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GRENKE Chess Classic Tournament

Magnus Carlsen4.5/7(+3 -1 =3)[games]
Arkadij Naiditsch4.5/7(+2 -0 =5)[games]
Michael Adams4/7(+2 -1 =4)[games]
Fabiano Caruana4/7(+1 -0 =6)[games]
Levon Aronian3.5/7(+1 -1 =5)[games]
Etienne Bacrot3.5/7(+0 -0 =7)[games]
Viswanathan Anand2.5/7(+1 -3 =3)[games]
David Baramidze1.5/7(+0 -4 =3)[games]
* Chess Event Description
GRENKE Chess Classic (2015)

The 3rd GRENKE Chess Classic was played in Baden-Baden, Germany 2-9 February 2015. Rounds began each day at 3 pm, with a single rest day on Thursday 5 February.
Carlsen and Naiditsch both got 4.5/7. After 2-2 in the playoff (two rapid games and two blitz games), Carlsen won the final Armageddon game Carlsen vs Naiditsch, 2015.

Official site: ChessBase: Crosstable ( :

Elo 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 Carlsen 2865 * 0 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 4½ 2 Naiditsch 2706 1 * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 4½ 3 Adams 2738 0 ½ * ½ ½ ½ 1 1 4 4 Caruana 2811 ½ ½ ½ * 1 ½ ½ ½ 4 5 Aronian 2777 ½ ½ ½ 0 * ½ 1 ½ 3½ 6 Bacrot 2711 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ 3½ 7 Anand 2797 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ * 1 2½ 8 Baramidze 2594 0 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 * 1½

Previous edition: GRENKE Chess Classic (2014). Next: GRENKE Chess Classic (2017) (there was no tournament in 2016).

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 28  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Bacrot vs D Baramidze ½-½312015GRENKE Chess ClassicD70 Neo-Grunfeld Defense
2. Aronian vs Carlsen ½-½642015GRENKE Chess ClassicD36 Queen's Gambit Declined, Exchange, Positional line, 6.Qc2
3. Adams vs Naiditsch ½-½612015GRENKE Chess ClassicC07 French, Tarrasch
4. Caruana vs Anand ½-½382015GRENKE Chess ClassicC53 Giuoco Piano
5. D Baramidze vs Aronian ½-½412015GRENKE Chess ClassicC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
6. Carlsen vs Adams 1-0642015GRENKE Chess ClassicA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
7. Anand vs Naiditsch ½-½532015GRENKE Chess ClassicD41 Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch
8. Caruana vs Bacrot ½-½542015GRENKE Chess ClassicD70 Neo-Grunfeld Defense
9. Bacrot vs Anand ½-½372015GRENKE Chess ClassicC67 Ruy Lopez
10. Adams vs D Baramidze 1-0312015GRENKE Chess ClassicC78 Ruy Lopez
11. Aronian vs Caruana 0-1402015GRENKE Chess ClassicE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
12. Naiditsch vs Carlsen 1-0612015GRENKE Chess ClassicB06 Robatsch
13. Anand vs Carlsen 0-1362015GRENKE Chess ClassicA90 Dutch
14. Caruana vs Adams ½-½432015GRENKE Chess ClassicD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
15. D Baramidze vs Naiditsch 0-1272015GRENKE Chess ClassicA30 English, Symmetrical
16. Bacrot vs Aronian ½-½302015GRENKE Chess ClassicD38 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation
17. Naiditsch vs Caruana ½-½652015GRENKE Chess ClassicC89 Ruy Lopez, Marshall
18. Carlsen vs D Baramidze 1-0492015GRENKE Chess ClassicC95 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Breyer
19. Aronian vs Anand 1-0342015GRENKE Chess ClassicD38 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation
20. Adams vs Bacrot ½-½652015GRENKE Chess ClassicA15 English
21. Bacrot vs Naiditsch  ½-½372015GRENKE Chess ClassicE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
22. Caruana vs Carlsen ½-½262015GRENKE Chess ClassicC67 Ruy Lopez
23. Aronian vs Adams  ½-½562015GRENKE Chess ClassicA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
24. Anand vs D Baramidze 1-0652015GRENKE Chess ClassicC95 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Breyer
25. Carlsen vs Bacrot ½-½462015GRENKE Chess ClassicA48 King's Indian
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 28  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 55 OF 55 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-12-15  Jim Bartle: A short response:

If two players have an equal number of points in a round-robin tournament, the lower-rated one will always have the higher performance rating. Right?

