Hoogeveen 2016: Short, Sokolov and Gupta are the stars

by Priyadarshan Banjan
10/24/2016 – Abhijeet Gupta won the 2016 Hoogeveen Open after scoring a comfortable 7.5/9. Lalith Babu, who had been leading with Gupta after seven rounds suffered an unfortunate accident to end on the third spot. Sandipan Chanda jumped in with a strong finish to take the runners up position. Lucas van Foreest performed excellently and ended on the fifth spot. The matches saw vistories by both Short and Sokolov respectively. We have pictures, tactics, stories and much more – in our final report from the Hoogeveen Festival 2016.

Hoogeveen 2016: Short, Sokolov and Gupta are the stars

By Priyadarshan Banjan, photos by Lennart Ootes

Take a world map and draw a straight line from New Delhi to Hoogeveen. That line is about 6200 km long. It makes you wonder when a traditional Open in a quiet chess-loving town in Netherlands has 16 percent of its participants from India.

At the end of six rounds, GM Abhijeet Gupta and GM Lalith Babu were perched comfortably at the top with 5.5/6. Both of them had dominated the field throughout. In their mutual encounter, they had settled for a quick draw. The trend continued in the seventh round as well.

IM S. Nitin was playing Gupta in the seventh round with the white pieces. He played a daring exchange sacrifice after which both the players had to play very accurately to maintain the balance.

Gupta managed to do just that, but Nitin went wrong.

[Event "Hoogeveen Open 2016"] [Site "?"] [Date "2016.10.20"] [Round "7.1"] [White "Nitin, S."] [Black "Gupta, Abhijeet"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C11"] [WhiteElo "2410"] [BlackElo "2626"] [PlyCount "74"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] [WhiteClock "0:03:41"] [BlackClock "0:26:47"] 1. e4 {[%emt 0:00:04]} e6 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 2. d4 {[%emt 0:00:07]} d5 {[%emt 0: 00:00]} 3. Nc3 {[%emt 0:00:05]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 4. Bg5 {[%emt 0:00:05]} dxe4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 5. Nxe4 {[%emt 0:00:04]} Be7 {[%emt 0:00:05] This line has become quite popular. Many Indians are seen using it, most notably Harikrishna, Vidit and now Abhijeet.} 6. Bxf6 {[%emt 0:00:06]} gxf6 {[%emt 0: 00:03]} 7. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:06]} f5 {[%emt 0:00:16]} 8. Nc3 {[%emt 0:00:05]} a6 {[%emt 0:00:09]} 9. Qe2 {[%emt 0:00:05]} Qd6 {167} 10. O-O-O {101} Nd7 { [%emt 0:00:18]} 11. g3 {922} b5 {156} 12. d5 {Nitin realizes that he is ahead in development and tries to open up the position.} Bb7 {205} 13. Nd4 {182} O-O-O {541} 14. dxe6 $1 {313 Not afraid of the rook hanging on h1.} (14. Nxe6 $5 Rde8 $1 {Black should be alright.}) 14... Bxh1 {359} 15. exd7+ {126} Rxd7 { [%emt 0:00:27]} 16. Nxf5 {219} Bg5+ {103} (16... Qe6 17. Qxe6 fxe6 18. Nxe7+ Rxe7 19. Bxb5 axb5 20. Rxh1 c6 $11 {Should be around equal.}) (16... Qc5 $2 17. Bh3 $1 Rxd1+ 18. Qxd1 Bg5+ 19. f4 Bxf4+ 20. gxf4 Bb7 21. Nd6+ Kb8 22. Nxb7 Kxb7 23. Bg2+ Kc8 24. Qf3 $18) 17. f4 {99} Bxf4+ {898} 18. Kb1 $1 {706} (18. gxf4 Qxf4+ 19. Ne3 (19. Kb1 Qxf5 $19) 19... Rxd1+ 20. Ncxd1 $11 {is a mess but with all the white pieces clumsily placed it shouldn't be such a huge issue.}) 18... Qe6 {474} 19. Rxd7 {[%emt 0:00:31]} (19. Nd4 $1 Qxe2 20. Bxe2 Rxd4 21. Rxd4 Be5 22. Rd1 Bb7 $11) 19... Qxd7 {[%emt 0:00:20]} 20. Bh3 {[%emt 0:00:56]} Kb8 { [%emt 0:00:35]} 21. gxf4 {736} Re8 {[%emt 0:00:48]} 22. Qd1 $6 {495} (22. Qf2 { keeping the queens was much better.}) 22... Qxd1+ {111} 23. Nxd1 {[%emt 0:00: 04]} Re2 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 24. Nfe3 {782} Rxh2 $17 {Black is clearly better and with his outside "h" passer he went onto win.} 25. Bf1 {[%emt 0:00:15]} Bf3 { [%emt 0:00:46]} 26. a4 {201} bxa4 {149} 27. Bxa6 {90} h5 $19 {[%emt 0:00:24]} 28. Bc4 {104} f6 {240} 29. Bd5 {155} Bxd1 {258} 30. Nxd1 {[%emt 0:00:05]} Rd2 { [%emt 0:00:04]} 31. Bf3 {73} h4 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 32. Kc1 {226} Rd4 {[%emt 0:00: 08]} 33. f5 {[%emt 0:00:32]} Rf4 {213} 34. Bc6 {[%emt 0:00:16]} Rxf5 {90} 35. Ne3 {[%emt 0:00:18]} Rg5 {179} 36. Bd7 {163} h3 {193} 37. Bxa4 {214} Kb7 {119} 0-1

