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:
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.
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.
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.
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!