Grenke Classic 2015 – Round 5

Today all the results were as expected, although the actual way how they happened wasn’t (except for the Carlsen game).

Carlsen beat Baramidze in the same way a 2500 player beats a 2250 player – in one moment the weaker player cracks. Black played two bad moves in a row and it was over:

Adams and Bacrot drew, but only after Bacrot missed several wins. It’s not an easy task to outplay Adams with black, but Bacrot played a fine game and after the game it must have been shocking for him to see the comp evaluation before his 55th move.

I thought Caruana would try to beat Naiditsch, but it seems to me he either got tricked in the opening – he didn’t expect Naiditsch to allow the Marshall, or he messed up something over the board, because Naiditsch was actually following the games Caruana-Aronian and Adams-Aronian, both from last year! I’d side with the latter, because the move Caruana played (20…Re1) indicated that he was trying to follow Aronian, only he failed to remember the exact move-order. And if you don’t know it exactly, it is a bit complex to figure out over the board: when to take on e1, when to exchange the queens and when to play Kf8. What do to, a common occurence in modern chess, especially when you haven’t refreshed your memory before the game.

Aronian is a very difficult opponent for Anand, perhaps even more so than Carlsen. If I’m not mistaken the results is +8-3 in Aronian’s favour and today he won again. It’s curious that he chose the same line in the Ragozin that Carlsen used to beat him in Wijk aan Zee last month! But Anand was well prepared and got good play with active play on the kingside. What was surprising is that Anand missed a very good tactical opportunity on move 23 and collapsed very quickly after that. Did yesterday’s loss have such a devastating effect on him?

So Carlsen finally leads the tournament, together with the local hero Naiditsch and tomorrow we have Caruana-Carlsen and Bacrot-Naiditsch. Will Carlsen try to beat Caruana with black like he did in Wijk? Will he repeat the Sicilian?

Alex Colovic
A professional player, coach and blogger. Grandmaster since 2013.
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