Round 6 LIVE

Photo: Bas Beekhuizen

When we closed the blog on Tuesday evening, Friso Nijboer was still working on converting his extra pawn against Robby Kevlishvili, which he did convincingly. That gives us the following standings after five rounds:
1 Fier 4
2 Sokolov 3.5
3 Bosboom 3
4-7 Kevlishvili, Nijboer, Zatonskih, Santos Ruiz 2.5
8-10 Beerdsen, Kashlinskaya, Vrolijk 1.5

Everyone enjoyed the rest day on Wednesday his or her own way, varying from going to the sauna, walking around the beautiful city center, to simply resting.

Photo: Alexandr Fier

Today is round 6 and we are expecting some very exciting battles to unfold. Robby Kevlishvili needs to show something with White against tournament leader Alexandr Fier and I expect grandmasters Ivan Sokolov and Friso Nijboer to battle it out until the bitter end. In case you have never talked to a real grandmaster before, visiting us here at Café Batavia (right across Amsterdam Central Station) is your chance, because after the game the players are gathering in the bar together with the visitors. Young and old, everyone is most welcome here!

Robby met Alexandr’s Taimanov with the tricky sideline 6.Qd3 and went on to sacrifice a pawn:

It looked like White’s compensation would have been rather vague after 17…Nf5, but Alexandr played in a very risky way instead. Here he went for 20…f6, which is going too far. Let’s see whether Robby will use the attacking opportunities offered to him!

Miguel Santos Ruiz got a nice space advantage against Manuel Bosboom and then increased the pressure:

Here Miguel lashed out with 14.Nd5 and Manuel overreacted with 14…f5, which only created weaknesses in his own camp. Miguel sacrificed a piece on g7 moments ago and has a winning position.

Thomas Beerdsen played the interesting sideline 5.c4 against Anna Zatonskih’ Petroff Defence. The position was balanced for a while, but according to IM Li Riemersma, Black’s 17…cxd4 was badly timed, giving White good control over the position. Thomas has put up an impressive bind by now:

Here the white a-pawn is most likely deciding the issue.

Robby Kevlishvili didn’t manage to make the most out of his attacking position. As regular visitor Jeroen van Onzen remarked (without engine assistence), it would have been most logical to open up the g-file first with 21.exf6. Things got out of control and Alexandr started running with his king accross the board:

This is the Sicilian player’s dream: running right through all the madness and win in the end, which is what the Brazilian GM did.

Friso Nijboer turned his King’s Indian into a very comfortable Benoni against Ivan Sokolov and was doing well until the following position appeared:

Here 26…Na6 was a serious mistake, allowing the nasty 27.f4 and now White comes out on top. Ivan Sokolov won a piece and with it the game.

Miguel Santos Ruiz and Thomas Beerdsen both won their winning positions.

Liam Vrolijk and Alina Kashlinskaya played a topical endgame variation of the Ragozin Defence, in which White is a bit better. It’s all about getting in the right pawn break. According to GM Jan Smeets White should have played 18.Rg1 followed by g4-g5. Liam got himself into trouble by playing the wrong pawn break:

Here Alina could have been a healthy pawn up with 34…Ne5 35.R3d2 Bxd4. In the game Liam did some good damage control and escaped with a draw.

That gives us the following standings after round 6:
1 Fier 5
2 Sokolov 4.5
3 Santos Ruiz 3.5
4 Bosboom 3
5-8 Kevlishvili, Nijboer, Zatonskih, Beerdsen 2.5
9-10 Kashlinskaya, Vrolijk 2

That’s it for today, another quick, but wild round. See you tomorrow!

Round 5 LIVE

Welcome back! Last night Anna Zatonskih managed to convert her material advantage against Manuel Bosboom and is back at 50%. Generally, the field moved together quite a bit yesterday, since everyone can beat everyone. Today is round 5, the round where everyone wants to do especially well, just before the rest day.

The games are rather positional and technical so far. Ivan Sokolov-Miguel Santos Ruiz and Anna Zatonskih-Liam Vrolijk are both Nimzo-Indians with 5.Ne2:

Ivan has started a minority attack with b4-b5, creating a backward pawn on c6, but Miguel’s pieces are well coordinated. Anna didn’t get in a minority attack, while Liam has the same good piece coordination with Black.

