Kramnik wins Dortmund, again
By Jack Peters, International Master
July 19, 2009

Vladimir Kramnik of Russia won the elite double round robin in Dortmund, Germany, with an undefeated score of 6 1/2 -3 1/2 . Of course, the former world champion nearly always wins in Dortmund. This is the ninth time in 15 tries he has claimed at least a share of first place in the annual tournament.

Magnus Carlsen (Sweden), Dmitry Jakovenko (Russia) and Peter Leko (Hungary) tied for second place at 5 1/2 -4 1/2 . Etienne Bacrot (France) was fifth at 4-6, followed by Arkadij Naiditsch (Germany) at 3-7. Naiditsch is no pushover. He won the 2005 tournament in a startling upset.

International news

Another former world champion, Anatoly Karpov of Russia, is painfully demonstrating that chess is a young man’s game. Karpov, arguably the most successful grandmaster in history, suffered five losses and occupied last place at 1-6 with two games remaining in the 10-player round robin in Donostia, Spain. Karpov faces long odds in making a return to elite competition at age 58. The oldest players who compete regularly at that level are Boris Gelfand, 41, of Israel and Vassily Ivanchuk, 40, of Ukraine.

In contrast, U.S. champion Hikaru Nakamura, 21, began with a fantastic 5 1/2 -1 1/2 . Nakamura lacks experience in international events, but this type of performance will make him a desirable invitee to any tournament. He is already an Internet phenomenon at blitz (games of five minutes or less).

Source: LA Times

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