Grenke Classic 2015 – Round 6

The penultimate round in Baden-Baden saw the leaders make half a step towards the finish line.

The derby of the round between Caruana and Carlsen saw a theoretical battle in the Berlin endgame. Carlsen decided not to repeat the Sicilian that brought him a good win in Wijk aan Zee against the same opponent and chose to play it safely. He varied from the game he lost to Caruana in Shamkir last year and introduced a good novelty.

Aronian and Adams played a line in the English that was considered refuted by the famous game Kasparov-Ivanchuk, USSR 1988. When Kasparov introduced the English Opening as his main white opening in the match against Karpov in Seville he came up with many interesting ideas in it. Although he lost to Karpov in the very first game he played it (game 2 of the match) he won in the same line in game 4 and then destroyed Ivanchuk a year later. But theory never stands still and the modern computers and engines found satisfactory ways for black even in lines that Kasparov refuted. Black was even better in the game, but Aronian managed to save the draw.

Bacrot and Naiditsch played a quiet line in the Queen’s Indian (which started as a Bogo-Indian) and black didn’t have problems. He may have tried for more, but Naiditsch probably just wants to draw his games and hope that he shares first with Carlsen (when there will be a rapid/blitz playoff).

Anand routinely outplayed Baramidze. The game lasted 65 moves, but the result was never in any doubt from around move 20. I remember reading an advice by Nick Bollettieri (the famous tennis coach) that went something like this: when you get into a rut, or you lose a few matches in a row, go find somebody who’s no match for you, and destroy him. The idea as I understand it is to bring your confidence back, as nothing serves better for that than a win. Today Anand did just that.

Will Bacrot manage to draw all his games in Baden-Baden? We’ll find out tomorrow, when he’s black against Carlsen. Naiditsch is white against Aronian and that game will depend on Aronian’s desire to play for a win.

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