Fier wins 10th Batavia Tournament

by Merijn van Delft
3/7/2018 – The dMP Batavia tournament (made possible by main sponsor De Melker & Partners), was won by Brazilian GM Alexander Fier, who flew to Amsterdam fresh off his success in the Brazilian Championship last month. Fier also won the blitz tournament for the second straight year. Tournament director and ChessBase contributor, IM Merijn van Delft, sent this recap. | Photos: Lennart Ootes

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A chess party in Amsterdam

The tenth edition of this classical tournament in Amsterdam's Cafe Batavia was extra strong, with all players rated above 2400 Elo. Although there were no GM norms this year (as compared to last year's remarkable two GM norms and one IM norm), the wildly entertaining games and the unique atmosphere made for a great event.

Frozen Amsterdam canal

Cold enough to skate on the canals in Amsterdam! | Photo: Bas Beekhuizen

The most remarkable game of the tournament was played in the very first round. Being the lowest rated player in the tournament didn't prevent local chess artist Manuel Bosboom from beating top seed Ivan Sokolov with the black pieces in amazing style. This game was awarded the best game prize!


Ivan Sokolov Manuel Bosboom

Two veterans of the Amsterdam chess scene | Photos: Lennart Ootes

With good opening preparation and fast play Alexandr Fier convincingly took the sole lead with two out of two. In the third round, the coolest endgame of the tournament was played between, of course, Alexandr Fier and Manuel Bosboom. Just count the number of exchange sacrifices!


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After five rounds, going into the rest day, the standings were:

1) Fier 4
2) Sokolov
3) Bosboom 3
4-7) Kevlishvili, Nijboer, Zatonskih, Santos Ruiz
8-10) Beerdsen, Kashlinskaya, Vrolijk

So, it was time for Robby Kevlishvili to go "all-in" with the white pieces against the tournament leader.


Kevlishvili vs Fier

An archetypal Batavia scene: Watching Kevlishvili vs Fier | Photo: Bas Beekhuizen

In the seventh round, there was a critical game which basically decided the tournament:


Friso Nijboer

With this draw, the Brazilian Champion kept his half a point lead, which eventually was enough for the tournament victory. In the final two rounds, Ivan Sokolov faced the two women in the field, Anna Zatonskih and Alina Kashlinskaya, who were both having a tough tournament, but both games were drawn after a stubborn fight.

The third grandmaster, Friso Nijboer [photo: Lennart Ootes], no longer plays chess full-time, but enjoyed his participation and got back to 50% in the final hour of play.

After his very impressive unbeaten two out of three start against the three grandmasters, Manuel Bosboom started running out of steam and in fact finished with a disappointing zero for four against the four youngsters. This new generation — Thomas Beerdsen (19), Miguel Santos Ruiz (18), Robby Kevlishvili (16) and Liam Vrolijk (15) — played remarkably pragmatically. Likely influenced by the modern fast time controls and frequent double-rounds, the kids play fast and solid, but their play lacks some strategical depth every now and then.

Liam Vrolijk

15-year-old Liam Vrolijk an FM rated 2433 | Photo: Lennart Ootes

At the prizegiving, the dates for next year were announced: February 28th — March 10th, 2019.

Final standings


All games


Final standings (Blitz tournament)


All games (blitz tournament)



Merijn van Delft is an International Master from the Netherlands who lived in Hamburg for many years and is currently based in Amsterdam. After scoring a GM norm in 2017 he is eager for more. His ChessBase show on Wednesday evenings has been running for over ten years now.


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