NH Chess - Experience counters and closes the gap

8/17/2010 – With two elite players in the Experience team, the youths are in no position to simply stroke their egos with superior Elos, and sure enough, both Svidler and Gelfand gave Nakamura a rough time with Ljubo also taking some of his own at Wesley So's expense. On the flipside, Anish Giri took the lead in the Rising Stars with 3.5/5 after two wins. Report for rounds four and five with games and pictures.

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The tournament is a double round-robin Schveningen type match in which the players of each team plays each and every player of the other team twice for a total of ten rounds.

1. Rate of play: At least 40 moves in two hours, followed by 30 minutes for the remaining moves.
In this second period 30 seconds are added on the clock per move.

2. Prize-fund: each player of the winning team receives € 2000, the players of the losing team receive € 1000 each. In case of a 25 – 25 tie, each player receives € 1500.
In addition each player receives € 500 for each point he scores.

3. Special prizes for the ‘Rising Stars’ team: the player with the highest score will be invited to the 2011 Amber Blindfold and Rapid Tournament in Nice, provided he or she scores over 50% in the NH Chess Tournament in Amsterdam. In case his or her score is 50% or less, he (she) and a partner of his choice will be invited to attend the 2011 Amber tournament as a guest. In case two players reach the same (best) score, a blitz tiebreaker will decide who will be invited to the 2011 Amber tournament as a player or a guest.
The runner-up of the ‘Rising Stars’ team will be invited to attend the 2011 Amber tournament with a partner of his choice during the final week of the event.
The number 3 ‘Rising Star’ will receive a Sony Vaio Notebook


Round four


The fourth round started with a photo-shoot on the occasion of chief arbiter Geurt
Gijssen’s 76th birthday.
Top (left to right): Caruana, Howell, Heine Nielsen, Svidler,
Gelfand, and Giri. Bottom: Ljubojevic, Gijssen, Van Wely, Nakamura, and So.

NH Chess Tournament the Experience team convincingly hit back after yesterday’s 1-4 rout. Thanks to three wins by Ljubomir Ljubojevic, Peter Heine Nielsen and Peter Svidler, they defeated the Rising Stars 3.5-1.5 and brought back the tension.

Peter Svidler beat Nakamura after the latter played overambitiously in a Caro-Kann, and lost a lot of time in a queenside sortie that left him in deep trouble. Svidler conducted the game with precision and brought home the point. The most veteran of Team Experience, Ljubojevic, came back from his poor start with a win against Wesley So. The Phillipine prodigy had a good opening, but overestimated his position and neglected to realize when the tide had turned, after which it was soon too late.


Wesley So lost to Ljubojevic, recovering from his poor start.

The clash between the number one rated Dutch player, Loek van Wely (2677), and his closest rival Anish Giri (2672) ended in a win for the Dutch junior. In the opening White tried to trick Black with his move-order, but it was Giri who profited from this plan.


The battle for Dutch supremacy.

Van Wely,L (2677) - Giri,A (2672) [A11]
4th NH Chess Tournament Amsterdam NED (4), 15.08.2010

1.c4 c6 2.Nf3 d5 3.e3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.b3 Nbd7 6.Bb2.








White's move order is an attempt to delay the obvious d4, leaving it as an option, while gaining time with other aspects of his development. 6...e5! The most oft played move here is actually 6...Bd6 but Giri has decided that if White is going to leave the e5 square up for grabs, then he might as well grab it. 7.Qc2 a6 8.cxd5 cxd5 9.g4 Now White gets nothing if he plays slowly, so Giri was not surprised when Van Wely opted for this aggressive move. 9...h6 10.Rg1 e4 11.Nxd5 Before playing 10...e4, Anish had briefly analyzed this sacriice and concluded it was 'rubbish' (ever known the young to mince words?), but nor was he shocked to see Van Wely play it anyhow. It was a practical decision, and things were not easy for Black as it were. 11.Nd4 Ne5 would hardly be an improvement. 11...Nxd5 12.Qxe4+ Ne7 13.Rc1 Nf6 14.Bxf6 gxf6 Though Black is objectively ahead, considerably so, he has his work cut out for him. 15.Bc4 Bg7 16.h4 Qd6 17.Nd4 Kf8 18.f4 h5 19.Nf5 Bxf5 20.gxf5 Rd8 21.Ke2.








21...b5! Taking with 21...Qxd2+ would be far worse, as it would allow White a ton of play. 22.Kf3 Re8 23.Rgd1 Qb4 24.Rd7! and suddenly Black is so tied down, it is he who is in danger of losing. 22.Bd3 Nd5 23.Kf3 If 23.Bb1 Re8! 24.Qc2 Bh6 25.Qc5 (25.Kf3 Bxf4 26.Qc5 (26.exf4 Qxf4+ 27.Kg2 Re2+) 26...Bh2 27.Qxd6+ Bxd6-/+) 25...Bxf4 26.Kf3 Bh2 27.Qxd6+ Bxd6-/+ 23...Nxf4! 24.Qxf4 Qxd3 25.Rg2 Re8 26.Rcg1 Rh7 27.Qb4+ Kg8 28.Qc5 Kh8 29.b4 Bh6 30.Rc1 Rg7 31.Rxg7 Kxg7 32.Rg1+ Kh7 33.Qa7 Qxf5+ 34.Ke2 Qe6 0-1 [Click to Replay]

Peter Heine Nielsen played the 4.Bg5 variation against David Howell's Grünfeld, that led to unexpected complications, in which Nielsen emerged up material and duly converted.

