NH Chess - Experience versus Rising Stars

by ChessBase
8/15/2010 – The 2010 edition of this high level tournament has started, and is a double round-robin team match between a team of experienced veterans and a team of rising stars. Team Experience is composed of Gelfand, Svidler, Heine Nielsen, Van Wely, and Ljubojevic, and face on the other side Nakamura, Caruana, So, Giri, and Howell. After three rounds the teenagers lead 9.5-5.5. Here is the report.

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The tournament is a double round-robin Schveningen type match in which the players of each team plays each and every player of the other team twice for a total of ten rounds.

1. Rate of play: At least 40 moves in two hours, followed by 30 minutes for the remaining moves.
In this second period 30 seconds are added on the clock per move.

2. Prize-fund: each player of the winning team receives € 2000, the players of the losing team receive € 1000 each. In case of a 25 – 25 tie, each player receives € 1500.
In addition each player receives € 500 for each point he scores.

3. Special prizes for the ‘Rising Stars’ team: the player with the highest score will be invited to the 2011 Amber Blindfold and Rapid Tournament in Nice, provided he or she scores over 50% in the NH Chess Tournament in Amsterdam. In case his or her score is 50% or less, he (she) and a partner of his choice will be invited to attend the 2011 Amber tournament as a guest. In case two players reach the same (best) score, a blitz tiebreaker will decide who will be invited to the 2011 Amber tournament as a player or a guest.
The runner-up of the ‘Rising Stars’ team will be invited to attend the 2011 Amber tournament with a partner of his choice during the final week of the event.
The number 3 ‘Rising Star’ will receive a Sony Vaio Notebook


Team Experience

Boris Gelfand
Peter Svidler
Peter Heine Nielsen
Loek van Wely
Ljubomir Ljubojevic

Team Rising Stars

Hikaru Nakamura
Fabiano Caruana
Wesley So
Anish Giri
David Howell

The overall theme of the tourament is not new, but nor does it have to be as these events always hold great interest as established lions, This includes current top crop such as Gelfand, Svidler, as well as Loek van Wely, and Peter Heine Nielsen, who was last year's top scorer for Team Experience, and more recently was one of Anand's seconds in his title defense against Topalov, and a representative of an older generation of cutthroat grandmasters, Ljubomir Ljubojevic. Before discarding him due to his rating, it is worth mentioning that he had a plus score in the 2009 edition of this very same tournament.

On the Rising Star front, there is Nakamura, the only non-teen on the team, and 2009 US champion, followed by teen wonders Caruana, So, and Giri, who have already begun filling out impressive curriculums. Completing the team is 19-year-old David Howell, the 2009 British champion.

Rounds one to three

In the first round of the NH Chess Tournament the Experience team and the Rising Stars each won one game, while the remaining three games were drawn. Hikaru Nakamura defeated Ljubomir Ljubojevic, who lost track in time-trouble. Boris Gelfand balanced the score with an instructive win over David Howell, who collapsed in a complex queen ending.

Nakamura ponders his move, while Lujubojevic, in the background, is studying the
game between Caruana and Van Wely.

In the second round of the NH Chess Tournament the Rising Stars team took the lead over the Experience team thanks to a win by David Howell over the luckless Ljubomir Ljubojevic. In the first round, the Serbian grandmaster had already used too much time with fatal consequences, but this time he really overdid it. After 12 moves he had only 28 minutes left, whereas his opponent more than an hour and a half.

David Howell waiting for Ljubojevic to play. The Serb would take over an hour for
his next few moves.

At this point, Vlastimil Hort left the press room saying that he was going for a siesta and predicting that when he came back Ljubojevic would be in terrible time-trouble. In fact it was even worse. Before Hort returned, Howell had taken over the initiative and once the English grandmaster opened up the position, Ljubojevic not only had very little time, but a problematic position to boot. On move 30, with his back against the wall, he lost on time.

