picture

When you look at it, KID is very simple opening :
a5-4-3-2-1Q 0:1 =)

Soviet School's picture

@Thomas. , if you put every game ever won by humans into a modern computer you will see a way for the loser to get an equal position at some stage. I do not think that makes them any less brilliant.

Liew's picture

How is this a brilliancy?

Anonymous's picture

soviet school, people who hate dont realize logic, so dont even try

Thomas's picture

It isn't hatred, I merely asked a question. For example, what about the following game:
It also had deep opening preparation by Kramnik with an exchange sacrifice, but the opponent (Anand) bailed out returning the material and it was drawn in 23 moves. Brilliancy, interesting game or short and "boring" draw??

jadoubeavich's picture

Kramnik could sit back and draw these games , but he works v hard and comes up with a stunning line in his prep . not original but a very powerful concept.

black is the new white ??? discuss

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