Roeland Pruijssers wins 10th Leiden Open

by Sagar Shah
7/28/2016 – The Leiden Chess Tournament was into its tenth year and the organizers decided to spice things up by inviting the Dutch GM Loek van Wely to participate in the tournament. Although King Loek was the strongest player at the event, it was GM Roeland Pruijssers who emerged victorious. In the first part of our report from Leiden we have a lot of interesting game analyses, including comments sent to us by the winner himself. Big illustrated report.

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Roeland Pruijssers wins 10th Leiden Open

Report by Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal from Leiden

What is the significance of the above picture (by Lubomir Kavalek)? We see Boris Spassky watching a game between Mikhail Botvinnik and Jan Hein Donner. Apart from the fact that you can see two World Champions in it, this was the last tournament of Botvinnik’s chess career. It was a quadruple round robin tournament held in 1970 between the former World Champion Mikhail Botvinnik, the then reigning World Champion Boris Spassky, the tournament expert Bent Larsen and the strongest Dutch player Jan Hein Donner. And can you guess where this tournament was held?

The four great champions – Larsen, Donner, Botvinnin and Spassky – matched their wits against each other in Leiden, in 1970!

The beautiful city of Leiden, which has formed on an artificial hill at the confluence of the rivers Old and New Rhine, has a rich tradition of chess

The Leiden University is the oldest in the Netherlands. It has seven faculties, over 50 departments and enjoys an outstanding international reputation

Although Leiden could boast of such a strong tournament, where Spassky, Botvinnik and Larsen participated, it was a one-off affair. In order to develop the chess scene in the city there was a need for a strong tournament to be held on a regular basis.

In 2007 Jan Bey, along with friends, decided to stage a strong international open in Leiden

The sheer determination of Jan Bey and his organizational team made sure that the event was held every year, and in 2016 it reached its tenth edition. The importance of this tournament cannot be underestimated. In a city with a population of around 120 thousand people the Leiden Chess Tournament is making sure that new talents are unearthed and nurtured.

The organizers made sure that the tenth edition would be a memorable one by inviting two Dutch legends to participate in the tournament: Loek van Wely and Peng Zhaoqin

After our tournament in Porticcio, Corsica which ended in the first week of July, Amruta and I made our way to the Leiden Open. The easiest way to reach Leiden is to take a flight to Amsterdam and from the Schiphol airport you have a direct train that reaches Leiden Central station in 15 minutes.

We reached a week prior to the start of the tournament. This gave us enough time to get acclimatized to the place and weather. On a Saturday morning when Amruta and I were strolling through the unusually crowded and lively market of Leiden, we saw a man in his fifties walking with his wife. I tried to recollect the face. I had seen him somewhere. In fact I had even written a report on him. And then it struck me! Predrag Nikolic! It was such a joy to see this famous GM in the flesh.

There were five days left for the start of the Leiden Chess Tournament but we had already met an extremely strong chess player on the streets of Leiden. Predrag Nikolic has beaten almost every elite player including Karpov, Anand, Topalov, Kamsky, you name it, in the past. He and his wife now live in Leiderdorp in Leiden.

The 10th Leiden Chess Tournament was held from the 15th to 25th of July 2016. It was a nine-round Swiss tournament with the participation of 64 players in the A category (>1900). There was also a B category tournament for players below the Elo of 1950. The schedule of the tournament was excellent with a single round each day and a rest day after five rounds. The time control was one and a half hour for forty moves, with an addition of thirty minutes, and an increment of 30 seconds from move one. Eight grandmasters and eight International Masters and players from fourteen countries took part in the event. The prize fund of the A category was €5,500 with a first prize of €1,750.

Loek van Wely with his newly born son Nicholas. The little guy is just six weeks old

King Loek was the favourite to win the tournament. With a rating of 2662, he was the strongest player at the event by quite a margin. Loek came with his wife and his son – it was some sort of a vacation for the family. On the one hand, with complete focus and concentration van Wely could have won the tournament, but on the other it is quite hard to be away from your cute little six week old son! In spite of all this, things were going quite smoothly for him during the first half. He was on 4.0/5 and had drawn his games against second and third seeds Evgeny Postny and Sandipan Chanda. The sixth round was the turning point for van Wely as he lost a complex battle to the eighteen-year-old talented Dutch youngster Thomas Beerdsen.

