Amsterdam: Rising Stars beat Experience 28-22

8/30/2006 – After a fighting start the "Experience" team could not hold up against the onslaught of the "Rising Stars" in the NH Chess Tournament in Amsterdam. The final score was 28-22 for the youngsters, with Magnus Carlsen achieving the highest individual score to win a place in next year's Amber tournament in Monaco. Final report.

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The NH Chess Tournament was held from August 19 to 29 in the NH Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky in the center of Amsterdam, by the NH hotel chain and the Association Max Euwe, Monaco. It was a Scheveningen team tournament, with one team called "Experience" and the other "Rising Stars". The average ages were 51.8 and 17.6, the average ratings 2590 and 2614. Full details of the event.


Amsterdam, view from the Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, where the event was held


The "grachten", concentric canals dug around the old city centre


The famous bridges over the grachten in the central part of Amsterdam

Round eight

Sunday August 27 Round 8
Nunn-Karjakin ½-½
Jussupow-Carlsen 0-1
Beliavsky-Wang Hao ½-½
Andersson-Stellwagen ½-½
Ljubojevic-Smeets 1-0

With one win each the teams of the "Rising Stars" and "Experience" reached a 2.5-2.5 tie. Magnus Carlsen took an important step in the fight for the invitation to the 2007 Amber Blindfold and Rapid Tournament in Monaco. Thanks to his win over Jussupow, the Norwegian moved to one and a half points ahead of his closest pursuers Sergey Karjakin and Wang Hao.


German GM Artur Jussupow facing Norwegian wonderboy Magnus Carlsen

After three hours into the round the first game was decided. Ljubomir Ljubojevic fully exploited Jan Smeets' risky opening play and blew up Black's position in 27 moves. The second win of the day was a continuation of the Magnus Carlsen show that once again thrilled the audience. Playing with the black pieces the 15-year-old Norwegian defeated Artur Jussupow.


Ljubomir Ljubojevic showing his win against Smeets to the audience

The remaining three games of this lively round were drawn, but certainly not without a fight. On the contrary. At first John Nunn achieved less than nothing against the Sicilian Najdorf of Sergey Karjakin, but when the Ukrainian grandmaster made a number of lesser moves Nunn got a highly promising position that soon was winning. But now it was his turn to spoil his (much bigger) advantage, and after 64 moves the point was shared. As Karjakin's second Ruslan Ponomariov summarized: "They like to make presents to each other. In their first game John was lost and escaped with a draw, now it was the other way round."


The battle royale: John Nunn vs Sergey Karjakin

Round nine

Monday August 28 Round 9
Karjakin-Jussupow 1-0
Carlsen-Beliavsky 0-1
Wang Hao-Andersson ½-½
Stellwagen-Ljubojevic ½-½
Smeets-Nunn 1-0

With one round to go the Rising Stars increased their lead over the Experience team to five points, winning 3-2 in round nine. In the overall standings the lead was 25-20.

The big shocker of the day was Magnus Carlsen's loss as White against Alexander Beliavsky. After his impressive play of the past days the Norwegian youngster clearly had an off-day. After the opening several grandmasters in the press room felt Carlsen was fine, but the ruthless computer begged to differ and preferred Black's chances. As the game proceeded it became increasingly clear that the computer had been more exact in its judgement as White got serious problems with his e4 pawn. Beliavsky laid siege to the weak pawn and combining several threats he deftly exploited his advantage. Once he had won a pawn the result looked a foregone conclusion and indeed the Slovenian grandmaster hauled in the point with a steady hand. With this win Beliavsky increased his score to an impressive 6 out of 9, easily the best performance on the Experience team.


Fighting to catch Carlsen: Sergey Karjakin, Ukraine

Carlsen's loss was good news for Sergey Karjakin, who managed to close the gap between him and the Norwegian to one point thanks to his win over Artur Jussupow. The Ukrainian former prodigy came to the game highly motivated, as he felt it was high time to score a full point again. After all his last and only win dated back to Round 4. Moreover, he knew that he had a strong novelty in store against the French Defence that Jussupow played here in various games. The novelty was cooked up by his second Ruslan Ponomariov, who had a hard time remaining silent in the press room when Jussupow was playing these earlier games.


Karjakin's second, former FIDE world champion Ruslan Ponomariov

The third decisive game of the day was Jan Smeets' win against John Nunn. As expected they waged battle in a long theoretical line of the Sicilian Najdorf.

Round ten

Tuesday August 29 Round 10
Beliavsky-Karjakin ½-½
Andersson-Carlsen ½-½
Ljubojevic-Wang Hao ½-½
Nunn-Stellwagen ½-½
Jussupow-Smeets 0-1

In the final round of the NH Chess Tournament the youngsters increased their lead by one more point thanks to a 3-2 win. The members of the winning team won 2000 € each, the members of the losing team won 1000 € each.

