Press Release by Peter Boel, Photos by Harry Gielen
We will talk more about the tournament leaders tomorrow, I promise. There are three of them: Daniel Fridman, Dimitri Reinderman and Sipke Ernst. First we have to speak one more time about Gawain Jones, whose case is starting to become harrowing. Against Sipke Ernst he was seeking an adventure once again, and for a long time it looked as if he was cruising towards his first full point. But alas, once more it was not to be. We will save that best bit for last.
First we will look at the fairly quiet draw between Loek van Wely and Dimitri Reinderman, where of course there was a lot of bubbling and burbling going on beneath the surface. Reinderman came under pressure in his beloved Dutch Defence, but in the post-mortem it turned out that he had seen quite a lot.
Van Wely – Reinderman
1.d4 f5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.c4 0–0 6.b4 c6 7.a4 d5 8.cxd5 cxd5 9.0–0 Nc6 10.Ba3 Ne4 11.e3 a6 12.Nbd2 b5 13.Nb3 bxa4 14.Nc5 Bd7 15.Nxd7 Qxd7 16.Qxa4 Ra7 17.Qc2 Rb8 18.Rfb1 e6 19.Bf1 Bf8 20.Rc1 Rb6
We join the game at move 21. The only way to get through for White is:
Accepting the doubling of a pawn in order to push Black around a little. ‘That’s what I like to do’, said Van Wely.
21…Nxe5 22.dxe5 Bxb4
Black cannot really ‘wait’ with 22…Kg7, since after 23.Bb2 the bishop will have a strong square on d4.
23.Bxb4 Rxb4 24.Bxa6
‘This position was tricky’, said Reinderman. ‘If I play 24…Rb6, White has 25.Bc8!.’ Then there follows 25…Qf7 (25…Rc6 is also tricky, but White is clearly better after 26.Bxd7 Rxc2 27.Bxe6+ Kf8 28.Rxc2) 26.Rxa7 Qxa7 27.Bxe6+!.
‘I can do better than that’, said Van Wely: 25.Bb5! Rxb5 26.Rxa7 Qxa7 27.Qc8+ Kg7 28.Rc7+ Qxc7 29.Qxc7+ Kh6 30.Qc6 Rb1+ 31.Kg2 Rb2 32.Qxe6 Rxf2+ 33.Kg1 Ng5! (Reinderman opted for 33…Rd2, but then White has 34.Qa6! Ng5 35.Qf1) 34.Qxd5 Nh3+ 35.Kh1 Ng5! (even threatening to win with 36…Nf3) 36.Kg1 Nh3+ with a draw.
However, 24…Qe7 also turns out to be possible. If White persists with 25.Qc8+ Kg7 26.Rc6 Black has the strong counter 26…Rb2! 27.Rxe6 Qb4 and wins!
The safest move.
25…Qxc8 26.Bxc8 Re7 27.Ra6
And in slight time-trouble Van Wely offered a draw, which was accepted. White could ‘push’ a little more after 27…Kf7 with 28.Rc2, but now there seems to be a clever defence with 28…Rb1+ 29.Kg2 Rd1, and Black always has …Rd2.
The ‘title holder’, Daniel Fridman, again features prominently at the top of the list after a strategic victory at the cost of Erwin l’Ami. Let’s be fair: Fridman could have had three points by now. ‘I was afraid I would spoil the win again today’, he said. ‘But this time fortunately it went well.’
Fridman – l’Ami
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 0–0 5.Nf3 c5 6.dxc5 Na6 7.g3 Nxc5 8.Bg2 b6 9.0–0 Bb7 10.Nb5 Be4 11.Qd1 Nb7
A small subtlety. Earlier this year Fridman played the immediate 12.Bf4 when after 12…a6 13.Nd6 Nxd6 14.Bxd6 Bxd6 15.Qxd6 Qb8 Black had little or no problems (½–½, 43) in Fridman-Tomashevsky, Yerevan 2014.
12…Be7 13.Bf4 a6 14.Nc3
That’s the difference. Now Black cannot trade his bishop away on c3. ‘And now he’s stuck with this bad knight on b7. And if you have one bad piece, your whole position is bad’, Fridman said. In the next phase l’Ami didn’t manage to create any counterplay.
Fridman has exchanged off almost all the pieces, so that the misery of the knight on b7 becomes worse and worse.
Of course Black cannot exchange as then he will lose a pawn.
30…Ra8 31.Na7! d4
31…Nxc5 32.Rxc5 Be7 33.Rc7 followed by 34.Nxb5.
32.Nxb5 h5 33.Bb6 Ra6 34.Bc7 e4 35.Rd1
Now the d4-pawn is surrounded in a humoristic way.
35…Rc6 36.Bb8 Ra6 37.Ba7 Nd6 38.Nxd6 Rxd6 39.Bc5
Otherwise the a-pawn will run.