Round five

In the fifth round the Rising Stars and the Experience teams split the score 2.5-2.5. Anish Giri’s win over Peter Heine Nielsen was compensated for by Boris Gelfand’s win over Hikaru Nakamura. Halfway through the event the Rising Stars lead 13.5-11.5. In the fight for the ticket to the 2011 Amber Blindfold and Rapid Tournament, 16-year-old Anish Giri is leading with 3.5/5, half a point ahead of runner-up Fabiano Caruana, while Gelfand is the top score for Team Experience.

The game between Wesley So and Loek van Wely lasted less than one and a half hours and didn’t get the spectators in raptures. Both players were stil licking their wounds from the previous round, and a timid draw was the result. Fabiano Caruana missed an  excellent chance to improve his score to plus-2 at the expense of Ljubomir Ljubojevic, but missed a move in his calculations and his advantage evaporated as a result.


Caruana missed an opportunity in his game against Ljubojevic to share 1st with Giri.

David Howell and Peter Svidler played an opening that not only baffled the spectators, but also themselves. In a Scottish Opening, Howell couldn’t believe his eyes when Svidler blundered and went down an exchange, however he spent so much time working out the lines that when the Russian offered a draw, albeit with slight compensation by then, his clock situation was such that he accepted.

Anish Giri had more or less expected Peter Heine Nielsen to play another opening that his boss Vishy Anand used in the recent World Championship match and indeed he did. This time Nielsen went for a Grünfeld and Giri opted for a set-up with g3. The Danish GM played the most critical line, but he lost a pawn when he mixed up the moves. Nielsen had some compensation, mostly in the form of time spent by Anish. After the game, when asked whether he hadn’t been bothered by the half hour difference, Giri quipped, "I’d rather have an extra pawn than an extra half hour."

The longest game of the day, lasting 75 moves and five and a half hours was the protracted struggle between Hikaru Nakamura and Boris Gelfand. In the opening Gelfand managed to reach a position from the Queen’s Gambit Accepted with an extra tempo. That put him in an optimistic mood and made him decide on an interesting exchange sacrifice.


The two highest ratings of their respective teams, Gelfand against Nakamura.

Nakamura,Hi (2729) - Gelfand,B (2739) [D40]
4th NH Chess Tournament Amsterdam NED (5), 16.08.2010

1.c4 c6 2.e4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bg5 e6 7.Nf3 Be7 8.Bd3 dxc4 9.Bxc4 0-0 10.0-0 a6 11.Bd3 b5 12.Qe2 Nxd4 13.Nxd4 Qxd4 14.Be4 Rb8 15.Bf4.








15...Nxe4!? 16.Bxb8 Bb7 17.Bg3. After the game Gelfand believed that White could have improved with 17.Rfd1 that would have led to big complications in which Nakamura could "hope to survive". 17...Nxc3 18.bxc3 Qd5 19.f3 Qc5+ 20.Bf2 Qxc3 21.a4 Bd5 22.Rfc1 Qb3 23.axb5 axb5 24.Bc5 Bxc5+ 25.Rxc5 Qb4 26.Qe3 Qb2 27.Rcc1 Bc4 28.Qc3 Qxc3 29.Rxc3 g5 30.Rca3 Bd5 31.Rb1 Rb8 32.Rb4 Bc4 33.h4 gxh4 34.Kh2 Rd8 35.Re3 f5 36.Re5 Kf7 37.Kh3 Kf6 38.Rc5 Kg5 39.Rcxc4 bxc4 40.Rxc4 Rd1 41.Kh2 e5 42.Ra4 Rd6 43.Kg1 Rd4 44.Ra7 h6 45.Rh7 h3 46.g3 Rd3 47.Rg7+ Kf6 48.Rh7 Rxf3 49.Kh2 Kg6 50.Re7 Re3 51.Re8 e4 52.Rf8 Rf3 53.Kxh3 Rf2 54.Re8 Kf7 55.Ra8 e3 56.Ra3 e2 57.Re3 f4 58.gxf4 Rf3+ 59.Rxf3 e1Q 60.Kg2 Qe2+ 61.Rf2 Qg4+ 62.Kh2 h5 63.f5 Kf6 64.Rg2 Qh4+ 65.Kg1 Qe1+ 66.Kh2 Kxf5 67.Rg8 Qe5+ 68.Kh3 Qe6 69.Rg1 Kf4+ 70.Kh2 Qe4 71.Rg3 Qe2+ 72.Rg2 Qe1 73.Rg8 Kf3 74.Rg2 Qh4+ 75.Kg1 Qg4 0-1 [Click to Replay]

Tuesday is a rest day. Round 6 will be played on Wednesday, August 18.

Photos by John Nunn and NH Chess.


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