Timman en Cori winnen; Sindarov, Werle, Ernst en Kirchei naar de halve finale

Weer een spectaculaire ronde in de matches vandaag. Alireza Firouzja, die met 3-0 leidde tegen Jorge Cori Tello, speelde te optimistisch met zijn stukken. Ditmaal deed Cori het heel rustig en hij incasseerde een pion, maar pas na een volgende blunder van Firouzja was het echt afgelopen. Zhansaya Abdumalik ging tegen Jan Timman de mist in in een lastig toreneindspel en verloor, waardoor de Nederlander voor het eerst de leiding in de match nam.
In het Open toernooi maakten Jan Werle en Javokhir Sindarov zeer snel remise en daarmee plaatsten ze zich voor de kruisfinales. Sipke Ernst deed dat ook via een remise vanuit betere stelling met de Italiaanse grootmeester Pier Luigi Basso. Tot veler verrassing plaatste de 14-jarige Russische Viktoriia Kirchei zich na een zege op Thomas Beerdsen. Ze had een piepkleine voorsprong op Roeland Pruijssers volgens de toernooiprestatierating.

Live blog door Peter Boel


The 6th round has started. Loek van Wely handed out prizes for games from the 5th as well as the 6th round.

A prize went to Machteld van Foreest for her nice endgame win over Dylan Achuthan. The other was awarded to Dev Shah for an interesting game with two exchange sacrifices against Bas de Boer.

The prize for the 6th round was given to local hero Sander Taams, who played a creative attacking game against Dr. Axel Fehr. Taams arrived just in time to collect his book.

12-year-old Dev Shah, the winner of one of the two brilliancy prizes in round 5

Chief arbiter Frans Peeters announced that after today's round, the four qualifiers for the separate semi-finals will be known. In case of a tie, the TPR will determine who qualifies, and Peeters will inform the players concerned as soon as possible after the game.

By the way, Hector Giacomini has a win by default today because his opponent, Katharina Ricken, has withdrawn from the tournament.

Two more Grünfelds

The matches are showing two Grünfelds again, even though Jorge Cori started with 1.c4 today. This game has turned into a Fianchetto Grünfeld. In the other game Timman first reacted with 4.Nf3 again, like in Game 2, but after 4...Bg7 took on d5 this time and the game has transposed to a 'regular' Exchange Grünfeld with 7.Nf3 with Abdumalik playing 8...Bg4.

Today Alireza Firouzja can already win his match! But Jorge Cori looks determined - he will do everything in his power to turn the tide.

    Draw on top board

    As could be expected, Jan Werle and Javokhir Sindarov made an ultra-quick draw on top board. This way Sindarov immediately qualified for the semi-finals, whereas Jan Werle has a huge chance of doing the same.

      No knight on the rim for Cori

      With a different move order Cori and Firouzja reached the same position as in Game 2. Cori deviated on move 10 from 10.Nh4, which didn't turn out very pleasant for him, and played the 'normal' 10.Re1, to which Firouzja reacted with the well-known push of his a-pawn to a4.

        Pruijssers sacks a piece in the Najdorf

        Roeland Pruijssers is going for the semi-finals! He has played a known bishop sacrifice in the Najdorf, which is also seen in several other open Sicilians. White also gets the pawn on d6, so now that the queens are off White can just try to convert his three pawns for the piece. An interesting concept!

          Hilwerda sacks one too

          Jonas Hilwerda is starting to get optimistic after yesterday's win over Liam Vrolijk. He has just sacrificed a knight on h6 against experienced GM Gevorg Harutjunyan - a quite well-known sacrifice in the Caro-Kann, by the way.

            Taams goes for double

            Sander Taams cashed in a brilliancy prize today, and this afternoon he is going for a second one! He has made a very interesting piece sacrifice against Bas de Boer which looks promising, although Black gets attacking chances too. Keep watching this game!

            Sander Taams, whose play is as colourful as his hair

              Schoppen misses a quick win

              Casper Schoppen is doing well in a very sharp game against Shah Manush, but he missed a quick win.


              The game move 17...Bxb2 was good enough for an edge, but much stronger would have been 17...Bxg2! with the point 18.Kxg2 Bxb2 19.Qxb2 Qd5+ and 20...Qxc5+, when White can probably resign because of his shattered kingside structure.

                Draw on board 2

                Sipke Ernst has all but qualified for the semi-finals by drawing with Pier Luigi Basso from a position of strength: 'I offered him a draw after 20.e4 in a fantastic position. I really thought it was now or never for him. He shouldn't have let me force 12...bxc6, then it is very bad for Black. He should have played 11...Bd7, and later instead of fianchettoing the other bishop maybe ...h7-h6 and ...Bd6. With the fianchetto the c5-square is also weakened."

                Basso realized he was never going to win this game and offered a draw himself on move 22. Now he has to wait what the 4.5 players will do.

                  Pawn sac Firouzja

                  Alirezo Firouzja has been playing very actively again. He played his rook to a5, knight to b4 and bishop to c3, but this time Cori has reacted carefully, slowly driving back the enemy pieces, and had a nice little edge. Firouzja now optimistically sacks a pawn with 22...Qc4!?.

