8th Batavia Chess Tournament: February 18th – 28th

Batavia-Amsterdam-Schaaktoernooi-2016 afficheThe 8th Batavia Chess Tournament takes place from Thursday, February 18th to Sunday, February 28th, 2016 in Café Batavia 1920, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The games will start each day at 14:00 hrs. The final round starts at 12.00 hrs. Wednesday, February 24th is a rest day.

Admission to the playing hall in Cafe Batavia is free.
The cafe is located opposite the Amsterdam Central Station, in the direction of Zeedijk, left to the St. Nicholas church, at Prins Hendrikkade 85.

The Batavia Chess Tournament is a 10-player all-play-all event. The rate of play is 40 moves in 90 minutes plus 30 minutes for all remaining moves with 30 seconds per move added from the start.
The games are FIDE rated and gives players the opportunity to earn grandmaster and international master norms.


1. GM Sabino Brunello (2562) ITA
2. GM Friso Nijboer (2545) NED
3. GM Lars Schandorff (2500) DEN
4. IM Moulthun Ly (2480) AUS
5. IM Arthur Pijpers (2476) NED
6. IM Thomas Willemze (2418) NED
7. IM Stef Soors (2390) BEL
8. WGM Anne Haast (2381) NED
9. Lucas van Foreest (2350) NED
10. FM Danny de Ruiter (2312) NED

Prize Fund

1st place: €500
2nd place: €300
3rd place: €200

Blitz – 1st place: €100

The brilliancy prize of €150 for the best game and the best endgame prize of €150 are made possible by de Melker & Partners (dMP). The jury consists of GM Anish Giri and IMs Manuel Bosboom and Merijn van Delft.





Title norms

The requirement for a GM norm is 6½ points. An IM-norm is 4½ points.
(WGM Anne Haast needs 5 points for an IM-norm, however she has already obtained the necessary norm results.)

Batavia Blitz & Opening

On Thursday February 18th at 20.00 hrs the participants of the Batavia Chess Tournament will play a blitz tournament to determine the color distribution for the main event. The Blitz event is open for audience in Café Batavia, while the games can be followed live via this website as well.

Format: 10-player single round robin.
Rate of play: 3 minutes plus 2 seconds per move.
First prize: €100.
Tiebreak: 1. Mutual games; 2. SB points; 3. Most blacks; 4. Most wins; 5. Most wins with black; 6. Drawing of lots.
The final ranking of the Blitz determines the starting numbers of the main event. Which means, the winner of the Blitz has starting number 5 in the main event, number 2 has starting number 4, etc. and number 6 gets starting number 10, number 7 starting number 9, etc.

The opening of the 8th Batavia Chess Tournament will also take place on Thursday February 18th, at 19.00 hrs.


Tournament director: Merijn van Delft
Cafe Batavia: Peter Tames
Chief Arbiter: Arno Eliëns

Brilliancy prize won by Etienne Goudriaan

The jury had a tough time deciding on who gets the brilliancy prize, since there were several nice candidates. Lars Ootes was close to winning it in the last round, but failed to crown his attack.

Eventually, Anish Giri voted for Robby Kevlishvili’s brilliant defence against Jorden van Foreest. Manuel Bosboom and I voted for Etienne Goudriaan’s creative counterattack against Roland Schmaltz. So 2-1 in favour of Etienne Goudriaan, with a honorary mention for Robby Kevlishvili.

Here you find the analyses by the winner: http://batavia1920.nl/chess/round-reports/analysis-schmaltz-goudriaan/


Roland Schmaltz and Etienne Goudriaan analysing their fascinating game

Report: Merijn van Delft


4th IM norm for Lars Ootes

With a score of 4.5 out of 9 Lars Ootes scored his 4th IM norm. Since one only needs three norms for the title, it wasn’t mentioned in the report yesterday, but let me congratulate Lars on a good tournament with entertaining chess! He only needs to get his rating over 2400 for the IM title, but that is most likely only a matter of time.