Feb-12-15  Petrosianic: Yes, that's right, which is probably why it's never been a tiebreaker.

The same goes for a tied match. The lower rated player will always have a higher performance rating.

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: <visayan>

As for "rephrasing" your question from "WC match format" to "WC cycle" - it was unintentional. Because just a couple of posts before you accused me of wanting to destroy the World Championship entire, so the accusation and the question overlapped.

But my answer to <both> the original and the rephrased question is <no>.

Feb-12-15  Shams: The only thing stupider than using "higher rating prior to the tournament" as a tiebreaker is using "lower rating prior to the tournament" as one.

Please DNFTT.

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: And no, I don't have a debate style trying to enforce an endless debate.

I don't debate to win. I debate to find the truth. Which, in turn, may be very complicated - so yes, occasionally I have it takes several consecutive posts for my opinion, and sometimes the debate may hold on for <years> - but who says the truth is easy to find?

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<visayanbraindoctor> For purposes of chess discussion, I assume that chess strength is directly related to the ability of a player to find the objectively best moves.>

No question that having the ability to find the objectively best moves will be very "helpful" in being considered a strong player. :-) But as discussions with <Sally Simpson> have convinced me, playing the objectively best move may not necessarily get you the <best> result.

Consider that you have, as a result of not playing the objectively best moves, gotten yourself in an inferior, nay, losing position. Playing the objectively best move each time from this point forward would probably delay the inevitable the longest but, if you position is truly that inferior, will not likely change the most likely result, particularly if your opponent also plays the objectively best moves. So you try a swindle that, if detected, will probably speed up your demise. But if not detected it may allow you change the outcome of the game from a likely loss to a draw or even a win. So what do you have to lose? You play the less than objectively best move and your opponent fails to see the trap, so he loses instead of winning.

Which leads me to conclude that playing strength needs to be correlated with results, which is hardly a revolutionary or original observation. But that gets us back to where we started; chess strength is related to results which are measured by Elo ratings as long as the playing population is the same. No help at all in determining whether higher Elo ratings are due to intrinsic chess strength increases or not.

You could say that if your opponent always plays the objectively best move that he should always win from a sufficiently superior position. But it's not hard to visualize that a chess engine that is capable of searching deeper in the same amount of time could find a line that, while initially evaluating lower than other lines, will, if evaluated sufficiently deeply, eventually provide the highest evaluation.

Now the engine's opponent (another engine, of course), cannot search as deeply in the same amount of time and so fails to see the refutation of its "objectively best" line of play until it is too late. After all, the horizon effect is still with us, both humans and computers. So it enters what it considers the objectively best line, and loses.

The point of my long-winded (as usual) example is that there is a difference between the absolute objectively best line of play and the relative objectively best line of play. And that the absolute objective best line of play is of theoretical interest only, in practice the "objectively best line of play" is what a player, human or computer, is <capable> of assessing as being the objectively best line of play, and given the player's limitations, may not actually be the best.

So, again, I'm back to where I started.

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: Talking about the "objectively best move" in worse positions: beating an engine at piece odds is not a big challenge - even a player of my level succeeds quite often (though not always). Beating a <GM> at piece odds is a mission impossible to me. Heck, even a 2200 player beats me easily, as if the extra piece didn't matter at all.

While an engine is clearly stronger than a 2200, it's clear that the 2200 has a better way of handling worse positions against weak players :)

Feb-12-15  Creg: < diceman: <chancho: 2 for 2.

Grenke and Tata Steel.

The word <domination> comes to mind here, folks.

Shamkir is coming in March.>

Carlsen wins.
If he "dominated" he wouldn't be winning tournaments in Armageddon games.>

I think Chancho is referring to tournament victories. 3 straight would be one form of domination.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <Creg> Precisely.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Arkadij Naiditsch getting interviewed by Doug Goldstein:

(From 2014)

Goldstein is the guy who co wrote a book with Susan Polgar.