Nakamura,Hi (2729) - Ljubojevic,L (2572) [B33]
4th NH Chess Tournament Amsterdam NED (1), 12.08.2010

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Nb3 Bg7 7.Be2 0-0 8.0-0 b6 9.f4 Bb7 10.Bf3 Qc8 11.Be3 Rd8 12.Rf2 d5 13.exd5 e6 14.d6 Nb4 15.Rd2 Bxf3 16.Qxf3 Nbd5 17.Nxd5 exd5 18.c3 Rxd6 19.a4 Qc4 20.Nd4 Re8 21.Kh1 Rd7 22.Rdd1 Rde7 23.Bg1 a6 24.Qd3 Qc8 25.Nf3 25.Nf3.

25...Re4?! Ljubojevic's first complaint when he walked out of the playing hall was that he never should have given his pawn on b6. And turning to his opponent, who was walking next to him, "I was better, right?" Nakamura didn't agree completely and said that he wasn't so sure that Black had been better, but once they sat down to analyze the game he consented, although he believed that it wasn't easy at all to exploit Black's advantage. 25...Nh5 26.Qxd5 (26.Bxb6? Re2 27.Qxd5 Nxf4-/+) 26...Nxf4=/+ 26.Bxb6 Rxf4 27.Bg1 Rfe4 28.a5 Bh6 29.Rf1 Qb7 30.b4 Ng4.

31.b5! Nakamura finds the best move and also one that gives Lujubojevic a difficult quandry: how should he take? Though he chose to take with the queen, a mistake, the answer is that the best move is to actually not touch the pawn, as unpleasant as b6 looks and is. 31...Qxb5? 31...Be3 Despite the decidedly unpleasant appearance of 32.b6 it doesnt lose outright, whereas taking is clearly worse. 32...Bxg1 33.Kxg1+/=; 31...axb5 32.a6 Qc6 33.Nd4 Qc4 34.Qxc4 bxc4 35.a7 Ra8 36.Nc6 Re6 37.Rfb1 Rxc6 38.Rb8+ Rc8 39.Rxc8+ Rxc8 40.a8Q+- 32.Qxb5 axb5 33.Rfb1 Be3 34.Bxe3 Nxe3 35.a6 Kg7 36.Nd4 b4 37.a7 bxc3 38.Rb8 R8e7 39.a8Q Ng4 40.Nf3 c2 41.h3 1-0

In the third round of the NH Chess Tournament the Rising Stars swept the Experience team 4-1. Hikaru Nakamura improved his personal score to 2.5/3 with a win over Peter Heine Nielsen, David Howell posted his second consecutive win in a wild time-trouble fight with Loek van Wely, while Fabiano Caruana uncorked a strong novelty he had found two months earlier. As his second Boris Avrukh said admiringly, ‘No engine suggests this move’.

Fabiano Caruana uncorked and converted a strong novelty against Peter Svidler
taking his score to 2.0/3.

Caruana,F (2697) - Svidler,P (2734) [D86]
4th NH Chess Tournament Amsterdam NED (3), 14.08.2010

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Bc4 c5 8.Ne2 Nc6 9.Be3 0-0 10.0-0 Qc7 11.Rc1 Rd8 12.Bf4 Be5 13.Bxe5 Nxe5 14.Bb3 Ng4 15.Ng3 Qf4.

16.Qe1!N Nf6 17.e5 Nd5 18.Bxd5 Rxd5 19.c4 Rd8 19...Rxd4 20.Ne2 20.d5 b5 21.Qa5 Bd7 22.Rfe1 Be8 22...Qd4 23.e6 fxe6 24.Rcd1! Qf6 25.dxe6 (Caruana) 23.cxb5 Rxd5 24.b6 Rd2 25.Ne4 Rb2 26.Qxc5 Rxb6 27.Qxe7 Bc6 28.Nf6+ Kg7 29.Rf1 h6 30.Rc3 Rab8 31.Qc5 Ra6 32.Qd6 Rbb6 33.Re3 Rxa2.

34.Nh5+! gxh5 35.Rg3+ Qxg3 35...Kh7 36.Qf8 36.Qf6+ Kg8 37.hxg3 Be4 38.Qd8+ Kh7 39.Rc1 Bf5 40.Rc7 Be6 41.Rxa7 Rxa7 42.Qxb6 Ra4 43.Qb1+ Kg7 44.f4 Ra5 45.Qd1 1-0

The overall score after three rounds is 9½-5½ in favor of the Rising Stars.


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