Meanwhile, Lalith also put it across Sipke Ernst with accurate calculations.

[Event "Hoogeveen Open 2016"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2016.10.20"]
[Round "7.2"]
[White "Lalith Babu M R"]
[Black "Ernst, Sipke"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E91"]
[WhiteElo "2586"]
[BlackElo "2540"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "r4rk1/3b2bp/1R1p4/p1pP1p1q/2P1p3/2N4P/P2Q1PP1/1R2N1K1 b - - 0 24"]
[PlyCount "22"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]
[TimeControl "5400+30"]
[WhiteClock "0:05:53"]
[BlackClock "0:01:25"]

24... f4 $1 {722 Black is opening up lines to attack by investing two pawns.}
25. Nxe4 {211} Rae8 $2 {207 A bit too optimitic.} (25... Bf5 $1 {is a
must-play move.} 26. f3 Bd4+ 27. Kh2 (27. Kf1 $4 Bxe4 28. fxe4 f3 29. Nxf3
Rxf3+ 30. gxf3 Qxf3+ 31. Ke1 Bc3 $19) 27... Rae8 28. Nxd6 $1 Be3 29. Qb2 Bd4
30. Qd2 Be3 $11) 26. Nxd6 $1 $16 {171} Re2 {102 threatening ...Bd4. This was
Black's plan.} 27. Qd3 {[%emt 0:00:06]} Bd4 {73} 28. Qf3 $1 {56 But it turns
out White is just in time to liquidate into a won endgame.} Bxf2+ {376} 29. Kf1
{[%emt 0:00:10]} Qxf3 {110} 30. Nxf3 {[%emt 0:00:04]} Rxa2 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 31.
Rb7 {112} Ba4 {[%emt 0:00:23]} 32. R7b2 {69} Rxb2 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 33. Rxb2 {
[%emt 0:00:03]} Be3 {125} 34. Ra2 {[%emt 0:00:10]} Bb3 {263} 35. Rxa5 $16 {
5 A pawn ahead, with space and d5 passer. White won easily.} 1-0

Lucas Van Foreest (2350) vs. Lalith Babu (2585)

With victories in the seventh round, Lalith and Gupta reached 6.5/7. They had already played each other in the fifth round. Both the players would have been secretly hoping to see each other lose. The one who would last longer would win the tournament.

Lalith was facing the talented 15-year-old Lucas Van Foreest, rated more than 200 points below him. In spite of knowing how lopsided a favorite he was on paper, with experience and rating on his side, there was that nagging reality check: the young Dutchman was clearly playing at a much higher standard.

