Visiting Vlissingen

8/16/2015 – After a few years in the US on a strict regime of study or its frenetic opens, GM Elshan Moradiabadi explains the bliss of not only some deserved rest, but also a change of pace with a classic one-round-a-day as he visited Vlissingen, Holland. With 240 players the lineup included names such as GM Baadur, Loek Van Wely, and more. Here is the report with analysis by GM Moradiabadi.

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Report by GM Elshan Moradiabadi

It has been a while since I played a nine-round open. In fact, last year's Quebec open was the last time I got a chance to play a real open (as in very nice and challenging). Being a PhD student can be very stressful, such as the qualifying exam, dissertation and research questions, etc. What should one do after two months of nerve-wrecking studying for the qualifying exam? If you are like me I suggest this: Take your fiancée on a nice trip to Europe and play some chess! Specifically in Vlissingen! 

Why Vlissingen especially? On a personal note, after focusing my attention and energy mostly on my studies, and left waiting for the result of my qualifying exam, this summer I got a chance to participate in a one-game-a-day open tournament in Europe after a long time. You may wonder at that "one-game-a-day" comment, but suffice it to say I reside in the US now, where such things are virtually unheard of.

In fact this was my first open in Europe since 2011. I was excited to see how things had changed, and in return I received a pleasant surprise: Nothing has changed! It is still a wonderful experience for a chess enthusiast. European chess opens are still what I call "a celebration of chess culture", a fun environment, through which you experience more than just "a chess tournament". 

Vlissingen is a lovely city placed in the southwest of Netherlands.  HZ University of applied science as the main sponsor of the event has sponsored the prestigious HZ open in Vlissingen for 19 editions so far. 

The man behind all of it, Hans Groffen announced that the event will keep going for at least
three more editions. A very kind person, Hans helped us personally on several occasions.
I wish him success and I hope he manages to organize many more editions of HZ open. 

A view from the tournament hall

The event was a rich one. 240 players took part, among them eleven grandmasters and 26 masters from fifteen countries.  The events entailed several upsets, surprises and an exciting finish.

Jordan Van Foreest, a talented young Dutch player with an impressive
2519 Elo at the age of 16, finished clear second with 7.5/9. Although his
result did not earn him a much desired GM norm, his meteoric ratings rise
may make him the highest rated IM in the world very soon!

Dutch veteran Loek Van Wely had an uneven event with 6.0/9 but had a
few moments top shine, such as a lesson he gave to Jordan Van Foreest

Loek Van Wely - Jordan Van Foreest (analysis by GM Moradiabadi)