[Event "Leiden Chess Tournament"] [Site "DC Leiden"] [Date "2016.07.22"] [Round "6"] [White "Beerdsen, Thomas"] [Black "Van Wely, Loek"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B51"] [WhiteElo "2414"] [BlackElo "2662"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "91"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:26:39"] [BlackClock "0:27:37"] {18-year-old Thomas Beerdsen is a talented player from the Netherlands. To beat van Wely is a great result for the young boy.} 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Nd7 4. O-O Ngf6 5. Re1 a6 6. Bd3 b5 7. c4 g5 $5 {Loek van Wely never shys away from a fight. This line has been popular at the highest level, as it was tried first by Topalov and then by Grischuk against none other than Magnus Carlsen.} 8. Nxg5 Ne5 9. Be2 bxc4 10. Na3 {Beerdsen goes for Carlsen's approach in the first game against Topalov. Although it is well known that 10.Nc3 is much better move here.} (10. Nc3 Rb8 11. Rf1 $5 h6 12. Nf3 $14 {Carlsen-Grischuk London Chess Classic 2015.}) 10... Rg8 11. f4 Nd3 12. Bxd3 cxd3 13. Qb3 d5 $1 { Loek is up to the mark and the position is clearly in his favour at this point. } (13... e6 14. Qxd3 $14) 14. Qxd3 h6 15. e5 {Things are heating up pretty quickly now.} Nh5 $6 (15... hxg5 16. exf6 e6 17. Qh7 Rg6 18. fxg5 Rxg5 19. d3 Rg6 {Black seems to be doing alright here. This seems like the most human variation to play.}) 16. e6 $1 {An extremely strong retort by White, who now changes the dimension of the play.} Bxe6 (16... hxg5 17. exf7+ Kxf7 18. Qh7+ Ng7 (18... Rg7 19. Qxh5+ $16) 19. fxg5 {And Black is just badly tangled.} Qd6 20. Rf1+ $18) 17. Nxe6 fxe6 18. Qf3 $1 Ng7 19. Qd3 (19. b3 $1) 19... Nh5 20. Qf3 Ng7 {Hoping for a repetition but the position is just too good for White to repeat.} 21. b3 Kd7 22. Bb2 Nf5 23. Nc4 $1 {The knight enters with decisive effect on e5.} Bg7 (23... dxc4 24. Qb7+ Ke8 25. Qc6+ Kf7 (25... Qd7 26. Qxa8+ $18) 26. Qxe6+ $18) 24. Bxg7 (24. Rxe6 {was not so easy to see but quite strong.} Kxe6 25. Re1+ Kf7 (25... Kd7 26. Qxd5+ Kc7 27. Qxc5+ Kb7 28. Na5+ Qxa5 29. Qxa5 Bxb2 30. Qxf5 $18) 26. Qh5+ Kf8 27. Qxf5+ $18) 24... Rxg7 25. Ne5+ Kd6 26. b4 {The material is even and the black king is right in the centre. In short it is a completely lost position.} c4 27. Qf2 (27. Kh1 {With the idea of g4 was quite strong.}) 27... Qc7 28. g4 $2 (28. Kh1 $1 $18 {Avoiding the queen exchange was better.}) 28... Qa7 $1 {With the exchange of queens Black's chances of survival increases.} 29. Qxa7 Rxa7 30. Rac1 h5 31. d3 hxg4 32. dxc4 d4 33. b5 axb5 (33... Kc7 $1) 34. cxb5 Rxa2 $2 {The final mistake which seals the fate of the game.} (34... g3 {and White is better. But anything is possible.}) 35. Rc6+ Kd5 36. Nd3 $1 {Nb4 mate is as well as Re5 are not so easy to parry.} Ne3 37. Nb4+ Ke4 38. Nxa2 {There was a little problem with the rook as well!} g3 39. h3 e5 40. fxe5 Rf7 41. Rg6 Rf2 42. Nc3+ dxc3 43. Rxg3 Rf3 44. Rxf3 Kxf3 45. b6 c2 46. Rc1 {An important win in the career of the young Thomas Beerdsen.} 1-0

An entertaining and fearless player – Thomas Beerdsen

Loek van Wely speaks about his performance in the Leiden Open, how it feels to be a father, how life has changed and what the chances are of the Netherlands winning a medal at this year’s Olympiad. (Spoiler alert: Another top Dutch GM is soon to be a father!)

