Sipke Ernst caught Mark Hebden in first place in the third round of the Batavia Chess Tournament. Ernst won with Black against David Klein, while Hebden was held to a draw by Hugo ten Hertog. The game between Achim Illner and Robin van Kampen was postponed because both players had other obligations. And… what exactly is needed for norms in this tournament?
Let’s address that question first. As arbiter Aart Strik informed us, FMs David Klein, Achim Illner, Thibaut Vandenbussche, Hugo ten Hertog and Richard Vedder all need to score 5/9 for an IM norm. Illner, Vandenbussche, Ten Hertog and Vedder need 6.5 points to score a GM norm; Klein and Bosboom need 7/9 for that.
Thanks to a fine win over David Klein, Sipke Ernst climbed to first place in the standings. He chose the Closed Ruy Lopez (in the past, the 33-year-old grandmaster liked to play the Open variation, which starts with 5…Nxe4) and outplayed his opponent from start to finish.
Klein – Ernst
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 O-O 9. h3 Na5 10. Bc2 c5 11. d4 Qc7 12. Nbd2 Be6 13. d5 Bd7 14. Nf1 Nc4 15. N3h2 Rfc8 16. Ng3 Ne8 17. Ng4 Qd8 18. Nf5
Perhaps 18. b3 Nb6 19. Qf3 Bg5 20. Ne3 was better but after 20 … g6 Black is also fine.
Exchanging the dark-squared bishops is quite useful in this position.
19. b3 Nb6 20. Bxg5 Qxg5 21. h4 Qd8 22. g3?
White should have continued with 22. h5 followed by 23.h6 although even there it’s not easy to keep the attack going.
“Don’t move pawns on the side where you’re weaker” is a well-known rule of thumb, but chess is also a game of exceptions!
23. Nge3 g6
23… Bxf5 24. exf5 Nf6 25. Be4 c4
Now both White’s bishop and knight are very bad, his attack is gone and his queenside vulnerable.
26. b4 a5!
It’s hard to believe, but White is lost already.
27. a3 axb4 28. cxb4 (28. axb4 Rxa1 29. Qxa1 Nxe4 30. Rxe4 Nxd5) 28… Rc7 29. Nf3 Rca7 and another pawn bites the dust!
27… Na4 28. Qd2 Qxa5 29. Bf3 Qxc3 30. Qg5 Nc5 31. Bxh5 Nce4 32. Qe3 Qxe3 33. Rxe3 Nc5 34. Bf3 Nb3 35. Rb1 Rxa2 36. g4 Nd4
Sipke Ernst, here during the drawing the lots on Friday, with next to him Yasser Seirawan
Mark Hebden ‘dropped’ half a point in his white game versus Hugo ten Hertog. It seems that he was winning at some point in a B vs N ending.
Hebden – Ten Hertog
49. Bg6! Nxg3 50. Bd3! and for the moment the bishop is dominating the knight. 50 … Kf4 (50… b5 51. Ka5; 50… a5+ 51. Kb5 Kd4 52. Bg6!) 51. Bxa6 Nf5 52. h5 Kg5
53. Bd3! Nd6 54. Bg6 and the author of these lines thinks White is winning, e.g. 54 … Kf6 55. Kc3 Nb5+ (55… Ke5 56. h6) 56. Kd3 Nd6 57. Kd4.
49… Nxg3 50. Bc8 a5+! 51. Kb5 Nf1!
Well played by Ten Hertog – now it’s a draw. Don’t forget that all Black has to do is give up his knight for White’s b-pawn!
52. Kxb6 Ne3! 53. Kb5 a4! 54. Kxa4 Nc4! =
52… Ne3 53. Be2 Nf5 54. Kxb6 Nxh4 55. Kxa5 Kd6 56. Kb6 Nf5 57. Bf3 Nd4 58. Be4 Ke5 59. Bc6 Kd6 60. Ba4 Ne6 61. b4 Nf4 62. Ka7 Nd5 63. b5 1/2-1/2
The game between Arkell and Bosboom ended in a draw; the game was about equal all the time. More interesting was the following:
Vandenbussche – Vedder
50… Rh1 should have led to a draw, but the variations are not easy:
a) 51. Ke2 h2 52. Rb7+ Kc8 53. Rh7 transposes to ‘c’.
b) 51. Nf6+ Ke6 52. Ng4 Bc7 53. Rb7 Kd7 54. b5 Kc8 55. Ra7 Rg1 56. Nh2 Rg2 57. Nf3 Rf2 58. Ke3 h2 59. Nxh2 Rxh2=
c) 51. Rb7+ Kc8 52. Rh7 h2 53. Rh8+ Kb7 54. cxd6 Rd1+ 55. Kc4 Rc1+ 56. Kb5 h1Q 57. Rxh1 Rxh1 58. d7 Rh8 59. Kc5 g5 60. Kd6 g4 61. b5 g3 62. Ne3 Rh6+ 63. Ke7 Rh7+
51. Rb7+ Ke6 52. Rb6+ Kf7 53. Rf6+ Kg7 54. c6 Bxb4
55. Nxb4 Kxf6 56. c7 and White ends up with an extra piece.
55… Rd2+ 56. Kc4 Rc2+ 57. Kxb4 Rxc7 58. Rf3 h2 59. Rf1 Rc2 60. Rh1 g5 61. Ne3 Re2 62. Nf1 Rxe4+ 63. Kc3 Rh4 64. Rxh2 1/2-1/2
Richard Vedder escapes in round 3
The game between Achim Illner and Robin van Kampen will be played on Wednesday, which is a rest day for the other participants.