Batavia 2016 Round 2

Thomas Willemze - photo by Lennart Ootes

Thomas Willemze – photo by Lennart Ootes

14:36 The second round of the Batavia tournament is underway, with the following pairings:

Nijboer-Willemze
Soors-Ly
De Ruiter-Brunello
Haast-Schandorff
Van Foreest-Pijpers

14:44 Grandmaster Friso Nijboer won his first game with White yesterday and will try to double his score with another white game today. Thomas Willemze completely ruined his fantastic position yesterday, so today he will try everything to get on the scoreboard. On the menu is a relatively quiet French Defence with dxe4. But things can become sharp, should White decide to castle queenside.

15:25 Stef Soors from Belgium and Moulthun Ly from Australia both won their games yesterday. They are having a classical Spanish Four Knights on the board, in which Black equalized without problems. The critical move seems to be 10.Bh4. With 14.Rb7 it may look as if White gets the initiative, but Black can defend his pawns comfortably.

16:09 Danny de Ruiter and Sabino Brunello played a topical line from the Queen’s Indian (known from games by L’Ami and interestingly, Schandorff). The first new move was 15…Ra6 and a few moves later Black has equalized. A tough positional battle lies ahead.

16:39 The game between Anne Haast and Lars Schandorff has a somewhat mysterious course. In a sideline of the classical Ruy Lopez, 14.d5 would have been the thematic move. Instead, Black got the initiative with 17…d5. But in the next few moves Black hesitated for too long with his dxe4, so now the game is unclear again.

17:07 Lucas van Foreest and Arthur Pijpers had the same French line as Nijboer and Willemze, but with 5…Be7. The most critical line seems to be 8.Nc3, but Lucas preferred going for the endgame. With 19…f4 Arthur got himself in some trouble, since the white rook became active. A natural improvement seems to be 19…a5 20.Ne2 h5. In the current position White is still enjoying his endgame edge.

17:16 Nijboer didn’t need to castle queenside to create problems for his opponent. Willemze failed to find 15…0-0 16.Qe2 Bd4! with a reasonable position. Instead, he castled queenside himself, but that’s more than his position could handle. So Nijboer now on 2 out of 2.

18:23 Danny de Ruiter had excellent chances against Sabino Brunello today. After 24.h3 (see diagram) the grandmaster playing Black was living from his increment.

De Ruiter-Brunello after 24.h3

Here Brunello blundered a piece with 24…Ne5 25.Qxe4 Qxh3, since here White can simply go 26.Qb7 Ng4 27.Nf3. The remainder of the game was pretty random, with De Ruiter making the final mistake. The Dutchman got a bit too distracted by his opponent’s time trouble.

18:43 Arthur Pijpers managed to hold his endgame versus Lucas van Foreest to a draw. White could not go 28.hxg3 because of 28…Rg6 29.Rxh7 f5. Therefore, strong would have been a waiting move like 27.b3 with the idea 27…Bd8 28.g3.

18:54 De Ruiter-Brunello was not the only chaotic game of the round. Moulthun Ly was winning for quite a while against Stef Soors, but at some point lost track and was even lost for a few moves. Of course the game was eventually drawn.

19:10 Danish grandmaster Lars Schandorff beat Anne Haast in the last game to finish today. The critical position arose after 25 moves:

Haast-Schandorff after 25…Rae8

Here Anne should have taken on d6 to eliminate Black’s strong dark squared bishop. When she failed to do so, Black quickly got the upper hand.

 

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