[Event "19th Hogeschool Zeeland Tournament"] [Site "Vlissingen"] [Date "2015.08.04"] [Round "5.2"] [White "Van Wely, Loek"] [Black "Van Foreest, Jorden"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D16"] [WhiteElo "2654"] [BlackElo "2519"] [Annotator "Elshan Moradiabadi"] [PlyCount "87"] [EventDate "2015.08.01"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "NED"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 c6 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. a4 e6 6. e3 c5 7. Bxc4 Nc6 8. O-O Be7 9. Qe2 cxd4 10. exd4 O-O 11. Rd1 Nb4 12. Bg5 {Van Wely shows what is probably the best way to play against this annoying solid defense by Black} h6 (12... Bd7 13. d5 exd5 14. Nxd5 Nfxd5 $6 15. Bxe7 Qxe7 (15... Nxe7 16. Ne5 Ned5 17. Bxd5 Qe7 18. Bxf7+ Rxf7 19. Rxd7 Qxd7 20. Nxd7 Rxd7 21. Qe6+ Rf7 22. Rd1 $18 {1-0 Lalith,B (2561)-Kathmale,S (2345)/Pune 2014/CBM 160 Extra (35)}) 16. Qxe7 Nxe7 17. Rxd7 Nbc6 18. Re1 Ng6 19. h4 Rad8 20. Rxb7 Na5 21. Rc7 Nxc4 22. Rxc4 f6 23. b4 $16 {1-0 Malakhatko,V (2596)-Werner,D (2346)/Germany 2007/CBM 123 (48)}) 13. Bxf6 $1 Bxf6 14. Ne4 {White seems to have an annoying grip in this position. After this lesson, I do not think that Van Foreest will employ this opening again in the future!} Be7 {Van Foreest deviates from his game against Ikonnikov in the Dutch Open.} (14... Nd5 15. Ne5 Be7 16. Nc3 (16. a5 $5 ) (16. Nc5 $5) 16... Nxc3 17. bxc3 Qc7 18. Qe4 $40 {½-½ Postny,E (2652) -Yilmaz,M (2580)/Germany 2015/ Mega2015 Update 11 (42) Despite the peaceful result in the game, White has a growing initiative}) (14... b6 15. Ne5 Bb7 ( 15... Bh4 {1/2-1/2 Ikonnikov,V (2527)-Van Foreest,J (2514)/Dieren NED 2015 (77) } 16. a5 $5 (16. g3 $5)) 16. Nxf6+ Qxf6 17. Nd7 Qg6 18. d5 $14 {1/2-1/2 Bacrot, E (2711)-Kempinski, R (2625)/Jerusalem ISR 2015/10 Days #428 (56)}) 15. Ne5 Nc6 (15... b6 16. Ra3) 16. Nxc6 bxc6 17. a5 $14 {Black would love to have a knight on d5 in this structure, but he hasn't, so Van Wely methodically and patiently worked out a way to put Black's kingside under pressure untill his opponent cracked.} Qc7 18. Qh5 Rd8 19. Qe5 Qb8 20. b3 Bb4 21. a6 Kf8 22. Qh5 Qf4 23. Qe2 Rb8 24. Rd3 Kg8 25. Rad1 Rb6 26. Rf3 Qh4 27. h3 Be7 28. Rg3 Qf4 29. Rf3 Qh4 30. Rg3 Qf4 31. Rgd3 Qf5 32. Nc5 Bf6 33. Ne4 Be7 34. Nc5 Qf4 35. g3 Qc7 36. h4 Rb8 37. Rf3 Qa5 {[#] Now, this is too much! White's pieces are ready for final action!} 38. Nxe6 fxe6 39. Bxe6+ Bxe6 40. Qxe6+ Kh8 41. Qxe7 Qxa6 42. Rf7 {Not a blunder!} Rxd4 $2 {This is the blunder!} 43. Re1 $1 ({Black took the bait hoping (thinking) White would play} 43. Rxd4 $2 Qa1+ 44. Kg2 Qxd4 {completely missing the move in the game.}) 43... Qa5 44. Rf8+ (44. Rf8+ {The engines point out that 44.Re6 was mate in 13, but the text move is clear enough.} Rxf8 45. Qxf8+ Kh7 46. Re7 Qa1+ 47. Kg2 Rd5 48. Re8 Kg6 49. h5+ $1 Rxh5 50. Qd6+ Kh7 51. Qd3+ {And loss of queen or mate is inevitable}) 1-0

Top seed Baadur Jobava, whose flamboyant style has earned him several fans among chess
enthusiasts, won the event with an impressive 8.0/9

Norms!: Wan Younguo (left) and Mu Ke making GM and IM norms respectively. Wan Yunguo
completed his norms and became a GM at the end of the event (he had reached 2500 before) 

I personally did not have a happy final memory in this event: after being in the driving seat for eight rounds, I ruined a better position against the eventual winner, and found myself having to content myself with a ninth place.

Throughout the event I wore my "thinking hat"...

...and though GM Sipke Ernst (above) tried it out, he did not enjoy the same success.

A bitter pill, but made easier to swallow thanks to the otherwise delightful experience in Vlissingen with its balmy weather, good food and kind and helpful organization. This has encouraged us, Sabina my fiancée and myself, to wish to return to Vilissingen next year!