Feb-13-15  morfishine: I've just finished my 44 year, 14,000 page study on chess ratings inflation and have concluded: There is no chess rating inflation

What I found is this: Based on a percentage of the population, the number of people that play chess has remained remarkably steady over the years. However the number of people who actually have ratings, based on the percentage of people that play chess, has sky-rocketed over 400% from 1970 to the present. Thus with a lot more "little fish" in the sea, the big ones keep getting bigger


Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<morfishine> Thus with a lot more "little fish" in the sea, the big ones keep getting bigger>

If that's your opinion then you will probably agree with my "Bottom Feeder" hypothesis; look at my forum header. But when you consider the increase in people who have ratings keep in mind FIDE's repeated lowering of their ratings floor, i.e. the minimum rating for those who are actually given ratings, from 2200 in 1970 to 1000 today.

But the number of players rated 2200 and above increased substantially from 1970 (546) to its peak in year-end 2005 (13,940) but has been decreasing since then to 10,274 at year-end 2004. If you are bored with your life and can't think of anything to do, you can downlink the data from the links I provide in my user forum. And if you are <really> bored, you can look at it.

BTW, when are you going to publish your 14,000 page study? :-)

Feb-14-15  Olavi: <frogbert: <I can't produce the regulations from before 1993 (I think) right now, but for instance when calculating the point total needed for a GM or IM norm, unrateds were treated as 2200. This I testify from personal experience. I benefited from it.> Olavi, I'm completely aware of this, but it didn't give the player in question a rating of 2200, and neither did it impact the rating of the player needing the norm - it only counted towards his/her <rating performance>. For rating change purposes, the calculations for the player who needed the norm were done using his opponents actual/real ratings. If the opponent was unrated, the game against the norm player was not rated. Still, the norm hunter was not penalized for meeting this unrated player, typically in the first round of a swiss tournament.>

I'm not sure what you are saying here, and perhaps my output is not well done, but it is a fact that unrateds were 2200, and counted that towards the title norm, as long as not too many of them were in the tournament. In particular, this <If the opponent was unrated, the game against the norm player was not rated> is not true.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <chancho: 2 for 2.

Grenke and Tata Steel.

The word <domination> comes to mind here, folks....>

Maybe Carlsen <can> play a little.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <I think the average player today is stronger than the average player 20 years ago.

More people are playing and more people have access to more tools.

The average depth in chess is higher.

More people are getting GM title because the level is increasing.

The players are stronger. (2012)

~ Vishy Anand ~>

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <He who laughs last, laughs longest >

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Olavi> I'm not sure what you are saying here ...>

All that <frogbert> is saying is that unrated players were considered to be rated 2200 for the purpose of determining whether <norms> had been achieved. But when unrated players are initially rated (which was the subject of the original discussion), a rating of 2200 was not assumed.

The method of calculating the rating of unrated players is described in section 8 of the FIDE regulations, specifically sections 8.2 – 8.4. See for the current version.

Feb-15-15  parmetd: technically the rule frogbert cites has gone through a couple variations over the years. Originally, its scope was only ONE unrated player could be counted and would be counted at the 2300 level for purposes of norms. then they changed it to three at 2200. Then it was changed to two, one at 2200 and one at 2100. I infact played in an IM norm event as a 2100 player under the benefit of just such a rule.
Feb-15-15  frogbert: <parmetd> Yes, FIDE has certainly kept changing their rating regulations.

<Then it was changed to two, one at 2200 and one at 2100.>

It's currently back to only one. You are allowed to play more than one unrated player and still have the possibility of getting a norm (see table 1.72 for specifics, it depends on the event and the norm in question), but only <one> player's rating will be raised to the adjusted floor, see point 1.46c in the norm regulations:



No more than one opponent shall have his rating raised to this adjusted rating floor. Where more than one opponent is below the floor, the rating of the lowest opponent shall be raised.


<In particular, this <If the opponent was unrated, the game against the norm player was not rated> is not true.>

<Olavi> Based on the current regulations I was a tad too categorical, so no, it's not necessarily true in round robin events. Otherwise it's true.

