14:37 The second round has started and the wifi seems to be much better today, hopefully it stays that way so we can follow the games more closely than yesterday. Let me start with a quick first impression of the games. Mark Timmermans and Alexandr Fier have a very sharp Sicilian position. They played very fast so far, but soon they will slow down since the position will be increasingly complicated. Koen Leenhouts and Bobby Cheng are having a more solid Queen’s Gambit Declined. Hing Ting Lai and Barry Brink is an all-Amsterdam encounter that started off with a quiet Trompovsky. Thomas Beerdsen has his second Jänisch Variation in two days, now with Black against Tal Baron. Lucas van Foreest against Eric Lobron sees a typical structure with a black isolated queen pawn on d5.
15:48 Currently the position at Timmermans-Fier seems to be dynamically balanced:
I had the impression that White was better at some point, but allowing the exchange sacrifice on c3 was probably not a very practical decision, since Black always gets certain compensation.
16:04 Something puzzling is happening at Leenhouts-Cheng. This was the position after 15 moves:
Here Koen sacrificed a piece with 16.Bxg6 fxg6 17.Nf4 but after Black’s reply 17…Qd6 there is hardly any compensation for the piece. It is not clear to me what Koen was thinking, will definitely have to ask him after the game.
16:24 Thomas Beerdsen seems to be in very good shape, as we could already tell from the blitz event and his win in the first round. Today his queen manoeuvre Qd7-g4-h5 was very inspired and at this point Black is better:
16:26 Thomas didn’t find the best way of play (which was the aggressive 16…g5), now the position looks balanced.
16:37 Hing Ting and Barry are having an uncommon position with both sides having castled queenside. Barry actually grabbed the initiative and is now attacking on the queenside:
16:46 The situation at Van Foreest-Lobron is delicately balanced:
With most pieces still on the board anything can happen. Lucas has a time advantage (on the clock), so that may become an important factor.
16:54 Total madness at Timmermans-Fier, things became insanely complicated. Mark missed the opportunity 30.c4, after which Black took over and is now a piece up against two pawns.
18:48 It’s clearly Saturday evening here in Batavia, many people visiting the tournament venue. Koen Leenhouts indeed lost and explained that in his mind his knight was already on f4 when he sacrificed the piece. Thomas Beerdsen lost track somewhere and suffered from his bishop being stuck on e3, after which Tal Baron converted the endgame advantage.
18:52 Barry Brink can no longer be called the underdog, as he won a fantastic attacking game against Hing Ting Lai, and now has 1.5 out of 2. Actually the position totally resembled a classical King’s Indian, in fact a mirrored version of it, with kingside and queenside reversed:
19:00 By the way, Bobby Cheng is now the sole tournament leader with a perfect 2 out of 2 score.
19:05 Mark Timmermans fought really hard and managed to escape with a draw against Alexandr Fier. As if the game hadn’t been providing enough entertainment already, the fun continued in the endgame. Look at this very cool pawn structure:
19:13 Also fighting really hard is Lucas van Foreest. It is very well possible that he had a lost position at some point against Eric Lobron, but at the moment a draw seems most likely as Lucas has a fortress:
21:12 On move 116 Eric Lobron blundered horribly against Lucas van Foreest and got his queen trapped. On move 129 he resigned. True drama at Batavia today, lots of fighting chess. See you tormorrow!