Thomas Beerdsen’s opening choice can be called unfortunate, since Alexandr Fier played very accurately (and fast!), achieving a serious positional advantage:

Here Thomas decided to gamble by taking on c3 and a4, but by now Alexandr is simply winning.

Friso Nijboer also has a strong Maroczy Bind against Robby Kevlishvili:

Manuel Bosboom takes his role as the local chess artist seriously and opened with 1…a6 against Alina Kashlinskaya today. Right now the position is interestingly balanced:

Anna Zatonskih didn’t manage to get in a good pawn break (b4, e4 or g4) against Liam Vrolijk, therefore the players decided not to push it and sign the peace. Ivan Sokolov did manage to complicate matters from his Nimzo-Indian position. Miguel Santos Ruiz said after the game that he had seen that a certain line wasn’t working, but then forgot about it and went for it anyway. The tactics worked in White’s favour and Sokolov won.

Manuel Bosboom made his fans happy by winning an impressive attacking game against Alina Kashlinskaya. When I wrote before that the position was interestingly balanced, it was actually already better for Black due to the open f-line. Friso Nijboer kept his advantage against Robby Kevlishvili and is trying to win the endgame as we speak.

I’m closing the blog for now, don’t forget Wednesday is a rest day, see you on Thursday!

Round 4 LIVE

Anna Zatonskih. Photo: Lennart Ootes

The ladies returned from their shopping tour, I returned from Belgium (solid draw with Black against Xander Wemmers, our team won) and Lennart is back to taking photos, so we are all set for round 4. Don’t forget that Yochanan Afek will be here today at 18:00 to show the endgame studies we published before, everyone is welcome to join.

Tournament leader Alexandr Fier went for the Grünfeld today, and Liam Vrolijk’s sideline 7.Bg5 doesn’t seem to have the desired effect, as Black’s position already looks easier to play.

The top encounter between Robby Kevlishvili and Ivan Sokolov sees the Scotch opening. Robby went for the fashionable 7.Bb5 and now seems to have an edge both on the board and on the clock. It will be very interesting to see whether the young man from Zoetermeer will be able to increase the pressure against the top grandmaster.

Robby Kevlishvili. Photo: Lennart Ootes

Manuel Bosboom started pushing ‘Harry’ again with the novelty 7.h4, but Anna Zatonskih reacted well with 7…h6 and centralising her pieces. Black may have an edge here (11…b5 looks like a good option), but with all pieces still on the board the position is very tense.

Cafe Batavia. Photo: Lennart Ootes

Friso Nijboer’s 7…h6 was probably too slow in the opening, since Thomas Beerdsen firmly grabbed the initiative with the thematic pawn sacrifice 14.f5! and now dominates the position.

I’m not sure why Miguel Santos Ruiz gave up his dark squared bishop against Alina Kashlinskaya, but by now the position is balanced again.

Friso Nijboer. Photo: Lennart Ootes

Thomas Beerdsen knows how to attack:

Here the nasty tactic 19.Be3! decided the game. Friso Nijboer is a great sportsman, so the players are now analysing in the bar.

Alexandr Fier let his positional advantage slip away:

Here 26…Ba3 misplaced the bishop, while 26…Bg7 keeps the pressure. Towards the end, things got worse, but Liam didn’t realise he was now having the advantage and was probably relieved that he survived.

Manuel Bosboom’s creative play has backfired and he is on the defence. Typically, he turned it into some sort of positional exchange sacrifice, so Anna Zatonskih still has some technical problems to overcome, in order to win the position:

Robby Kevlishvili couldn’t find a convincing plan for White:

Here he felt obliged to sacrifice a pawn with 26.e6, but never got enough compensation. Now Ivan Sokolov can keep pushing in the endgame forever.

Update from the Beerdsen-Nijboer analyses: 16…Nd4 is critical and can lead to very interesting variations.

