Konstantin Aseev GM Konstantin Aseev annotates online the games of the 1st round:

July, 12 2001

The tournament which is started today in Dortmund is a rare exception from other events. We have been seeing it during 3 decades. This event goes on and it's a pleasure for us, chessplayers. There are some islands of reliability on the World chess map still. Hoping that FIDE's activity will increase the popularity of chess more.
The tournament's paticipants promise an unteresting struggle.
I can hadly foretell the winner in spite of it was always succeessful for Kramnik. Everyone is able to defeat any opponent being in good shape.

Well, let's see and have a pleasure of interesting games. The next duel of Anand and Kramnik is waiting for us! Wish good luck to all participants but especially to Russians.

Now as for today's battles:
1) Morozevich - Anand
2) Topalov - Kramnik
3) Leko - Adams
What could we wait for the 1st round?
Of course white color gives some advantage. But are they ready to agressive fight? Anyhow, in two round robin event the usual strategy can take place - to fight for win with white and to equalize on the black side.

Morozevich - Anand

As usual we can expect new point of view in some theoretical positions in games of Morozevich. I can't remind such interpretation (7.Qd2 with following 0-0-0) in Paulsen variation. It seems that after possible 8...Bb4 Black hasn't any problems since there is the reply d5 on natural 9.f3.

Black preferred another way of play but in this redaction after 12...d6 there is also double-edged position.

To the 15th move the position has become sharp - White grasped initiative but possible standard counterplay doesn't allow to say which result is more likely.

After 21...Be6 any result is still possible. If there is the precise display of time Alexander has half an hour more but it says almost nothing since we know how fast and strong Vishi can play.

The position becomes hot. So Black should play vigrously since his King is lost in the center and the f4 pawn also demands an attention.

Suddenly 26...0-0 was played with the idea 27.gh6 Bf6 with following Rfb8 with an attack. But White hopes to defend the b2 pawn and capture the f4 one.

To our regret there were some mistakes in official transmission of this game. And as it was found out Anand (as usual!!) had the time advantage (if of course it'is not wrong again). Besides, initiative belongs to Black and White should find the way out of this.

Topalov - Kramnik

White has unpretentiously outplayed the opening and by the 8th move a position with mutual chances has apperared.

On the 12th move Black had to play Bd7 which can testify the possible inexactitude 10...Re8. Though there is trouble position here after calm 13.e3 in case, for example, 13...Rc8.

Very daring and concrete Kramnik's play with g5 let him solve all the problems. Moreover, even Veselin was in need of exact moves.
After 24.Rad1 the position is close to equality and most likely draw will be there, as in the game Leko - Adams.

The only game still goes on. The game passed to a Knight ending more pleasant for Black. But will his advantage (the distant passing pawn and a bit more active King) be enough for win?

White has desperate position.

Leko - Adams

There is expected Petroff's defence. The opponents follow the usual theory line where White can be given some preference.

Chosen 15...c5 left White an advantage which is not easy to be realized.

In my opinion more problems could be created by 21.a4 (instead of 21.Nh4). But now the probability of draw sharply increased.

The game is going to a draw and after the 31st Black's move I can hardly believe that another result is possible.

But as it often happens loss of concentration or little limpness can lead to a losses on the board. I should notice that after many exchanges of pieces and pawns it was difficult to suppose anything else could happen. However the Rook's trade had created some problems for Michael and finally there is an ending 3 pawns against 2 on the k-side and in case White carries out the advance f4-f5 (White just needs to put the Knight onto e3) the game will result in failure for Adams.