Michal Krasenkow, a veteran grandmaster with vast experience, came in sixth

Michal Krasenkow - Konstantin Landa (analysis by GM Moradiabadi)

[Event "19th Hogeschool Zeeland Tournament"] [Site "Vlissingen"] [Date "2015.08.08"] [Round "9.2"] [White "Krasenkow, Michal"] [Black "Landa, Konstantin"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D06"] [WhiteElo "2616"] [BlackElo "2624"] [Annotator "Elshan Moradiabadi "] [PlyCount "71"] [EventDate "2015.08.01"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "NED"] {One of the crucial games between two "big" names of the event.} 1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 c5 3. c4 cxd4 4. cxd5 Nf6 5. Qxd4 Qxd5 6. Nc3 Qxd4 {Black needs to get the queens off the board. Otherwise his position could easily collapse} (6... Qa5 $6 7. b4 $1 Qh5 8. Ne5 {1-0 Gelfand,B (2690)-Wolff,P (2580)/Wijk aan Zee 1993/ CBM 034/[Ftacnik,L] (32)}) 7. Nxd4 a6 {Necessary} (7... e5 $6 8. Ndb5 Na6 {The knight is very awkward on a6.} 9. g3 $5 Bd7 $1 10. Bg2 Bc6 11. O-O Bxg2 12. Kxg2 Bc5 13. Bg5 O-O 14. Rfd1 $16 {1-0 Vul,A (2311)-Nasir,A (2131)/New Delhi IND 2010 (42)}) ({After} 7... Bd7 $6 8. Ndb5 Kd8 {the other option is to put the knight on a6, but as we saw above, this makes no great sense: 1-0 (16) Heimann, A (2557)-Ulibin,M (2520)/Biel SUI 2015(47)}) 8. g3 $1 e5 9. Nb3 $1 Bd7 $1 {Like the Catalan opening, Black has to fight White's potential pressure on the long diagonal.} (9... Nc6 $6 10. Bg2 Be6 11. O-O Bb4 12. Bg5 $14 Bxc3 13. bxc3 Bd5 14. Bxf6 Bxg2 15. Kxg2 gxf6 16. Rfd1 Rc8 17. Nc5 Rc7 18. Rab1 Nd8 19. Rd5 Rg8 20. Rbd1 Ne6 21. Nxe6 fxe6 22. Rd8+ Kf7 23. R1d7+ Rxd7 24. Rxd7+ Kg6 25. Rxb7 Rc8 26. Rb6 a5 27. Rb5 Rxc3 28. Rxa5 {1-0 Barbosa, O (2564)-Landa,K (2645)/Kolkata 2014/CBM 159 Extra (37)}) 10. Bg2 Bc6 {Black still has minor problems to solve, but these are not nearly as big as those that he would have if he let White control the diagonal} 11. O-O (11. Bxc6+ Nxc6 12. Bg5 Bb4 13. Bxf6 Bxc3+ 14. bxc3 gxf6 {and now White is a tempo short to connect rooks as in the game Barbosa -Landa seen above.} 15. O-O-O Rc8 16. Kb2 Ke7 17. Rd3 Rhd8 18. Rhd1 Rxd3 19. Rxd3 Nb8 20. g4 Rg8 21. Rg3 Nd7 {½-½ Vitiugov,N (2736) -Landa,K (2634)/Sochi 2015/Mega2015 Update 25 (58). Krasenkow probably thought that he could improve on this game}) 11... Bb4 $1 {Black has to fight for the d5-square} 12. Bd2 (12. Bg5 {1/2-1/2 (21) Vitiugov,N (2734) -Mamedyarov,S (2753)/Khanty-Mansiysk 2013/CBM 154 Extra (46). White had some pressure, but there were no real chances for win}) 12... Bxg2 13. Kxg2 Nc6 14. Rac1 O-O-O 15. a3 (15. Bg5 $1 Kb8 (15... Bxc3 16. Rxc3 (16. Bxf6 $5) 16... Nd5 17. Rxc6+ bxc6 18. Bxd8 $14) 16. Bxf6 gxf6 17. Ne4 $14 {1/2-1/2 Polugaevsky,L (2630)-Vaganian, R (2540)/Leningrad 1974/URS-ch (26). White's advantage is not that much}) 15... Bxc3 16. Bxc3 Rd5 17. Na5 (17. Nd2 {Would not lead to anything specific for White since:} Kb8 18. Nc4 Ne4 $1 19. Be1 Ng5 $1 $11 {putting the knight on e6}) 17... Nxa5 18. Bxa5+ Kd7 19. b4 Ke6 $11 {Black has easily equalized, Krasenkow pushes some more but Landa played it accurately and the game remained balanced till the end.} 20. Bb6 Rd6 21. Be3 Rhd8 22. a4 Ng4 23. Ba7 f5 24. Rc7 R8d7 25. Rc8 Rd8 26. Rfc1 Nf6 27. R1c7 Rxc8 28. Rxc8 Rd2 29. Rb8 Rd7 30. b5 axb5 31. axb5 Nd5 32. Re8+ Re7 33. Rc8 Rc7 34. Re8+ Re7 35. Rc8 Rc7 36. Re8+ {A neat game!} 1/2-1/2

