14:44 The weekend is almost starting for most people, but the chess players are now entering the decisive stage of the tournament in Café Batavia. Feel free to stop by if you’re in town, audience is most welcome!
14:47 The main contender for a GM norm is Jorden van Foreest, who needs two points from his remaining three games. Today he has Black against grandmaster Roland Schmaltz and it promises to be a most exciting fight, judging from the sharp Taimanov variation that appeared on the board:
With 16.Rhf1 White played the first new move and after Black’s reply 16…Qb6, Schmaltz is now considering his options. Since the kings have castled to opposite wings, the main question is: who gets his attack going first? White may go for the rook manoeuvre Rf3-h3, while Black might go Rc5-a5 to go after the White king.
15:14 It came as we expected, with 17.Rf3 and 17…Rc5, but at this point White blundered horribly:
Roland probably thought Jorden must have missed something and played 18.Na4??, but after Jordens simple reply 18…Ra5! Black is completely winning. Schmaltz is still thinking, but probably he will resign soon. A most shocking start of the seventh round.
16:10 Nico Zwirs’ King’s Indian setup against Reindermans English opening worked out well. White’s 10.b4 allowed the equalizing 11…e4. In fact, the postion remains tactically complicated. The computer indicates 14…Na5 15.Nd2 Re8 as the right way to play for Black, but in practice everyone goes 14…Nd4. A few moves later, the following critical moment arose:
White should have gone for 16.Qb3. Reinderman played 16.Qc2?, of which the refutation is not easy to find: 16…Bf5! 17.e4 and only now 17…Be6 18.Rb4 d5 19.exd5 Bf5 20.Qb3 Rd3 and Black wins. Following Nico’s immediate 16…Be6, Dimitri escaped by playing an exchange sacrifice.
16:30 Schmaltz played a few more moves and has resigned by now. This means Jorden has moved up to +4 and now needs one point from his remaining two games for a GM norm.
16:34 Zwirs has played some very good moves (especially 21…Qd4 was spot-on) and now Reinderman still has to work hard to reach a draw:
17:00 Robby Kevlishvili surprisingly beat Andreas Heimann in a nice attacking game. In the opening Black should have played something like 12…Bf6 when the position is about equal. Following 12…exd4?! White got a lot of space for his pieces and with it a strong initiative.
Here Robby gained control over the important d5 square with 20.Qf5! and soon dominated on the kingside as well.
17:33 The place is heating up here in Café Batavia. The three remaining games are now approaching the first time control and here in the bar high level blitz is being played on two boards.
17:56 Etienne Goudriaan is a hard man to stop once he has the initiative, but Daniel Gormally put up quite some resistence. After a complicated fight the game was eventually drawn.
Here Etienne could have played 33.Rd7, with a winning advantage.
18:32 Reinderman defended very well and secured half a point. Now Reinderman and Van Foreest are sharing the lead with 5.5 out of 7.
19:07 Lars Ootes and Stef Soors were the last ones to finish their game today and just like Goudriaan-Gormally it was a fantastically dynamic struggle, eventually ending in a draw.
Tomorrow round 8 starts at 14:00 and the final round on Sunday starts at 12:00.
Report by Merijn van Delft, quality photos by Bas Beekhuizen.