Hoogeveen matches all tied

by Macauley Peterson
10/24/2018 – Peter Svidler lost the opening game of his six-game match against Sam Shankland, but in game two he was able to fight back and win with white. Tuesday's game ended drawn. In the second match between Jorden van Foreest and Vladimir Fedoseev the point was shared for the third time, meaning both matches are all tied up at the halfway mark. Wednesday is a rest day in the matches, but the Open games are live. | Photos: Official site

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Svidler recovers

Sam Shankland took the lead in the Hoogeveen Chess Festival competition on the first day of the match against Peter Svidler, but the St. Petersburg super-GM immediately struck back the next day. In a symmetrical English opening, the US grandmaster never found a safe haven for his king. 


Here, the computer likes the odd-looking 21.Qd2, eyeing the weak dark squares in the Black camp with Qf4 or Qh6 to follow. Svidler went for the more logical 21.Bf4 which challenges Black to ignore the fact that he just recently played his rook to b8 move it once again 21...Rbc8 when White has annoying pressure.

Shankland's option was significantly worse: 21...Bd6 22.Bxd6 Qxd6 23.Rfd1 and now White's initiative coupled with Black's weak king is enough for Svidler to win fairly quickly. 


Svidler's 27.Qh6 is an attractive move, leaving the rook en prise by taking advantage of the skewer on the 7th rank. It was only a matter of time. 1-0 (34 moves).

The playing hall

Nice pawn in the playing hall | Photo: Hoogeveen Chess

Game 3 had sigificantly fewer fireworks. The players followed the game of Vladimir Kramnik vs Anish Giri from Norway Chess 2016 (among others) through move 12.


Svidler prefered 12...Bg4 over Giri's 12...Qc7, giving up the c-pawn in exchange for major piece activity. The key moment came a few moves later, when black played 16...Rfd8:


According to Peter Boel writing for the tournament website, "17.Nb3 'looked scary', Svidler thought. 'But it doesn't work', Shankland replied immediately, giving the line: 17...Qxd1 18.Rfxd1 Rxd1+ 19.Rxd1 Rxc4 20.Rd8+ Bf8 21.Bd4 and now 21...Ra4 saves Black: 22.Bxf6 exf6 23.Nc5 Rxa2 24.Nd7 Kg7 25.Nxf8 and now White's knight doesn't get out. Perhaps White can get a pawn for it but this should be an easy draw.

In the game, Shankland played 17.Bc3 which led to full equality for Svidler after 17...Bh6 18.f4 Ne4 19.Nxe4 Qxe4. But there was one final moment worth pondering before the draw was signed:

23...Rxc3? 24.Qc8! 'A devilish trick', Shankland grinned.

But in the game, after 23...Qf3 24.Bd4 Rxc1 25.Rxc1 Bf8 26.Rc8 Ra8 27.Rxa8 Qxa8 28.Be3 a draw was agreed.

'A pretty OK game', Svidler said. 'Of course it's better if you know everything and you don't have to work it all out over the board.' 'Anyway the level of the three games has been pretty good so far', Shankland ventured. 'Yes', Svidler agreed. 'In the first game, Sam played much better, in the second I played slightly better...' 'Much better', Shankland interrupted. 'Of course if both sides play good all games should end in a draw, but still it was OK.' And off they went to grab a bite to eat together.

Shankland and Svidler

Svidler is back to even but will need to win the match to remain in the world's top 20 | Photo: Hoogeveen Chess

In the second match between Jorden van Foreest and Vladimir Fedoseev all three games have ended drawn. We looked at the first game, and in game two the story was similar — White had some chances (van Foreest this time) but didn't find the most incisive moves at a key moment.


Van Foreest went for 42.b5 but axb5 43.axb5 Ne7 left him with a weak b-pawn and no winning prospects. A better try was 42.Bf2 when Black is lacking a useful move. E.g. 42...Qd2 43.Bc5 threatens b5 more strongly since the knight lacks the e7 square, while 42...Ne7 43.Qe6! forces a favourable queen endgame after 43...Qd2 44.Qxe7 Qxf2 45.Qxb7 Qxf4 46.a5.

Wednesday is a rest day for the Hoogeveen matches, although there is still action in Round 6 of the Open.

All match games


Amin and Kryakvin lead the Open

In the Open, Azerbaijan's Gadir Guseinov led the field with 4 out of 4, but he was beaten on board one in round five by the Egyptian number one Bassem Amin. Amin won a pawn in a rook and minor piece ending, and Guseinov was banking on his far advanced passed f-pawn: 


But in this position right after the time control at move 40, the f-pawn is dropping off. Guseinov tried 41...f2 relying on the tactic 42.Rxd1 Rd2 to win back his piece, but 43.Rf1 Rxd4 44.Ke3! forces a winning rook ending.

Amin and Guseinov

Guseinov (right) is now one of six players trailing by half a point | Photo: Hoogeveen chess

There's a Van Foreest in the Open section as well. No, it's not Jorden's younger brother, GM Lucas van Foreest, but their even younger sister, eleven-year-old Machtheld van Foreest who currently sits in place 72 with 1½/5. She is among the best in the world for her age and with such a chess-loving family it already seems clear that one day she will play a prominent role among women in international chess. 

Machtheld van Foreest

Open standings after Round 5 (top 10)

Rk. SNo     Naam FED RtgI  TB1   TB2   TB3  n w we w-we K rtg+/-
1 1
GM Amin Bassem EGY 2686 4,5 2804 4 5 4,5 3,93 0,57 10 5,7
2 6
GM Kryakvin Dmitry RUS 2595 4,5 2721 4 5 4,5 3,93 0,57 10 5,7
3 3
GM Guseinov Gadir AZE 2667 4,0 2701 4 5 4 3,64 0,36 10 3,6
4 5
GM Van Den Doel Erik NED 2607 4,0 2656 3 5 4 3,58 0,42 10 4,2
5 4
GM Romanov Evgeny RUS 2614 4,0 2650 4 5 4 3,69 0,31 10 3,1
6 2
GM Safarli Eltaj AZE 2676 4,0 2637 3 5 4 4,08 -0,08 10 -0,8
7 7
GM Pruijssers Roeland NED 2501 4,0 2604 3 5 4 3,33 0,67 10 6,7
8 12
IM Karthikeyan P. IND 2443 4,0 2554 4 5 4 3,31 0,69 10 6,9
9 9
IM Kuipers Stefan NED 2467 3,5 2557 3 5 3,5 2,83 0,67 10 6,7
10 17
IM Van Delft Merijn NED 2381 3,5 2498 3 5 3,5 2,59 0,91 10 9,1

...82 Players

All Open games


Andre Schulz contributed reporting


Macauley served as the Editor in Chief of ChessBase News from July 2017 to March 2020. He is the producer of The Full English Breakfast chess podcast, and was an Associate Producer of the 2016 feature documentary, Magnus.


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