15:37 After enjoying their rest day in Amsterdam, the players have started the sixth round of the Batavia tournament. Gormally-Reinderman and Van Foreest-Ootes are the top pairings of today. After having had a nice coffee with Ian and Cathy Rogers, let me try to bring you up to date.
15:47 One of the coolest things about the Batavia tournament is that there is no such thing as a quick draw. All players are eager to fight, no matter what the tournament situation. Reinderman played the Dutch Defence today and his grandmaster colleague Gormally left the main track with 14.Nd4 (here 14.Ng5 is the main line). Black got through the opening without trouble and went for the interesting 18…c5, whereas 18…d5 looks perfectly fine as well. After 22…Bxd5 Black looks comfortabe.
15:56 For the fourth time this tournament, Lars Ootes is playing a Pirc Defence with Black. Somewhat surprisingly, Jorden van Foreest didn’t go for any of the critical lines, but played something relatively modest instead. If Black would have played a move like 12…Nc6, the position would have been fairly balanced. An interesting alternative for White would have been 16.Nb5 followed by 17.c3. By now Black has equalized in instructive fashion:
Here Lars played 18…Bxc3! 19.bxc3 Nd5, which impressively transforms the position to a more static one. Jorden did find 20.Qc4!, keeping the balance.
16:17 That’s the danger of (semi-)live blogging. Just when I said there is no such thing as a quick draw, Gormally and Reinderman have agreed to a draw. To be fair, mass exchanges and with that a likely draw was about to happen.
16:41 In the German derby between Andreas Heimann and Roland Schmaltz, who are teammates and both staying at the Rogers family, you might have expected a quick draw, but a very tense battle is going on. Schmaltz specializes in the Na6 King’s Indian and with 13…Nf7 he was still following three games by another specialist, GM Damljanovic. With 14.f4 Heimann played a good novelty, aiming for a nice space advantage, which was well established after 23 moves:
Although Roland has a lot of experience in Hedgehog positions, he may have trouble keeping this one together. Here Andreas continued with 24.c5!, developing a strong initiative.
17:29 Robby Kevlishvili scored his first full point by beating Nico Zwirs in a sharp Najdorf Poisoned Pawn variation. 9.Qd3 is quite a tricky line and I thought that Black was supposed to play 12…Bxe6, but 12…fxe6 may be playable as well. Possibly 15.Bg4 is the critical move. With 15…Qc5 Black probably made a mistake, but with 19.Bxf6 White gave up an important bishop (19.Rbe1! looks good for White). A few moves later Nico miscalculated badly:
Here 22.Nb6?? was a blunder, since with 22…Nxd4! (with the idea 23.Nxa8 Ne2+ followed by 24…Nxc3) Black is suddenly taking over. Nico didn’t find the best defence and quickly collapsed.
18:03 The game between Stef Soors and Etienne Goudriaan was quite an adventurous one. Etienne, true to his style, used the first opportunity to spice things up with 10…h5!?. White preferred not taking the pawn on g7 and instead worked towards stabilizing the position. There are many interesting alternatives to be analysed, and that’s exactly what the players are doing right now:
18:24 Just when Stef was about to get the position under control, he blundered horribly:
Here 32.Rf2?? was met by the simple 32…Qxc4 33.f5 Rxf5 and now 34.Qh3 was not possible because d5 is hanging with check.
18:31 As Lars Ootes was getting short on time, he started slipping:
Here the situation is getting very tense and Black needs to find 25…Rf8 to keep the postion balanced. Instead, the check on d1 backfired badly and White managed to reach a winning endgame with rather straightforward play. Now Jorden is trailing tournament leader Reinderman by half a point and needs two point from his remaining three games for a GM norm. On top of that, he has crossed the 2500 Elo barrier, which is another requirement to become grandmaster.
19:02 In the remaining game of today, Heimann always had the more pleasant position, but never managed to turn this into something concrete. In the final postion Black has solved his problems and a draw was agreed:
Tomorrow at 14:00 we continue with the 7th round.
Report by Merijn van Delft, quality photo by Bas Beekhuizen, the other ones by Merijn