NH Chess - Experience wins again

by ChessBase
8/19/2010 – In the sixth round, The Experience team once again outscored the Rising stars, closing the distance to 15.5-14.5. Nakamura beat Ljubojevic to come within a half point of Rising Star leader, Giri. Gelfand continues to stamp his authority, this time beating Howell, and van Wely scored his first NH Chess win after sixteen tries. Round six report with pictures and Gelfand's notes to his game.

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


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

Round six

Round six – Wednesday Aug. 18
Gelfand – Howell
van Wely – Caruana
Svidler – Giri
Heine Nielsen – So
Ljubojevic – Nakamura

Yesterday the participants of the NH Chess Tournament enjoyed a free day. Some of them stayed at the hotel to patch up their opening repertoire or to just rest, others joined the excursion to Hoorn and Twisk, picturesque tourist destinations in the north of Holland. Unfortunately, it rained for most of the day, so while relaxing, it was also somewhat unglamorous. That said, the participants can hardly complain about the beauty of their locale.

The Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, referred to as 'Kras' by the locals, where the
tournament is taking place.

Inside the hotel is the breathtaking Winter Garden restaurant where the players eat.

Amsterdam is a major cultural center, with many museums,
and was the home of the famous Dutch painter, Rembrandt,
immortalized in this statue on Rembrandtplein (Rembrandt Square).

Amsterdam is famous for its canals, initially built in the 14th century, but mostly
added in the 17th, and have created no fewer than 90 islands, all within the city limits.

The hundreds of canals are also crisscrossed by no fewer than 1280 bridges as well.

In the sixth round of the NH Chess Tournament the Experience team defeated the Rising Stars 3-2. Boris Gelfand had a relatively easy day against David Howell, while Loek van Wely scored his first point for the Experience team in his 16th attempt. Hikaru Nakamura limited the damage for the Rising Stars with a win over Ljubomir Ljubojevic. In the overall standings the Rising Stars are leading 15.5-14.5. Anish Giri remains in the lead in the fight for the ticket to the Amber Blindfold and Rapid Tournament, half a point ahead of Rising Stars top-seed Nakamura.

Anish Giri leads the Rising Stars with 4.0/6.

Peter Svidler had no wish to test the Petroff Defence of Anish Giri and so instead of his favourite 1.e4 the Russian grandmaster went for 1.d4. He played ambitiously, but the young Dutchman played precisely and in the end they drew. As Svidler described, ‘The final position I can play forever and will never make any progress.

Ljubo's comeback was forestalled by top-seed Nakamura who struck back to within
a half point of the Rising Stars' lead.

Ljubomir Ljubojevic suffered a painful loss against Hikaru Nakamura. After a decent opening, ‘Ljubo’ gradually accrued several judgment errors which ended in a highly unpleasant rook endgame that the American converted on move 63. With this win the American grandmaster moved into second place in the individual rankings (of the Rising Stars team), only half a point behind front-runner Giri.

The game between Peter Heine Nielsen and Wesley So saw a Grünfeld Defence that led to a complicated middlegame. Black got into some trouble after he overlooked a simple tactic, but gradually equalized and a draw was concluded.

Try and try again, and finally, Loek van Wely scores his first win after sixteen tries
in the NH Chess tournament. Caruana participated in the baptism.

Loek van Wely was pretty relieved after his win over Fabiano Caruana. Finally, after various missed chances last year and this year he finally managed to score his first NH win in sixteen tries. Though the Dutch grandmaster got an edge from the opening, several errors by Caruana were his real downfall, leading to a win by move 53.

David Howell was not able to get past world elite Boris Gelfand, who has so far been
stamping his authority in the tournament with 4.5/6.

Boris Gelfand took the absolute lead in scoring with his win over David Howell, when the young Brit misjudged a novelty he had prepared. Here is the game with Gelfand's own comments from the official site.

Gelfand,B (2739) - Howell,D (2616) [A29]
4th NH Chess Tournament Amsterdam NED (6), 18.08.2010 [Boris Gelfand]

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e5 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.g3 d5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Bg2 Nb6 7.0-0 Be7 8.a3 0-0 9.b4 Be6 10.d3 f6 11.Ne4 This is the opening from the 11th game of the World Championship match between Anand and Topalov this May. 11...a5?N

My opponent tried to improve on Topalov's play with this move, however I think it is premature as it weakens his pawns. 12.Nc5 Bxc5 13.bxc5 Now the b7 pawn becomes vulnerable. With the pawn still on a7, he would have the option of playing b6. 13...Nd7.

Black's plan is to play Bd5 and take control of the diagonal so I played 14.d4! e4. Black could take with 14...exd4 15.Nxd4 Nxc5 but this would be very dangerous because after 16.Nxe6 Nxe6 17.Qb3 I have fantastic compensation for the pawn with the two bishops and the open position. I would play Be3 followed by Rfd1 and Rac1. A kind of Catalan, but a very good kind. 15.Nh4. He now played 15...Bd5, He doesn't have the time to play 15...f5? because of 16.d5, but after 16.Nf5 I take control because the bishop cannot hold its position as the knight will kick it off. 16...Qe8 17.Bf4 is a good intermediary move since he must protect it with 17...Rc8 18.Rb1. It is now difficult for him to protect the position from all sides. 18...g5 I was happy to have provoked this because it weakens the king which will be telling in the long run. If he had played 18...b6 instead, I would have 19.cxb6 Nxb6 20.Bxc7 winning a pawn.; or 18...Ne7 19.Ne3 g5 20.Bd6! cxd6 21.cxd6 Black's position collapses. 19.Bd2 b6 20.Qa4 Qe6 21.Bh3. Another move was 21.Ne3 Ne7 to prevent Bh3 as in the game. (21...bxc5? isn't possible because of 22.dxc5 Nxc5 23.Qb5) 22.Rfc1 and it is very difficult for Black to withstand all this pressure. 21...Kh8.

22.Ne3! The point behind 21.Bh3. 22...Qxh3 23.Nxd5. This exchanges off his strong bishop but more importantly it frees up the option of advancing d5. 23...Qe6 24.Ne3 Ne7 25.Rfd1 Rfd8 26.Rbc1 Nf8. 26...Nd5 is unplayable due to 27.Qb3 Nf8 28.cxb6 and White wins a pawn. 27.cxb6 cxb6 28.Rxc8 The problem is that whichever piece he takes with on c8 is one that helped control the d5 square. 28...Rxc8 29.Qb5 A key move preparing d5. 29...Rd8.

30.d5! The loss of a pawn with 30...Nxd5 is protected by the tactic 31.Bxa5 bxa5. If 31...Nc7 then 32.Qxb6. 32.Rxd5 Rxd5 33.Nxd5 Black's position has so many weaknesses, I believe that a pawn loss is probably forced. 33...a4 34.Ne3. A nice move. It will join the attack now. 34...Qd7 35.Qb4 Qe8 36.Nf5 Kg8 37.Qb7 Qd7 38.Qxe4 Ne6 39.Qc4 Kf8 40.Ne3 Qe7 This blunders a pawn, but even without this the position was absolutely won. 41.Qxa4 1-0 [Click to Replay]

Standings after six rounds
Experience individual score
Gelfand    4.5
Svidler 3.0
Nielsen 2.5
van Wely 2.5
Ljubovich 2.0
  Rising Stars individual score
Giri       4.0
Nakamura 3.5 Caruana 3.0
Howell 2.5
So 2.5

Total: 14.5


Total: 15.5

Photos by John Nunn and NH Chess.


The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse PGN games. New and enhanced: CB Light 2009!

Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register