Lars Ootes 3e ronde

Lars Ootes






Batavia 2015 Round 9: no norms, but still an exciting tournament

12:45 The last round of the Batavia tournament has started two hours earlier than usual, at 12:00. Jorden van Foreest needs a win with black against Andreas Heimann for a grandmaster norm and Robby Kevlishvili needs a win with white against Stef Soors for a master norm. So we’re all set for an exciting last round! The weather is nice here in Amsterdam, so feel free to stop by at Café Batavia.

12:51 In order to play for a win, Jorden has played the sharp Taimanov Sicilian. Andreas answered with the very trendy 6.Be3 a6 7.Qf3. Here 7…Bd6 is considered to be a somewhat dubious choice, exactly because of White’s strong reply 9.g3!. The first critical moment was reached after 17 moves:

Heimann-Van Foreest

Heimann-Van Foreest after 17…Qxe5

Here White can keep the intiative with 18.Rf1!. Instead, Heimann continued with 18.Bf3 Rac8 19.Qf4 Rfe8 20.R1d3 and this position is balanced. It won’t be easy to create good winning chances here with Black, but in chess anything is possible!

13:20 Robby has a hard time creating winning chances as well. Stef knows his Caro-Kann very well and has easily solved his opening problems. With 13…Qb6 Stef deviated from his second round game against Jorden. Robby’s 14.Ne4 is not considered to be a critical try. 14.Rhe1 0-0 15.Nf5 is the main line, while Negi prefers 14.c4 0-0 15.Bf4. By exchanging on f6 and playing Qe2, without waiting for Black to exchange on e4, White has lost a tempo. Interestingly, because of that, in the position after 19 moves Black has the extra tempo Rad8 compared to Van Foreest-Soors:


Kevlishvili-Soors after 19…c5

Here Robby had to find 20.Ne5! (which he did), not to be worse. By now the queens have come off and the position is equal.

13:44 Possibly 26…a5 by Soors was an inaccuracy (26…f6 27.Ng6 Rfe8 28.Kb1 Nd3! is a very concrete alternative), so maybe now Kevlishvili has some chances in the endgame based on his queenside majority. Heimann-Van Foreest still looks balanced.

13:55 Many times Dutch Champion Peng has just arrived in Café Batavia and remarked that Soors should have considered 24…Bxe5!?, since White is forced to take back with the pawn.

14:10 The brilliancy prize team is gathering: sponsor Bas from De Melker & Partners has arrived here in Café Batavia and so did jury member Manuel Bosboom. Via Facebook jury member Anish Giri has also tuned in a few minutes ago. The last round today also counts, so nothing has been decided yet.

14:17 Let’s not forget about the top pairing Ootes-Reinderman. The critical continuation against the Accelerated Dragon is supposed to be the Maroczy Bind 5.c4, but Lars was striving for a more tactical battle with 5.Nc3. Dimitri could have favourably transposed to the regular Dragon with 8…d6 (since White has committed himself to an early Bb3), but instead he prefered the trendy 8…e6!?. Here Lars introduced a fascinating and very sharp novelty with 9.h4!?. Dimitri reacted with the typical central counter 9…d5 and the following moves look correct from both sides. Note the clever queen manoeuvre Qf3-h3 by Ootes. After 14 moves the first critical moment was reached:


Ootes-Reinderman after 14…f5

Here Lars played another spectacular move with 15.Bd4!, and now Black most likely should have gone for 15…Kf7, which keeps the balance in a still complicated position. Reinderman prefered to sacrifice an exchange with 15….Rf6!?, but White keeps refusing to take the exchange with moves like 17.0-0-0! and 18.Be5!. If Ootes continues like this, we have yet another candidate for the brilliancy prize!

14:42 Probably Heimann should have kept the balance with 30.Rxe3 Rxe3 31.Rd3, since his 30.Bd1 may be too passive. Now Jorden seems have an edge, both on the board and on the clock. In the meantime grandmasters Hans Ree and Jan Smeets have arrived to witness everything with their own eyes. The place is heating up again.

14:53 It looks like Soors has equalized in the rook endgame against Kevlishvili.

