Sparkassen Chess Trophy with spectacular second day
The first game in the NC World Masters of the 48th International Dortmund Chess Days was opened by the Chairman of the Board of Sparkasse Dortmund under the eyes of Mayor Norbert Schilff for the 15th World Chess Champion Vishy Anand against the 14th World Chess Champion Vladimir Kramnik. The two living legends played with classical thinking time in the innovative mode of No Castling Chess, an idea of the world's leading artificial intelligence development company AlphaZero, which is played at the highest level for the first time in Dortmund.
The first game delivered everything it promised on paper: after a few moves a very complex positional type emerged and both sides tried to play dynamically. Kramnik opened the h-file for his rook, but left centre control to Anand. This allowed Anand to win a centre pawn in the middlegame. The game remained sharp, but Anand was able to capture the black bishop on move 33 after tactical intricacies and use the advantage to win.
Picture: Christian Lünig, Arbeitsblende
Fridman and Kollars start with victories
The first round in the ten-strong field of grandmasters in the Deutschland Grand Prix and the two Sportland NRW Cups started on Tuesday with the opening move by Stefan Koth, who led the tournament for 20 years as tournament director and now works as managing director of the "Initiative Pro Schach" in the event team. The opening move was made at the board by the two youngest grandmasters: 16-year-old Vincent Keymer led the white pieces against German Dmitrij Kollars. The two played a combative game, which Kollars won in beautiful style with a king's attack after a changeable middlegame.
The local hero Daniel Fridman, who lives in Bochum, had a perfect start. With the black pieces, the opening phase already went his way and in the middlegame he was able to collect some pawns from Mateusz Bartel. So the endgame was then an easy exercise for the long-time national player and he led it to victory without any problems.
High-class games in no-castling chess fuel anticipation for the finals
On 10 July, the Sparkassen Chess Trophy began with the open tournament in innovative "no casting" chess. Preliminary tournaments were played on three consecutive days in the Swiss system on lichess.org. The first tournament was immediately filled with prominent players: GM Krishnan Sasikiran (India) ended up in second place behind the strong tournament winner Amir Ali Ghafourian (Iran). But local players also took advantage of the opportunity and the fun of the chess variant grew from round to round. No Castling Chess is an idea of DeepMind, the world's leading artificial intelligence development company, and is now being played at the highest human level for the first time.
All tournaments were fair and arbiter Andreas Junk had calm afternoons without any suspected cheating. The second preliminary tournament was dominated by Dortmund-based Grandmaster Alexander Bagrationi (Israel) with the perfect score of 7 points from 7 games. The mixture of local players and international chess enthusiasts showed the advantage of the online variant, everyone could easily be part of the Dortmund Chess Days. In each preliminary tournament, the participants strived for placement among the top 8, as these 24 players are now qualified for the grand final on Saturday, 17 July, at 2 pm.