Press Release by Peter Boel, Photos by Harry Gielen
Also in the final round of a Remco Heite Chess Tournament, anything can happen. And that’s what happened. Whereas everyone thought Daniel Fridman had the best chances, as he had White against the tormented Gawain Jones, there wasn’t even a playoff in it for the Latvian this time. Sipke Ernst, the lowest-rated player, ran off with first prize after driving Loek van Wely bonkers from a bad position.
Fridman didn’t consider it very probable that either Reinderman or Ernst would win with black. Therefore he soon accepted the draw when he couldn’t do much with a slight advantage against Jones.
Fridman – Jones
Fridman didn’t see much use in the quiet 16.b3 here, since Black can regroup his knight g7 to f5, and he went for a pawn sacrifice:
16.Bd4!? Bxd4 17.Qxd4 Rxb2 18.e4
After 18.Nxd5 Black can hold with 18…Rxe2 19.Nc3 Re7 20.Rcd1 Qc8, or also 19…Ree8 20.Rcd1 Nf6, which doesn’t look very solid, but it suffices.
18…dxe4 19.Nxe4 Rb8! (otherwise the pin along the d-file will be fatal) looks pretty bad, but is still OK, for example 20.Bf3 Bf5!.
19.Rcd1 Bg4 20.Rd3
After 20.f3 Be6 the second rank is opened, and then White can never play Nxd5 in view of …Rxg2+. But now Black can eliminate the knight.
20…Be2 21.Nxe2 Rxe2 22.exd5 cxd5 23.Bxd5 Qe7
White has some pressure, but there are many resources for Black in this position.
24.Qc4 a5 25.Qc3 Nf6 26.Qxa5 Nxd5 27.Rxd5 Qe6
Thus Black wins the a-pawn back and draws.
28.Rd4 Rxa2 29.Qxc7 Rc2 30.Qd6 Qe2 gives Black sufficient counterplay.
28…Rxd2 29.Qxd2 Ra8
And ten moves later the game ended in a draw.
Not much later it became clear that not Reinderman, but Erwin l’Ami was going to draw even with Fridman.
L’Ami – Reinderman
Black has lost a pawn on a5, but his pieces are active, and he has good compensation. Still, according to Reinderman, ‘something had gone wrong’ in the preceding heavy struggle. That’s why instead of quietly withdrawing his queen he opted for a violent solution:
37…Nxe1?! 38.Rxc2 Nxc2 39.h4 Rd5?
Opening the door.
40.Qc7 Nd4 41.Ng5
This would be alright for Black if the two white knights weren’t so strong and dangerous.
41…R5d7 42.Qc4 Rf8 43.N3e4 h6 44.Ne6 Nxe6 45.Qxe6
And now the black king’s position is loosened.
45…Rd1+ 46.Kh2 Rf4?
Reinderman tries to create counterplay, but this rook will find itself on the wrong track.
This fails to a little trick, but things are already quite bad for Black: 47…Rd4 48.Nc5! Rxh4+ 49.Kg3 and Black cannot even give check on g4 anymore.
Winning the exchange too.
49…hxg5 50.Qh5+ Kg8 51.Qxd1
And now the white b-pawn decided.
The cameras were already in position for a playoff with three players, just like two years ago, because Loek van Wely was also going to win.
Van Wely – Ernst
Ernst hadn’t treated the opening well (‘I didn’t know the move 8.Nd2, and apparently my reaction 10…dxc4 was wrong’) and has been under heavy pressure for the last 16 moves or so. Now he’s had enough:
Strong was the immediate 27.Qb3!, after which 27…Ng6 doesn’t work on account of 28.gxf5 Rxf5 29.Rxc6.
27…c5 28.Qb3 Ng6 29.gxf5 Rxf5 30.Be4 Nf4+ 31.Kd2 Qh5
Black is burning all his bridges behind him. ‘I was fed up with moving my pieces around on the three back ranks’, Ernst explained. ‘Also, Loek hadn’t much time left.’
32.Re1! nips all the counterplay in the bud, for example: 32…Qxh3 33.Bxf5 Qg2+ 34.Kd1 Qf3+ 35.Kc2 cxb4+ 36.Kb1 and White wins.
32…Rxf4 33.Qxe6+ Kh8
Now two pieces are hanging, and White has to watch out.
A total blackout… 34.Qg6! would still have saved White’s case: 34…Rf2+ (34…Qxg6 35.Bxg6 cxb4 36.e6! and the pawn marches on) 35.Kc3 cxb4+ 36.Kxb4 Qxg6 37.Bxg6 Nf8 (otherwise the e-pawn marches again) 38.Rxc7 Bxc7 39.Bd3 and with three pawns for a passive piece, White’s chances are still better.
The toughest blow. Amazingly, there was another win too: 34…cxd4, with the terrible threat of 35…Nc5+, for instance 35.Kxd4 Qe2. After the text move the white queen cannot attack any black piece, and so White is just losing one.
35.Qd5 Rd7 36.Rf1 Rxd5 37.Nxd5 Rxf1 38.Rxf1 Ne6 39.Nf4 Nxf4+ 40.Rxf4 Qd1+ 41.Ke3 Qxd4+
And after many more checks, Black won.
‘One of my greatest tournament wins, certainly’, Ernst said. ‘My best games were actually the draws, especially the one against Fridman, while my two victories (also the one yesterday, against Jones, PB) were both quite bad. A few times I was lucky, but there were also several things that went wrong. So all in all I think it was a deserved tournament win.’
A real Frisian winner in a Frisian tournament – a better end of this edition couldn’t be imagined in Wolvega. Until next time!
olvega niet wensen. Tot de volgende keer!