Home Chess Caruana Edges Out Kramnik In No Castling Masters Dortmund

Caruana Edges Out Kramnik In No Castling Masters Dortmund

Caruana Edges Out Kramnik In No Castling Masters Dortmund


GM Fabiano Caruana has been topped the winner of the 2023 No Castling World Masters after scoring 4/6 in a double round-robin classical match in Dortmund, Germany, and ending half a degree forward of GM Vladimir Kramnik.

As a part of the fiftieth Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meet, Caruana and Kramnik have been joined by GMs Pavel Eljanov and Dmitrij Kollars for the match, which was held alongside the Sparkassen Open A and B divisions in addition to the NRW Cup in a week-long celebration of chess.

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The previous world champion Kramnik has for a very long time been an advocate of No Castling chess and was as soon as quoted as saying: “This is able to inevitably result in a significantly larger quantity of decisive video games in chess tournaments till the brand new concept develops, and extra creativity can be required so as to win.” 

One of many key sides of No Castling chess is the truth that king security instantly turns into an actual conundrum. Gamers should select between leaving their king uncovered within the heart of the board or spending priceless tempi strolling it to one of many corners.

Kramnik is the brainchild of No Castling chess and has been a longtime advocate for the variant. Picture: Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Trophy.

In spherical one, the winner of the 2022 Worldwide Dortmund Chess Days Grandmaster Match, Eljanov, performed a variation of the Colle System however, as a result of nature of the variant, by no means discovered a protected haven for his king. Sadly for the Ukrainian GM, he was taking part in in opposition to none apart from Kramnik, who brutally ended the sport on transfer 26 after a ferocious kingside assault.

Whereas Caruana kicked off the occasion with a 1.5/2 begin, he spoke concerning the issue of adjusting to the format: “I am not taking part in perhaps one of the best strikes, however I’m attempting to get some unique positions.” In spherical three the American was paired in opposition to his most harmful competitor, Kramnik, who had began the match with 1/2. Notably, in spherical two, the 2022 winner, Kollars, managed to defeat Kramnik, mirroring his monumental victory over GM Viswanathan Anand within the earlier version.

Kollars’ victory within the 2022 version was his career-best efficiency on the time. Picture: Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Trophy.

Caruana opted for familiarity and performed the Slav Protection: Quiet, Schallopp Protection, and each gamers elected to lock up the middle. This resolution made the place look extra regular than within the earlier rounds, however this allowed Kramnik to take cost as they reached an endgame the place White held a powerful edge.

With Eljanov selecting up a win with White in opposition to Kollars, only one level separated first from final on the midway level of the match. 

In spherical 4, two attracts transpired; nonetheless, Caruana’s recreation turned a speaking level as he determined to play 1.b4!? in opposition to Kollars. The U.S. champion admitted later that he was skeptical of his place and stated he was “fortunate to make a draw.” Although the place rapidly transposed into the Santasiere’s Folly, a uncommon variation of the Reti Opening which holds an affordable win price for White, Kollars was in a position to storm the queenside with pawns and break by way of on the c-file.

Together with his time dipping under one minute, Kollars confirmed respect for Caruana and repeated strikes, securing half a degree in opposition to the highest-rated participant within the subject.

The penultimate spherical noticed the 2 heavyweights of the match conflict, and a win for Caruana allowed him to take the only lead heading into the ultimate spherical. Enjoying with the black items, Kramnik confirmed a intelligent little bit of preparation, choosing the affectionately recognized “Hungarian Dragon” as his weapon of alternative.

Caruana’s best foe from the beginning was Kramnik. Picture: Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Trophy.

The opening, the place Black performs an early h5 to close down White’s typical Yugoslav Assault plans, would have labored a appeal in opposition to lesser opponents, however Caruana rapidly modified gears, busting open the middle and buying and selling the queens. The passage of play left Black’s pawn construction in ruins, and Caruana deftly transformed his benefit to maneuver to three/5.

Clearly benefitting from notes taken in his earlier recreation, Caruana determined to take a web page out of Kramnik’s e book and performed the Hungarian Dragon in opposition to Eljanov, a bet that paid off. Regardless of king security issues arising within the middlegame, Caruana ultimately labored his manner right into a profitable rook and pawn endgame. 

On the board subsequent to them, Kramnik received his recreation in opposition to Kollars in an try and heap strain on Caruana, Nevertheless, in the long run, the world number-three proved too elegant even with out the flexibility to fort.

All smiles as WIM Fiona Stelli-Antoni makes the primary transfer between Kramnik and Kollars. Picture: Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Trophy.

For his efforts within the occasion, Caruana acquired €5,000 and can head instantly to Zagreb, Croatia, for the Grand Chess Tour’s SuperUnited Speedy and Blitz. Different winners in Dortmund included WGM Dinara Wagner, who added the NRW Cup title (a nine-round round-robin with gamers rated 2300-2500) to her rising trophy cupboard in addition to GMs Alexander Donchenko and Frederik Svane, who received the Sparkassen Open A division with scores of seven.5/9.

Wagner not too long ago received the Nicosia Grand Prix and has astronomically elevated her ranking in 2023. Picture: Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Trophy.


Rank Fed Title Identify Score Rating
1 GM Fabiano Caruana 2782 4

GM Vladimir Kramnik 2753 3.5
3 GM Dmitrij Kollars 2618 2.5
4 GM Pavel Eljanov 2694 2

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The No Castling Masters occurred June 26-July 2, 2023, in Dortmund, Germany. The format was a four-player double round-robin. The time management was 90 minutes for the primary 40 strikes, adopted by 30 extra minutes for the remainder of the sport, plus a 30-second increment beginning on transfer one.



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