                    Unusual pawn structure

                    In Timman-Abdumalik a very unusual pawn structure has emerged. White has a strong pawn centre, Black a big majority on the queenside. However this may easily peter down to a draw after some general liquidation.

                      Ganesan in trouble

                      Akash Ganesan, who played so well up till now, is in big trouble against his young compatriot Moksh Amit Doshi. After 10...b4 he probably should have played the more active 11.Na4 instead of 11.Nd1. Now Doshi could take over with 11...e5, and since White hasn't been able to castle queenside, he is on the receiving end of the attack.

                        Hilwerda can sac his queen

                        Harutjunyan's 25...Nxc5 looks like a mistake. Hilwerda can now play the brilliant 26.Ne5! with the beautiful point 26...Nxd3 27.Nxf7+ Kg8 28.Bxe7+ Kxf7 29.Rg7 mate!

                          Doshi wins!

                          Moksh Amit Doshi wins! He was already much better due to his compatriot Akash Ganesan and kept his cool, winning in the attack. Doshi is only 16 years old and even has some chance to qualify for the semi-finals, in which case we would have a 13-year-old and a 16-year-old in the playoffs!

                            Kirchei also on her way...?

                            Viktoria Kirchei looks to be outplaying Thomas Beerdsen from an approximately equal position. Beerdsen will soon be looking at a monster of a pawn on a2. If Kirchei (14!) wins she will probably have the best TPR after Ernst and Werle...

                              Kirchei yes

                              She has won the game! This means that the 14-year-old Russian talent has qualified as the 4th player for the semi-finals. She has a better TPR than both Doshi and Pruijssers, should he beat Okkes.

                              Kirchei in an earlier round

                                Firouzja blunders

                                Alireza Firouzja, while looking for compensation for his shedded pawn, made a horrible blunder: 37...Bd6? simply lost an exchange to 38.Nd7. The Iranian was looking resignedly into the audience, but hasn't resigned yet!

                                  Is Abdumalik spoiling the draw?

                                  It looks as if Timman has winning chances in this tricky rook ending. Abdumalik's 37...Ra8? was a strange move in an equal position. She may have intended to give checks from the side but White can interpose his rook on the d- or even the c-file. This looks winning for the Dutchman.

                                    First point for Cori Tello

                                    Jorge Cori Tello was very relieved to get his first (full!) point in the match with Alireza Firouzja. 'I thought 22...Qc6 was playable but he gave some line with 23.Qxc6 bxc6 but he gave some line with 24.Ne4 c5 where White was better. When I won the pawn he was still playing all around the board. I needed to defend. I told myself, just like in the third game: "Don't make a mistake now, don't make a mistake. He is very good at complicated positions, better than me." Two days ago it went wrong, today it didn't. The 37...Bd6 blunder put an end to the game effectively. 'Thank God he played that, because I didn't see how I was going to win."

                                    So this match still isn't decided yet!

                                    Firouzja resigns

                                      Incredible finish

                                      It was quite incredible the way Jan Timman won the fourth game against Zhansaya Abdumalik.


                                      Why did the Kazakh player played the 'mysterious rook move' 42...Ra8 ? Well, she had seen the following 5 moves, but...

                                      'I didn't see his move 48.Ra4,' Zhansaya said. 'Otherwise 48...g3 probably draws.' After that the Dutch GM brought a very elegant zugzwang position on the board.

                                      Abdumalik thought that, instead of 42...Ra8 (see first diagram), 42...Kf6 or 42...Kf7 would lose to 43.Kxd6 followed by 44.Rf2, but Black can play 43...Ra8 when her rook is on the long side, with a draw even if all the other pawns are off.

                                      So we see that even on this level rook endgames are still very, very difficult.

                                      Abdumalik resigns

                                        Pruijssers wins

                                        Roeland Pruijssers finally hauled in the point after a long struggle with Menno Okkes (who had prepared the piece sac line that came on the board!), and thought he had qualified for the semi-finals. Alas, chief arbiter Frans Peeters had to disappoint him: it is Viktoriia Kirchei who is placed 4th on TPR.

                                          Timman and Cori win; Sindarov, Werle, Ernst and Kirchei to semi-finals

                                          Another spectacular round in the matches today. Alireza Firouzja, who was leading 3-0 against Jorge Cori Tello, played too optimistically with his pieces. This time Cori reacted very calmly and carefully, and cashed in a pawn, but only when Firouzja blundered the game was really finished. Zhansaya Abdumalik went wrong in a tricky rook ending against Jan Timman and lost. Thus, the Dutchman took the lead for the first time in the match.

                                          In the Open, Jan Werle and Javokhir Sindarov drew very quickly and thereby qualified for the sem-finals. Sipke Ernst did the same with a draw from a superior position against Italian GM Pier Luigi Basso. To the surprise of many, 14-year-old Russian girl Viktoriia Kirchei qualified with a victory over Thomas Beerdsen. She had just a tiny edge on Roeland Pruijssers according to their rating performance.