While many people are ice skating on the canals in Amsterdam, the dMP Batavia tournament is entering the final stage. The standings at the top are:
1 Fier 5.5
2 Sokolov 5
3 Santos Ruiz 4
All other players are on 3 or 2.5, so the field is very tight. Only Miguel Santos Ruiz still has chances for a GM norm and needs to score 2 out of 2.
The first action of today is taking place in the game between Robby Kevlishvili and Alina Kashlinskaya. The game started as sharp Anti-Berlin with White castling kingside and Black castling queenside:
Here Robby played the testing 11.g4 and Alina replied with the equally critical piece sacrifice 11…Nxg4. Objectively this may favour White, but the position is so complicated that anything can happen in a practical game.
A few moves later the following position was reached:
Here Black can get enough play for the piece with 16…Qe6 or 16…g5, but instead Alina went for 16…Rd6, which looks equally dangerous, but is tactically flawed. Robby has been thinking for 20 minutes now, trying to find his way through the complications.
Two beautiful quotes from the Dutch newspapers (google translate has reasonable translations):
“In café Batavia Amsterdam schaken ze zonder vrees en met oplossingen die gewone stervelingen niet snel zien” (Gert Ligterink in De Volkskrant, March 2)
“Schaken in een café moet je vergelijken met schaatsen op natuurijs: de omstandigheden zijn misschien niet ideaal, maar eigenlijk is er niets mooiers” (Max Pam in Het Parool, March 3)
Friso Nijboer versus Alexandr Fier was a positional version of the Caro-Kann Advance Variation, in which White tends to be a bit better, but Black is very solid:
Here 23.Nb3 Rc8 24.Qf2 was probably the way to keep some pressure. In the game the knights were exchanged and a draw was agreed.
Grandmaster alert: Jorden van Foreest has arrived and is now blitzing in the bar. Another grandmaster just remarked: “Only Bosboom can have a knight on b2”:
Robby Kevlishvili calculated everything correctly until the end and won.
Anna Zatonskih played an impressive game today:
Playing with Black against Ivan Sokolov really isn’t a joke, but in this position Anna has equalized and she managed to keep the balance until the end, so the players agreed to a draw a few moments ago.
Miguel Santos Ruiz managed to keep the bishop pair from the opening against Liam Vrolijk and is now nursing his edge in the endgame:
Thomas Beerdsen won against Manuel Bosboom. We just checked the game, Black should have played 18…b4 first and only then g5. The immediate 18…g5 left White on top and the young IM from Apeldoorn converted his advantage convincingly.
Liam Vrolijk managed to keep a draw against Miguel Santos Ruiz, so no grandmaster norms this year. But Café Batavia is packed with chess players right now, all having a great time. See you tomorrow, for the last round, which starts at 12:00!