[Event "Hoogeveen Open 2016"] [Site "?"] [Date "2016.10.21"] [Round "8.2"] [White "Van Foreest, Lucas"] [Black "Lalith Babu M R"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C78"] [WhiteElo "2350"] [BlackElo "2586"] [PlyCount "53"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] [WhiteClock "0:29:27"] [BlackClock "0:11:47"] 1. e4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} e5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 2. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Nc6 { [%emt 0:00:00]} 3. Bb5 {[%emt 0:00:03]} a6 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 4. Ba4 {[%emt 0:00: 03]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 5. O-O {[%emt 0:00:06]} b5 {409} 6. Bb3 {[%emt 0:00: 07]} Bb7 {[%emt 0:00:27]} 7. d3 {141} Be7 {180} 8. Re1 {80} O-O {[%emt 0:00:55] } 9. h3 {146} d5 {237} 10. exd5 {[%emt 0:00:11]} Nxd5 {[%emt 0:00:03]} 11. a4 { 102} Nd4 {437} 12. Nxd4 {[%emt 0:00:43]} exd4 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 13. axb5 {88} axb5 {129} 14. Rxa8 {[%emt 0:00:56]} Bxa8 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 15. Na3 {117} Bb4 { 132} 16. Bd2 {254} Bxd2 {86} 17. Qxd2 {[%emt 0:00:10]} Qf6 $5 {831} (17... Qd7 18. Qg5 h6 (18... b4 19. Nc4 Qd8 20. Qg4 c5) 19. Qe5 $16 c5 20. Nxb5 $16) ( 17... b4 18. Nc4 c5 $11) 18. Nxb5 {1191} Nf4 {[%emt 0:00:53]} 19. f3 {[%emt 0: 00:17]} Qh4 {940} (19... Qh6 $1 {or} 20. Kh2 (20. Qf2 $2 Qg5 {Double attack.} ( 20... Qg6 21. Kh2) 21. h4 Qxb5 22. Qxd4 Nd5 23. Re5 c6) ({White has to take a draw with} 20. Kf1 Bxf3 21. gxf3 Qxh3+ 22. Kg1 Qg3+ 23. Kh1 Qh3+ 24. Kg1 $11) 20... Bxf3 21. gxf3 Qxh3+ 22. Kg1 Qg3+ 23. Kh1 $11) (19... Qg5 $2 20. Kf1 Nxh3 21. Qxg5 Nxg5 22. Nxc7 $18) 20. Nxd4 {773} Qg3 $2 {1093} (20... Nxh3+ 21. gxh3 Qxd4+ 22. Kg2 Qf6 $1 $11 (22... Qxb2 $2 23. Qf4 {and now a blunder like} c5 $4 24. Qxf7+ $1 Rxf7 25. Re8#)) 21. Kf1 $18 {596 Black is busted now. Lucas finishes off the game with perfection.} (21. Kh1 $2 Nxg2 $1 $19 (21... Nxh3 22. Re2 Nf4 23. Nf5 Qg5 24. Re5 $16)) 21... c5 {155} (21... Qh2 22. Qf2 $18) 22. Nf5 {168} Qh2 {[%emt 0:00:32]} 23. Qf2 {[%emt 0:00:38]} Nh5 {112} 24. Qxc5 {329 } Bxf3 {466} 25. gxf3 {232} Qxh3+ {[%emt 0:00:35]} 26. Kg1 {[%emt 0:00:08]} g6 {[%emt 0:00:51]} 27. Bxf7+ $1 {[%emt 0:00:24]} 1-0

While Lalith lost, Gupta settled for a draw with GM Sandipan Chanda.


In the final round, Chanda handed Lalith his second straight loss!

Chanda - Lalith (annotated by IM Sagar Shah)

