With two rounds to go, there are no less than seven players still in contention for first place. Tournament leader Jasel Lopez can still score a GM norm (if he wins both games) and Felix Meissner only needs 0.5 out of 2 for an IM norm. Both Jasel and Felix already crossed the 2400 barrier in the course of this tournament.
Unfortunately, we again had problems with the live boards, so the tiebreak wasn’t transmitted live. I’ll quickly give the results:
Jasel Lopez – Koen Leenhouts 1-2
Arthur Pijpers – John van der Wiel 1.5-1.5 (Arthur drew the armageddon with Black)
Simon Williams – Max Warmerdam 0-2
Felix Meissner – Rick Lahaye 0-2
David Arutinian – Stefan Kuipers 0.5-1.5
The live boards were repaired just in time for the classical games. The two norm seekers are having a difficult time. Jasel Lopez didn’t manage to solve his opening problems with Black against Koen Leenhouts and is under pressure in the endgame:
Felix Meissner is suffering from an inferior pawn structure with Black against Rick Lahaye:
Simon Williams got outprepared by Max Warmerdam. This theoretical variation is currently difficult for Black. Simon, true to his style, sacrificed two pawns and now puts everything on a direct kingside attack:
The Leiden derby between Arthur Pijpers and John van der Wiel is a very interesting battle so far. John is inspired by Manuel Bosboom and couldn’t resist pushing his h-pawn. Arthur is now opening the position on the queenside:
Stefan Kuipers tried to solve his opening problems tactically:
Here 16…Nxe4 didn’t have the desired effect, after which David Arutinian went on to win.
I was just reminded that we still have a third norm seeker: Rick Lahaye needs 2 out of 2 for an IM norm. Not easy, but certainly possible. And it certainly adds tension to the pairing Lahaye-Meissner.
Jasel managed to save half a point in the rook endgame. Rick beat Felix, so they are both still playing for the IM norm tomorrow. Arthur squeezed the position until the end and impressively beat John. Max beat Simon. As Max pointed out, seven players can still share first place tomorrow, in which case three IM norms would be scored. Remember we start at 12:00 tomorrow, see you then!