Firouzja amd Timman win matches, Ernst wins Hoogeveen Open

IM norm Doshi

Already yesterday evening it became clear that Moksh Amit Doshi (16) has achieved his 7th IM norm here in Hoogeveen, with an overscore of 1 point with still one round to go.

Congratulations, Doshi! You can even go for the tournament win today!

    New openings

    After the announcement of Frans Peeters that the prizegiving will today be held at 19.00 in the Chess Cafe, the round started. In the matches we have two new openings! Abdumalik has now put a King's Indian on the board, which if not a wise choice is in any case an exciting one.

    Alireza Firouzja promised to go wild, and lived up to his promise: he played the Budapest Gambit 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5!?. Roeland Pruijssers told us that yesterday evening Firouzja had been playing in the Arena Kings online tournament, and reached the final, where he lost to Hikaru Nakamura.

    Firouzja (left)

      Quick draw on top board Open

      Roeland Pruijssers has taken the gamble by drawing quickly with Casper Schoppen on top board of the 'rest Open'. Now Moksh Amit Doshi can become the sole winner, but for that he will have to beat Thomas Beerdsen with black. Their position is even according to the engine, but everything is possible.

        Fight in final unfolds

        The Final duel Sindarov-Ernst is captivating. After a 'kind of' Exchange Spanish Ernst has more or less equalized. His queenside structure was slightly worse but this was barely noticed because the doubled c-pawns controlled crucial squares. Now the structure is solved, and Black has some pressure on the e4-pawn.

        In the game for third place, Viktoriia Kirchei has gained the bishop pair but it looks like Jan Werle has better squares for his minor pieces.

          Drimer's rook

          It promises to become quite exciting in the game Cori-Firouzja. With 10...a5 and 11...Ra6 Black introduced what Viktor Moskalenko called the 'Drimer Rook' in his book The Fabulous Budapest Gambit. Cori could have kept the rook in its cage but decided to allow it on h6, and now after 15.Qa8, 15...Qh4 is not possible due to 16.Bxe5.

          Jan Timma has started a remarkable plan on the king's wing against Zhansaya Abdumalik's King's Indian, and Zhansaya has reacted with the principled 14...f4. This also promises to be a gripping finale.

            Sipke wins the final!

            An enormous success for Sipke Ernst. He just beat Javokhir Sundarov with black, in a highly convincing way. 'I was just playing along, actually,' the 40-year-old grandmaster said in his own self-deprecating way. 'Then he came up with 17.d4, which was in fact very good. If he had continued with d4-d5 I might have been in some trouble. As it went, I got quite active play. Then his e4-pawn went off and he started to exchange the wrong pieces. The queen ending was hopeless for him.'

            Congratulations, Sipke!

              Werle has the advantage

              It looks as if experience is going to beat youth in the playoffs of the Open. Jan Werle has picked up a pawn on b7 without actually having to make a lot of concessions for it, and is now just a pawn up with a better position.

                Also a draw for Doshi

                Doshi has drawn even with Roeland Pruijssers with a solid draw; these two players are the shared winners of the 'rest Open'. And of course Doshi has his 7th IM-norm, but you knew that already.

                  And Werle takes third place

                  Viktoriia Kirchei has indeed resigned. After 35.Rxf8+ Black loses even more material, so Viktoriia Kirchei threw in the towel.

                  Jan Werle (photo Lennart Ootes)

                  Congratulations, Jan! And also Viktoriia, who has made a very strong impression here, and will go far!

                    Timman in trouble

                    Timman's action on the king's wing has not been very successful. Zhansaya Abdumalik was already a bit more equal than the Dutchman, but after 28.d6 things became more problematic for Timman. Now in the ending this pawn will just be lost, and Abdumalik may be heading for a playoff - that would be the only one this year!

                      Firouzja wins again!

                      Firouzja won a fabulous last game from Jorge Cori Tello. They were just analysing their game - we will show you later!

                        A great finish for Akash

                        Akash Ganesan finished with a flourish by beating Gevorg Hautjunyan in the attack.


                        Here Harutjunyan went wrong with 18...Re8? where 18...f5! would have forced White to take on e5 with the queen. As it went, White won quickly in the attack with 19.Qxh7+.

                          Fabulous chess

                          Jorge Cori Tello and Alireza Firouzja started analysing on one of the boards opposite the Chess Cafe. Firouzja told he had played the Budapest in blitz games before, not in classical chess. 'But I think it's very interesting.' Cori had chosen a sharp line against it, 'but in fact I didn't know it was that sharp!' he laughed.

                          Jorge Cori


                          In this position White could have held the Drimer rook in its cage with 11. Na4 instead of 11. Bb2. 'But then I can just play 11...Bf8 with a normal position,' Firouzja said.

                          Later the position became extremely complicated.

                          Instead of the game move 25. Qc4+ here there was a win with 25. Ng5!! Rxg5 26. Qh4 f4 27. Qxg5 Bxc5 28. Bc4+ Kh8 29. Ke2 and Black can't make any progress, e.g. 29... Bxe3 30. Rd8. A line pointed out by Firouzja's father, who claims he can't play chess - but he did spot the line on his mobile!

                          As it went, White could not get enough counterchances and lost.

                            Timman saves the match

                            Jan Timman has saved the draw, and with it match victory. He got into trouble because of a Fingerfehler on move 21.


                            After Abdumalik had taken on g3, Timman intended to play 21.Qd3, which was indeed better. But before he knew it he had taken back on g3, and then slowly got into trouble. However he managed to hold in the pawn-down ending. Abdumalik gave her illustrious opponent a nice present afterwards in the pressroom.

                              Short interviews with Georgiev and Kirchei

                              Elsewhere on our website we have an interview with draughts World Champion Aleksandr Georgiev, who played a very good tournament in the Amateur group. In a while we will add a short interview with Viktoriia Kirchei, who caused such a stir in this tournament, and her father Sergey.

                                Maggie on plus-1!

                                Machteld van Foreest rounded off a quite good tournament with a plus score: Siem van Dael, who was in bad shape, opened with 1.h2-h4, then not too much happened (Siem sacrificed a pawn but didn't get a lot for it) and then he got mated on f4.

                                Machteld van Foreest (photo Lennart Ootes)

                                  Firouzja, Timman, Ernst, Pruijssers, Doshi

                                  These are the names of the winners of the different Hoogeveen events. Alireza Firouzja beat Jorge Cori Tello in another crazy game to end the match on 4.5-1.5. Jan Timman had some problems today after a mistake against Zhansaya Abdumalik's King's Indian but held the draw and the match: 3.5-2.5. Sipke Ernst stopped the unstoppable today, beating Javokhir Sindarov with black in the final. And in the remainder of the Open tournament, Roeland Pruijssers and Moksh Amit Doshi ended on top by both making a draw in the final round.