[Event "Hoogeveen Open 2016"] [Site "?"] [Date "2016.10.22"] [Round "9.2"] [White "Sandipan, Chanda"] [Black "Lalith Babu M R"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A46"] [WhiteElo "2593"] [BlackElo "2586"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] [WhiteClock "0:06:56"] [BlackClock "0:08:12"] 1. d4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 2. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} e6 { [%emt 0:00:00]} 3. Bf4 {[%emt 0:00:05] Sandipan has been playing the London system quite regularly recently.} c5 {[%emt 0:00:54]} 4. e3 {[%emt 0:00:09]} d5 {[%emt 0:00:10]} 5. c3 {[%emt 0:00:22]} Nc6 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 6. Nbd2 {[%emt 0: 00:09]} Bd6 {[%emt 0:00:07] This is the recommended way for Black to play. Simple and sound development. However, it seems as if White is coming out on top in many of the games. Let's see how Chanda plays here.} 7. Bg3 {[%emt 0:00: 09]} O-O {[%emt 0:00:09]} 8. Bd3 {[%emt 0:00:20]} b6 {[%emt 0:00:23]} 9. Qe2 { [%emt 0:00:34]} Bb7 {[%emt 0:01:12]} 10. O-O {[%emt 0:00:17]} Rc8 {[%emt 0:09: 50]} 11. a3 {[%emt 0:01:52]} Ne7 {[%emt 0:11:42]} 12. Bxd6 {[%emt 0:00:20]} Qxd6 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 13. Ne5 {[%emt 0:00:08] The position is round about equal. The bishop on d3 seems better than the bishop on b7, but, soon we will soon see something quite paradoxical.} Ne4 {[%emt 0:16:33]} 14. Nxe4 {[%emt 0: 15:55]} dxe4 {[%emt 0:00:08]} 15. Ba6 {[%emt 0:00:08] With the bishop exchange White hopes to exploit Black's queenside weaknesses.} Bxa6 {[%emt 0:04:32]} 16. Qxa6 {[%emt 0:00:10]} Qc7 {[%emt 0:11:53]} 17. f3 {[%emt 0:06:11]} f6 {[%emt 0: 03:59]} 18. Ng4 {[%emt 0:00:07]} h5 $1 {[%emt 0:00:31]} 19. Nf2 {[%emt 0:00:07] } exf3 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 20. gxf3 {[%emt 0:00:15]} Nd5 {[%emt 0:00:54] With powerful moves Black has taken over the initiative.} (20... c4 $5 {was also pretty strong.}) 21. Qe2 {[%emt 0:07:44]} e5 $6 {[%emt 0:02:03]} (21... cxd4 $1 22. exd4 (22. cxd4 Qc2 $17) 22... Nf4 $15) 22. c4 $1 {[%emt 0:02:30]} Ne7 { [%emt 0:01:14]} 23. d5 {[%emt 0:00:32] White is now better because of the passer.} Nf5 {[%emt 0:00:28]} 24. Ne4 {[%emt 0:02:12]} Nd6 {[%emt 0:01:49]} 25. Kh1 {[%emt 0:04:41]} Nxe4 {[%emt 0:13:42]} 26. fxe4 {[%emt 0:01:53] Suddenly the move h5 which was excellent when it was played, turns into a weakness.} g6 {[%emt 0:02:03]} 27. Rf3 {[%emt 0:10:12]} Qh7 28. Raf1 Kg7 {[%emt 0:01:50]} 29. h4 {[%emt 0:13:26]} Rc7 {[%emt 0:00:37]} 30. Qf2 {[%emt 0:01:31]} Rcf7 { [%emt 0:00:53]} 31. Qg3 Kh8 {[%emt 0:02:01]} 32. Kh2 {[%emt 0:04:35]} Qh6 { [%emt 0:00:21]} 33. Qh3 {[%emt 0:03:18]} Qg7 {[%emt 0:02:12]} 34. Qe6 {[%emt 0: 00:49]} Kh7 {[%emt 0:00:15]} 35. d6 {[%emt 0:01:09]} a5 {[%emt 0:02:15]} 36. R1f2 {[%emt 0:07:23]} Kh6 {[%emt 0:01:20]} 37. Kg1 {[%emt 0:03:31]} g5 $2 { [%emt 0:01:43] completely impatient. Black was worse but this just hastens the end.} 38. hxg5+ {[%emt 0:06:14]} Qxg5+ {[%emt 0:00:10]} 39. Rg2 {[%emt 0:00:25] } Qh4 {[%emt 0:00:10]} 40. d7 {[%emt 0:01:43]} Qxe4 {[%emt 0:03:04]} 41. Qxf7 { [%emt 0:02:28] The London system didn't give White any advantage. In fact Lalith showed the best way for Black to play against it, but in the middlegame he went wrong and Chanda was pretty much ruthless.} 1-0

Chanda thus leapfrogged Lalith and took the second spot with 7.0/9. Lalith had to content himself with third place for his 6.5/9.

But the battle for the top position was not over yet!

Lucas Van Foreest faced Gupta on the top board. The tiebreak rule meant that the result of the mutual game would decide the winner. If Lucas managed to beat Gupta, he would even become the champion, and also earn a GM norm. 

Now, that would have been something. But Lucas drew, and had to 'settle' for an IM norm, and a fifth place finish.

Thus, Gupta became the Hoogeveen Champion for 2016 with 7.5/9. He also won the event in 2015, making it twice in a row — for the first time in the tournament's 19-year-history.

GM Shyam Sundar M. scored 6.5/9 and was fourth on the tiebreak. 

64-year-old GM Oleg Romanishin had a slow start to the tournament but finished sixth with 6.5/9.

He showed his skills to the youngsters, never mind his age. Take, for example, his game against GM Jan Werle (2555) in the final round:

White to play

White is weaker than a broken heart on the a8-h1 diagonal. So you must be careful. There is only one continuation that wins.

[Event "Hoogeveen Open 2016"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2016.10.22"]
[Round "9.3"]
[White "Romanishin, Oleg M"]
[Black "Werle, Jan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A46"]
[WhiteElo "2456"]
[BlackElo "2555"]
[PlyCount "77"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]
[TimeControl "5400+30"]
[WhiteClock "0:03:04"]
[BlackClock "0:03:34"]

