When we closed the blog on Tuesday evening, Friso Nijboer was still working on converting his extra pawn against Robby Kevlishvili, which he did convincingly. That gives us the following standings after five rounds:
1 Fier 4
2 Sokolov 3.5
3 Bosboom 3
4-7 Kevlishvili, Nijboer, Zatonskih, Santos Ruiz 2.5
8-10 Beerdsen, Kashlinskaya, Vrolijk 1.5
Everyone enjoyed the rest day on Wednesday his or her own way, varying from going to the sauna, walking around the beautiful city center, to simply resting.
Today is round 6 and we are expecting some very exciting battles to unfold. Robby Kevlishvili needs to show something with White against tournament leader Alexandr Fier and I expect grandmasters Ivan Sokolov and Friso Nijboer to battle it out until the bitter end. In case you have never talked to a real grandmaster before, visiting us here at Café Batavia (right across Amsterdam Central Station) is your chance, because after the game the players are gathering in the bar together with the visitors. Young and old, everyone is most welcome here!
Robby met Alexandr’s Taimanov with the tricky sideline 6.Qd3 and went on to sacrifice a pawn:
It looked like White’s compensation would have been rather vague after 17…Nf5, but Alexandr played in a very risky way instead. Here he went for 20…f6, which is going too far. Let’s see whether Robby will use the attacking opportunities offered to him!
Miguel Santos Ruiz got a nice space advantage against Manuel Bosboom and then increased the pressure:
Here Miguel lashed out with 14.Nd5 and Manuel overreacted with 14…f5, which only created weaknesses in his own camp. Miguel sacrificed a piece on g7 moments ago and has a winning position.
Thomas Beerdsen played the interesting sideline 5.c4 against Anna Zatonskih’ Petroff Defence. The position was balanced for a while, but according to IM Li Riemersma, Black’s 17…cxd4 was badly timed, giving White good control over the position. Thomas has put up an impressive bind by now:
Here the white a-pawn is most likely deciding the issue.
Robby Kevlishvili didn’t manage to make the most out of his attacking position. As regular visitor Jeroen van Onzen remarked (without engine assistence), it would have been most logical to open up the g-file first with 21.exf6. Things got out of control and Alexandr started running with his king accross the board:
This is the Sicilian player’s dream: running right through all the madness and win in the end, which is what the Brazilian GM did.
Friso Nijboer turned his King’s Indian into a very comfortable Benoni against Ivan Sokolov and was doing well until the following position appeared:
Here 26…Na6 was a serious mistake, allowing the nasty 27.f4 and now White comes out on top. Ivan Sokolov won a piece and with it the game.
Miguel Santos Ruiz and Thomas Beerdsen both won their winning positions.
Liam Vrolijk and Alina Kashlinskaya played a topical endgame variation of the Ragozin Defence, in which White is a bit better. It’s all about getting in the right pawn break. According to GM Jan Smeets White should have played 18.Rg1 followed by g4-g5. Liam got himself into trouble by playing the wrong pawn break:
Here Alina could have been a healthy pawn up with 34…Ne5 35.R3d2 Bxd4. In the game Liam did some good damage control and escaped with a draw.
That gives us the following standings after round 6:
1 Fier 5
2 Sokolov 4.5
3 Santos Ruiz 3.5
4 Bosboom 3
5-8 Kevlishvili, Nijboer, Zatonskih, Beerdsen 2.5
9-10 Kashlinskaya, Vrolijk 2
That’s it for today, another quick, but wild round. See you tomorrow!