David Howell dominates in Leiden

by Johannes Fischer
7/29/2015 – Just before the start of the British Championship GM David Howell proved to be in splendid form. He smoothly won an open in Leiden in the Netherlands that took place from 18th to 26th July with 8.5/9. With this result Howell for the first time in his career has more than 2700 elo in the live rating list. But at the start of the tournament he really had to sweat.

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David Howell receives the winner's check

Howell dominated the tournament from beginning to end. He started by winning his first five games and then slowed down with a draw against GM Evgeny Postny from Israel. However, after this draw he played with renewed energy and in round six he countered the entertaining gambit play of Indian IM Arghyadip Das with a surprising bishop sacrifice and a fine tactical display.

 

In round eight he continued in similar style and after one slight inaccuracy by his opponent Boris Chatalbashev he overran the Bulgarian GM with a vigorous attack:

 

With this victory Howell had won the tournament with one round to spare. But he finished with a technical defensive win against Marian Petrov in round nine.

 

Final results

Rank Name Score Fed. M/F Rating TPR W-We BH SB
1 GM Howell, David W L 8.5 ENG M 2698 2895 +1.42 51.5 48.0
2 GM Postny, Evgeny 7.0 ISR M 2642 2675 +0.57 52.5 39.75
3 GM Nikolic, Predrag 6.5 BIH M 2601 2621 +0.50 53.0 35.0
4 GM Chatalbashev, Boris 6.0 BUL M 2516 2543 +0.48 52.5 31.75
5 GM Tiviakov, Sergei 6.0 NED M 2639 2512 -1.03 51.0 32.25
6 GM Milov, Leonid 6.0 GER M 2462 2491 +0.60 51.0 29.5
7 IM De Jong, Jan-Willem 6.0 NED M 2448 2478 +0.53 50.0 31.5
8 IM Das, Arghyadip 6.0 IND M 2457 2526 +0.97 49.5 30.0
9 Pijpers, Arthur 6.0 NED M 2433 2431 +0.16 45.5 28.25
10 GM Petrov, Marian 5.5 BUL M 2487 2383 -0.82 47.0 25.75
11 Van Overdam, Julian 5.5 NED M 2367 2351 -0.02 46.5 26.25
12 FM Erwich, Frank 5.5 NED M 2361 2319 -0.17 45.5 25.5
13 Johansson, Gunnar 5.5 SWE M 2223 2236 +0.23 39.0 21.25
14 Wallgren, Ulf 5.5 SWE M 2141 2160 +0.31 36.0 20.75
15 Oosterom, Erik 5.5 NED M 2043 2221 +1.95 35.0 18.25
16 Van der Marel, Bert 5.0 NED M 2161 2411 +2.55 50.0 24.0
17 IM Van Delft, Merijn 5.0 NED M 2428 2241 -1.81 44.5 23.75
18 FM Gindi, Shachar 5.0 ISR M 2336 2256 -0.74 44.0 20.0
19 Wilschut, Peter 5.0 NED M 2238 2205 -0.37 41.5 22.0
20 Van der Raaf, Erik 5.0 NED M 2110 2164 +0.36 41.5 20.0
21 IM Palit, Somak 5.0 IND M 2360 2201 -1.53 41.0 20.75
22 FM Heemskerk, Wim 5.0 NED M 2175 2199 +0.28 41.0 20.0
23 Den Hartog, Marijn 5.0 NED M 2088 2137 +0.36 40.0 21.0
24 Halfhide, Sebastian 5.0 NED M 2091 2234 +1.51 40.0 19.0
25 Polak, Alexander 5.0 NED M 2114 2153 +0.44 37.5 16.75
26 FM Happel, Henk 5.0 NED M 2107 2144 +0.27 34.5 16.25

...

Games

 

However, not everything in Leiden was easy for Howell. As part of the opening ceremony Howell and Loek van Wely played a blitz match while simulating bike-riding. On top of that they had to answer questions by Dutch GM John van der Wiel. Loek van Wely, who is notorious for his physical fitness, was much better at this kind of multi-tasking than the eventual tournament winner.

Tournament page...



Johannes Fischer was born in 1963 in Hamburg and studied English and German literature in Frankfurt. He now lives as a writer and translator in Nürnberg. He is a FIDE-Master and regularly writes for KARL, a German chess magazine focusing on the links between culture and chess. On his own blog he regularly publishes notes on "Film, Literature and Chess".
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Omoplata Omoplata 8/1/2015 01:43
Awesome; congratulations to Howell for breaking the 2700 barrier!
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