Unive Hoogeveen: Nakamura wins with 2855 performance

10/28/2012 – A draw in the final round would have sufficed to take victory, but Hikaru Nakamura, hungry for rating points to hoist him back into the world's top ten, played a masterpiece against his only rival in the 16th Univé Crown Group, Sergey Tiviakov, to finish 1½ points ahead of the field. In a tense final round of the Unive Open Erwin L'Ami caught Frizo Nijboer for joint first. Final report with GM commentary.

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The 16th Univé Chess Festival is taking place from the 19th to 27th of October 2012, in Hoogeveen, Holland. The main event is a four-player Crown Group double round robin with Hikaru Nakamura, USA, rated 2786, Anish Giri, NL, 2730, Sergey Tiviakov, NL, 2659, and women's world champion Hou Yifan, China, 2605. The average rating is 2695, making this a category 18 tournament. The Unive Open has 78 players and is a nine round event that started on October 19. The prize fund is € 7,500, with a first prize of € 3,000. The sponsor of the Univé Chess Festival is Univé.

Nakamura wins Crown Group – à la Kramnik

Round 6 – Saturday, October 27, 2012, 14:00h
Giri, Anish
½-½
Hou Yifan
Nakamura, Hikaru
1-0
Sergey Tiviakov

Hikaru Nakamura won the Univé Crown Group, with an impressive 4.5 out of 6 points and a 2848 performance. The American GM followed the same tournament strategy as last year's winner Vladimir Kramnik: three points with white, three draws with black. The reward: Nakamura cashed the first prize of 4000 Euros and rose by five precious Elo points in the international rating list. The latter probably counts for him as much as a first prize. A poor performance in the recent Grand Prix tournament in London took twenty points off Nakamura's standing, dropping him out of the global top ten. The five points from Hoogeveen are a a step in the right direction.

In the final round a draw would have been enough for victory, and under other circumstances Nakamura said that he would probably have not taken any risks. But after that disastrous tournament in London he really had to hunt for rating points. And so he delivered the best game in this year's Crown Group has delivered this year, composing a strategic masterpiece, without sacrifices or combinations, gradually pushing his opponent over the edge of the board. Tiviakov was quite unhappy with his role in this endeavor. He found that he had missed a draw at around move 20, committing serious mistakes that in the sequel proved irreparable.

Source: tournament web site

[Event "Hoogeveen 2012"] [Site "?"] [Date "2012.10.27"] [Round "6"] [White "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Black "Tiviakov, Sergei"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A00"] [WhiteElo "2775"] [BlackElo "2656"] [Annotator "Eltaj,Safarli"] [PlyCount "77"] [EventDate "2012.10.22"] [SourceDate "2012.10.28"] 1. e4 e6 2. d3 c5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 {When Hikaru played this opening it felt like we were going to see approximately the same structure as in the well-known position, indicated below, of the 11th World Champion.} {However, Sergey played} g6 {and then 5. d4, and everything changed, or rather went in a different direction.} (4... d5 5. Nbd2 Nf6 6. Bg2 Be7 7. O-O O-O 8. e5 Nd7 9. Re1 b5 10. Nf1 b4 11. h4 a5 12. Bf4 a4 13. a3 bxa3 14. bxa3 Na5 15. Ne3 Ba6 16. Bh3 d4 17. Nf1 Nb6 18. Ng5 Nd5 19. Bd2 Bxg5 20. Bxg5 Qd7 21. Qh5 Rfc8 22. Nd2 Nc3 23. Bf6 Qe8 24. Ne4 g6 25. Qg5 Nxe4 26. Rxe4 c4 27. h5 cxd3 28. Rh4 Ra7 29. Bg2 dxc2 30. Qh6 Qf8 31. Qxh7+ {1-0 Fischer,R-Myagmarsuren,L Sousse 1967}) 5. d4 $5 cxd4 6. Nxd4 a6 ({It seems Black is unable to play} 6... Bg7 $5 {but this was better. Let's check:} 7. Nb5 d5 8. exd5 exd5 9. Qxd5 Qe7+ 10. Be2 Be5 $5 {with the strong compensation for Black} (10... Be6 11. Qd6) (10... Bh3) ( 10... Bg4)) 7. Nxc6 bxc6 8. c4 {In my opinion Black's position is now a little bit unpleasant, since his position is passive and doesn't have much counterplay.} Bg7 9. Bg2 Ne7 10. O-O d6 (10... f5 {I like this continuation better than the move that was played. However, even this way Black would not manage to equalize the position. But at least his position would have become a little more active, though many weak points had risen on the way.} 11. Nc3 fxe4 12. Nxe4 d5 13. cxd5 (13. Nc5 O-O 14. Re1 Qd6) 13... exd5 14. Nc3 O-O 15. Bg5) 11. Nc3 O-O 12. Bg5 Qc7 13. Qd2 Rb8 14. Rfd1 Rd8 15. Rac1 c5 16. b3 Bb7 17. h4 h5 18. Qd3 Bc6 19. Qe2 Be8 20. Rd3 {Looks like a strong idea to me. Whites consolidate by doubling and even tripling along the d-file.} Rdc8 21. Qd2 Rb6 22. Bf4 Be5 23. Rd1 Kh7 24. Kh1 Ng8 25. Be3 Bg7 26. Ne2 Rd8 27. Bf4 { 27... Be5 or 27...Bf8 is no longer possible, and Black is obliged to weaken his position, which leads to a crucial advantage for White.} e5 28. Bg5 f6 29. Be3 $16 Ne7 30. Nc3 Qc8 31. Kh2 Rc6 32. f4 $18 Qb7 33. fxe5 fxe5 34. Bg5 Rd7 35. Bh3 Rdc7 36. Rf1 Bd7 37. Bg2 Bg4 38. Rxd6 Rxd6 39. Qxd6 {A good game played by Hikaru. Perhaps Black made some inaccurate moves in the beginning and faced an unpleasant situation, where he didn't have any extraordinary counterplay, taking into account that defending passively is quite unpleasant. Afterwards White weaked his opponent's position by making relatively ordinary, strenghtening moves, which crashed Sergey's position. I congratulate Hikaru on the victory in this tournament! Thanks to everyone!} 1-0

