On the Bundesliga, Vishy Anand, Mickey Adams and... Mario Basler
After two more victories this weekend (one with the smallest possible margin against their big rival Werder Bremen) the team from Baden-Baden is very close to winning yet another Bundesliga title. Eric van Reem was in Bremen this weekend and reports about the two matches played by OSG Baden Baden on Saturday and Sunday.
Luke McShane, Vishy Anand and Anish Giri chatting, and playing, in the Bundesliga, in the Weser Stadium in Bremen, Germany
Close match decided by Michael Adams - OSG Baden Baden wins 4.5-3.5
Photos & report by Eric van Reem
It was the match chess lovers had hoped for: the clinch between the titans of the Bundesliga OSG Baden Baden and Werder Bremen was a nail-biting match in which 16 top grandmasters battled it out. In the end only one game was decided: Michael Adams won his game against Laurent Fressinet, the other seven games were drawn: 4,5-3,5. With this win, OSG Baden Baden will almost certainly defend its title.
In the 12th round of the German Bundesliga, the number one OSG Baden Baden with 20 points, met its biggest rival Werder Bremen (19) in the beautiful business lounge of the Weser Stadium, where normally the local football club with the same name meets his opponents.
The interior of the Weser Stadium | Photo by Henning Ihmels under the GNU Free Documentation License
One of the most famous goals ever scored in the stadium is the following:
In the lounge of the stadium, a text is dedicated to this goal, placed on one of the 'corners':
"When you do it really super, you can score directly with a corner kick. This is what Mario Basler did with his goal against Freiburg, which eventually resulted in a 5-1 home victory here in the Weser Stadium on 10 March 1995."
Since the football club had an away game against German Champ Borussia Dortmund on the same day (which they lost 1-0), the lounge was filled with top grandmasters today.
The defending champion from Baden Baden shocked the home team when World Champion Vishy Anand walked in, together with his manager Hans-Walter Schmitt and some of the other players. It was the first appearance of the World Champion in the Bundesliga since February 2010.
Anand, who is preparing for the world championship match against Boris Gelfand, which starts on 10 May, must have been surprised that he met Pavel Eljanov on the other side of the board, because it was the first Bundesliga game of the season for the Ukranian grandmaster as well.
World Champion Vishy Anand facing Pavel Eljanov on board 1
But we should not forget that some other formidable grandmasters showed up today: Shirov, Svidler, Nielsen, Adams, Naiditsch, Kasimdzhanov and Bacrot for Baden Baden; Efimenko, Fressinet, McShane, Roiz, Nyback, Hammer and Areshenko for Werder. And let’s not forget that in the same lounge another match was played between Emsdetten and Trier. Emsdetten played with five Dutch players, Anish Giri representing his team on board one.
Bremen and Baden Baden played some tight matches in the recent past, as you can see in the table below:
2010/2011 Baden-Baden – Werder Bremen 5-3
2009/2010 Baden-Baden – Werder Bremen 3-5
2008/2009 Baden-Baden – Werder Bremen 4-4
2007/2008 Baden-Baden – Werder Bremen 4.5-3.5
2006/2007 Baden-Baden – Werder Bremen 6-2
2005/2006 Baden-Baden – Werder Bremen 4-4
2004/2005 Baden-Baden – Werder Bremen 4.5-3.5
Unfortunately, this match could have been the last one on this level. In a press statement, published only shortly before the match against Baden Baden, the Werder Bremen officials describe a radical change of strategy. You can read the statement here (in German).
In short: Werder Bremen wants to focus on the youth in the future and the club wants to give young talents the chance to play in the Bundesliga team. They want to have a good and stable mixture of professional players and amateurs. Winning the Bundesliga will not be the top priority anymore.
Back to the match: what happened on board one between Anand and Eljanov? It did not take long until the game attracted many spectators in the playing hall due to the unusual position on the board. A pretty sharp game unfolded in which Anand seemed to have the upper hand, but Eljanov defended very well and even got a better position.
After the game, Anand commented:
It was a very complicated game. I thought I had an advantage and I had some ideas, but it was hard to play, because his knights controlled many important squares. I was very unhappy with 34.Bd1? and I think black had some chances after that. After the time control I was safe again.
Video by Georgios Souleidis: Vishy Anand
Eljanov confirmed that it was a very complicated game and he was happy with the draw:
I completely forgot my preparation after 12.Qh5, so I was happy to get back into the game at all. I might have had some chances, but in the end I was happy with the result.
