Timman in great form – in the sea and out

6/14/2005 – Veteran Dutch GM Jan Timman is having a great time on the Caribbean island of Curaçao. Besides making friends with local dolphins, he had a great start in his match against Cuban talent Lazaro Bruzon. Timman won the Rapid part of the match with a 3.5:0.5 score.

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Greetings from Curaçao

By Ger Jan Meijer

Jan Timman and Lazaro Bruzon are playing a match in Curaçao. The match consists of four Rapid games and four classic games. The local tournament organizers Ger Jan Meijer and Fabio Mensing organized this match to promote Timman’s latest book “Curaçao, the Battle of Minds that shook the International Chess World”.

On Saturday the book was officially introduced with a special evening. The match and this presentation took place in the Valkenzaal of the Van der Valk Plaza Hotel. This place was the original tournament hall of the 1962 Candidates Tournament. The Governor of the Netherlands Antilles, Mr. Frits Goedgedrag, received the first copy of the book.

Jan Timman is having a great time in the Caribbean so far. Besides making friends with some local dolphins, he had a great start in his match with Cuban talent Lazaro Bruzon. Timman won the Rapid part of the match with a 3.5:0.5 score.


The audience, with Frits Goedgedrag, the Governor of the Netherlands Antilles, in the middle

On Saturday the first two rapid games were played. The first game was relatively peaceful. Timman did not reach much with the white pieces and Bruzon had not many difficulties to draw. The second game was much different. Bruzon started aggressive and launched a heavy attack on the kingside. Probably the attack was winning if Bruzon would not have made a big mistake. Timman accepted the unexpected present and won the game.

Bruzon,L (2669) - Timman,J (2607) [A33]
Match Curacao AHO (2), 11.06.2005
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.a3 Nxd4 7.Qxd4 b6 8.Qf4 Be7 9.e4 d6 10.Qg3 0-0 11.Bh6 Ne8 12.Bd2 Bh4 13.Qe3 Bb7 14.0-0-0 Qc7 15.f3 a6 16.Kb1 Bf6 17.Bd3 Bc6 18.g4 Qb7 19.g5 Be7 20.Rc1 b5 21.cxb5 axb5 22.Na2 Bd7 23.Nb4 Nc7

Bruzon is on a no-compromise attack: 24.f4 Rfe8 25.h4 Na6 26.g6 fxg6 27.h5 d5 28.Qd4 Nxb4 29.h6??

Theatens 30.Qxg7 mate. Perhaps Bruzon thought that he could recapture the knight on b4 after a black defensive move like 29...Bf6 or 29...Bf8, and that ...e5 was not possible as the pawn was not covered. But Timman played 29...e5 and now 30.Qxe5 is met with 30...Bf8, covering the mate and exposing the white queen to a discovered attack by the rook on e8. 30.fxe5 Nxd3 31.Qxd3 Be6 and since Black has simply won a piece fro nothing 0-1.

The third game on Sunday was somewhat similar as the first game of the day before. Again Timman did not achieve much with white. A draw was the most likely result after Bruzon offered the exchange for reaching a defendable endgame. However, Bruzon could not control his ambitions to equalize the match and tried to get more. His pawn move d5-d4 was a decisive error and sufficient for Timman to win that third game.


Bruzon pondering over move nine in game three against Timman

Rapid game four went quickly into a complicated position. Bruzon went for Kingside attack while Timman tried to compensate the white pressure with tactical counter play. Bruzon overlooked some tactical treats.

Bruzon,L (2669) - Timman,J (2607) [D05]
Match Curacao AHO (4), 12.06.2005
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.e3 c5 4.Bd3 d5 5.b3 Nc6 6.0-0 Bd6 7.Bb2 0-0 8.Nbd2 b6 9.a3 Bb7 10.Ne5 Ne7 11.f4 Ne4 12.Qe2 f6 13.Nef3 Rc8 14.c4 Nxd2 15.Nxd2 Re8 16.Rad1 Qc7 17.dxc5 bxc5 18.Bb1 Ng6 19.Qh5 d4 20.exd4 Bxf4 21.d5 exd5 22.cxd5 Be5 23.Nc4 Bxb2 24.Nxb2 Re5 25.Rf5 Rce8 26.Nc4 Re2 27.Bd3 Ra2 28.Rf3 Qd7 29.Bf5 Qd8 30.Rg3.

Bruzon apparently overlooked the tactical threat 30...Qxd5. The queen cannot be touched because of 31...Re1 mate. But White can play on with 31.Kf1! Now the black queen has only 31...Qf7 (otherwise we would see 32.Bxg6 hxg6 33.Qxg6 winning) and after 32.Rd7 Black must play the perpetual 32...Ra1+ 33.Kf2 Ra2+ 34.Kf1. However Bruzon was still in shock and played 31.Qg4?? and fell to pieces after 31...Ree2 (31...h5 was probably even more compelling) 32.Nd2? (32.Qxe2 Rxe2 33.Rxd5 Bxd5 would have put up token resistance) 32...Raxd2 33.Be6+ Rxe6 0-1.

Also the local players of Curaçao had there Rapid tournament in this weekend. Yesterday local talent Marvin Dekker claimed already the title in the open group. Today were the finals for U12 and U20. Kiran Kanhai and Paulo Meijer are the island’s leading U12 players. Paulo Meijer is the 6 year old son of tournament director Ger Jan Meijer. Kanhai and Meijer showed the public an exciting final. After two Rapid matches and two additional Blitz games the players were still in balance (2-2). Kanhai could finally claim victory after Meijer ran out of time in the decisive shoot-out Blitz game.


U12 Rapid Finals: Paulo Meijer (left) versus Kiran Kanhai

The U20 final was a match between Diego Vasquez and Jairzinho dos Santos Teixeira. The first game was a long game with pretty much balance between both players. Vasquez could finally find a winning line in the far end game. Teixeira tried everything to equalize in the second game, but could not bring Vasquez in serious danger. The second game ended in a draw and Vasquez became the winner of the match.

In January of this year the local chess club Nacho Moron started an Open Rapid tournament with KO system. Jurriaan de Haan and Han Neumann made it to the finals and also this match was played today. The match did not bring the excitement as expected, because de Haan won both games pretty easily (2-0).


Curaçao is the largest island of the Netherlands Antilles. The other Caribbean islands of the Netherlands Antilles are Bonaire, Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius and Saba. Aruba was also part of these Antilles, but in 1986 they stepped out to obtain a special status within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Schedule for the second half of the Timman- Bruzon match

Monday June 13 14h00 EST Classic match 1
Tuesday June 14 14h00 EST Classic match 2
Thursday June 16 14h00 EST Classic match 3
Friday June 17 14h00 EST Classic match 4

The second part of the match consists of four Classic games and will be played in the Van der Valk Plaza Hotel. The games will be broadcasted live on Playchess.


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