40.Bxd4 Rxa3 41.Bxf6 gxf6 42.Rb1
Rook behind the passed pawn. The endgame is prospectless for Black.
42…Ra6 43.b5 Rb6 44.f3 1–0
And now for the rollercoaster of the day.
Jones – Ernst
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4 Nf6 5.e5
By transposition we are back in the game Jones-l’Ami from the first round. But now Ernst is the first to deviate:
Less popular, but also playable.
6.Qe2 Nc5 7.0–0 Be7 8.Rd1 d5!
After 8…0–0 9.Nxd4 Black cannot escape from the pressure along the d-file. But the text does involve some risk – something which Ernst doesn’t mind.
9.exd6 Qxd6 10.b4! Ne6
An alternative indicated by Ligterink is 10…d3 11.cxd3 Ne6 and now perhaps White does best by giving the pawn again with 12.d4!?.
11.b5 Na5 12.Ba3
This is actually less bad than it looks.
After the immediate 13.Bxe7 Black has the in-between move 13…Nxc4.
13…Bxe6 14.Bxe7 Kxe7 15.Rxd4!?
An original attempt.
An exclamation mark for originality, but it turns out this isn’t good. Best was 16…Nc6!? with the same point: 17.bxc6 Qb2, after which the black knight can go to d4 – or else White has to keep capturing on c6 and b7, which leads to equality according to the computer.
‘I initially thought I could play 17…Qxc2 here’, Ernst said. But after 18.Rxa5 Qc3 … (analysis diagram)
… White wins with a unique fork: 19.Nb3!.
18.Nb3! Nxb3 19.axb3
‘Suddenly’ White is doing fine again.
19…Rhe8 20.Rc4 Qd6 21.Rc6 Qf4 22.g3 Qf6 23.Ne5 Kf8 24.f4
Here 24.Rxa7 was possible, after which White can retreat his knight. Probably Jones thought this was too dangerous on account of those black rooks on the central files.
24…Qf5 25.Rxc7 f6 26.Rf1 Bd5
Better was 26…Qh3! 27.Nc6 Bd5 28.Qf2 Rd7.
Here Jones misses the win, which could have been achieved by 28.g4! Qe6 29.Nd7+ Kg8 30.Qxe6+ Rxe6 and now 31.Rxa7! is possible, as after 31…Rd6 White has 32.Re1.
How can White save his piece now? Jones said: ‘I thought I could always play g3-g4 and force the queen exchange.’ But here he opts for another possibility.
29.g4 hxg4 30.Qxg4 Qxg4+ (only not 30…Rxe5? 31.Qxg7+) 31.Nxg4 Rd3 apparently didn’t appeal to Jones. Black has very active counterplay.
29…Bd5 30.c6 Kg8
After 31.c7! Rc8 32.Rd1 Black would be in big trouble, for example 32…Bxb3 33.Qd3!.
Now the knight cannot be saved, but White’s pawn mass still gives him good chances.
32.g5 fxe5 33.f5 Qd6 34.f6 Qc5+ 35.Qf2 Qxf2+ 36.Rxf2 gxf6 37.gxf6 Rf8 38.Rf5 Rf7 39.Ra6 Be6 40.Rg5+ Kh7
Otherwise the black rooks become too strong, after for instance 41.Rxb6? Rxf6. Immediately after the time-trouble phase there now follows a feast of mistakes, but then this is a highly treacherous position.
41…Rxg7+ 42.fxg7 Rd2!?
42…Kxg7 43.Rxb6 Rf8 looks better.
43…Rd6! 44.g8Q+ Kxg8 45.Ra8+ Kf7 46.c8Q Bxc8 47.Rxc8 Rd5 with a safe endgame, with some remote winning chances: 48.Rc7+ (or also 48.b4 Rxb5 49.Rc4 Kf6 50.Kf2 Kf5 51.Ke3) 48…Ke6 49.Rc6+ Rd6 50.Rc3 Kf5.
A horrible blunder; in the rat-race that now follows, Black loses on one single tempo. Immediately after the game Jones already said that he should have played 45.Rg6!. After the forced 45…Kg8 now White is a lot faster: 46.b6 e4 47.Re6! Bb7 48.Re8+ Kxg7 49.Rb8 Ba6 50.b7 Bxb7 (50…Rxc7?? 51.Rg8+) 51.Rxb7 with a tense endgame, but only White can be better here. The variation 46…Bb7 47.Rd6 Kxg7 48.Rd8 e4 49.Rb8 etc. amounts to the same.
45…Rxc6 46.bxc6 Kxg7 47.b4 Kf6 48.b5 Ke6 49.b6 Kd6 50.b7 Kxc7 51.bxc8Q+ Kxc8 52.Kf2 Kc7
And the pawn ending was lost.