Video by Georgios Souleidis: Pavel Eljanov
Pavel Eljanov and Vishy Anand after the game, with Peter Svidler
Another key game in the match was the crazy game on board seven, between Peter Heine Nielsen (Denmark) and Tomi Nyback (Finland. ) The Danish Grandmaster bashed out his moves quickly: after 28 moves Nielsen still had 1 hour and 30 minutes left, Nyback only seven. However, after 28…Be8, Nielsen went into “deep thinking mode” for more than an hour and uncorked 29.g5. Peter Svidler, who had just finished his game against Efimenko (draw) was “worried” about white’s position. He was right, because Nielsen blundered with 30. Bd5??. However, Nyback missed 30…Rc1! and offered a draw just a few moves later. A narrow escape for Baden Baden!
Video by Georgios Souleidis: Peter Heine Nielsen
Peter Heine Nielsen vs. Tomi Nyback
In the only decisive game, Michael Adams had a microscopic advantage after a Ruy Lopez against Laurent Fressinet. In his typical boa constrictor style, Adams gradually improved his position and eventually won the game after 66 moves and 6,5 hours of play, securing his team a 4.5-3.5 win.
Mickey Adams and Laurent Fressinet jus after their game finished
The other match in Bremen between Emsdetten and Trier ended 4.5-3.5.
OSG Baden-Baden vs Turm Emsdetten
Baden Baden against The Netherlands? Turm Emsdetten played with no less than five players from the neighboring country in Bremen and faced the strong team from Baden Baden on Sunday. Emsdetten scored an important win on Saturday against Trier, but now they faced Baden-Baden, the team that played with the same line-up as on Saturday.
Turm Emsdetten played with Giri, Mchedlishvili, Spoelman, Ipatov, Swiercz, Brandenburg, Janssen and Pruijssers
Vishy Anand played on board one against Anish Giri, the only 2700+ player in the Emsdetten squad. After 22 moves Giri offered a draw, which was accepted by the World Champion.
Giri will play the European Individual Chess Championship in Plovdiv, which starts on Monday 19 March. In Bulgaria, he will meet some of the players that played in Bremen this weekend: Bacrot, Naiditsch, Efinemko, Fressinet, Roiz and Nyback to name just a few.
Although Baden Baden played with no less than six 2700+ players against Emsdetten, they had to work hard for their win. Dariusz Swiercz had the upper hand against Etienne Bacrot after the opening. The Frenchman used a lot of time and was down to 1 minute after only 19 moves. However, Bacrot somehow managed to keep his position and the game eventually ended in draw. Swiercz told us after the game that 16. fxe5! instead of 16.Qc6?! would have been much better and possibly winning.
Dariusz Swietcz vs. Etienne Bacrot
Adams (again!) and Nielsen won their games with the black pieces. Kasimdzahnov had an edge against Pruijssers and could have finished the game elegantly with 34. Qxe7! Qxe7 35.a7, but he played 34. Qxa7 instead and had to fight a few hours more to secure the win in a complicated endgame.
The post-mortem of Kasimdzhanov vs Pruijssers with Anand and Giri kibitzing
The other games ended in a draw, the match ended 5.5-2.5.
In the other match in Bremen between Werder Bremen and Trier, Laszlo Gonda beat Zaher Efimenko in a beautiful game. However, that was not enough to shock the home team. Bremen won the match convincingly in the end.
Hungarian grandmaster Laszlo Gonda (2536) played a brilliant game
Bundesliga 2011-2012 | Round 13 standings
|6||SV Wattenscheid 1930||13||6||2||5||14||53|
|7||SV 1930 Hockenheim||13||5||4||4||14||52.5|
|9||SF Berlin 1903||13||5||3||5||13||49|
|10||SV Mülheim Nord||13||5||2||6||12||51|
|11||SK Turm Emsdetten||13||4||2||7||10||46|
|13||SK König Tegel||13||3||1||9||7||39.5|
|14||USV TU Dresden||13||3||0||10||6||40.5|
|15||SC Hansa Dortmund||13||1||4||8||6||37.5|
|16||SC 1950 Remagen||13||1||2||10||4||41.5|
The last Bundesliga weekend is in one month from now, with the 14th round on Saturday, Aprl 14th and the 15th and final round on Sunday the 15th. The team of OSG Baden-Baden will probably secure a new Bundesliga title in its home town against Eppingen and Hockenheim.
Visitors watching the games in a separate room
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