Last year we used the words ‘spectacular start’ in our report on the first round, and we couldn’t describe it differently this time. The 4th edition of the tournament started with 5 great fights, and very interesting games. Top seed GM Sipke Ernst was hanging by a thin thread at some point!
Let’s first have a look at that game, because it was also the first to finish, at the first time control. (The rate of play in Amsterdam is 90 minutes for 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes to finish the game, with a 30-second increment from move 1.)
Ten Hertog – Ernst
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5 d5 5. exd5 Na5 6. Bb5+ c6 7. dxc6 bxc6 8. Bd3
The latest rage in the Two Knights.
8 … Nd5
Ten Hertog had prepared this before the tournament. 9. Nf3 Bd6 10. O-O Nf4 11. Re1 Nxd3 12. cxd3 O-O 13. Nc3 Re8 14. h3 c5 15. b3 Ba6 was played in one of the blitz games between Nigel Short and Garry Kasparov, last year in Leuven, Belgium.
9… Nf4 10. Bf1
“And White continues with d2-d4. From here I was on my own,” – Ten Hertog.
10 … h6 11. Ne4 Ne6!?
This is the first new move, and a logical one – Black avoids 12.d4.
“I was sitting next to Bosboom so I thought: I go h4 and b4!” – Ten Hertog.
12 … Be7 13. b4 Nb7 14. Bb2 O-O 15. Bc4 f5?! 16. Bxe5!
“It’s not the first time I fall into this trap!” – Ernst.
16 … Kh7
16… fxe4 17. Qg4 wins back the piece.
17. Ng3 Bf6
17… a5 was another idea.
18. Bxf6 Qxf6 19. Nc3 Nd4?!
Ernst didn’t like this move at all after the game – he had missed White’s reply.
20. Nge2 a5 21. Bd3 c5 22. Nxd4 cxd4 23. Ne2 Nd6 24. c4 Bb7 25. f3?!
25 … Nf7
Houdini comes up with the amazing 25… Be4! 26. Qc2 (or 26. fxe4 fxe4 27. Qb3 axb4) 26… Bxd3 27. Qxd3 axb4.
26. b5 Ne5 27. Qc2 Rae8 28. O-O
White is brave in this game, but not brave enough! 28. c5 was very promising.
28… Qxh4 29. c5?!
Here the prophylactic 29. Rf2 was necessary.
29… Nxf3+! 30. Rxf3
30. gxf3 loses to 30 … Rxe2! 31. Bxe2 Qg3+ 32. Kh1 Qh3+ 33. Kg1 Rf6.
30… Bxf3 31. gxf3
31 … Rxe2?
Too brilliant! Amazingly, Black had time for 31… Re5 or even 31… Kh8 and according to Houdini there is no defence for White!
32. Bxe2 Qg3+ 33. Kf1 Qh3+ 34. Kg1 Qg3+ 35. Kf1
35 … Qh3+
The problem is that 35… Rf6 can be answered by 36. Qc4!
36. Kg1 Qg3+
and the players agreed to a draw. What a start of the tournament!
Hugo ten Hertog
Manuel Bosboom stayed true to his style, and sacrificed his queen at some point against David Klein.
Klein – Bosboom
Manuel is a big fan of positions with material imbalance. After the game the players found an even prettier way to give the queen: 29… Qb3!! 30. Rxb3 cxb3 31. Qb1 Kxe8 32. Nd2 Rb8.
30. Rxb6 Nxb6 31. Bg3 Ra3 32. h4
32 … Na4?
“I should have played 32… g4” – Bosboom.
33. hxg5 hxg5 34. Qh7! Nxc3 35. Nxg5! and White won.
Richard Vedder played one of those typical games against a grandmaster (Mark Hebden, in this case): things go well for a long time, and you feel you’re not playing any worse, but then, almost inevitably, you make a mistake at some point.
Black is absolutely fine here, but miscalculates, just after the time control.
42… Qh4? 43. Bg4! Re1+ 44. Kh2!
That’s the problem. No doubt Vedder had expected 44. Rxe1+ Qxe1+ 45. Kh2 Qe5+.
44… Rxc1 45. Qxd7+ Kf8 46. Qd6+ Kg8 47. Be6+ Kh7 48. Bf5+ Kg8 49. Bg6!
Black cannot really cover the back rank.
49 … Qf6
The only move, but it won’t save Black.
50. Qb8+ Qf8 51. Bh7+! Kf7 52. Qf4+ Ke7 53. Qxc1 and White won.
Achim Illner of Germany beat Thibaut Vandenbussche of Belgium in a rook ending.
Vandenbussche – Illner
The spectators were quite surprised that White went
here because there was still a good waiting move: 52. h4! Rxc4 53. Rb7 Rc2+ (53… Rc3 54. Ke2) 54. Ke3 b2 55. Rb6 and it’s hard to make progress for Black.
52 … Rxc5 53. Rb7 Rc3 54. Rb4 Kg5 55. Rg4+ Kh5 56. Rb4 f5 57. Rb5 Kg5 58. h4+ Kf4 59. Rb4+ e4 60. fxe4 Rc2+ 61. Ke1 b2 0-1
Achim Illner (who arrived just in time due to a traffic jam) with some last-minute preparation before the game
The last players to finish were GM Keith Arkell and GM Robin van Kampen. In this game, the Dutch GM was better in an ending with a rook and knight for both sides. Even though his girlfriend had accompanied him during this first round and was waiting for him in the cafe, Van Kampen tried it for no less than 103 moves! That’s what you get when you start dating a chess player!