SIMPLECHESS

Ponomariov victorious by a full point

Dortmund comes to a close for another year and Ruslan Ponomariov will be pleased with his 6.5/10 ending a pleasant tournament for him a whole point ahead of newcomer Le Quang Liem.
Kramnik and Leko both saved their honour to some extent by finishing with wins.

In each of the three final round encounters one opponent had a point less than his adversary and required a win to catch up. Two succeeded: Kramnik and Leko, but Le Quang Liem couldn't manage it.

Ponomariov, knowing that he musn't lose, played a cautious Exchange Variation against the Caro-Kann. However, not only didn't he obtain any advantage, my feeling is that he was slightly worse at one point before eventually obtaining a repetition.

A fine result for LQL @ official site

A great result for the Vietnamese player. Who would have predicted that he would end up ahead of the World's Nos.4 and 6?

NameRatingCountryResultNameRatingCountryNo. of MovesOpening
Peter Leko2734HUN1-0Arkadij Naiditsch2684GER60Queen's Gambit Vienna
Vladimir Kramnik2790RUS1-0Shakhriyar Mamedyarov2761AZE31Queen's Gambit Ragozin
Ruslan Ponomariov2734UKR0.5-0.5Le Quang Liem2681VIE42Caro-Kann Exchange

Kramnik played a sharp line against the Ragozin where White wins a pawn but allows his king to be misplaced in an open centre. Kramnik nevertheless kept control and then mass exchanges led to an ending with all the pawns on one wing where White (always a pawn up) had excellent winning chances in the long run. A dispirited Mamedyarov however lost very quickly.

A win enabled him to catch Mamedyarov @ official site

Leko-Naiditsch was another sharp theoretical line. Peter Leko also won a pawn, however in this case Black's activity looked (superficially) to offer enough drawing chances, but somehow the Hungarian consolidated his advantage. After 60 moves of careful technique he could claim his first win.

Posn.Player's NameWld. RankingNationRatingPoints
1stRuslan Ponomariov14UKR27346.5
2ndLe Quang Liem55VIE26815.5
3rd-4thVladimir Kramnik4RUS27905
3rd-4thShakhriyar Mamedyarov6AZE27615
5th-6thPeter Leko16HUN27344
5th-6thArkadij Naiditsch51GER26844

I calculate that Ponomariov must have won 14-15 rating points and Le Quang Liem 10-11 at the expense of the other four who all lost Elo points.

For more information (and further photos!) see the Official site

Leko finally wins! @ official site

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