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Kramnik draws first blood

Vladimir Kramnik
Vladimir Kramnik was the only winner in round one, defeating the previous year's champion, Ruslan Ponomariov. He sacrificed the exchange for a pawn whereupon his well-posted minor pieces dominated Ponomariov's rooks. He soon won back the investment, with interest, and converted the advantage at the time control.

In Giri's encounter with Nakamura, the popular B-f4 system led to the so-called 'Carlsbad structure' once White released the tension on d5. These 'Exchange Variations' have a reputation for closed manoeuvring, particularly when both players castle on the same wing, but this pair of creative players generated lots of interesting ideas in a lively game.

Giri's minority attack was countered quite actively and a proposed exchange sacrifice by the American gave Black promising play. Complications led to perpetual check.

The young German Meier has a cautious positional style and although he kept matters under control in a steady game, Le Quang Liem was never in danger.

The round one details:

White Rating Result Black Rating Moves Opening details
Kramnik, Vladimir 2781 1-0  Ponomariov, Ruslan 2764 42 King's Indian Classical (7...exd4) E94
Giri, Anish 2701 ½-½  Nakamura, Hikaru 2770 54 Queen's Gambit Declined (5.Bf4) D37
Meier, Georg 2656 ½-½ Le, Quang Liem 2715 38 Grünfeld (Russian system, Hungarian Variation) D97

Here is the table after only one round.

Posn. Name Country Rating Kw Kb Nw Nb Gw Gb Lw Lb Mw Mb Pw Pb Score
1 Kramnik, Vladimir RUS 2781 * * . . . . . . . . 1 . 1
2-5 Nakamura, Hikaru USA 2770 . . * * . ½  . . . . . . ½
2-5 Giri, Anish NED 2701 . . ½ . * * . . . . . . ½
2-5 Le, Quang Liem VIE 2715 . . . . . . * * . ½ . . ½
2-5 Meier, Georg GER 2656 . . . . . . ½ . * * . . ½
6. Ponomariov, Ruslan UKR 2764 . 0 . . . . . . . . * * 0

Don't forget to check out the following:

Official site:  http://www.sparkassen-chess-meeting.de/2011 

Live games: http://schachtage.dokomserver.de/toma/live.htm 

The transmission is with a 30 minute delay in order to avoid any possibility of 'external influences affecting the players decisions'.


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