1. d4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 2. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} e6 {
[%emt 0:00:00]} 3. g3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} c5 {[%emt 0:00:20]} 4. Bg2 {[%emt 0:00:
02]} cxd4 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 5. Nxd4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} d5 {[%emt 0:00:11]} 6. O-O
{[%emt 0:00:13]} e5 {[%emt 0:00:23]} 7. Nb3 {[%emt 0:03:27]} Be6 {[%emt 0:01:
05]} 8. Nc3 {[%emt 0:07:47]} Be7 {[%emt 0:01:08]} 9. f4 {[%emt 0:05:05]} exf4 {
[%emt 0:00:53]} 10. gxf4 {[%emt 0:01:50]} g6 {[%emt 0:00:41]} 11. Kh1 {[%emt 0:
06:59]} Nc6 {[%emt 0:00:50]} 12. Be3 {[%emt 0:00:23]} O-O {[%emt 0:01:40]} 13.
Nd4 {[%emt 0:07:30]} Qd7 {[%emt 0:02:48]} 14. Nxe6 {[%emt 0:00:55]} fxe6 {
[%emt 0:00:15]} 15. Bg1 {[%emt 0:00:07]} Rad8 {[%emt 0:01:33]} 16. e3 {[%emt 0:
00:11]} Nh5 {[%emt 0:07:37]} 17. Qe2 {[%emt 0:20:25]} Bf6 {[%emt 0:03:30]} 18.
Rad1 {[%emt 0:09:01]} Qe7 {[%emt 0:16:23]} 19. Na4 {[%emt 0:01:11]} Bg7 {
[%emt 0:06:42]} 20. Bf3 {[%emt 0:08:51]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:04:27]} 21. c4 {[%emt 0:
01:58]} Kh8 {[%emt 0:12:54]} 22. Nc3 {[%emt 0:04:06]} Qf7 {[%emt 0:04:52]} 23.
cxd5 {[%emt 0:04:20]} Nxd5 {[%emt 0:01:27]} 24. Ne4 {[%emt 0:00:24]} Qe7 {
[%emt 0:03:14]} 25. Rd2 {[%emt 0:02:12]} Nb6 {[%emt 0:04:10]} 26. Rfd1 {
[%emt 0:01:58]} Rxd2 {[%emt 0:00:39]} 27. Rxd2 {[%emt 0:00:08]} e5 {[%emt 0:01:
03]} 28. Nd6 {[%emt 0:02:39]} Nc8 {[%emt 0:02:36]} 29. Nxc8 {[%emt 0:01:19]}
Rxc8 {[%emt 0:00:41]} 30. Qc4 {[%emt 0:01:16]} Rf8 {[%emt 0:01:25]} 31. Bxc6 {
[%emt 0:02:58]} bxc6 {[%emt 0:00:22]} 32. Qxc6 {[%emt 0:00:14]} Qb4 {[%emt 0:
03:37]} 33. Rd7 {[%emt 0:02:12]} Qxb2 {[%emt 0:02:19]} 34. Rxa7 {[%emt 0:01:43]
} exf4 {[%emt 0:05:28]} 35. exf4 {[%emt 0:00:07]} Rxf4 {[%emt 0:00:56]} {
[%tqu "En","White is weaker than a broken heart on the a8-h1 diagonal. So you
must be careful. There is only one continuation that wins. Can you find it?",
"","","c6d6","",10]} 36. Qd6 $3 {[%emt 0:02:36] Deadly move. You attack the
rook, and also control d4 from where you can skewer black using the white
bishop.} Qb5 {[%emt 0:09:04]} (36... Rf8 37. Rxg7 $18) 37. Ra8+ {[%emt 0:00:34]
} (37. Qxf4 $4 Qd5+ 38. Qf3 Qxf3#) 37... Bf8 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 38. Rxf8+ {
[%emt 0:00:45]} Kg7 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 39. Qxf4 {[%emt 0:00:30]} 1-0

IM Eesha Karavade (2421) played an interesting game against Romanishin.

Romanishin excitedly plonked his bishop on d5 assuming that he will now win the piece. Luckily for Eesha, there is one move that saves the game!

Romanishin could have sacrificed his queen, but instead chose 23.Bd5. Now, Black can save the position with...

[Event "Hoogeveen Open 2016"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2016.10.20"]
[Round "7.4"]
[White "Romanishin, Oleg M"]
[Black "Karavade, Eesha"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A05"]
[WhiteElo "2456"]
[BlackElo "2421"]
[PlyCount "63"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]
[TimeControl "5400+30"]
[WhiteClock "0:00:51"]
[BlackClock "0:38:18"]

1. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:52]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:17]} 2. g3 {[%emt 0:00:28]} g6 {
[%emt 0:00:32]} 3. Bg2 {[%emt 0:00:07]} Bg7 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 4. c4 {[%emt 0:01:
42]} c6 {[%emt 0:01:17]} 5. d4 {[%emt 0:01:06]} d5 {[%emt 0:02:36]} 6. cxd5 {
[%emt 0:05:43]} cxd5 {[%emt 0:00:08]} 7. Ne5 {[%emt 0:00:27]} Ne4 {[%emt 0:02:
13]} 8. Nd2 {[%emt 0:02:52]} Nd7 {[%emt 0:03:19]} 9. O-O {[%emt 0:42:36]} Nxd2
{[%emt 0:04:16]} 10. Bxd2 {[%emt 0:03:37]} Nxe5 {[%emt 0:06:49]} 11. dxe5 {
[%emt 0:00:04]} Bxe5 {[%emt 0:00:43]} 12. Bh6 {[%emt 0:00:09]} Be6 {[%emt 0:00:
05]} 13. e4 {[%emt 0:03:16]} Qb6 {[%emt 0:10:01]} 14. exd5 {[%emt 0:03:25]} Bd7
{[%emt 0:00:05]} 15. Re1 {[%emt 0:04:34]} f6 {[%emt 0:00:17]} 16. d6 {[%emt 0:
04:19]} Be6 {[%emt 0:07:55]} 17. dxe7 {[%emt 0:06:30]} Kxe7 {[%emt 0:02:37]}
18. Be3 {[%emt 0:00:24]} Qb5 {[%emt 0:04:51]} 19. a4 {[%emt 0:00:45]} Qb4 {
[%emt 0:00:40]} 20. f4 {[%emt 0:04:03]} Rhd8 {[%emt 0:03:23]} 21. Qe2 {[%emt 0:
01:28]} Bc7 {[%emt 0:02:25]} 22. Bf2 {[%emt 0:01:30]} Rd6 {[%emt 0:01:33]} 23.
Bd5 $6 {[%emt 0:01:55][%csl Ge6][%cal Re1e6]} (23. f5 $1 gxf5 24. Qh5 $16 {
would have been the best way for White to play.}) {[%tqu "En","Romanishin
excitedly plonked his bishop on d5 assuming that he will now win the piece.
Luckily, Eesha has one move that saves the game for her! Can you find it?","",
"","c7b6","",10]} 23... Bb6 $3 {[%emt 0:00:05] Calm defence!} 24. Bxe6 {
[%emt 0:07:13]} Bxf2+ {[%emt 0:00:21]} 25. Qxf2 {[%emt 0:00:20]} (25. Kxf2 Rd2
$17) 25... Rxe6 {[%emt 0:00:17]} 26. Rxe6+ {[%emt 0:01:40]} Kxe6 {[%emt 0:00:
08] The position is now around equal.} 27. f5+ {[%emt 0:00:16]} Kf7 {[%emt 0:
01:29]} 28. Rd1 {[%emt 0:00:07]} Re8 {[%emt 0:00:41]} 29. Rd4 {[%emt 0:01:57]}
Re1+ {[%emt 0:07:04]} 30. Kg2 {[%emt 0:00:02]} Qe7 {[%emt 0:00:11]} 31. Kh3 {
[%emt 0:01:09]} Re4 {[%emt 0:00:49]} 32. fxg6+ {[%emt 0:00:33]} 1/2-1/2


Casper Schoppen (2304) scored 6.5/9 for his IM norm and also finished seventh in the prize list.

15-year-old Rakesh Kumar Jena (2247) scored his third IM norm and finished eighth with 6.0/9.

Final Standings

Rank Name Score Fed. Rating TPR
1 GM Gupta, Abhijeet 7.5 IND 2626 2697
2 GM Sandipan, Chanda 7.0 IND 2593 2600
3 GM Lalith Babu M R 6.5 IND 2586 2609
4 GM Shyam, Sundar M. 6.5 IND 2552 2540
5 Van Foreest, Lucas 6.5 NED 2350 2534
6 GM Romanishin, Oleg M 6.5 UKR 2456 2449
7 Schoppen, Casper 6.5 NED 2304 2461
8 FM Rakesh Kumar Jena 6.0 IND 2247 2531
9 GM Ernst, Sipke 6.0 NED 2540 2467
10 IM Nitin, S. 6.0 IND 2410 2445

Full standings here.


There was a chess art exhibition at the tournament by the artist Yvon Drummen, who also produced the prizes for the winners.

Short holds his prize — a sculpture that signifies that chess can get under your skin. Short beat Hou Yifan in their match.

Nigel managed to win 3.5-2.5 after losing the final round. But he did not lose any rating for his loss — according to the FIDE regulations, any games in a match played after a player has already won/taken an unsurmountable lead will not be rated.

To which Short replied...

 And thus he rests his case.

Ivan Sokolov beat Jorden Van Foreest 3.5-2.5 as well.

This funny exchange took place between Tournament Director Loek Van Wely and Sokolov at the prize-distribution:

‘For our PR it would have been better if Jorden had won,’ Van Wely joked. ‘But alas, my old comrade in battle beat him. Ivan, I’m still glad that you have kept the youth under your thumb for a little longer.’

‘I did my best to lose, especially with Black, but my opponent didn’t cooperate.’ Sokolov quipped.

