There is a lot at stake on the final day. Eight players are still in contention for first place. Jasel Lopez already secured his second IM norm and crossed the 2400 barrier. Felix Meissner needs a draw today for his first IM norm and also crossed the 2400 barrier. Rick Lahaye needs to win today for an IM norm. We have the special prizes for the tiebreak system and there are prizes for best game and best endgame.
Felix Meissner beat David Arutinian 2-0 in the blitz, which probably gives some confidence for the classical game. David showed his ambitions by choosing the Paulsen Sicilian. Felix put up a solid Maroczy Bind, but did lose the bishop pair in the process. The position looks dynamically balanced:
The blitz games between Jasel Lopez and Rick Lahaye were super sharp and entertaining. Jasel ended up winning the armageddon. Since Rick needs to win the classical game for his IM norm, his choice of the Dutch Defence is understandable. Jasel played a thematic exchange sacrifice on h5, but it’s a bad version for White (including c4 is too slow), so Rick managed to complete his development and holds a large advantage:
Arthur Pijpers beat Simon Williams 2-0 in the blitz. The second blitz game looked like a mirrored Dragon, an opening in which Arthur has a lot of experience. In the classical game Simon once more sacrificed a pawn, but since he no longer has his dark-squared bishop, his attack seems to lack some punch:
Max Warmerdam convincingly beat Stefan Kuipers 2-0 in the blitz, but the classical game is a different story. Stefan achieved a superior pawn structure from a positionally complex Italian opening:
John van der Wiel was suffering in the tiebreak against Koen Leenhouts (losing 1.5-0.5), but looks very solid with White in the classical game:
Koen just took on f4 and John is thinking here, but I’m curious what the alternative to recapturing would be.
John indeed recaptured and some further exchanges the rook endgame was drawn.
Rick Lahaye won and scored his second IM norm! After losing in round 7 Rick’s chances for a norm seemed almost disappeared, but his fantastic 2 out of 2 finish did the job! Jasel explained that he mixed up the move order in the opening.
Felix Meissner kept control over the position and even got an advantage, but David Arutinian found a way to escape to an equal endgame, which was drawn. This means that also Felix has scored an IM norm! Three IM norms in one tournament makes it quite a memorable event.
Stefan Kuipers and Max Warmerdam repeated moves and drew. Arthur Pijpers is now favourite to win the tournament, as he has a clear advantage.
Asked about his first impressions of the new tournament format with the blitz tiebreak before the classical game, Lennart Ootes said: “I’m very happy we have been able to test this new format in the Batavia tournament. I enjoyed the combination of blitz and classical and it’s great to see a big turnout of onsite spectators during the blitz. As the tiebreak scoring system was not leading due to FIDE norm regulations, it’s hard to draw an accurate conclusion about the new format itself. I hope it will get a chance in a stronger tournament in the near future.”
Simon Williams defended well. The game was drawn moments ago, which means that Arthur Pijpers has won the tournament!
The prize giving will be at 16:30!