The weekend is about to start, the sun is shining and we are having a singing bartender here in Café Batavia. With three rounds to go we have several contenders for a GM or IM norm, but let’s not talk about that yet and first see what happens today in round 7.
Today’s top pairing is Jasel Lopez versus Arthur Pijpers. In the first blitz game Jasel played a long theoretical line of the French Defence that is actually refuted. Arthur is the wrong guy to test though, as he duly played all the theoretical moves and had no problems crowning the attack. In the second blitz game Jasel was initially better, but Arthur took over at some point and in the end secured a draw.
It turned out that all this was just a warming up for more action to happen. In the classical game Jasel as White entered the sharp classical main line of the King’s Indian and seems to be going all in:
White is playing on the queenside and Black on the kingside, as we know from the good old Kasparov days.
The grandmaster clash between Simon Williams and David Arutinian is also razor sharp. After many complications Simon won the blitz match 1.5-0.5. In the classical game Simon played a gambit that I’ve never seen before. The position looks very interesting, so entertainment is guaranteed:
Max Warmerdam beat John van der Wiel with 2-0 in the tiebreak, playing confident active chess. Exercise: What do you think Max played here with Black?
In the classical game John is White and Max went for the Classical Sicilian, once more resulting in a sharp position:
The way Stefan Kuipers managed to not win the armageddon game against Felix Meissner from a completely winning position visibly hurt. In the classical game Felix went for a risky modern defence and Stefan will be eager to take revanche:
Rick Lahaye lost on time in a completely winning rook endgame in the first blitz game against Koen Leenhouts, but did win the second game and the armageddon. In the classical game Koen, just like Simon, played in gambit style from a 1.d4 opening:
So to summarize: all players are going all out for the win today. What’s more, we have one of those days where the audience is stronger than the tournament field: Yasser Seirawan and Jan Smeets are playing a blitz match in the bar. Enough reaons to pay a Café Batavia a visit today!
Arthur Pijpers was doing quite well, until he lost track with 27…f3, which paradoxically leads to closing files instead of opening them. Jasel Lopez now has every chance to win (if he succeeds, he needs 1.5 points from his remaining 2 games for a GM norm).
Update: Arthur Pijpers managed to escape with a perpetual. That means that Jasel Lopez scored an IM norm with two rounds to spare, which is very impressive, congratulations! For the GM norm, he will need to win his remaining two games.
John van der Wiel seemed to have an advantage against Max Warmerdam with three connected pawns for the piece, but didn’t see a clear continuation and went for the perpetual.
Rick Lahaye explained after the game: “I took a calculated risk in the opening by grabbing the pawn. Koen played it very accurately though, scoring a deserved win”.
David Arutinian defended well and the drew the endgame against Simon Williams.
Stefan Kuipers lost track in the early middlegame. Felix Meissner took over the initiative, got a winning attack and then played it safe to secure the win. Felix now needs 0.5 out of 2 for the IM norm, and is still in the running for tournament victory.
See you tomorrow for round 8!