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

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