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Dortmund 09 r2: Jakovenko Redeemed

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Dmitri Jakovenko, now the #1 ranked Russian and #5 in the world, redeemed his endgame cred today by grinding down Naiditsch in a deep and fascinating game. Yesterday he seemed nervous and lost a drawable endgame against Carlsen just when it looked like he had defended well. Today he swapped down out of a sharp theoretical Najdorf (see Karjakin-van Wely, Corus) and outplayed Naiditsch in a very difficult and instructive endgame. There are plenty of fantastic lines in the ending, which at first looks relatively easy for White and his passed b-pawn after 34.Re6! Naiditsch could have complicated things quite a bit with 47..Rb2+ 48.Kc3 Kh7!! 49.Bb4 Rb1! with Bf4 next. It seems impossible but Black's h-pawn is really quite annoying.

After 47..h4? 48.Bc3 the b2 square was covered. Both players queened and the game went into the third time control, but Jakovenko had calculated well and his king quickly found respite from the checks. Just for fun, a move of rare beauty would have occurred had Jakovenko blundered with 52.Rd8??, which looks like a pretty way to allow Black to queen and then give mate. But Black has 52..Rb2+!! and suddenly White is on the ropes. Sweet. Kudos to Argentine IM German Della Morte for pointing that out well in advance on the ICC. Thanks to Larry Christiansen for all his remarkable analysis as always.

That moved the Jakovenko back to an even score and dropped Naiditsch into the cellar. Carlsen still leads on +1 after comfortably holding Leko to the Hungarian's second straight short draw with the white pieces (25 moves, beating yesterday's 24). Leko continued without much success in his plot to imitate Kramnik's repertoire instead of his usual 1.e4. Yesterday it was the Catalan, today it was 1.Nf3 2.c4. Speaking of the man himself, Bacrot defended aggressively (..a5!?, ..g5!) against Kramnik's typical slow-roll in the QID. The Frenchman impressed by even having a tiny plus before ceding the draw. You don't see Kramnik's white pieces defused this capably very often.

The big showdown tomorrow in round three, Carlsen-Kramnik. Then Bacrot-Jakovenko and Naiditsch-Leko.

ICC Chess.FM New In Chess subscription trivia winner for round 2: Arv123. Q: "Three of the Dortmund players have never won their national championships. Name two of them." (Not only was Arv123 first to answer, in less than two seconds, but he named all three!)


I want some of Arv123's typing-enhancing substance!

I suppose Kramnik, with black, will play for the draw against Carlsen tomorrow. If Kramnik achieves equality in the early 20s moves, will they draw then, or or will Carlsen play on and on against Kramnik in a nearly equal position? Kramnik (like Leko) knows how to snuff out all the embers, so I would not expect too much excitement - we'll see.

Your grant of redemption to Jackovenko seems as invalid as your earlier, too-quick condemnation of him. Reputations are based on continuously displayed behavior, not single instances - you know better.

Carlson 2006
Kramnik 1990
Bacrot 1999-2003, 2008
Naiditsch 2007

Which one doesn't count? (Kramnik, I suppose?)


"Which one doesn't count? (Kramnik, I suppose?)"

Kramnik has never won his country's championship (1990 or any other year), and Carlsen lost the playoff against Agdestein in 2006.

But the question was about _national_ championships. I suppose it doesn't fit the usual definition, but couldn't you argue that the RSFSR championships were national and the USSR championships were supranational?

"couldn't you argue that the RSFSR championships were national and the USSR championships were supranational?"

Maybe, but the ever reliable Wikipedia says that

"after the formation of the USSR the USSR Chess Championship was established as the national championship"

and that Moscow and S:t Petersburg players weren't allowed to participate.

"After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian Championship was re-established as a national championship, and players from Moscow and St. Petersburg were allowed to participate"


Going by Wikipedia it seems as if the Moscow and Leningrad players could participate in the RSFSR Championship also before the fall of the Soviet Union, but then outside of the competition, so Taimanov didn't count as a winner when he shared first in 1960.

Ah ok, I recall something like that now. If players from the two biggest cities can't compete for the title then regardless of everything else calling it a national championship won't make much sense.

Of course I'm happy as long as players from Tuapse are allowed.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on July 3, 2009 3:26 PM.

    Dortmund 09 r1: Carlsen Starts Fast was the previous entry in this blog.

    Dortmund 09 r3: Fireworks Fizzle is the next entry in this blog.

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