The open winners with their prizes. 


  1. Hoogeveen Round 01-06 Report
  2. Chess Art Exhibit by Artist Yvon Drummen


The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 13 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

Topics Hoogeveen, Holland

Priyadarshan Banjan is a 23-year-old club player from India. He works as an editor for ChessBase News and ChessBase India. He is a chess fanatic and an avid fan of Vishy Anand. He also maintains a blog on a variety of topics.
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TMMM TMMM 10/24/2016 07:38
Okay, time to remove ChessBase from my favorites. Maybe sites like www.chess.com are not so flooded with Indian news.
JiraiyaSama JiraiyaSama 10/24/2016 08:12
Do you seriously think they cover all the tournaments that ChessBase ends up covering, and has been covering, for more than two decades, dear TMMM? :) I agree that there has been a slight slant towards Indians recently, but that is only because of the sheer numbers in which they are present! And besides, as in the case of this event, they play decently as well.
stephen brady stephen brady 10/24/2016 08:13
TMMM while I agree there may be some leaning towards Indian news, it seems that much of the reason is that India is a really strong chess nation. Their top players are playing and winning many tournaments these days. In other words, if you don't want to read about Indian chess players, you will have a hard time reading about chess.
stephen brady stephen brady 10/24/2016 08:14
Wow, Sama, you said almost exactly the same thing I did, I minute before I said it. You must be a mind reader :)
koko48 koko48 10/24/2016 10:01
Umm, the Indian won the tournament
chessdrummer chessdrummer 10/24/2016 10:15
I knew the racism would come sooner or later when the balance of power changed in chess. We have been used to seeing Europeans (east and west) and North American players dominate chess for four centuries and there were no complaints. Other nations simply had to get better to get recognition. China and India have done so and are now chess powers. Now we have someone pointing out that news is "flooded" with Indian news. Ridiculous.
amarpan amarpan 10/24/2016 11:14
I found the coverage quite dispassionate. It turns out that 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th position finishers are Indians, so perhaps TMMM wanted the report to cover only the 5th, 6th, 7th and 9th position holders (8th and 10th positions also went to Indians).
KevinC KevinC 10/24/2016 11:17
Hmm, I see no sign of racism at all. Just someone, who wants more variety. Amazing how some can find racism in everything.
lwolf123 lwolf123 10/24/2016 11:46
I infer that Short was referring to the last game in his match with Hou. He lost the game, and had to go through some effort to make sure it was not rated, as the match was already won at that point.
fightingchess fightingchess 10/25/2016 12:26
we have so many indian chessplayers and journalists now so when indians bomb a tournament with so many players and finish in top spots, this kind of coverage is unavoidable. anyway this tournament was not very strong so let's just move on. we should not expect that much from these free chessbase reports and journalism in chess world anyway.
psamant psamant 10/25/2016 09:09
Excellent tactics in the Oleg Romanishin vs Jan Werle game. Both sides had to be careful and had mate in ones to avoid!
Thomas Richter Thomas Richter 10/25/2016 12:18
The last word on whether the final game between Short and Hou Yifan will or won't be rated apparently hasn't yet been spoken - in the meantime, the organizers (technically an arbiter) submitted results of all six games to FIDE.
One of the pictures in the article probably doesn't show Casper Schoppen but Lucas van Foreest. The tournament page has three pictures of players with norm certificates: One looks Indian, one (pictured above) looks like Lucas van Foreest on other photos, the third one - darker hair and glasses, putting a tie for the occasion - should be Casper Schoppen.
Zvonet Zvonet 10/25/2016 01:50
OK, I can't take it anymore. After seeing some comments here (especially the one from "chessdrummer"), I just have to respond.

Quite clearly the main event of Hoogeveen 2016 is the match between Nigel Short and Hou Yifan. A former World Championship challenger and a living legend of chess versus by far the best female player in the world at the moment and a great promoter of the game. They are true chess celebrities, and are famous both for their over the board achievements (unlike e.g. Tania Sachdev or Sopiko Giri---no hard feelings to them, but it's true) and for their contribution (and occasional controversy in Short's case) to the game of chess outside the board as well. Surely, their match must be the highlight of the Hoogeveen 2016 chess event.

If, by some wonder, one chooses to put the match Short-Hou out of the spotlight, the match Sokolov-van Foreest must surely be the next thing to look at. I mean, the match was absolutely fantastic. Not only because of the result (only 1 draw in 6 games!), but the games were very exciting and fun to watch. Not to mention the young vs. old component, which is always interesting in it's own right.

