Chess Tournament 2006
The 10th edition of the Essent Chess Tournament is taking place from October
20 to 28, 2006. The location is the city of Hoogeveen. As in the past years
there are a number of competitions: a Crown Group, a strong Essent Open, an
Amateur Tournament, a pub tournament and an event for youth. Commentary on
the Crown Group games will be available in the chess café in Hoogeveen.
The games are also being broadcast live on the Internet, on the official site
and on Playchess.com..
Participants of the Crown Group
The star attraction at the 2006 Essent tournament is former FIDE world champion
Veselin Topalov, who still sports an Elo rating of more than 100 points above
the average of his opponents (85 more than the second seed).
Shakhryar Mamedyarov is the Junior World Champion, Judit Polgar the strongest
female player (by a good bit) in the history of the game, and Ivan Sokolov
the strongest Dutch player at the current time. Judit is a well-known face
in Hoogeveen, and this is her eighth appearance there.
Shakhryar Mamedyarov beat Veselin Topalov in a Semi-Slav Meran, in which twenty
moves was theory and the outcome of the game (probably) hinged on an inaccuracy
on move 35. Judit Polgar played an Open Ruy Lopez against Ivan Sokolov, who
played vigorously with the black pieces. But his attacked collapsed near the
end and Judit could chalk up a first-round win in this event.
Mamedyarov,S (2728) - Topalov,V (2813) [D47]
10th Essent Hoogeveen NED (1), 22.10.2006
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 e6 5.Nf3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3
Bb7 9.e4 b4 10.Na4 c5 11.e5 Nd5 12.Nxc5 Nxc5 13.dxc5 Bxc5 14.0-0 h6 15.Nd2
0-0 16.Ne4 Bd4 17.Nd6 Bc6 18.Bh7+ Kxh7 19.Qxd4 f6 20.Bd2 Qd7N Veselin
Topalov deviates, avoiding the usual 20...fxe5, which has produced a balanced
score between white and black in the past. 21.Rac1 a5 22.Qd3+ f5 23.Rc5
Ne7 24.Rfc1 Ra7 25.Be3 Rfa8 26.Qe2 Ra6 27.h4 Qd8.
28.Bg5 hxg5 29.Qh5+ Kg8 30.Qf7+ Kh7 31.Qh5+ Kg8 32.Qf7+ Kh7.
It looked like a quick draw, but after repeating twice Mamedyarov decides to
try for a win. 33.hxg5 Ng6? Surely holding on to the bishop
with 33...Be8 would have been better. 34.Rxc6 Qxg5. Now material
is equal but White has a powerful attack. 35.Rc8.
Now a normal continuation would be 35...Rxc8 36.Rxc8 Rxd6 37.exd6 Qd2 (but
not 37...Qg4, which loses) with a perpetual to follow. We don't know what Topalov
had in mind when he played 35...Nf4? 36.g3 Rxc8 37.Rxc8. Now
the path of the queen to d2 is blocked by the knight. 37...Qg4 38.Qg8+
Kg6 39.Qe8+ Kh7 40.Qh8+. Now any black dreams of a perpetual have
dissipated. 40...Kg6 41.Rc7 Qd1+ 42.Kh2 Qh5+ 43.Qxh5+ Nxh5 44.Re7 Rc6
45.Rxe6+ Kh7 and the Junior World Champion finishes off the former
FIDE World Champion with a florish: 46.Nf7 Rxe6 47.Ng5+ 1-0.
Peter Doggers, Editor-in-chief of the Doggersschaak
web site, has made a very nice video with the key moments of the
Mamedyarov-Topalov game – 36.g3, 41.Rc7, 44.Re7, the resignation –
and put it on (where else?) YouTube.
The venue of the Essent Tournament
Veselin Topalov arrives and is greeted by GM Mikhail Gurevich
Instructions from the arbiter [must ... resist ... temptation ... no ... wisecracks]
Note that the GMs are using glass pieces and mechanical Garde clocks
The opponent: Shakhryar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan
Judit Polgar arrives to face Ivan Sokolov
Mother of two, strongest female player in history
Ivan Sokolov, Holland's number one
The spectators, as seen through a glass chess pawn
The games of the Crown Group are played behind glass walls...
... while outside the Open Tournament is under way
Photos by Jeroen van den Belt
Playing hours: All rounds start at 14.00 hours daily. The
final round (October 28th) starts at noon.
The Amateur Groups have other starting times: Group I: 14.30 hours (October
28th at 13.00 hours); Groep II: 10.00 hours (October 28th at 9.00 hours).