15:06 Correction: Robby may still have some chances after all. Bad news for the fans of Jorden: Andreas has taken over the initiative and now seems to be clearly better. It appears that Black should have gone for piece play with moves like Ne4 and Kg7, instead of pushing his kingside pawns.

15:34 Lars played truely brilliantly in the first part of the game, but by now he let Dimitri escape.

15:50 The players have all reached the first time control, so it’s time for an update/overview. Etienne Goudriaan beat Nico Zwirs and Schmaltz-Gormally ended in a draw. I hope to get back to these games later on. Jorden is losing by now and Robby still has some winning chances in his rook endgame. Ootes-Reinderman is dynamically balanced at this point:


Ootes-Reinderman after 40…Ke5

The black king is running around the board, but is relatively safe.

IMG_20150301_153938293 (2)

Arthur Pijpers and Jan Smeets blitzing, Etienne Goudriaan, Nico Zwirs and Frans Sanijs analysing

16:38 Unfortunately no norms today, but Jorden van Foreest (who lost) and Robby Kevlishvili (who drew) will certainly make their norms at some point in the future. Here we’re going to prepare for the prize giving. Thanks to all of you for following and supporting the tournament, cheers!

Report by Merijn van Delft

Batavia 2015 Round 8: regression to the mean

14:31 The tournament is entering the decisive stage. Dimitri Reinderman has slowed down a bit after his phenomenal start, but is still very eager to win the tournament. Today he has white against Etienne Goudriaan. Jorden van Foreest can score his first grandmaster norm today if he beats Robby Kevlishvili.The other pairings are Gormally-Ootes, Zwirs-Heimann and Soors-Schmaltz. The round has started at 14:00, feel free to stop by at Café Batavia if you have the opportunity!


Roland Schmaltz analysing earlier this week

14:53 Jorden van Foreest and Robby Kevlishvili are having a heavy theoretical discussion in, again, the Najdorf Poisoned Pawn variation (compare earlier rounds). Right now they have this position:

Van Foreest-Kevlishvili

Van Foreest-Kevlishvili after 24.Kh2

With 13.Bg3!? Jorden chose a variation that is dismissed by Negi in his new book as not critical, but which was played by Radjabov against Grischuk exactly one week ago (1-0). Theory is constantly evolving in these sharp opening variations. Jorden is 15 years old and already knows how to study chess on his own. Robby is only just 13 years old and still has to learn this. 16…Qa1+ is the improvement on Radjabov-Grischuk, known from some correspondence games. The current position after 24.Kh2 is still known from one of these correspondence games: De Meye-Simakov, ICCF 2013 (this game was won by White as well). Don’t trust the online engine evaluations. You really need to let the engine run for a long time on your own computer to get reliable results (even better is to try and put in moves yourself and thus analyse interactively). I suspect the position is dynamically balanced, with White having compensation for the two pawns. From a practical point of view it may be easier to play for White, especially since Jorden by now is an hour up on time. But Robby is a tricky defender, so let’s see what happens.

15:13 With 26.Qe4 Van Foreest has introduced a novelty. The aforementioned correspondence game continued with 26.Qa1 Qb6 27.Rb2 Kc7 28.Nb3 with a dangerous initiative as well.

16:02 Jorden played the suprising hyper sharp 29.c4 (the computer wants to double rooks with 29.Rba2 or first 29.Qe2), which seems to be based on a miscalculation. Robby played the obvious 29…Bxd4 and now Jorden is thinking again, so possibly he now realises that he missed something.

16:25 It’s about time that we update you on the other games. Reinderman started his game against Goudriaan with 1.f4 and is playing a Dutch Defence with colours reversed. 10…e6 was the first new move and after a move like 15…Nf5 the position would be about balanced. Instead, 15…Ne8 was a bit passive and with 17.g4 Dimitri’s ambitions of grabbing the initiative became clear. Solid moves like 17…Nc6 or 18…Rc7 were required, because now the situation quickly escalated:


Reinderman-Goudriaan after 21…Nef5

Here Reinderman showed he calculated well and played the winning 22.gxf6!, relying on a bunch of knight forks.