In this "report", the last round of the two matches is barely mentioned and there are no chess diagrams with the games from these matches. The following author's statement "We have pictures, tactics, stories and much more – in our final report from the Hoogeveen Festival 2016." suggests, that a few sentences is all we are going to see about the matches on ChessBase.

Therefore, saying that this "report" is not Indian-biased is an absolute nonsense, IMO. An absolute nonsense.
Zvonet Zvonet 10/25/2016 01:50
In one of the previous "reports" (posted on 10/21/2016), on Hoogeveen Matches the author stated (I quote): "More details will follow in a separate report." Today is the October 25th, and the "separate report" is still on the way I presume.

The 10/21/2016 "report" is titled "Hoogeveen Open: Gupta, Lalith Babu lead with 2800+ performance". This one is titled "Hoogeveen 2016: Short, Sokolov and Gupta are the stars". However, Short and Sokolov as well as their opponents are barely mentioned.

If the author is already going to talk solely about the open tournament, and almost completely ignore the two matches, then I would kindly ask him to indicate that in the title (like he did in the previous report) or in the introduction. The title of this "report" is badly misleading, in that respect. Also, if he is, for whatever reason, unable to provide coverage of the above mentioned matches, please let someone else do it instead.

There are many open tournaments around the world, but matches like the one between Short and Hou are not so common, and always spark special interest in the chess world---chesswise and otherwise. To ignore that in favour of celebrating success of Indian participants in the open tournament is just bad, and very sad indeed IMO.
Zvonet Zvonet 10/25/2016 01:51
And this all is without even going into the fact that the author comes from India (that is, in combination with the fact that he chose to ignore the matches, and concentrate on the open tournament where the Indian player are doing very well indeed). To all of you out there, quick on the trigger to accuse every single bit of criticism as racism, it's really nothing personal against the author, nor do I have anything against India (not at all!) or it's chess players (some of whom I trully and honestly admire, by the way). Not sharing the author's preference on how Indian players are doing in the open tournament, over the matches, has nothing to do with racism at all.

It's not just the author of this particular report. GM Ramirez is often criticised for being biased towards US players in his reports. However, in his case, I would say it's mostly within the boundaries of good taste, with occasional excursions outside these boundaries. But this "report" on Hoogeveen 2016 goes well beyond these boundaries (again, IMO).

And finally, I would just like to ask chessdrummer to share his definition of racism and explain further why he thinks TMMM's comment is racist, since I assume this is what was meant by the comprehensive and omniscient statement "I knew the racism would come sooner or later when the balance of power changed in chess.". I'm very very curious to hear what the connection is. @chessdrummer Why don't you illuminate me and other readers?

@KevinC I completely agree.
koko48 koko48 10/25/2016 03:50
The comments objecting to the 'pro-Indian' coverage (and the comments in support of them) are ridiculous and making mountains out of molehills.

Indians took the top four places in the tournament...Which incidentally was the main event, and involved the most players...The matches were side events

It's not unreasonable to assume racism, when people object to coverage focusing on the Indians who dominated the tournament....I have also read coverage on chessbase favoring American players, Russian players, and Magnus Carlsen many times, with nary a complaint
Zvonet Zvonet 10/25/2016 04:23
@koko48 "Indians took the top four places in the tournament...Which incidentally was the main event, and involved the most players...The matches were side events"


Well, the matches were not treated as side events one these websites:

Oh, in addition to the above websites, you may also want to check the official website: http://www.hoogeveenchess.nl/en/invasion-india-postponed

Do the matches still look like a side event to you?

I would tend to believe that the global chess community was far more interested in the matches (or rather Hou vs Short match) than the open tournament.

Find me one single report on Hoogeveen 2016 from a non-Indian author, that treats the matches as side events and/or favors the open tournament over the Hou-Short match.
fightingchess fightingchess 10/25/2016 06:36
indeed the fact that two exciting matches got so little coverage is surprising.
Malcom Malcom 10/25/2016 07:31
Zvonet is COMPLETELY right and does so in a very detailed and accurate matter. I have been saying it full a while now; these articles are misleading and incomplete! Yes he "force feeds" us Indian content over and over and yes MANY of us are quite fed up about it! I can't believe such a scarce coverage of the 2 main matches. Shame!
eltollo eltollo 10/26/2016 10:03
What "unfortunate accident" did GM Lalith Babu suffer in the two final rounds? Was he run over by a bike? Please give more details!
amarpan amarpan 10/26/2016 06:30
The match and the result between Short and Yifan is a demonstration of how wide the gap male and female players is and nothing else. Short is way past his prime, and even in his prime, he could at the most boast of a "short" unofficial world championship match with Kasparov. Yifan today is far ahead of her female counterparts but still nowhere close to the top male players. Loek van Wely who was the president of the tournament would have made short work of Nigel Short.