NC World Masters: Anand leads with one lap to go

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Unprepared

At the NC World Masters of the 49th Dortmund International Chess Festival on Saturday, Daniel Fridman faced Viswanathan Anand and Michael Adams faced Dmitrij Kollars. After the second loss to Anand, Fridman admitted:

My preparation was done today when I went on stage. I saw that the place across from Dmitry was already taken and I was preparing for Black’s play against him. Then I improvised against Vishy.

We saw 1.Nf3 on stage for the first time in No-Castling Chess. After the opening, an interesting position emerged in which Black was in control. Fridman went into a slightly worse endgame, and when he got a chance, drew the game by a triple replay.

The game between Adams and Kollars again saw the popular motif f3 or …f6 to put the king on f2 or f7. White captured the bishop pair, but Black’s pawn structure was intact. Both competitors played well, so the game deservedly ended in a draw.

There is still a lot to play in the last round: the match between Anand and Adams will decide who takes the tournament title.


Status after round 5


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Eljanov and Deac score

There were two impressive victories at the German Grand Prix on the stage of the Golden Hall in the Congress Center of the Westfalenhallen Dortmund.

When Pavel Eljanov went to the press center after the game, there was a special compliment from Vishy Anand, who described his game as “very impressive”. Rarely do you see someone defeat European champion Matthias Blübaum so strategically. Eljanov grabbed the bishop pair early on and gradually improved his pieces.

Eljanov decisively captured the pawn on e4 and wanted to win the game in order to take sole lead in the table before the last round.

Luke McShane has played a strong tournament so far but lost in Round 6 to Romanian star Bogdan-Daniel Deac. Deac started the game super sharp, so that both players ran into time trouble early on. In the time trouble, the youngster kept the lead and cold-bloodedly exploited McShane’s mistakes 32…Ng6.

After move 40, Deac found himself in a winning position. The tournament is over for McShane as he has Sunday off and will be live commentating on the final round.

The decision will fall between Eljanov and Deac. For Deac, it’s not just about winning the tournament, but also about breaking the magic 2700 rating barrier.

Pavel Elianov


Current status


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Artem Lutsko on course for an IM standard

In the Sportland NRW Cup for women, a WGM norm is no longer possible, but in the Sportland NRW Youth Cup, an IM norm is within reach for Artem Lutsko.

Lara Schulze is playing an outstanding tournament and was the sole leader before the eighth round. Things went well for them at the start of the game on Saturday too. But the advantage evaporated and then Schulze made a big mistake, gave up a piece and lost the game.

Schulze leads with the same number of points as Zoya Schleining. Unfortunately, the WGM standard is no longer within reach.

The leader in the Sportland NRW Cup, IM Jonathan Carlstedt, also lost his game today. He later explained, praising his opponent:

Leonardo Costa was clearly the stronger player today, played very well and I deserved to lose. Luckily I’ve accumulated a few bugs in one game today and haven’t scattered them across different games.

Artem Lutsko, meanwhile, defeated GM Alexander Bagrationi with Black. The young Ukrainian is playing a great tournament and is now level on points with Carlstedt. A draw against the last player in the table, Timo Leonard, is enough for him to achieve the coveted IM norm in Sunday’s final round.

Jasper Holtel remarkable in the Sparkassen Open A

The winner of the A-Open of the International Dortmund Festival is as good as certain after the draw for the sole leader of the table, Max Warmerdam. Behind him, Jasper Holtel draws attention to himself.

After rejecting an early draw and winning in the preliminary round, Warmerdam was pleased with a draw against GM Andreas Heimann. Heimann accepted the draw offer after 13 moves with Black. This means that Warmerdam is one point ahead of the last round, and his tournament victory will hardly be taken away from him on Sunday (round start at 1.30 p.m.).

The duel between FM Jasper Holtel and GM Tornike Sanikidze also ended in a draw. Sanikidze had an advantageous bishop ending, but it wasn’t enough to win.

Holtel now has 5 wins and 3 draws, two of them against grandmasters.

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