Joint analyses

17:01 Daniel Gormally is not having his best tournament ever, but he keeps on fighting and managed to beat Lars Ootes in a very smooth attacking game. An interesting alternative for Black in the opening might be the provocative 8…0-0. A bit later 10…Nb6 may offer better chances for Black to stabilize the position. After twelve moves Gormally was already clearly better:


Gormally-Ootes after 12…Qe7

Here White started hunting down the black king with 13.Nd5! and nine moves later the game was over.

17:07 Jorden indeed miscalculated and has resigned. He relied on 31.Rxb5 axb5 32.Ra7+ but this is not mate after 32…Qxa7. Robby should be praised for his cool play in this game, since he knew the line until 19…Bxc5 and from that point on he was on his own. Furthermore, Robby now won three (!) games in a row and impressively fought his way back in the tournament after a difficult start. It is to be expected that these two young men will play many more exciting games in the future.

17:54 A true regression to the mean is taking place, since now also Nico Zwirs has won his game against Andreas Heimann. After this round eight from ten players will have a score of 3, 3.5 or 4 points.

17:56 Anish Giri just tuned in and expressed his praise for Robby’s play today. He gave 28…h5 two exclamation marks. So it seems we have another candidate for the brilliancy prize, while there is of course still one round to go.

18:27 Heimann failed to solve his opening problems against Zwirs. Possible improvements for Black include 10…Bb6 (which Jorden used to beat Delchev recently), 13…Bg6 and 15…Bg6. White let his edge slip away though, since he should have put a rook on d7 on either move 19 or 20. Once White put his rook on d7 after all, Black had to take another difficult decision:


Zwirs-Heimann after 22.Rd7

Here Andreas pointed out the correct 22…Kf8! after the game. A bit later 26…cxb5 leads to a pawn ending that is still drawn with study like play, but that one was pretty hard to find. Nico went on to win the rook ending and now all players have at least won one game.


Zwirs and Heimann discussing their game

19:17 The last game of the day was Soors-Schmaltz. From a Sicilian Alapin White seemed to have an edge, but the position soon became pretty unclear. After a complicated positional struggle the following position emerged:


Soors-Schmaltz after 34.Qb3

With 34…Rc8 Schmaltz lost the initiative, whereas after 34…b5! 35.axb5 Qxb5 White still has to prove his compensation for the pawn. Soors made the most of his chances and went on to win.

19:28 So today was yet another exciting day at Café Batavia in Amsterdam, without any draws and several surprises. Tomorrow the last round starts at 12:00. Jorden van Foreest needs a win for a GM norm (with Black against Andreas Heimann) and Robby Kevlishvili needs a win for an IM norm (with White against Stef Soors). See you then!


Gathering in Café Batavia

Report by Merijn van Delft, quality photos by Bas Beekhuizen.

Batavia 2015 Round 7: early blunder by Schmaltz

14:44 The weekend is almost starting for most people, but the chess players are now entering the decisive stage of the tournament in Café Batavia. Feel free to stop by if you’re in town, audience is most welcome!

14:47 The main contender for a GM norm is Jorden van Foreest, who needs two points from his remaining three games. Today he has Black against grandmaster Roland Schmaltz and it promises to be a most exciting fight, judging from the sharp Taimanov variation that appeared on the board:

Schmaltz-Van Foreest

Schmaltz-Van Foreest after 16…Qb6

With 16.Rhf1 White played the first new move and after Black’s reply 16…Qb6, Schmaltz is now considering his options. Since the kings have castled to opposite wings, the main question is: who gets his attack going first? White may go for the rook manoeuvre Rf3-h3, while Black might go Rc5-a5 to go after the White king.

15:14 It came as we expected, with 17.Rf3 and 17…Rc5, but at this point White blundered horribly:

Schmaltz-Van Foreest

Schmaltz-Van Foreest after 17…Rc5

Roland probably thought Jorden must have missed something and played 18.Na4??, but after Jordens simple reply 18…Ra5! Black is completely winning. Schmaltz is still thinking, but probably he will resign soon. A most shocking start of the seventh round.