Here are the two relevant paragraphs from the rating regulations - paragraphs 8.52 and 8.58 - but the gist of it is that

a) the main rule is that games against unrated players are not rated for the rated player, but

b) in a round robin event the unrated is treated as rated player <based on his/her adjusted rating performance against rated opponents> - iff the unrated scores at least 1/2 a point (this used to be 1 point). The latter is covered by paragraph 8.2.

Under no circumstances are games against an unrated player rated based on a raised rating due to someone's norm chances.



If the opponent is unrated, then the rating is determined at the end of the event. This applies only to round-robin tournaments. In other tournaments games against unrated opponents are not rated.



Determining the Ratings in a round-robin tournament. Where unrated players take part, their ratings are determined by a process of iteration. These new ratings are then used to determine the rating change for the rated players.

Then the ΔR for each of the rated players for each game is determined using Ru(new) as if an established rating.


I'm not sure when the latest relevant regulation change took place, but the above (with minor modifications) is what I can remember for the entire period I've been interested in these things - which is roughly the past 10-15 years.

Anyway, my initial posts on the subject were a rebuttal to the claim that unrated players were given fresh ratings of 2200 in thousands of FIDE rated events every year, and the later claim that unrated players are treated like 2200 (or some other raised rating for norm purposes) for the actual calculation of the rated player's new rating.

Feb-16-15  rogge: Long time no see, <frog>. That's great how you'll disrupt the <contest master> :)
Mar-02-15  siamesedream: <Magnus Carlsen`s Blog

February update

A year ago my Rapid and Blitz chess ratings and world ranking (4th) was not satisfactory, and I promised to change the situation. Winning the World Rapid and Blitz Championships last summer helped, and based on live ratings I expect to be no 1 on both rating lists tomorrow March 1. It feels great to have all three World Championship titles and top rating spots simultaneously, but it is not going to be easy to defend that position.

In Baden-Baden early this month my level of play varied again as in Wijk, but as long as the overall performance was reasonably good, I’m quite satisfied. The final stage of the tournament was a thriller. After catching up with Naiditsch near the end, I had the chance to decide the tournament in the last round as white against Bacrot. It was not to be as I squandered a winning position just before the time control. Both Naiditsch and I drew our games reaching 4.5/7 and there was a blitz playoff that went all the way to Armageddon. After playing well in the first Rapid game my level of play went down drastically. With 2-2 in the Blitz portion I was unusually tense also for the must-win-with-white Armageddon. I got a nice initiative and he blundered or went astray with Bc5 after which I was simply winning due to his exposed king. I’m of course happy to have won another strong elite tournament, and I’m grateful to the hosts for organizing such a strong event in beautiful Baden-Baden! My next tournament will be the Gashimov Memorial in Shamkir, Azerbaijan in mid April, and if feels great finally to have had a few weeks at home, and still have time to both relax and prepare for the next event.

Next week I’m off to Barcelona and the week after to Cannes for my main sponsors Nordic Semiconductor and Arctic Securities respectively. I’ll also visit Iceland during Reykjavik Open, without playing myself, to finally see some of the attractions I missed out on in 2004 and 2006, and to see how some of my friends and my father are doing first hand☺

Magnus Carlsen, Oslo, February 28th, 2015 >

Mar-20-15  pinoy king: Congratulations to Arkadij Naidtisch for winning and wiping the floor with Carlsen!
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Sally S> After 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f5 3. Nxe5 Nc6, did no-one ever play Raymond Keene's idea 4.Nxc6 against you?
Feb-20-16  Sally Simpson: Hi perfidious,

click for larger view

Has nobody played 4.Nxc6.

Yes but I still scored OK. 4.Qh5+ check is hard to resist and was by far the most common reply. (still is when I blitz it.)

I got a draw with 4.Nxc6 v Jacob Aagaard as Black in a simul. He said after the game 4.d4 is a better move and he may be right. I never faced that OTB and only once in CC.Net chess. I won but I was lost, my opponent had so many ways to win he blew it and lost.

Feb-21-16  Sally Simpson: Hi perfidious,

Just for the sake of completeness here is the game v Jacob.

I sac the exchange and maybe could have played on but they were giving chess books away to anyone who beat Jacob and all that was left were books on endgames (blergh!) so I let him off with a draw. ;)

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