The Cultural Village tournament in Wijk aan Zee is, of course, not as big and as prestigious as the Tata Steel tournament but it still has a certain tradition. Young players like it because the winner of the Cultural Village tournament is invited to play in the Tata Steel Challengers.
This year tournament favorite Eric Hansen had the best start. After six rounds the Canadian led the field with 5.5/6. Only Nijat Abasov could draw against Hansen and followed with 5.0/6, half a point behind the Canadian.
In the seventh round Hansen had to play the 17-year old Georgian Nino Khomeriki. Hansen started aggressively and countered Khomeriki's Benoni with the Four-Pawns-Attack. However, something went wrong for White and his attacking sacrifice soon led to nothing. It seems as if Hansen mixed up two lines in the opening.
Nino Khomeriki knows no fear
This loss of the tournament leader gave Nijat Abasov the chance to catch up with Hansen. The next round Hansen drew against Robert Ris while Abasov won his game to become sole leader. In the ninth and final round Abasov defended his lead, won the tournament and qualified for the Tata Steel Challengers .
Nijat Abasov - Demre Kerigan
Artistry during the closing ceremony
And after the tournament: Chess!
Photos: Tournament page