Alina Kashlinskaya lost control along the way:

Here 22…Nd7 was unfortunate (22…Re8 was better), after which Miguel Santos Ruiz came out on top and eventually won material and with it the game.

Robby Kevlishvili managed to save half a point, but Manuel Bosboom is still suffering. Yochanan Afek has arrived, so I’ll close the blog for now. See you tomorrow!

Round 3 LIVE

The third round started rather slow today. Tournament director and daily ‘live blogger’ Merijn van Delft preferred to play the Belgium Club Competition (2nd division! – a bit under his level I would say), while the other members of the organization committee decided to watch their favorite football club matches. And when your reporter (still frozen after a disappointing 0-0 in the Amsterdam Arena) entered bar Batavia, he found Alina and Anna enjoying their semi day off after a 10-move draw.

The girls left for some well deserved shopping 🙂

The featured game of the day should be Alexandr Fier vs Manuel Bosboom – both with an enterprising playing style and the number 1 and 2 of the standings. It started with a Sicilian Maróczy Bind meets Nimzo Indian:

Position after 9.bxc3

And while Fier developed his pieces (Be3, Kh1, f3, Knight d4 somehow to d3), Bosboom decided to push ‘Harry’ h7-h5-h4-h3, provoking a weakness on the long a8-h1 diagonal:

Position after 18…Rhg8

But this gave White the opportunity to weaken the black squares: 19.Qf2 Nfd7 20.Nxc5 Nxc5 21.e5!, after which Bosboom decided to sacrifice an exchange: 21…b6 22.exd6 Rxd6 (Instantly played. But what is wrong with Qxd6?). 23.Bf4 g5 24.Bxd6 Qxd6 25.Qd4 Rd8 26.Qxd6 and Black will suffer for the rest of the afternoon.

Ivan Sokolov can’t be too thrilled with his start (he lost to Bosboom in the first round), but is on steam again. In a Nimzo Indian he prepared the e3-e4 push to the maximum when Thomas Beerdsen decided to complicate matters:

Position after 16.Rcd1

16…Ng5?! 17.Bxg5 hxg5 18.e4 dxe4 19.fxe4 Ng4 (threatening Ne3) 19.e5! (opening up the position).

Position after 20.e5

Being greedy with 20… Ne3 doesn’t work as 21. Bh7+ Kh8 22. Qd3 Nxf1 23. Rxf1 with threats like Qh3 and Rxf7 is killing. So instead Beerdsen played 20…c5 21.Qb3 Rf8 22.Be4, keeping Black busy.

Merely 8 moves later Sokolov prepared a killer blow. Can you find it?

Position after 29…Nh6

Manuel Bosboom seems to hang on. After the time control (Fier played very fast after winning the exchange) Bosboom’s piece activity gives some compensation for the exchange:

The live blog will continue after the blogger’s laptop is charged up to a more sustainable battery level.


Liam Vrolijk had quite an off day. First he got lost in Amsterdam (Cafe Batavia is next to the central station, feel free to stop by in the coming days) but the arbiter was kind enough to safe him from the dangerous city, resulting in a 15 minute disadvantage on the clock. And during the game he couldn’t cope with his cramped position after the opening:

Nijboer-Vrolijk, position after 17.bxc3

In an attempt to simplify the position, Black allowed a crucial weakness: 17…c5?! 18.c4! cxd4 19.Nxd4 Bc5?! (not 19…Qxd4 20.Bh7, but the passive 19…Bd7 would at least avoid long term issues) 20.Nxe6 fxe6 21.Qe2 and White’s Bishop pair and the weak e6-pawn decided the game.

Kevlishvili – Santos Ruiz was a Ruy Lopez that turned into a King’s Indian, which had quite some potential to fire up, but in the end 14…f4 and 34.Rd5 were the only pieces that made it over the middle line of the board. Draw.

Manuel Bosboom showed his true fighting spirit and made the draw against Alexandr Fier. With an exchange down it was Bosboom who sacrificed a second exchange:

52…Rxd5! With an extra b- and e-pawn, it was Fier’s turn to struggle to make a draw, but the Brazilian did so without much trouble: 53.cxd5 Kxd5 54.Rdxe3.