16:10 Nico Zwirs’ King’s Indian setup against Reindermans English opening worked out well. White’s 10.b4 allowed the equalizing 11…e4. In fact, the postion remains tactically complicated. The computer indicates 14…Na5 15.Nd2 Re8 as the right way to play for Black, but in practice everyone goes 14…Nd4. A few moves later, the following critical moment arose:


Reinderman-Zwirs after 15…Rxd4

White should have gone for 16.Qb3. Reinderman played 16.Qc2?, of which the refutation is not easy to find: 16…Bf5! 17.e4 and only now 17…Be6 18.Rb4 d5 19.exd5 Bf5 20.Qb3 Rd3 and Black wins. Following Nico’s immediate 16…Be6, Dimitri escaped by playing an exchange sacrifice.

16:30 Schmaltz played a few more moves and has resigned by now. This means Jorden has moved up to +4 and now needs one point from his remaining two games for a GM norm.

Schmaltz-Van Foreest-Pa4

Jorden van Foreest, thinking after 18.Na4

16:34 Zwirs has played some very good moves (especially 21…Qd4 was spot-on) and now Reinderman still has to work hard to reach a draw:


Reinderman-Zwirs after 28…Be5

17:00 Robby Kevlishvili surprisingly beat Andreas Heimann in a nice attacking game. In the opening Black should have played something like 12…Bf6 when the position is about equal. Following 12…exd4?! White got a lot of space for his pieces and with it a strong initiative.


Kevlishvili-Heimann after 19…Bxd5

Here Robby gained control over the important d5 square with 20.Qf5! and soon dominated on the kingside as well.


Heimann, Bosboom, Schmaltz and Kevlishvili analysing

17:33 The place is heating up here in Café Batavia. The three remaining games are now approaching the first time control and here in the bar high level blitz is being played on two boards.

17:56 Etienne Goudriaan is a hard man to stop once he has the initiative, but Daniel Gormally put up quite some resistence. After a complicated fight the game was eventually drawn.


Goudriaan-Gormally after 32…Qxc2

Here Etienne could have played 33.Rd7, with a winning advantage.


Goudriaan and Gormally ready for a great fight

18:32 Reinderman defended very well and secured half a point. Now Reinderman and Van Foreest are sharing the lead with 5.5 out of 7.

Reinderman-Batavia 7deronde

GM Dimitri Reinderman

19:07 Lars Ootes and Stef Soors were the last ones to finish their game today and just like Goudriaan-Gormally it was a fantastically dynamic struggle, eventually ending in a draw.


Ootes-Soors halfway their complicated struggle



Tomorrow round 8 starts at 14:00 and the final round on Sunday starts at 12:00.

Report by Merijn van Delft, quality photos by Bas Beekhuizen.



Batavia 2015 Round 6: Van Foreest moves up to +3 and crosses 2500 barrier

15:37 After enjoying their rest day in Amsterdam, the players have started the sixth round of the Batavia tournament. Gormally-Reinderman and Van Foreest-Ootes are the top pairings of today. After having had a nice coffee with Ian and Cathy Rogers, let me try to bring you up to date.

15:47 One of the coolest things about the Batavia tournament is that there is no such thing as a quick draw. All players are eager to fight, no matter what the tournament situation. Reinderman played the Dutch Defence today and his grandmaster colleague Gormally left the main track with 14.Nd4 (here 14.Ng5 is the main line). Black got through the opening without trouble and went for the interesting 18…c5, whereas 18…d5 looks perfectly fine as well. After 22…Bxd5 Black looks comfortabe.


Black looks comfortable after 22 moves in Gormally-Reinderman

15:56 For the fourth time this tournament, Lars Ootes is playing a Pirc Defence with Black. Somewhat surprisingly, Jorden van Foreest didn’t go for any of the critical lines, but played something relatively modest instead. If Black would have played a move like 12…Nc6, the position would have been fairly balanced. An interesting alternative for White would have been 16.Nb5 followed by 17.c3. By now Black has equalized in instructive fashion:

Van Foreest-Ootes

Van Foreest-Ootes after 18.Nf3

Here Lars played 18…Bxc3! 19.bxc3 Nd5, which impressively transforms the position to a more static one. Jorden did find 20.Qc4!, keeping the balance.

