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