Top standings after round 3:
1. Fier 2.5/3
2-4. Bosboom, Kevlishvili, Sokolov 2/3

Round 2 LIVE

Photo: Lennart Ootes

The second round has begun and the game that draws most attention so far is the heavy theoretical battle between Alina Kashlinskaya and Alexandr Fier, who both won their game in the first round. Alina played the Marshall Gambit of the Semi-Slav and Alexandr sacrificed an exchange. Technically 18…cxb5 is a novelty, but the move is known from the same position with the black king on e7 instead of f8. Our impression so far is that Black has good compensation because his pieces are better coordinated:

Alina Kashlinskaya. Photo: Lennart Ootes

Thomas Beerdsen and Robby Kevlishvili are friends, but not at the board today. With 0-0-0 and g4 Thomas made his aggressive intentions clear and while Robby was executing the classical pseudo sacrifice Nxe4, Thomas threw in the cool 15.d4, leading to fascinating complications:

Alexandr Fier is winning by now and Thomas Beerdsen seems to have the upper hand.

Alexandr won and is now analysing with Alina in the bar. Alina said she analysed this opening some time ago, but didn’t expect it to appear on the board today. By the way, all chess fans are most welcome to visit us here at Café Batavia, only two minutes walking from Central Station.

2 out of 2. Photo: Lennart Ootes

Friso Nijboer opted for the Classical Dutch Defence in his game today against Manuel Bosboom. Of course Manuel played creatively in the early middlegame, but Friso managed to exchange queens and is now comfortable in the endgame:

As Nijboer remarked yesterday: one inaccurate move with White against the Petroff Defence and your edge is gone. That’s what happened to Miguel Santos Ruiz today against Anna Zatonskih:

Here maybe White should go 15.b3 followed by exchanging on c6 to keep some sort of edge. In the game Miguel played 15.Qf6 and while it looks nice for White, the position became completely balanced and the moves were repeated soon after.

Anna Zatonskih Photo: Lennart Ootes

Ivan Sokolov recovered well from his painful loss yesterday. His choice of the King’s Indian against Liam Vrolijk left no doubt about his game plan. The grandmaster equalized comfortably and then went on to put a mighty knight on d3 (remember Fier’s knight on d6 yesterday?). Only then some inaccuracies made the position unclear, but just when Liam was about to equalize again, the young Dutchman blundered terribly:

Here 27.Kh1 was called for, but 27.g3?? allowed 27…Rxc2! and White had to resign.

Photo: Lennart Ootes

The game between Thomas Beerdsen and Robby Kevlishvili remained very tense, until the following position appeared:

Here 26.Qe3 was needed to keep the balance, but Thomas played the horrible 26.c4?? allowing 26…Rxf2 and Black wins by force.

Manuel Bosboom is in really good shape, he defended very well and drew his slightly inferior position against Friso Nijboer. So all games are finished now, another quick round. Alexandr Fier is the sole leader with 2 out of 2, followed by Manuel Bosboom and Robby Kevlishvili with 1.5 out of 2. See you tomorrow!

Round 1 LIVE

The special tenth edition of the Batavia tournament has begun! Last night we had a fun start of the event, with many people attending the official opening and the blitz tournament. Alexandr Fier dominated the blitz with 7 out of 7. Even though he lost the last two rounds, he still was clear first. Friso Nijboer came in second. Ivan Sokolov needed some time getting used to the 3+2 time control (being used to the old 5+0), but recovered as the tournament proceeded. Robby Kevlishvili became fourth and Thomas Beerdsen fifth, so they will also have an extra white game in the main tournament.

The start of the first round has been very quiet so far. Ivan Sokolov versus Manuel Bosboom is a heavyweight 1.d4 player meeting a creative King’s Indian player. Manuel always goes his own way, so he quickly went out of book. Alexandr Fier went for an interesting Benoni with colours reversed against Anna Zatonski.

