Round Nine Report: Australian Victory in Batavia Tournament – By IM Yochanan Afek

Photo: Bas Beekhuizen

Photo: Bas Beekhuizen

Australian GM David Smerdon emerged as the outright winner of the 6th Batavia tournament which ended on Sunday in the well known Cafe in Amsterdam despite a last round defeat that finally left none of the participants unbeaten. The winner scored 6 points out of his nine games after losing rather quickly to Belgian IM Steven Geirnaert. Continue reading

David Smerdon wins Batavia Chess Tournament 2014

SONY DSCAustralian Grandmaster David Smerdon won the 6th Batavia chess tournament in Amsterdam with 6 points out of 9. A detailed report will follow soon.

Final Standings
1 GM Smerdon, David         6
2 IM Burg, Twan                   5.5
3 FM Van Foreest, Jorden  5
4 GM Williams, Simon K     5
5 WGM L’Ami, Alina             4.5
6 GM Ernst, Sipke                 4
7 IM Van Delft, Merijn          4
8 IM Van Eijk, Sander           4
9 IM Geirnaert, Steven         3.5
10 GM Peng, Zhaoqin          3.5

Eighth Round Report: IM norm for Jorden van Foreest – By IM Yochanan Afek

SONY DSCThe final stage of the tournament has attracted quite a few visitors to the lively venue, most prominent guests being the Dutch champion GM Dmitri Reinderman, grandmasters Loek van Wely, Hans Ree, Erwin L’Ami and Maarten Solleveld. IMs Manuel Bosboom and Robert Ris are blitzing regularly to the enjoyment of the cheering crowd. A very special guest here was Ton Sijbrands, former world champion for International draughts. Continue reading

Photos by Bas Beekhuizen

Photographer Bas Beekhuizen is one of the initiators of the Batavia tournament. Every year he decorates the playing hall with photos from previous events – many photos can be found on his new website as well. In this article you will find some of the pictures he took during the 5th round.

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Round Seven Report: Two Leaders and Hair-Raising Blunders By IM Yochanan Afek

As the tournament approaches its final stage the players still demonstrating a remarkable fighting spirit with four decisive conclusions, Nevertheless fatigue continues to show in the growing number of severe blunders and the seventh round was especially rich in such unfortunate episodes.

The earliest such decisive error occurred in the game Williams – Van Eijk. The Englishman who earlier in this tournament used the English Defence as Black [against Peng] successfully, showed once again some patriotic sentiments playing the English Opening as white. Continue reading

Round Six Report: Following a Bloody Draw-Free Afternoon Smerdon Takes a Sole Lead – By IM Yochanan Afek

Photo: Harry Gielen

Photo: Harry Gielen

Back from a badly needed and highly appreciated rest day the players are hopefully fit for the decisive battles on the prizes and norms. They all fight to the bitter (or alternatively sweet) end in the spirit of the new Magnus era. The sixth round for the first time ended up without a single draw!

The game Van Eijk – Smerdon saw a white Fianchetto against the Dragon variation of the Sicilian Defence to avoid the heavy theory piling up in the main lines. This modest side-line is not considered too challenging and Black could seek comfortable equality in some more solid paths. Nevertheless in view of white’s slow development (11.Rc1?!) he went right from the beginning for a kingside attack via the rook’s file with the out prepared van Eijk failing to anticipate the Australian’s captivating tactics. Continue reading

Round Five Report: Two GMs Share the Lead – By IM Yochanan Afek

Photo: Bas Beekhuizen

Photo: Bas Beekhuizen

Guest grandmasters Australian David Smerdon and Englishman Simon Williams are sharing the lead following their fifth round victories.

Smerdon beat the leader Twan Burg after about just two hours of play to replace him at the top. 3. Bb5+ in the Sicilian is not considered especially ambitious and is mostly used to avoid the piles of theory mounting the sharper main lines. Continue reading

Round four report: Twan Burg takes the sole lead – By IM Yochanan Afek

Photo: Bas Beekhuizen

Photo: Bas Beekhuizen

A genuine fighting spirit is remarkably demonstrated by all players even if still often accompanied by some unusual blunders. Twan Burg is leading the field following his second victory today. Burg – Van Eijk saw the Kan variation of the Sicilian Defence with white obtaining continuous initiative thanks to his space advantage. Black defended correctly and towards the final stage of the time pressure the following position was reached: Continue reading

Third round report: Four players at the lead By IM Yochanan Afek

Photo: Harry Gielen

Photo: Harry Gielen

Our tournament apparently attracts considerable attention and hopefully not only because it’s more or less the only grandmaster tournament played Europe these days…. Especially refreshing is the successful start of Jorden van Foreest who scored his second consecutive victory today. Against the Belgian Steven Geirnaert the young Groninger was on the black side of the ”innocent” looking Exchange variation of the Slav Defense. White employed Botvinnik’s ideas launching a pawn storm on the kingside before Black even castled. At the same time Black’s pieces were set for a breakthrough in the centre and indeed materialized it early enough with 17…e5. Continue reading

Round two report: hard fought draws and missed opportunities By IM Yochanan Afek

SONY DSCThe first encounter in the tournament between grandmasters was arguably the most exciting game of the round. The game Ernst – Smerdon saw the Stonewall variation of the Dutch Defence with white going for a thematic, yet daring and attractive breakthrough in the centre:

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