GMs Anish Giri and Yifan Hou played a correct draw to complete their modest tournament results. Although Hou ended with a 2.0/6 score in last place, she perhaps had more reason for satisfaction than Giri, who scored half a point more but hardly make a real impression in any of his games. However, he managed to keep his opponent under pressure in the white games, and if he had used a golden chance in round three against Tiviakov, he would have had an excellent tournament after all.

[Event "16th Unive Crown"] [Site "Hoogeveen NED"] [Date "2012.10.27"] [Round "6"] [White "Giri, A."] [Black "Hou Yifan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E06"] [WhiteElo "2693"] [BlackElo "2623"] [PlyCount "84"] [EventDate "2012.10.21"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 Be7 5. Nf3 O-O 6. O-O dxc4 7. Qa4 a6 8. Qxc4 b5 9. Qc2 Bb7 10. Bd2 Be4 11. Qc1 Bb7 12. Bf4 Nd5 13. Nc3 Nxf4 14. Qxf4 Nd7 15. Rfd1 Bd6 16. Qe3 Nb6 17. a4 bxa4 18. Nxa4 Nxa4 19. Rxa4 Rb8 20. b3 Bd5 21. Nd2 Bb4 22. Bxd5 Bxd2 23. Qf3 Qxd5 24. Qxd5 exd5 25. Rxd2 Rb6 26. Rda2 Ra8 27. Ra5 c6 28. g4 g5 29. Kg2 Kg7 30. h4 gxh4 31. Kh3 Rxb3+ 32. Kxh4 Rb6 33. Kg5 h6+ 34. Kf5 Re8 35. e3 Re6 36. Kf4 Rb1 37. Ra1 Rb2 38. Kg3 Rg6 39. Rh1 Rb6 40. Kf4 Rf6+ 41. Kg3 Rg6 42. Kf4 Rf6+ 1/2-1/2


Just 18 years old: Women's world champion Hou Yifan

Final standings (after six rounds)

Of the 12 games in this tournament eight were drawn (= 66.7 percent), White won four games (33.3%) and Black none. Nakamura had 50% decided games, Giri just 17% (one loss in the first round). The players gained or shed up to nine points from this event, and with his performance Hikaru Nakamura reminded us that he is heading for the elite 2800 club. Note that in our table above and in the PGN download given at the bottom of the page we have used the October FIDE ratings. The official site appears to have taken theirs from the May 2012 ratings.


The photograpers crowd around the winner of the Crown Group


At the prize-giving: Nakamura, Tiviakov, Hou and Giri

All results of the Crown Group

Round 1 – Sunday, October 21, 2012, 14:00h
Hou Yifan
½-½
Sergey Tiviakov
Nakamura, Hikaru
1-0
Giri, Anish
Round 2 – Monday, October 22, 2012, 14:00h
Hou Yifan
½-½
Giri, Anish
Sergey Tiviakov
½-½
Nakamura, Hikaru
Round 3 – Tuesday, October 23, 2012, 14:00h
Giri, Anish
½-½
Sergey Tiviakov
Nakamura, Hikaru
1-0
Hou Yifan
Round 4 – Thursday, October 25, 2012, 14:00h
Sergey Tiviakov
1-0
Hou Yifan
Giri, Anish
½-½
Nakamura, Hikaru
Round 5 – Friday, October 26, 2012, 14:00h
Hou Yifan
½-½
Nakamura, Hikaru
Sergey Tiviakov
½-½
Giri, Anish
Round 6 – Saturday, October 27, 2012, 14:00h
Giri, Anish
½-½
Hou Yifan
Nakamura, Hikaru
1-0
Sergey Tiviakov