The most important extra prize for the Rising Stars was claimed by Magnus Carlsen, who scored 6.5 points. The Norwegian will be invited to play in the 2007 Amber Blindfold and Rapid Tournament in Monaco. Sergey Karjakin and a companion of his choice will be invited to Monaco to attend the event as spectators. Wang Hao won the third extra prize, a Sony VAIO laptop computer.


Deepest concentration by the VAIO winner Wang Hao

'Unbelievable. There's just one forced draw in the Queen's Gambit Accepted and that's what we got on the board.' Sergey Karjakin was visibly unhappy after his game against Alexander Beliavsky had ended in a draw after a mere 10 moves. Obviously the Ukrainian had hoped to play a fighting game to put pressure on Carlsen, who he was trailing by half a point at the start of this last round. Now he knew that only a loss of the Norwegian would keep his hopes alive.


Sergey Karjakin vs Alexander Beliavsky in the final round

After Karjakin's draw Magnus Carlsen knew that a draw against Ulf Andersson would suffice to earn the eagerly desired invitation to Monaco. Before the game he had decided to see how his game against Andersson would develop and if at a certain point the position would be equal, and half a point would be enough, he intended to offer a draw. And that's exactly what happened. After 29 moves Carlsen's mission was accomplished. Seven months from now he will make his debut in the Amber Blindfold and Rapid tournament in Monaco.


The Scandinavians: Ulf Andersson vs Magnus Carlsen

John Nunn drew the last game from his active career against Daniel Stellwagen. Perhaps the English grandmaster had hoped that his farewell game would be more lively, now he limited himself to a short '"boring" one when he was asked to describe his final exploit.


John Nunn in the last active game in his career (against Daniel Stellwagen)

The last game to finish was also the liveliest fight of the day. Artur Jussupow and Jan Smeets conducted a heated discussion in the Meran Defence. With 18.dxe6 the German grandmaster embarked on great complications, pinning his hopes on the restricting powers of the passed pawn he got on d7. On the other side of the board, Smeets did his best to prove that this pawn was mainly a weakness. In the end Black was proven right and after 46 moves Smeets won his fourth game.

Final Score: "Rising Stars" 28 – "Experience" 22

Individual results

Both veteran Beliavsky and youngster Carlsen finished with 6.5 our of 10, both won four games, drew five and lost one. But Beliavsky faced opponents with a higher average rating, so his performace came to 2721 vs 2697 for Magnus Carlsen. Sergey Karjakin's 6.0/10 was actually slightly lower than you would expect from his 2679 rating, the highest in the tournament.

All results

First half

   

Second half

 
Saturday August 19 Round 1
 
Friday August 25 Round 6
Karjakin-Andersson ½-½   Andersson-Karjakin ½-½
Carlsen-Ljubojevic ½-½   Ljubojevic-Carlsen ½-½
Wang Hao-Nunn ½-½   Nunn-Wang Hao 0-1
Stellwagen-Jussupow 0-1   Jussupow-Stellwagen ½-½
Smeets-Beliavsky 0-1   Beliavsky-Smeets 1-0
Sunday August 20 Round 2
 
Saturday August 26 Round 7
Ljubojevic-Karjakin ½-½   Karjakin-Ljubojevic ½-½
Nunn-Carlsen 0-1   Carlsen-Nunn 1-0
Jussupow-Wang Hao ½-½   Wang Hao-Jussupow ½-½
Beliavsky-Stellwagen 0-1   Stellwagen-Beliavsky ½-½
Andersson-Smeets ½-½   Smeets-Andersson 1-0
Monday August 21 Round 3
 
Sunday August 27 Round 8
Karjakin-Nunn ½-½   Nunn-Karjakin ½-½
Carlsen-Jussupow ½-½   Jussupow-Carlsen 0-1
Wang Hao-Beliavsky 0-1   Beliavsky-Wang Hao ½-½
Stellwagen-Andersson ½-½   Andersson-Stellwagen ½-½
Smeets-Ljubojevic 1-0   Ljubojevic-Smeets 1-0
Tuesday August 22 Round 4
 
Monday August 28 Round 9
Jussupow-Karjakin 0-1   Karjakin-Jussupow 1-0
Beliavsky-Carlsen ½-½   Carlsen-Beliavsky 0-1
Andersson-Wang Hao ½-½   Wang Hao-Andersson ½-½
Ljubojevic-Stellwagen ½-½   Stellwagen-Ljubojevic ½-½
Nunn-Smeets 1-0   Smeets-Nunn 1-0
Wed. August 23 Round 5
 
Tuesday August 29 Round 10
Karjakin-Beliavsky ½-½   Beliavsky-Karjakin ½-½
Carlsen-Andersson 1-0   Andersson-Carlsen ½-½
Wang Hao-Ljubojevic 1-0   Ljubojevic-Wang Hao ½-½
Stellwagen-Nunn ½-½   Nunn-Stellwagen ½-½
Smeets-Jussupow ½-½   Jussupow-Smeets 0-1

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