Yesterday evening we received the message that the 8-year-old girl who made a draw with Lucas van Foreest at the McDonald's simul is called Imara Hardeman. Congratulations, Imara
The two matches have started! Firouzja and Abdumalik both opened 1.e4, and on both boards a Sicilian has come on the board, which looks to be good news.
Before round 2 of the Open, tournament director Loek van Wely awarded 2 prizes for the most striking game of round one. It went to Axel Fehr and Moksh Amit Doshi. 16-year-old Indian player Doshi had won with a long-term queen sacrifice, but Fehr (from Germany) had missed a couple of wins. So both players were allowed to choose a chess book from De Beste Zet.
In the Open Pierluigi Basso and Jaap Vogel still haven't arrived. Vogel had a train delay.
In the matches, Firouzja played the Rossolimo but after 3...g6 didn't take on c6, like many players did against Magnus Carlsen recently (until he started playing 2...d6 again in Douglas!).
Abdumalik tried the fashionable 6.h3 against Timman, who reacted in the centre. White's pawn structure is shattered after the swap on c3 but she does have some nice open files here.
In the meantime both Basso and Vogel have arrived.
15-year-old Jonas Hilwerda just drew against Oleg Romanishin, who is a legendary grandmaster but didn't seem to want a real game today. After a well-known repetition in the Sicilian the peace was signed.
Commentator Jop Delemarre is giving a masterclass on the Najdorf Sicilian before an interested audience of around 25 people. In the meantime, Jan Timman, the black player in this variation, seems to be suffering. b7 is weak, and if he castles White can play the dangerous f5-f6. So far the opening strategy of the Kazakh top talent seems to work
Zhansaya Abdumalik (left) vs Jan Timman. In the background arbiter Huub Blom
Nasty trick by Kirchei! The young Russian player Viktoriia Kirchei is doing very well. Her opponent Niels Mijnster just missed a nasty trick.
18...Ne7 was necessary, but White is better anyway.
19.Nxd5! and now 19...Qxd5 of course fails to 20.Bxe6+. Somehow this motif is quite easy to overlook!
Pruijssers draws. Roeland Pruijssers wasn't able to do much with black in his pet Dutch Defence today. His opponent Moksh Amit Doshi traded all the pieces and steered towards a quick draw. The Indian must have though it was a fine Sunday already: winning a brilliancy prize and drawing with a GM.
Viktoriia Kirchei indeed won her game, and so did Manush Shah, who won one of Loek van der Hagen's pieces and shortly after the game.
Firouzja strikes! The heat is on in the game Firouzja-Cori Tello! With 21.Nxf7! the young Iranian has launched a vicious attack on the black king. Even after the trade of one rook pair and the dark-squared bishops, White's queen and remaining rook will be a permanent danger to Black's king. It seems to have been bull's eye to invite Alireza to Hoogeveen.
Firouzja on the left
Boersma tricks himself?! Jan Boersma just made a costly mistake against 11-year-old Arthur de Winter.
Due to the fork on f7, 28.Bxe5! would have been very strong here. Instead, Boersma thought he could go for the brilliancy prize:
De Winter played this very fast. Now White just loses a piece!
Schoppen winning. Nikhil Dixit is playing a good game against Elo-favourite Pierluigi Basso, who is having a quite tough time. The same goes for Open Dutch champion Casper Schoppen. Onno Elgersma played the opening very sharply and won an exchange, but now Schoppen seems to have things in order again.
Abdumalik wins! Timman had to resign in what was alreay a lost position a long time ago. Zhansaya Abdumalik was happy, and also slightly surprised by this game: "I had just checked my lines, but didn't expect this sharp Najdorf to come on the board. I had looked at the line a few years ago and I felt happy with my position, certainly after 14.Rb1, when I think White is already better. I saw ideas of Qg4 and, if he castles, the push f5-f6. I was surprised he played the Najdorf, because I think it's not his style. I had expected him to play something more solid."
Board 1 has ended in a draw. A good result for Dixit. Also Jan Werle and his former coach Migchiel de Jong shared the point on Board 3. 'I may have been slightly better in the final position', said De Jong, 'but of course I am happy. When Jan was my pupil at one point he started to beat me, but these days incidentally I can score against him. Still, a draw is fine.'
Sindarov takes the lead. Young Uzbek GM Javokhir Sindarov (13!) has taken the lead in the Open after a blazing attack on Menno Okkes' king. But he was not the first two-pointer. That was Stefan Tabak, who decided today's game with a nice trick.
33.Rxf7+! with mate in two. Seul clearly hadn't spotted this when he played 32...Qd6-c5 when he could still have defended with 32...Rf8.
Firouzja wins like AlphaZero
Jorge Cori Tello has also thrown in the towel. Alireza Firouzja finished the game in a very AlphaZero-like way, said today's commentator Jop Delemarre: 'One of Black's pieces is out of play (the bishop on a8, therefore perhaps Cori should have played 13...Rb8 after 13.Qb3), and like AlphaZero, Firouzja just sacrificed a piece to make use of that. Then he just played on as if nothing had happened. He centralized all his pieces and Black just collapsed. It's a nice example of the new chess generation, the AlphaZero generation.'
Beerdsen wins, Van Dael loses: Thomas Beerdsen beat his older colleague Herman Grooten with a devastating attack with two rooks and bishop. Another ambitious young Dutch player, Siem van Dael, was less fortunate today. Indian IM Akash Ganesan played very strongly and sacrificed an exchange which could not be accepted. But now Van Dael had to cede 2 pawns and a little later, probably disgusted with his position, he resigned.
Siem van Dael
Schoppen wins. Reigning Dutch Open champion and Dutch top talent of 2018 Casper Schoppen is also on 2 points after a very tough struggle with Onno Elgersma. His 15-year-old opponent put up some very tough resistance, but eventually succumbed in a queen ending to Schoppen's passed d-pawn.
Sensational start matches, eight leaders in Open: With two White wins in the Sicilian, the Hoogeveen matches started sensationally today. Zhansaya Abdumalik overcame Jan Timman in a sharp Najdorf, while Alireza Firouzja built up quietly against Jorge Cori Tello and then struck hard with a futuristic knight sacrifice the AlphaZero way, as commentator Jop Delemarre put it.
In the Open, there were draws on the first four boards. Eight players took the lead with a second win, among them was the 13-year-old Uzbek super talent Javokhir Sindarov.
Tomorrow the Open will have two rounds, the first starts already at 9:00h! The matches start, as every day, at 14:00h.