Unive Open 2012

The final round of the open tournament was extremely exciting. Frizo Nijboer was on 7.0/8, a full point ahead of four Dutch GMs: Erwin L'Ami, Sipke Ernst, Robin van Kampen and Jan Timman, with 6.0/8 points each. Three of them drew their games after long battles: Robin van Kampen failed to beat Jan Timman, and Sipke Ernst saw an advantageous position against GM Sergey Kasparov from Byelorussia bogged down into a draw.

The fourth pursuer, Erwin L'Ami, produced an epic battle in which he finally ground down Nijboer with the black pieces. According to our tablebases the knight endgame was theoretically defensible, but not for a human in the final round of a long tournament, against a grimly determined follower. GM Karsten Müller will have to explain the endgame to us.


The knight endgame in Frizo Nijboer vs Erwin L'Ami reaches epic intensity, before...


... Erwin wins it and joins Frizo in first place

Erwin and Nijboer finished together in joint first place, followed by the quartet Van Kampen, Timman, Ernst and Bosboom. Here are the three critical games of the final round:

Final top rankings of the Unive Open 2012

Rnk Name
Rtng
Pts.
BH
SB
W-We
TPR
1 GM L'Ami, Erwin
2631
7.0
53.0
41.0
+0.12
2634
2 GM Nijboer, Friso
2525
7.0
43.5
32.0
+0.45
2550
3 GM Ernst, Sipke
2554
6.5
49.5
35.0
+0.38
2572
4 GM Timman, Jan
2578
6.5
45.0
31.75
-0.67
2480
5 GM Van Kampen, Robin
2570
6.5
45.0
31.75
-0.37
2519
6 IM Bosboom, Manuel
2402
6.5
45.0
30.25
+1.03
2500
7 IM Willemze, Thomas
2377
6.0
50.0
32.5
+1.70
2518
8 GM Grandelius, Nils
2593
6.0
47.5
31.0
-1.01
2484
9 GM Kasparov, Sergey
2476
6.0
46.0
29.5
-0.45
2429
10 IM Guramishvili, Sopiko
2418
6.0
46.0
28.25
-0.05
2403
11 IM Van Delft, Merijn
2395
6.0
41.5
25.25
+0.04
2394
12 IM Valdes, Leonardo
2414
5.5
51.5
28.75
+1.09
2499
13 IM Riemersma, Li
2420
5.5
51.0
29.5
+0.62
2467
14 GM Brynell, Stellan
2500
5.5
49.0
28.0
-0.36
2459
15 FM Bezemer, Arno
2329
5.5
47.0
25.75
+0.60
2379
16 IM Hendriks, Willy
2437
5.5
46.5
27.0
-0.21
2413
17 IM De Jong, Migchiel
2369
5.5
46.0
25.75
+0.50
2398
18 FM Schoorl, Rob
2363
5.5
45.0
25.25
+0.74
2417
19 FM Okkes, Menno
2368
5.5
43.5
25.75
-0.75
2285
20 IM Afek, Yochanan
2312
5.5
41.5
23.25
-0.05
2305
21 Schoehuijs, Erik
2123
5.5
40.5
23.25
+2.63
2342
22 De Ruiter, Danny
2182
5.0
49.5
27.75
+2.24
2381
23 Van Foreest, Jorden
2225
5.0
48.0
24.75
+1.83
2377
24 WGM L'Ami, Alina
2376
5.0
45.0
23.0
-0.15
2355
25 Johansson, Linus
2287
5.0
45.0
22.25
+0.07
2292
26 FM Vedder, Richard
2267
5.0
45.0
22.25
-0.19
2242
27 FM Heemskerk, Wim
2254
5.0
42.5
21.25
-0.07
2243
28 IM Wiersma, Eelke
2367
5.0
42.5
19.75
-0.43
2326
29 FM Clemens, Adrian
2213
5.0
42.0
19.75
+0.57
2273
30 IM Vedder, Henk
2378
5.0
41.5
22.25
-1.61
2233
31 IM Piasetski, Leon
2298
5.0
41.0
20.25
-0.26
2280
32 Ben Artzi, Ido
2286
5.0
40.5
20.75
-0.91
2205
33 Majhi, Ankit
1923
5.0
37.5
20.0
+3.79
2286
34 Grant, Jonathan
2217
5.0
37.5
18.0
-0.03
2224


Erwin L'Ami gets his prize for first place in the Unive Open


Links

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