The youngsters prefer 1.e4 today, but they’re avoiding main line theory. Robby Kevlishvili played an offbeat line against Liam Vrolijk’s French Winawer and Thomas Beerdsen went for a sideline against Miguel Santos Ruiz’ Najdorf. Friso Nijboer typically doesn’t avoid theoretical battles and played the topical Bd3/Qe2 setup against the Petroff Defence of Alina Kashlinskaya. Russian girl playing the Russian opening. Slowly but surely, the battles are becoming more concrete now – we’ll keep you posted in the following hours.

Alina Kashlinskaya. Photo: Lennart Ootes

Alexandr Fier is the first one to get the upper hand in his game against Anna Zatonskih:

In this position the Brazilian champion played 19.c5! creating a big square for his knight on d6. Soon after he reached an endgame a pawn up.

Action! Friso Nijboer has sacrificed a piece:

Here Friso played 15.Bxa6! with very exciting complications.

Thomas Beerdsen and Miguel Santos Ruiz played a quick draw:

Here it may seem that White is better due to the famous good knight versus bad bishop, but since Black has pressure along the c-file (c2 and e4 are weaknesses), he is perfectly fine.

Alexandr Fier has won his game.

Alexandr Fier. Photo: Lennart Ootes

Suddenly all games are finished, including some big upsets. We’ll update you as quickly as possible.

It seems that Ivan Sokolov had an edge after the opening, but the position was very tense, with all pieces still on the board. With 24.Nd4 he started to lose track:

Here Manuel Bosboom grabbed the initiative with 24…Qh5!. White needs to react modestly, as grabbing the pawn on b3 led to serious trouble. Bosboom played his trademark exchange sacrifice and went on to win convincingly.

Friso Nijboer’s piece sacrifice was correct, but with 19.Bf4? he lost track, while 19.Nb3 would have given White an interesting initiative. Alina Kashlinskaya defended very accurately and won deservedly. So two very experienced grandmasters lost their games with White today in the first round, the tournament has started with a bang.

Robby Kevlishvili’s play in the early middlegame was far from impressive:

Here Liam Vrolijk could have recaptured with 15…Qxf6 (he didn’t realise that he could meet 16.Nxd5 with 16…Qxf2), keeping the bishop pair and with it a large advantage. As the game continued, the position remained roughly balanced and the moves were repeated in the endgame. That’s it for today, a wild start of the tournament. See you tomorrow!

Afek’s Endgame Challengers

Endgame composition GM Yochanan Afek, who is based in Amsterdam, has selected ten endgame studies to solve, for the fans of the Batavia tournament. On Monday 26 February 2018 around 18.00, Yochanan will visit Café Batavia and present the ten solutions. Feel free to stop by, have a drink and enjoy the beauty of these studies. And of course you’ll be able to have a look at the Batavia grandmasters playing!

The solutions will be available online after the 26 February.

1) White plays and wins

2) White plays and draws

Continue reading

Sterk lustrumveld in 10e dMP Batavia Amsterdam Schaaktoernooi

Tweevoudig Nederlands kampioen schaken Ivan Sokolov is de hoogst geplaatste speler in het tiende dMP Batavia Amsterdam Schaaktoernooi, dat van 22 februari tot en met 4 maart plaats vindt in Café Batavia 1920 in Amsterdam. Het is de eerste keer dat de grootmeester uit Lelystad zijn opwachting maakt als deelnemer in het toernooi, dat hij bij eerdere gelegenheden al vaker bezocht als toeschouwer.

Sokolov zal op papier de meeste concurrentie mogen verwachten van de andere twee deelnemende grootmeesters, Alexandr Fier (Brazilië) en Friso Nijboer. Veel ogen zullen gericht zijn op de pas 15-jarige Liam Vrolijk, die de laatste maanden bezig is aan een sterke opmars op de ratinglijst. Toernooidirecteur Merijn van Delft over het deelnemersveld: “Ik ben blij met dit veld, dat niet alleen de drie ervaren grootmeesters kent, maar ook twee vrouwen, namelijk Alina Kashlinskaya en Anna Zatonskih. Het past een beetje in de traditie van Batavia om een groep samen te stellen waarin diverse categorieën vertegenwoordigd zijn. Mede daarom vind ik het leuk dat levenskunstenaar Manuel Bosboom van de partij is. Maar net zo blij ben ik met de deelname van de vier jeugdspelers. Ik verwacht een boeiend toernooi.”