16:17 That’s the danger of (semi-)live blogging. Just when I said there is no such thing as a quick draw, Gormally and Reinderman have agreed to a draw. To be fair, mass exchanges and with that a likely draw was about to happen.

16:41 In the German derby between Andreas Heimann and Roland Schmaltz, who are teammates and both staying at the Rogers family, you might have expected a quick draw, but a very tense battle is going on. Schmaltz specializes in the Na6 King’s Indian and with 13…Nf7 he was still following three games by another specialist, GM Damljanovic. With 14.f4 Heimann played a good novelty, aiming for a nice space advantage, which was well established after 23 moves:


White is enjoying a nice space advantage in Heimann-Schmaltz

Although Roland has a lot of experience in Hedgehog positions, he may have trouble keeping this one together. Here Andreas continued with 24.c5!, developing a strong initiative.

17:29 Robby Kevlishvili scored his first full point by beating Nico Zwirs in a sharp Najdorf Poisoned Pawn variation. 9.Qd3 is quite a tricky line and I thought that Black was supposed to play 12…Bxe6, but 12…fxe6 may be playable as well. Possibly 15.Bg4 is the critical move. With 15…Qc5 Black probably made a mistake, but with 19.Bxf6 White gave up an important bishop (19.Rbe1! looks good for White). A few moves later Nico miscalculated badly:


Zwirs-Kevlishvili after 21…Nc6

Here 22.Nb6?? was a blunder, since with 22…Nxd4! (with the idea 23.Nxa8 Ne2+ followed by 24…Nxc3) Black is suddenly taking over. Nico didn’t find the best defence and quickly collapsed.

Robby Kevlishvili-portret

Robby Kevlishvili

18:03 The game between Stef Soors and Etienne Goudriaan was quite an adventurous one. Etienne, true to his style, used the first opportunity to spice things up with 10…h5!?. White preferred not taking the pawn on g7 and instead worked towards stabilizing the position. There are many interesting alternatives to be analysed, and that’s exactly what the players are doing right now:


Soors and Goudriaan analysing, Zwirs and Kevlishvili joining

18:24 Just when Stef was about to get the position under control, he blundered horribly:


Soors-Goudriaan after 31…Qc2

Here 32.Rf2?? was met by the simple 32…Qxc4 33.f5 Rxf5 and now 34.Qh3 was not possible because d5 is hanging with check.

18:31 As Lars Ootes was getting short on time, he started slipping:

Van Foreest-Ootes

Van Foreest-Ootes after 25.Rxb7

Here the situation is getting very tense and Black needs to find 25…Rf8 to keep the postion balanced. Instead, the check on d1 backfired badly and White managed to reach a winning endgame with rather straightforward play. Now Jorden is trailing tournament leader Reinderman by half a point and needs two point from his remaining three games for a GM norm. On top of that, he has crossed the 2500 Elo barrier, which is another requirement to become grandmaster.


Van Foreest and Ootes analysing

19:02 In the remaining game of today, Heimann always had the more pleasant position, but never managed to turn this into something concrete. In the final postion Black has solved his problems and a draw was agreed:


Final position in Heimann-Schmaltz


Heimann, Meißner and Schmaltz analysing

Tomorrow at 14:00 we continue with the 7th round.

Report by Merijn van Delft, quality photo by Bas Beekhuizen, the other ones by Merijn

Batavia 2015 Round 5: Van Foreest back in contention

14:32 Today is a very interesting round: who will win and thus enter the rest day with a good feeling? The grandmasters are all playing with White today and will be eager to teach their young counterparts a lesson. Schmaltz-Kevlishvili and Gormally-Zwirs are both very sharp Najdorf games and promise entertainment. Tournament leader Reinderman typically chose a less direct approach in the opening and went for 1.c4 e5 2.g3 against Soors. As my friend Frenk van Harreveld remarked, Dimitri is very good at making his opponents play below their usual level.

