Verslag Ronde 7 Open en Ronde 4 Matches

Day 6 has started!

Round 7 of the Open and round 4 of the matches have just started.

This time Peter Svidler opted for 1.Nf3 as the first move, and continued after 1...d5 with the currently quite popular and 'poisonous' 2.e3.

In the other match, again the Najdorf came on the board. Unlike the 2nd game, where he played 7.f4 after 6.Be2 e6, Jorden van Foreest has now played 7.Be3.


    Two short draws in Open

    Today is an important day in the Open. After round 7, the first 4 players will qualify for the semifinals, which will be played tomorrow.

    We already have a few very quick draws: between Frenchman Hector Giacomini and Luuk van Kooten, and between Jonas Hilwerda and Peter Hulshof. At the moment there are some technical problems with boards 35-39. We will provide the game scores as soon as possible.

    Jonas Hilwerda

      No short draws after all!

      Hector Giacomini and Luuk van Kooten as well as Jonas Hilwerda and Peter Hulshof are still playing! The 2 draws I wrote about were also a technical glitch.

        Sokolov: 'Black is OK - twice'

        Today's commentator Ivan Sokolov gave a very instructive analysis of the openings in both matches. He argued that in the Scheveningen Sicilian that came on the board in Van Foreest-Fedoseev, Black's play may be even easier than White's since he has a clear plan: ...Rac8, ...Rae8 and ...d6-d5.

        In Svidler-Shankland, White kept his d-pawn on d2 for a while because he may want a set-up with b2-b3, Bb2 and g2-g4, as was for example played in the recent important Olympiad game Nepomniachtchi-Bacrot (1-0). Shankland prevented this with 4...dxc4, opting for a Queen's Gambit Accepted set-up where White's knight is not great on c3. After ...b7-b5 White wants to play a2-a4, but in this case after ...b5-b4 the knight has to go back to b1 and he loses several tempi. When Svidler played 8.d4 after all, Black had no problems. With the later 11.e4 White aims for e4-e5, but the American's reaction 11...cxd4 and 12...Bd6 was again spot on. Sokolov: 'With the rook on d1 White now cannot play f2-f4 and has to do something against the threat on h2.

        Great stuff!

          They're going for it!

          In the Open, some experts expected a short draw on top board because both Bassem Amin and Erik van den Doel have the best TPR and have good chances of qualifying for the semi-finals. But they seem to be going for it, although in a quite careful way.


            IM David Miedema suddenly seems to have a strong attack against Tijana Blagojevic. In the following position the Serbian WIM opened the floodgates:


            Now White can give a deadly check with 18.Bd5+ and then attack Black's f5 weakness with 19.g4 - the computer even suggests 18.g4 immediately.

            Tijana Blagojevic


              A feint by Van Foreest?

              There are already lots of interesting tactics possible in the game Van Foreest-Fedoseev.

              Tournament director Loek van Wely suggested the option of 13.Ndxb5 axb5 14.Nxb5 Qb8 15.Nxd6+ Kf8 here, with three pawns for the knight.

              After 13...O-O 14.Bg5 Rfc8 15.Bd3 Rab8, here, instead, Van Foreest started an attack on the black king in gung-ho style with 16.Rh3 Ba8 17.Rg3 Ne5 18.Bh6 Ne8

              and now thought for a while.

              Would Jorden sac on g7? No! He has retreated his bishop.


                Draw on board 1 Open

                Well, of course it often happens that we write something on the blog which is refuted soon after. Bassem Amin and Erik van den Doel have made a fairly quick draw, and now the others can try to play catch-up.

                  A mistake by Shankland?

                  When Peter Svidler has a red face, walks around at a furious pace and sits with his head in his hands at the board, things seem to look terrible for him. But in the 8-fold Russian champion's case this usually means he is winning! He has invaded Black's weakened kingside with his queen. It looks extremely dangerous for Shankland. On move 19 he could have kept everything covered with 19...Be7 instead of the sharp 19...hxg3!?. Now the g-file has also been opened, and Sokolov ventured in the commentary room that Black won't survive this for long.

                  Peter Svidler

                    Safarli and Kryakvin also draw

                    Board 2 of the Open has also ended in a fairly quick draw. Nothing special, Dmitry Kryakvin whispered in the playing room.

                    Eltaj Safarli (left) and Dmitry Kryakvin

                    Apeldoorn teammates Max Warmerdam and Thomas Beerdsen have also already signed the peace treaty.




                    Van Foreest loses a piece

                    Jorden van Foreest may be regretting that he put his bishop on g5 instead of sacrificing it on g7. Now the bishop is closed in anyway and he has put it on h6, hoping to draw compensation from Black's shattered kingside.