De officiële opening wordt op donderdagavond 22 februari om 19:00 uur verricht door de Amsterdamse wethouder van Sport, Eric van der Burg. Grootmeester, rubricist en columnist Hans Ree zal iets vertellen over 10 jaar Batavia Schaaktoernooi. Na afloop van de feestelijke opening zal er een snelschaaktoernooi worden gespeeld, waarin de loting voor het toernooi zelf wordt bepaald.

Het 10e dMP Batavia Amsterdam Schaaktoernooi wordt gespeeld van 22 februari tot en met 4 maart 2018. Woensdag 28 februari is een rustdag. Net als alle negen voorgaande jaren zal er gespeeld worden in het Amsterdamse café Batavia 1920, tegenover het Centraal Station.

Deelnemersveld 10e dMP Batavia Chess Tournament

1   GM Ivan Sokolov 2567
2   GM Alexandr Fier (BRA) 2544
3   GM Friso Nijboer 2510
4   IM Miguel Santos Ruiz (SPA) 2505
5   IM Robby Kevlishvili 2469
6   IM Alina Kashlinskaya (RUS) 2459
7   IM Anna Zatonskih (USA) 2447
8   IM Thomas Beerdsen 2445
9   FM Liam Vrolijk 2427
10 IM Manuel Bosboom 2403

10th Batavia Chess Tournament

The 10th dMP Batavia Chess Tournament takes place from Thursday, February 22nd to Sunday, March 4th, 2018 in Café Batavia 1920, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The games will start each day at 14:00 hrs. The final round starts at 12.00 hrs. Wednesday, February 28th is a rest day.

Admission to the playing hall in Cafe Batavia is free.
The cafe is located opposite the Amsterdam Central Station, in the direction of Zeedijk, left to the St. Nicholas church, at Prins Hendrikkade 85.

The Batavia Chess Tournament is a 10-player all-play-all event. The rate of play is 40 moves in 90 minutes plus 30 minutes for all remaining moves with 30 seconds per move added from the start.
The games are FIDE rated and gives players the opportunity to earn grandmaster and international master norms.


1. GM Ivan Sokolov 2567
2. GM Alexandr Fier (BRA) 2544
3. GM Friso Nijboer 2510
4. IM Miguel Santos Ruiz (SPA) 2505
5. IM Robby Kevlishvili 2469
6. IM Alina Kashlinskaya (RUS) 2459
7. IM Anna Zatonskih (USA) 2447
8. IM Thomas Beerdsen 2445
9. FM Liam Vrolijk 2427
10. IM Manuel Bosboom 2403

Prize Fund

1st place: €750
2nd place: €500
3rd place: €250

Blitz – 1st place: €200, 2nd place €150, 3rd place €100

There is a brilliancy prize of €150 for the best game and a best endgame prize of €150. The jury consists of GM Loek van Wely, GM Zhaoqin Peng and IM Merijn van Delft.





Title norms

The requirement for a GM norm is 6 points. An IM-norm is 4½ points.

Batavia Blitz & Opening

On Thursday February 22nd at 20.00 hrs the participants of the Batavia Chess Tournament will play a blitz tournament to determine the color distribution for the main event. The Blitz event is open for audience in Café Batavia, while the games can be followed live via this website as well.

Format: 10-player single round robin.
Rate of play: 3 minutes plus 2 seconds per move.
Prizes: 1st place: €200, 2nd place €150, 3rd place €100
Tiebreak: 1. Mutual games; 2. SB points; 3. Most blacks; 4. Most wins; 5. Most wins with black; 6. Drawing of lots.
The final ranking of the Blitz determines the starting numbers of the main event. Which means, the winner of the Blitz has starting number 5 in the main event, number 2 has starting number 4, etc. and number 6 gets starting number 10, number 7 starting number 9, etc.

The opening of the 9th Batavia Chess Tournament will also take place on Thursday February 22nd, at 19.00 hrs.


Tournament director: Merijn van Delft
Cafe Batavia: Peter Tames
Chief Arbiter: Arno Eliëns