Two of the major ongoing tournaments ended today, but in both cases the identity of the winner had been known well in advance. In Dortmund, Fabiano Caruana had already clinched clear first the day before, and for him today was a mere formality. He drew comfortably with Peter Leko, and his final score of 5.5/7 added up to victory by a point and a half, a TPR of 2934 and a soon-to-be-official rating of 2801. That puts him into third place on the rating list, and makes him the 7th player in chess history to (officially) go over 2800. (The others: Kasparov, Kramnik, Topalov, Anand, Carlsen and Aronian.) Come on home!
While the last round may have been a coronation ceremony for Caruana, the other games were played with something at stake, and all finished with winners and losers. Georg Meier won in the first round, against Vladimir Kramnik, and he got his second victory in the last round, over Arkadij Naiditsch. That was a strange and very hard-fought game, with the evaluation regularly fluctuating between a significant advantage for Meier and equality. The last fluctuation was hard to understand, but at the end of a tournament fatigue is common, and with it errors often follow close behind. With the obvious 50...c3+ Naiditsch would eliminate Meier's passed a-pawn, and then a draw would be a foregone conclusion. Instead he must have thought that he could do more damage by keeping his c-pawn alive, and using it and his e-pawn to overtax White's resources. Instead, it was White's a- and g-pawns that proved overwhelming, and Meier caught Leko in a tie for second. (Had the game been drawn Naiditsch would have been the one tying for second.)
Like Meier, Kramnik also bookended the tournament - but with losses rather than wins. He came out of the opening and early middlegame with at least equality and sometimes even an edge against Ponomariov in a 5.Re1 Berlin, but got outplayed little by little and eventually lost. The tournament was about as bad for Kramnik as it was good for Caruana. Kramnik came in next to last and lost 17 rating points, barely staying in the world's top ten. After a great 2013, Kramnik is having a disastrously bad 2014. Meanwhile, Ponomariov leapfrogged Kramnik in the tournament standings, with 3 points to Kramnik's 2.5.
Kramnik avoided clear last only because of David Baramidze, who lost his third game in the tournament, this one to Michael Adams. Adams tied for 3rd-4th with Naiditsch on 50%.
Next, the ACP Golden Classic in Bergamo, which finished with a clear victory for Wesley So. His 4.5/6 (and a 2844 TPR) gave him first place by a full point over Baadur Jobava, and in the process he gained 11 rating points to reach #12 on the rating list - up four places from the tournament's beginning. (So has been going to college in the U.S., so wouldn't it be nice if he decided to represent the U.S., and likewise for Caruana? Put them on a team together with Hikaru Nakamura and Gata Kamsky, and we'd have real chances to compete for Olympic gold! Waking from my dream now....)
Finally, while two of the three big ongoing events have finished (Biel is on a rest day), a new one has sprung up to take its place. A rapid match between Boris Gelfand and Peter Svidler started today (Sunday), and the first two games were exciting draws. Gelfand was very close to a win in the first game, while the second saw both players having chances (though not as big as Gelfand's in the first game).