                    Jorden van Foreest... his hand close to the piteous c1-bishop

                      Svidler analyses his win

                      Peter Svidler just won a brilliant game, and he went to the commentary room to explain what happened.



                      Svidler: 'Here he has the clever move 19... Be7! to bail out: after 20.Bxh4 he has 20...e5. Then I can consider 21.Nf5 Bc5+ (21... Rxd2 22. Nxe7+ Kh7 23. Rxd2 Qa7+ 24. Kg2 Qe3

                      followed by taking on e4 looks even better for Black, PB) 22. Rxc5 Rxd2 23. Rxd2 Qa7 and my rook is caught.'

                      20.Bxf6 gxf6 21.Qh6

                      'If I can get this I just have to go for it.'

                      21...Be5 22.Kh1! g2+

                      Svidler wasn't sure about 22... f5 23.Rg1 Bg7 24.Qh5 and now 24...fxe4, but after 25.Rxg3 exf3 26.Rxg7+! Black just gets mated.

                      23.Kxg2 Bxd4 24.Nxd4 Qe5


                      Svidler: 'I calculated 25.Nf5 exf5 26.Kh1 Rxd1+ 27.Rxd1 Nh7 28.Bxf7+ and White wins, but I panicked when I saw the immediate

                      26...Nh7. Of course 27.Bxf7+ also wins here, e.g. 27...Kxf7 28.Qxh7+ Ke6 29.exf5+


                      'This move I had completely overlooked, but luckily it didn't cost me anything; White is still winning.'

                      26.Rg1+ Bg6 27.Nxe6!


                      'Here there is a fantastic variation: 27...Nxe6 28.Rce1 Qf5 29.Bxe6 Qxf3+ 30.Rg2 Qe4 31.Rxe4 Rd1+ 32.Rg1 and now I am again in luck as the mating move 32...Be4 is not legal!'


                      There are many wins here, including the flashy 28.Rc7, but now Black just gets mated.

                      28...Nxg6 29.Qxg6+ Kf8 30.Qh6+ Ke7 31.Qh7+

                      And Black resigned because of 32.Rg1.


                        Van Foreest - Fedoseev seems a dead draw

                        Van Foreest got enough compensation after his bishop was closed in, but on move 26 Fedoseev may have played not the best move.

                        If, instead of taking on e4, he played 26...a5! Black could continue his kingside attack and would have been clearly better. After 26...Bxe4 Van Foreest had a relatively easy task of winning a couple of pawns and exchanging queens, leading to a drawn endgame.

                          Fourth draw for Van Foreest and Fedoseev

                          Also in the fourth match game Jorden van Foreest managed to draw after some hard work. Vladimir Fedoseev admitted that after 26...Bxe4 27.Nxe4 Qxe4 he had missed 28.f5!, which gives Black good compensation. Next, after 32.Qd5+ he thought he might have tried 32...Kh7 when Black is more active than in the game.

                          The players agreed that the sac 19.Bxg7 Nxg7 20.Qh6 Bf8 21.f4 would have been a better chance. 'This is complicated, and looks quite interesting', said Fedoseev. Van Foreest thought that after the move 26...a5! that we mentioned in the previous blog it would have been 'game over'.


                            Amin, Van den Doel, Safarli and Kryakvin go to semi-finals

                            The games on all six top boards ended in draws, which means that the two top boards, Bassem Amin, Erik van den Doel, Eltaj Safarli and Dmitry Kryakvin go on to the semi-finals which will start tomorrow.

                            The most tense game was the one between P Shyaamnikhil and Gadir Guseinov. 'I was worde after the opening', the Indian IM said, 'then it became complicated, but I managed to equalize.' A win might have put him into contention for the semi-finals, 'but I think I would have stayed in the regular tournament', Shyaamnikhil said, 'as I want to fight for a GM norm. This wouldn't have been possible in the semi-finals since I have played Bassem Amin already earlier in the tournament.'

                            Indian IM P Shyaamnikhil

                              Svidler takes the lead

                              Peter Svidler took the lead in his match with Sam Shankland today with a brilliant win. In the commentary room he was beaming and showed the audience and commentator Ivan Sokolov a number of brilliant variations. 'But still I missed something also in this game', said the super-GM. Jorden van Foreest again had to pull out all the stops to achieve a draw against Vladimir Fedoseev, but when the other Russian super-GM missed something on move 26 the Dutchman again managed to escape by a hair's breadth.

                              In the Open, things were pretty quiet today at the top boards. Six draws were registered, which meant that the standings at the top of the list remained unchanged and Bassem Amin, Erik van den Doel, Eltaj Safarli and Dmitry Kryakvin qualified for what promises to be an exciting semi-final and final in the coming days.