14:41 Ootes seems to be well prepared in the 9.d4 Ruy Lopez against Heimann and is half an hour up on time. Goudriaan’s handling of the white pieces against Van Foreest is somewhat mysterious, as for instance 7…b6 looks quite comfortable for Black. Following 7…Nbd7, White should probably go for 8.Nh4. With 8…e5 Jorden grabbed the initiative and by now seems to be clearly better.

16:00 It turned out that Etienne Goudriaan was freestyling right from the start, as he wasn’t prepared for 4…Bf5. His 11.g4? was already born out of desperation and after that things went from bad to worse.

Goudriaan-Van Foreest

Here White played the positional mistake 6.c5? in Goudriaan-Van Foreest

That means Jorden van Foreest is back in contention with 3.5 out of 5.


Looking up theory after the game (Kevlishvili, Goudriaan, Van Foreest, Van Delft)

16:32 Danny Gormally seems to be on his way to break his string of losses. With 15.Kb1 the game left the main track (15.f5 is the complex main line) and after a few more moves the following the critical position was reached:


Position after 19.Nc1 in Gormally-Zwirs

Here Black could have grabbed the initiative with the typical pawn sacrifice 19…d5!, which frees his position. Instead, Nico landed in a bad endgame following 19…Qa5 20.h4 b3? 21.cxb3 axb3 22.Qxa5 Rxa5 23.Nxb3 and Black doesn’t have compensation for his sacrificed pawn.

16:48 The Najdorf battle in Schmaltz-Kevlishvili also saw many critical moments early in the game. On move 14 Black should probably hold back castling for a bit longer. On move 17 White has several alternatives to choose from. Starting with 21…Rb8 Black started some vague manoeuvring with his rooks (21…Red8 looks more to the point), but the position remained unclear, since White’s position wasn’t easy to handle either.


Schmaltz-Kevlishvili after 34.b3

In this position Robby could have kept the tension with the cool 34…Ne6! (if White takes the rook Black has more than just a perpetual). Instead, after 34…Rxe4 the position was simplified somewhat and White kept a positional advantage based on the strong knight on e4.

17:55 Nico kept fighting and apparently Danny lost some of his confidence, since here White started repeating moves:


Gormally-Zwirs after 37…Kg6

Instead of the repetition, White could have started his play on the queenside with 38.b3!, since Black doesn’t have a good way of taking on f6.

18:01 Stef Soors played a solid game with Black against tournament leader Dimitri Reinderman:


Black has comfortably equalised with 22…d5 in Reinderman-Soors

After a further six moves, including the exchange of queens, the peace was signed. The means Reinderman is still leading the tournament with 4.5 out of 5.


Lai, Reinderman, Soors, Bosboom, Goudriaan

18:11 Once Roland Schmaltz got into control, Robby Kevlishvili quickly collapsed: Black lost a pawn on the queenside and with it the position.

18:35 The remaining game of the day is Ootes-Heimann. Although White had a clear time advantage after the opening, Black never had any real problems. In fact, with 17.h3 White started slipping (17.Bc1 is the solid alternative) and Black gradually took over the initiative. The dynamic 27.e6! still looks fine for White, but after 27.Bc2 White remains with a passive position. Heimann conserved his advantage well into the rook endgame, when the following position appeared:


Ootes-Heimann after 45.Rd5

Here it seems that Black should quickly start bringing his king into play with 45…Ke7, while after 45…b4 Ootes grabbed his chance with 46.Kf3! and is now close to drawing.

19:06 After 69 moves only two bare kings were left in Ootes-Heimann. This means that Lars is still doing very well and Andreas might be slightly disappointed because of the missed chances. Don’t forget that tomorrow is a rest day. Thursday at 14:00 we continue with the sixth round.

