The spectators, either on line or in the cafe, have no reason to complain so far. In yet another eventful round, four out of five games were decisive, lowering the drawing percentage to 32%. GM Gerald Hertneck increased his lead in the standings with a fine victory over IM Robert Ris, while other IMs still kept theoretical GM norm chances.
Yet another Dutch Grandmaster paid a visit to the cafe on Tuesday. Dimitri Reinderman, who writes about the tournament for Schaaksite.nl, stayed almost all day to join the spectators and kibitzers. He added some valuable comments to the post-mortems, and has already put up his report.
At some point the author of this report saw Reinderman joined by IM Manuel Bosboom behind his computer. The two were looking at Bosboom’s earlier game against Murshed, which was indeed more interesting than Bosboom’s round 5 game…
Again, frivolous play by the Dutchman had backfired completely, and in a mere 20 moves IM Benjamin Bok could add another full point to his score. Now even with the white pieces Bosboom is not doing very well, although we should add that the opening wasn’t that terrible, but the bishop sacrifice was.
13. Bxf7+? Bok called this “desperation already” but in fact 13. Nb5 is quite playable:
1) 13… c5 and now instead of 14. Qxc5? Rc8 15. Qb4 Qb6 16. Qa4 Nc6!-+, 14.e5 is unclear.
2) 13… e5 14. Qxd8+ Rxd8 15. Nxc7+ Kf8 16. Nb5 (Reinderman) is about equal.
Besides, 13. e5!? is interesting too: 13… e6 14. Qe3 c5 15. Nb5.
In the game Black defended, and then countered easily with 13… Kxf7 14. Rhg1 Rh6 15. e5 c5 16. e6+ Kg8 17. Nd5 Kh7 18. Nxe7 Qb6 19. Nd5 Qxe6 20. Nc7 Qc4 0-1
IM Merijn van Delft arrived a few minutes late for his game against IM Bart Michiels, and so many feared that cafe Batavia wasn’t the last pub he had seen on Monday night. But the Dutch IM did what he had to do: getting rid of the chess hatred with a solid draw. The start wasn’t that solid, however.
13… g6?! “I was preparing by reading a book on the Najdorf in the tram, on the way to the cafe. I saw this line, but simply forgot to include Nd7,” said Van Delft. After 14. a5 Nd7 15. Nb3 Nf6 16. Bb6 Qe5 17. Bf3 Qxe2 18. Bxe2 Bd7 19. Bf3 Bc6 20. Bxc6 bxc6 21. Bc5 he had to suffer a bit in the ending, but held his own.
GM Niaz Murshed was happy with his game against IM Christov Kleijn. “I played very nicely actually. It was a theoretical line, supposed to be equal, but I think it’s more difficult for Black. I played a game like this a few weeks ago. I think what he did was, he overlooked something. Qf4. A tactical shot. Then he’s a pawn down. I played well.”
24… b4? (24… Bxc3 25. Rxd8+ Qxd8 26. bxc3 Qd6 is slightly better for White, but not more.) 25. Nd5! cxd5 26. Rxd4 dxe4
27. Qf4! (The pointe which Kleijn had missed.) 27… Qb6 28. Rxb4 Qxb4 29. Qxf6+ Kg8 30. Qxd8+ Kg7 31. Qg5+ Kf8 32. Qe5 and White won the queen ending.
“Everything went wrong,” Kleijn said. “I really played bad moves only. I had prepared something, but I guess I didn’t really understand it. I really don’t get the Slav at all, during this tournament.”
Something similar said IM Robert Ris, after his game against GM Gerald Hertneck. The German grandmaster felt he had played his “best game of the tournament”, but Ris quickly added he played “very badly” and “didn’t know which set-up to choose against his unambitious play”.
For the moment we’ll give Hertneck the benefit of the doubt, as we quite liked his subtle manoeuvres. From what seemed like an equal position, he reached a big advantage almost by force.
It looks like the game will end in a draw quickly, but… 18. Ne4! cxd4 (18… Be7 was worth considering. Hertneck was planning 19. d5 but 19… exd5 20. Rxd5 Qc6 21. Qg4 g6 22. Rad1 Nb6 23. Rxd8+ Rxd8 24. Rxd8+ Bxd8 looks close to equal. 19. Rac1 “From now on a lot of forced moves follow.” (Hertneck) 19… Qa5 20. Rxc8 Rxc8 21. Nxf6+ Nxf6 22. Rxd4!
This move involves a beautiful combination. 22… Rd8 (22… Qxa2 23. Qc2!! and the rook as to go, when White wins the queen with 24.Ra4. A devilish idea!) 23. Ra4 Qd5+ 24. e4 Qc5 25. Ba3! “A nice intermediate move.” (Hertneck) 25… Qb6 26. Be7 Rd7?! (26… Rc8 was more tenacious.)
27. Rb4! Qa5 28. Rb5 Qa6 29. Bxf6 gxf6 30. Qg4+ Kf8 31. Rh5 and White won. “It looked like he played everything right, and suddenly I am much better. This is the kind of game I like.” (Hertneck)
And so, for quite some time, GM Praveen Thipsay and IM Robin van Kampen were playing in an otherwise empty playing hall. The young Dutchman eventually got the full point, after quite a good game. “I got a Najdorf, which was a big relief,’ said van Kampen. “It means equalizing quickly with Black,” he added slightly tongue-in-cheek.
“He always plays the 6.Be2 line, but now he went for the Re1 and Bf3 plan which I didn’t expect, but I could remember an old analysis. We got a typical Najdorf position and I could get my pieces to good squares, and also play …f5. At some point he tried pushing at the queenside, but I countered tactically and later won a pawn. Except for an inaccuracy on move 40 it was a smooth victory.”
22. b4?! Qxb5 23. Bxb5 axb4 (Now 24… f4 is threatened, winning the c2 pawn.) 24. a5 Rc5! 25. Bxd7 Nxd7 26. Bxb4 Rc7 and Black was better.
Wednesday is the first and only rest day. On Thursday it’s Van Delft vs Kleijn, Bok vs Murshed, Ris vs Bosboom, Van Kampen vs Hertneck and Michiels vs Thipsay.
See also Tom Bottema’s reports at Schaakbond.nl.