The 47th edition of the Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting, ended over the weekend. The 7 round round robin, had been running since July 13 and saw Ian Nepomniachtchi (RUS 2775) leading the seedings. Nepomniachtchi, of course, would be expected to be feeling pretty good following his victory at the FIDE Moscow Grand Prix in May.
However, keeping the Russian on his toes in Dortmund, were: Leinier Dominguez-Perez (USA 2760), Teimour Radjabov (AZE 2759), Radoslaw Wojtaszek (POL 2737), Richard Rapport (HUN 2735), Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu (GER 2672), Daniel Fridman (GER 2638), Kaido Kulaots (EST 2560).
And this was shown straight off, when Nepomniachtchi lost his opening round to Hungarian Grandmaster Richard Rapport. I find Richard to be one of the most exciting and creative players to watch and he outplayed Ian with White in a Symmetrical English in their first round game. Nepomniactchi doesn’t appear to do all that much wrong when just playing through the game, yet he manages to end up with a completely ineffective position.
In the end position, there is no comparison, with the White pieces miles more active, not to mention a very legitimate advanced passed pawn. After Black’s move out of check (to b6 or c5), the White pawn’s promotion is a formality.
Though Ian Nepomniachtchi would bounce back in round two, defeating Estonian Grandmaster Kaido Kulaots, his recovery would be short lived. In round three, he would come up against the American Leinier Dominguez-Perez.
Their game, (see below), was a Caro-Kann, and saw Dominguez-Perez playing White and getting the better of Nepomniachtchi in 25-moves. This would give Dominguez-Perez a half point lead over the rest of the field at the end of the round. He would hold on to it for the remainder of the tournament, to take victory.
Dominguez Perez — 4.5
Rapport, Radjabov, Wojtaszek, Nepomniachtchi — 4.0
Kulaots, Fridman, Nisipeanu — 2.5