Levon Aronian showed in the fifth round of the GRENKE Chess Classic that he is in great form. He won his game against Arkadij Naiditsch is now a full point ahead of his competitors. Magnus Carlsen won his first game of the tournament against Georg Meier. Fabiano Caruana and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave shared the point, Hou Yifan and Matthias Blübaum played a draw as well.
After four draws in a row, the Norwegian world champion finally won his first game at the GRENKE Chess Classic. Carlsen played the Grünfeld Opening against Georg Meier, who seemed to be surprised by the opening choice of his opponent. "It is a bit sad to admit that I decided to play an old variation over the board. Only later in the game I noticed that it was a very bad decision."
Magnus Carlsen with first win in Baden-Baden
Carlsen attacked the white center with some typical Grünfeld moves and won an important pawn on d4 after only 13 moves. Meier could win back a pawn but the pressure on his postion increased and he lost another pawn after some tactical moves. "The position was actually won after 17 moves,as soon as I put a knight on d4", Carlsen smiled in the press conference.
Meier had no chance to bounce back after some more powerful moves by the world champion. The German ace had to resign after 41 moves.
Meier against Carlsen was a onesided game
Fabiano Caruana and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave played a draw. The players blitzed out 14 moves in a well-know Najdorf variation, but Vachier-Lagrave was surprised by an unexpected pawn move and went into the think tank for 24 minutes. The players reached a very complicated middlegame in which the grandmasters had to calculate carefully.
Black won a pawn just before the time control, but only Caruana kept some minor winning chances in the endgame, because he had some very active pieces. He won a pawn and kept a small advantage, which was not enough to convert into a full point though.
Caruana and Vachier-Lagrave shared the point after four hours of play
Levon Aronian seems to be unstoppable at the GRENKE Chess Classic. The Armenian grandmaster won his third game in a row. He is now a full point ahead of the rest oft he field. Against Arkadij Naiditsch, Aronian played a Reti variation and left the well-known paths of opening theory early in the game.
Because of the quick development of his pieces, Aronian managed to keep the black king in the center of the board. Naiditsch found some good moves, defended his difficult position surprisingly well and could escape in an ending with opposite-coloured bishops. However, Aronian was a pawn up which was enough to bag in another full point.
Levon Aronian was able to win another game in Baden-Baden
Hou Yifan and Matthias Blübaum played a draw. The 23-year old Chinese played 1.d4, which came as a surprise for everybody. After the game she could not tell when she opened a game with the d-pawn. "I will have to take a look in my database“, she smiled and told us that she just wanted to try something new.
Hou Yifan for once tried 1.d4
Blübaum however, did not seem to be surprised at all and he had no trouble to get a slightly better position in the middlegame. Hou Yifan decided not to castle and tried her luck on the kingside. In time trouble, Blübaum did not play the most accurate moves and in the endgame none of the players had any serious winning chances. After 48 moves the game ended in a draw.
Hou Yifan and Matthias Blübaum before the start of the game