Baklan wins Hypercube Blitz in Utrecht

3/23/2010 – This popular blitz tournament was held in the National Mindsport Centre in the Dutch town of Utrecht for the eleventh time this year. The event was won by top seed Vladimir Baklan of Ukraine, who beat all GMs, drew four games and lost two – against talented Dutch youngsters. The most colorful figure was GM Vladimir Epishin, who played in coat and cap. Big pictorial report by Fred Lucas.

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Hypercube Blitz tournament Utrecht 2010

Ever since the 1970s the Dutch chess club ‘Utrecht’ has been organizing tournaments. In the last decade this was the Hypercube Blitz Tournament. This year for the eleventh time and held in the National Mindsport Centre Den Hommel in Utrecht. During the first half of the day there are qualifying rounds, and as a result in the afternoon groups of more or less equal strength are formed. The average rating this year was nearly 2100, and that’s pretty strong for a local tournament.


Vladimir Baklan

In the A group the player with the highest rating Vladimir Baklan, from the Ukraine, won the tournament, two points ahead of Andrei Orlov. Baklan won his games against all grandmasters, made four draws and lost two. Remarkable enough the losses were against two Dutch youngsters: in round seven against Etienne Goudriaan (16th) and in round nine he lost against Floris van Assendelft (17th).


Andrei Orlov

Andrei Orlov started very badly with three losses in a row after the first game. After the fourth game he played well and very relaxed. “Do you want a draw” asked Bosboom in round eight with a lost position but a lot more seconds on the clock. Orlov looked up, smiled in his own time, replied a loud “Nein” and played on. The game ended in a draw after all.


Dutch grandmaster Erik van den Doel, third place

Erik van den Doel finished third. He was in the top of the tabel all the time. He even could have been second, had he won his last game against Bosboom.


Victor Mikhalevski took fourth place

Final standing (after 19 rounds)

# Name
Rating
Result
1 GM Vladimir Baklan
2654
15
2 GM Andrei Orlov
2521
13
3 GM Erik van den Doel
2573
12.5
4 GM Victor Mikhalevski
2610
11.5
5 IM Manuel Bosboom
2451
11
6 Hugo ten Hertog
2225
10.5
7 GM Sergey Fedorchuk
2649
10.5
8 GM Andrei Shchekachev
2557
10
9 GM Dennis de Vreugt
2424
10
10 FM Matthew Tan
2348
10
11 GM Vladimir Epishin
2587
10
12 GM Dimitri Komarov
2523
9,5
13 IM Rafaël Fridman
2460
9,5
14 Tobias Kabos
2200
9,5
15 GM Felix Levin
2486
9
16 Etienne Goudriaan
2263
8
17 FM Floris van Assendelft
2371
6,5
18 Tim Lammens
2283
6
19 IM Chiel van Oostrom
2379
5.5
20 Jack Blanchard
2100
2.5

Picture gallery

By Fred Lucas


The winner: Vladimir Baklan


A part of the playing hall


Table with half the A-group


Table with the other half


Maarten Etmans who – amongst others – started organizing the tournament in the 70’s


Blitz monster Manuel Bosboom

Vladimir Epishin played a dramatic tournament. In the morning he had the habit of putting on his coat and cap after every game, and taking it all off again before the next game. In the afternoon he started with two losses, and after six rounds he was on two points. He then thought he better quit the tournament and looked for the tournament director Jos Nooijen. After discussion and some thought Epishin went back to the playing hall and asked the arbiter if it was allright if he went for a smoke. When he came back he never pulled off his coat and cap again. And the playing hall was getting hot in the afternoon!


Tournament director Jos Nooijen listening to Vladimir Epishin


Vladimir Epishin


Dennis de Vreugt against Vladimir Epishin – two seconds left for Epishin


10-year-old Belgian talent Nicola Capone, rating 1800


Dutch player FM Matthew Tan rated 2348


Andrei Orlov


Erik van den Doel's thumb up to show the arbiter he has won his game against Andrei Shchekachev


Jack Blanchard, Amsterdam, who surprised a few by qualifying for the A group


Andrei Shchekachev smiling after he noticed he blundered


Dutch photographer Fred Lucas publishes pictures at least once a week at the above site


Links

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