Report by Merijn van Delft, quality photo by Bas Beekhuizen, the other one by Merijn

Batavia 2015 Round 4: Reinderman increases lead

15:30 The top pairing of the fourth round is clearly Van Foreest-Reinderman. During the chess festival in Groningen in December (see www.schaakstadgroningen.nl) these two Dutch top players played a match over 6 games, which was won by Reinderman with 3.5-2.5. Today Jorden has White and will try to take over the lead in the tournament.

16:30 Dimitri went for the old Löwenthal variation and the queens were exchanged right in the opening. Jorden did know the key move 10.Kd2!, but he should have followed this up with 11.a3 Nc6 12.Ke1, playing for an edge based on the bishop pair. For Black maybe a bit more accurate is 11…0-0 (instead 11…Le6). With 13…b5!? Black considerably sharpened the game:

Van Foreest-Reinderman

Critical position after 13…b5!? in Van Foreest-Reinderman

Jorden should have gone for the exchange sacrifice 14.Kc1 b4 15.Rxd6 Bd7 16.Rxc6 which looks dynamically balanced. Instead, 14.Nd5? was an unfortunate blunder, possibly he missed 17.Kxe4 f5+!.

16:53 Dimitri could have won a piece right away with 18…Nf5+, but as the game proceeded he reached a totally winning position as well.

Reinderman middelpunt Batavia2

Reinderman in the centre of attention, leading the tournament with 4 out of 4

17:04 In Heimann-Goudriaan Black seemed comfortable right from the start. With 9…Nxd5 Etienne tried to solve all opening problems at once (9…cxd5 is the alternative), while White should go for the surprising 14.Kf1! Be6 15.Qd3 and Black is still mildly suffering with his isolated d-pawn. 14…Qf6!? is a nice cross-pin (14…Bf5! actually may be best), taking revenge for the first round game Goudriaan-Ootes


Position after 20…Rxd4 in Heimann-Goudriaan

21.Re1! or one move later 22.h3! may still give White an edge. In the final position 23.Rc4 Rxc4 24.Qxc4 Rxa2 is indeed very drawish.

18:46 Stef Soors is quite well prepared with White in the Sicilian Alapin and today Daniel Gormally didn’t quite equalize with Black. Some inaccuracies from both sides followed, but after 21.Bd1 the most critical position of the game was reached:


The position in Soors-Gormally after 22.Bd1

Here Black should definitely keep the queens on the board with 22…Qb8, after which things are not that clear. Following 22…Qxc5 the endgame was just very good for White and the IM from Belgium quickly converted.

19:22 Nico Zwirs is slowly but surely fighting himself a way into the tournament. The young man from Apeldoorn remarked that closed tournaments are something quite different from opens – you never get a break. According to Roland Schmaltz their game today wasn’t very good – it was a tough struggle until there were no pieces left to fight with. 11…Bxc3!? in the opening led to an interesting material balance. A bit later 16…f6 or 16…e5 looks like the healthiest way of playing. Halfway the game White looked better, with 27.Bc4 for instance. After the queens were exchanged, the position was always within drawing limits.


The endgame always looked fairly balanced in Zwirs-Schmaltz

19:40 Robby Kevlishvili’s 6.f4? today was a mysterious mistake, since he already had played the superior 6.Nf3 against Nijboer in their rapid match last year. Lars Ootes grabbed the initiative with the typical c5 break and steadily worked towards a winning position. Robby fought well though and in the endgame he missed a good drawing chance.


Instead of 36.g3?, White should play 36.Bxc3 bxc3 37.g3 and here it’s not clear whether Black can still break through

19:56 Candidate grandmasters Jorden van Foreest and Andreas Heimann have been struggling a bit in the last couple of rounds and are now sharing 3rd and 4th place with 2.5 out of 4. They’re still on a 2550 performance though, so everything is still very possible. Lars Ootes is doing great with 3 out of 4 and Reinderman leads with 4 out of 4. Tomorrow at 14:00 we continue! The restday is on Wednesday.

Jordan in Batavia

Jorden van Foreest enjoys playing in the Batavia tournament

Report by Merijn van Delft, photos by Bas Beekhuizen (http://www.basbeekhuizenchessphoto.nl/).