Rising Stars increase their lead in Amsterdam

by ChessBase
8/27/2006 – In round six the "Experience" team was able to hold on and leave the two-point deficit unchanged. But in round seven Magnus Carlsen and Jan Smeets struck out for the "Rising Stars" and increased the lead to four points. The score is now 19.5 to 15.5, with young Carlsen's performance reaching a stellar 2747. Illustrated report.

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The NH Chess Tournament is being staged 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. The event is a Scheveningen team tournament, with one team called "Experience" and the other "Rising Stars". The average ages are 51.8 and 17.6, the average ratings 2590 and 2614. Here are full details of the event.

Round six

Friday August 25 Round 6
Andersson-Karjakin ½-½
Ljubojevic-Carlsen ½-½
Nunn-Wang Hao 0-1
Jussupow-Stellwagen ½-½
Beliavsky-Smeets 1-0

Before this round the "Rising Stars" were leading the "Experience" team by two points. With one win for each side in round six the overall difference remained unchanged, with the score now at 16-14 in favour of the Rising Stars.

The most spectacular game of the day was the one between John Nunn and Wang Hao (picture above). The Chinese youngster was happy with the opening as it followed his preparation and he began to think about winning chances when Nunn adventurously moved his a-pawn all the way to a6. The game became highly complicated after Wan Hao's stunning 17th move, 17…Nc3. Black grabbed the initiative and managed to maintain it with clever play. After he had scored his first win in the tournament, Wan Hao explained the game in the commentary room and won over the audience with his objective approach. In great detail he pointed at the moments where his opponent could have created better chances to fight for the draw, but, not sparing himself he didn't forget to mention his own inaccuracies either. However, all in all, everyone agreed that Wang Hao had scored a well-deserved point.

Wang showing his game against Nunn in the press room

The second game that ended in a decision was the encounter between Alexander Beliavsky and Jan Smeets. Beliavsky started the game with a quiet kingside fianchetto, deliberately avoiding the Slav Defence that his opponent knows so well. This approach didn't bring the Slovenian grandmaster much and after the opening it was Smeets who had the more pleasant game. Everything changed after the Dutchman erred with 27…Rhd8 where 27…Ke7 would still have guaranteed him an edge. Two moves later Smeets compounded his problems with 29…Rd6 and a further two moves later the game was over after the cruncher 31.Nf5. With this third win (against one loss) Beliavsky kept the lead in the individual standings of the "Experience" team with an excellent score of 4 out of 6.

Round seven

Saturday August 26 Round 7
Karjakin-Ljubojevic ½-½
Carlsen-Nunn 1-0
Wang Hao-Jussupow ½-½
Stellwagen-Beliavsky ½-½
Smeets-Andersson 1-0

The "Rising Stars" beat the "Experience" team 3.5-1.5, and widened the gap in the overall standings to four points. The first win of the day was Magnus Carlsen's victory over John Nunn. The Norwegian's plan was to avoid mainline theory and steer for a position where he could "play". With 14.Ne1 they had reached the desired new position and in the ensuing moves White clearly got the upper hand. Apart from that, Carlsen also took a one-hour lead on the clock after 20 moves. After the game he was critical of Black's plan to search activity on the queenside with the advance of the a-pawn and after 23…Ra5 (better was 23…Qb5) White won a pawn. The game entered its decisive phase with 36.Bd6 (Carlsen: "Here I calculated a little.") which led to a winning endgame for White. The rest was a matter of technique, as they say, and after 45 moves Nunn had to resign.

Where are all these young geniuses coming from? Carlsen vs Nunn in round seven

Jan Smeets managed to defeat Ulf Andersson. As expected Andersson again relied on the Rubinstein variation of the French Defence. Smeets deviated by castling queenside and with precise play he maintained the pressure on Black's position. His advantage became decisive when he managed to penetrate to b6 with his king. Soon afterwards Black's position collapsed.

Jan Smeets convincing against the legendary Ulf Andersson

On the free day the players took an outing on a boat which cruised through Amsterdam's famous "grachten". These are concentric, semi-circular canals which were dug around the old city centre.

Wang Hao (right) and his trainer on the glass-topped sight-seeing boat

Artur Jussupow and guest Yasser Seirawan on the boat trip

Friends and rivals: Daniel Stellwagen and Sergey Karjakin

Individual results

The overall score is now Rising Stars 19.5, Experience 15.5. Magnus Carlsen is still in the lead, not having lost a game so far, while winning three (two against John Nunn). His performance so far is a stellar 2747, which pushes him ever closer to the 2700 mark people are predicting. The second best performer is veteran Alexander Beliavsky with 2698.

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 -
Carlsen-Jussupow ½-½   Jussupow-Carlsen -
Wang Hao-Beliavsky 0-1   Beliavsky-Wang Hao -
Stellwagen-Andersson ½-½   Andersson-Stellwagen -
Smeets-Ljubojevic 1-0   Ljubojevic-Smeets -
Tuesday August 22 Round 4
Monday August 28 Round 9
Jussupow-Karjakin 0-1   Karjakin-Jussupow -
Beliavsky-Carlsen ½-½   Carlsen-Beliavsky -
Andersson-Wang Hao ½-½   Wang Hao-Andersson -
Ljubojevic-Stellwagen ½-½   Stellwagen-Ljubojevic -
Nunn-Smeets 1-0   Smeets-Nunn -
Wed. August 23 Round 5
Tuesday August 29 Round 10
Karjakin-Beliavsky ½-½   Beliavsky-Karjakin -
Carlsen-Andersson 1-0   Andersson-Carlsen -
Wang Hao-Ljubojevic 1-0   Ljubojevic-Wang Hao -
Stellwagen-Nunn ½-½   Nunn-Stellwagen -
Smeets-Jussupow ½-½   Jussupow-Smeets -


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