Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting 2008 – Players

Introducing the heroes

Vladimir Kramnik
is a regular participant in Dortmund where he took record eight trophies, including the last two tournaments. He hasn’t played many rated games this year, apart from the 50% score at Corus, but most likely his entire schedule during the 2008 is subjected to the World Championship match against Viswanathan Anand. Kramnik did play in rapid and exhibition events, like CEZ Trophy match with David Navara and a promotion of Foidos broadcast system. His final test before the match with Anand will be Mikhail Tal Memorial in late August.

Vladimir Kramnik square 3 Shakhryar Mamedyarov square 3

Vladimir Kramnik and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov is one of the leaders of Azerbaijani constellation of young talented players. As most of his compatriots, Shakhriyar is well known as sharp and uncompromising player, with sudden bursts of immense power and sometimes unexpected downfalls. But during his previous tournament, the FIDE Grand Prix in Baku, he demonstrated a new level of self-control, by slowing the pace after the shaky start to regroup for a strong finish, which ultimately brought him 4th place tie.

Another player who will be seen every year in Dortmund is Peter Leko, tournament winner in 1999 and 2002. In spite of the modest recent scores, the ultra-solid Hungarian is always contestant for the first place. If he starts winning with White pieces, and combined with his incredible preparation with Black, there’s a trouble for the opposition. Leko arrives to Dortmund after a couple of rapid events, namely the match with Magnus Carlsen and Karen Asrian Memorial, and he should be relaxed enough to present his best.

Vassily Ivanchuk is a man of surprises and his score is almost impossible to predict. After the moderate Corus and Morelia-Linares, he simply exploded in the last few months, constantly accumulating points at the Russian Team Championship, Mtel Masters and Foros Aerosvit. Aerosvit will not be included in the July FIDE list, otherwise Ivanchuk would be ranked 3rd, behind Anand and Carlsen. In any event, having the “Genius from Lviv” in the playing field promises lots of excitement.

Ian Nepomniachtchi square Vassily Ivanchuk square 9

Ian Nepomniachtchi and Vassily Ivanchuk

Germany will be represented by Arkadij Naiditsch and Jan Gustafsson, who also led their national team at the European Team Chess Championship. Naiditsch is already seasoned participant in Dortmund, having shockingly won the event on 2005 at the age of 19, while Gustafsson will be making his debut. Naiditsch is expecting a huge rating jump on the next FIDE list after the glorious result in the German Bundesliga, which will certainly boost his self-confidence. We know Gustafsson as easygoing person and it is unlikely that he will be intimidated by the higher rated opposition.

The fearless Dutchman Loek Van Wely is entering the competition after a relatively unsuccessful campaign in the former Soviet Union. Like a wounded lion, this gifted tactician will present constant danger for the opposition. The young Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi shined at the 2008 Aeroflot Open and this fantastic achievement qualified him for this year’s Dortmund super-tournament. Ian is playing wild chess, to put it mildly, as Wijk aan Zee audience saw at the last two events. However, his last two competitions were not prosperous and he will be dropping about 30 points on the next rating list. Dortmund is wonderful opportunity for Ian to demonstrate his prodigal talent.

Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting 2008 – info

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