Welcome at the last round of the tenth edition of the dMP Batavia Amsterdam Chess Tournament! Grandmaster norms are no longer possible, but there is still a lot at stake. Alexandr Fier and Ivan Sokolov are playing for tournament victory. Miguel Santos Ruiz, Thomas Beerdsen and Robby Kevlishvili are fighting for third place. Last but not least, everyone is still battling for the best game and best endgame prizes. Loek van Wely, Zhaoqin Peng and yours truly are keeping a close eye on the games. The tournament standings before the last round:
Alexandr Fier went for the sideline 4.g3 against the Nimzo-Indian, but Miguel Santos Ruiz wasn’t impressed and replied with the very solid 7…c6 and 8…b6.
Here 10.cxd5 was a positional mistake (keeping the tension with 10.Nd2 looks better, since Black cannot really take on c4). After that Black was comfortable at least, and the players agreed to a draw a few moves later.
Ivan Sokolov’s 5…Ba5 in the opening is a rare move, that he played once before in 2011. Alina Kashlinskaya reacted well initially, but instead of the calm 9.Nf3, the immediate 9.c4 looks like White’s best try for an edge. Black could have equalized with 12…dxc4 13.Bxc4 Be6, but it seems that the grandmaster is looking for ways to keep as much tension in the position as possible, since he needs a win to share first place in the tournament.
Alina is now thinking in this position. The tactics after the sharp 17.Bd4 seem to favour White, after all other moves the position is about equal.
Friso Nijboer played the Pirc Defence against Anna Zatonskih:
Here Anna should have played the natural 11.Bh6 with the idea 11…Nxd3 12.cxd3 and White’s position looks somewhat easier to play. Her 11.Be2 allowed 11…c5 and now Black’s position is easier to play.
Alina found the right moves and possibly could have gotten something significant with 22.d5. After 22.Rab1 b6, as played in the game, the position looks about balanced:
The youngsters are getting inspired by Manuel Bosboom:
Here Thomas Beerdsen went for the exchange sacrifice 16…Rxf3 against Liam Vrolijk, which was far from forced, but certainly entertaining. The position is very tense right now.
Robby Kevlishvili has clearly adopted to the way Manuel Bosboom is playing. He played a very clever waiting strategy leading to the following position:
Here Manuel’s attacking move 26.h4 is a positional mistake, allowing 26…h5! and now Robby is clearly better.
The tournament is spoiled with prominent visitors today: John van der Wiel, Hans Ree and Yasser Seirawan all just arrived to enjoy their Sunday afternoon at Café Batavia.
Apart from 32…Bxf4 allowing the intermediate 33.Nxf7, which was missed by both players, Robby Kevlishvili won a convincing game against Manuel Bosboom. That means a 0 out of 4 finish against the four youngsters for Manuel, but the local chess artist still is the main candidate for the special game prizes.
Liam Vrolijk was better in the final position against Thomas Beerdsen, but the situation on the clock worried him, therefore a draw was agreed. That means Miguel Santos Ruiz and Robby Kevlishvili are sharing third and fourth place.
Alina Kashlinskaya and Ivan Sokolov agreed to a draw in the rook endgame, which means that Alexandr Fier is the sole tournament winner!
Guess what Friso Nijboer played in the following position with Black against Anna Zatonskih:
The position is about equal by now, they are battling it out until the very end. I’m going to close the blog now and start preparing the prize giving. I hope everyone enjoyed the event, see you next year!