The unmistakeable sign you are in Holland: windmills!

Time to sail?!

A view close to our hotel, situated on a famous Boulevard where most of the nice cafes,
restaurants and bars are placed

The Guns of Navarone.... 17th century style

Sunbathing is not to be missed in Vlissingen

Final standings

Rk
SNo
Ti.
Name
FED
Rtg
Pts
 TB 
Perf
rtg+/-
1 1 GM Jobava Baadur GEO 2664 8.0 41.5 2745 6.9
2 9 IM Van Foreest Jorden NED 2519 7.5 41.0 2607 10.6
3 11 IM Wan Yunguo CHN 2472 7.0 43.5 2618 18.2
4 7 GM Werle Jan NED 2525 7.0 43.0 2590 9.1
5 3 GM Landa Konstantin RUS 2624 7.0 42.5 2653 5.4
6 4 GM Krasenkow Michal POL 2616 7.0 42.5 2573 -2.1
7 19 FM Ten Hertog Hugo NED 2383 7.0 42.0 2567 43.6
8 14 IM Prasanna Raghuram Rao IND 2424 7.0 40.0 2442 3.3
9 5 GM Moradiabadi Elshan IRI 2587 6.5 43.5 2592 3.3
10 26 IM Palit Somak IND 2345 6.5 42.0 2384 6.9
11 21   Mu Ke CHN 2380 6.5 42.0 2507 17.2
12 8 GM Ikonnikov Vyacheslav RUS 2519 6.5 41.5 2415 -8.0
13 15 IM Leenhouts Koen NED 2422 6.5 41.0 2403 0.1
14 12 GM Ankit R. Rajpara IND 2460 6.5 41.0 2471 3.9
15 28 IM De Jong Migchiel NED 2319 6.5 39.5 2385 9.2
16 10 IM Das Arghyadip IND 2485 6.5 39.5 2408 -5.7
17 45 CM Heltzel Joost NED 2216 6.5 39.0 2378 40.6
18 23 FM Erwich Frank NED 2358 6.5 39.0 2384 12.0
19 32 FM Dardha Arben BEL 2297 6.5 38.5 2419 33.4
20 31   Brink Barry NED 2302 6.5 37.5 2377 20.6
21 25 FM Timmermans Mark NED 2352 6.5 37.0 2378 13.2
22 2 GM Van Wely Loek NED 2654 6.0 44.5 2518 -12.0
23 6 GM Ernst Sipke NED 2544 6.0 44.5 2492 -3.7
24 17 FM Admiraal Miguoel NED 2414 6.0 41.0 2455 6.6
25 18 IM Van Delft Merijn NED 2410 6.0 39.5 2358 -3.1

Click for complete standings

Photo courtesy: Ad Bruijns and IA Frans Peeters


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Logos Logos 8/16/2015 08:56
Nice report. Thank you.
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