In the last round van Wely was up against Roeland Pruijssers. A win would have guaranteed him the first place. However, Pruijssers managed to hold a draw and emerged as the champion with 7.0/9.

The Champion! Roeland Pruijssers has played the Leiden Open twice – in 2009 and 2016, and both times was numero Uno!

After the event we asked Pruijssers about his favourite game from the tournament: “I would like to share with the readers of ChessBase my game against Van Wely, the game which helped me secure the tournament victory. It's not my favourite – that one would be my win with the white pieces against Evgeny Postny. Loek is a many times Dutch champion and has played against all the top players around the world. So, I am quite proud to have made a draw against him in the crucial last round with black.”

[Event "Leidenchess Tournament"] [Site "?"] [Date "2016.07.24"] [Round "9"] [White "Van Wely, Loek"] [Black "Pruijssers, Roeland"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E05"] [WhiteElo "2662"] [BlackElo "2463"] [Annotator "Roeland Pruijssers"] [PlyCount "66"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Nf3 Be7 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O dxc4 7. Qc2 a6 8. a4 Bd7 9. Rd1 Bc6 10. Nc3 Bxf3 11. Bxf3 Nc6 12. Bxc6 bxc6 13. Bg5 (13. a5 Rb8 14. Ra4 Rb4 15. Na2 Rxa4 16. Qxa4 Qb8 17. Qxc4 Qb7 18. Bg5 Qxb2 19. Nc3 Nd5 20. Bxe7 Nxc3 21. Bxf8 Nxd1 22. Qxa6 Ne3 $1 23. fxe3 Qb1+ 24. Kf2 Qf5+ {aas a nice perpetual in Leko,P-Aronian,L Istanbul 2012.}) 13... Rb8 14. a5 $5 {The idea was to place the knight on c5 and try to exchange the white b-pawn for one of the black pawns, after which White should be better. To avoid such an unpleasant positional game I thought for quite a while.} (14. Rac1 h6 15. Bxf6 Bxf6 16. e3 Qe7 17. Ne4 Rb4 18. Qe2 Rxa4 19. Rxc4 Rxc4 20. Qxc4 e5 21. Qxa6 exd4 22. Nxf6+ Qxf6 23. Rxd4 Rb8 24. b4 Qe7 25. Qc4 Rb6 26. Qd3 Rb8 27. Qc4 Rb6 28. Kg2 Rb5 29. e4 g5 30. f3 Kg7 31. Qc3 Qf6 32. Kf2 Qe5 33. Qd2 Qf6 34. Rc4 Rb8 35. Ke3 Qe7 36. Qc3+ Kh7 37. Rc5 Rb6 38. Rf5 Kg8 39. Re5 Qf8 40. Rc5 Qb8 41. Qf6 Qf8 42. Qc3 Qb8 43. Qf6 Qf8 44. Qc3 {1/2-1/2 (44) Kramnik,V (2800) -Karjakin,S (2763) Moscow 2011}) 14... Nd5 $146 {new, but not very good.} ( 14... Nd7 $142) (14... Rb4 $142 {In the post-mortem Loek said this was the best move.} 15. Na2 Rb5 16. Bxf6 Bxf6 17. Nc3 Rb4 18. Na2 Rb5 19. Nc3 Rb4 20. Na2 {½-½ Kovalyov, A -Kasimdzhanov,R Baku AZE 2015}) 15. Bxe7 Qxe7 16. Na4 $14 {Here I considered myself slightly worse} Rb5 17. Qxc4 $5 (17. Nc5 e5 18. Qxc4 exd4 19. Nxa6 {was what I was afraid of, since now the a-pawn is very strong. But 17.Dxc4 is also good.}) 17... Rxa5 18. Qxc6 Qb4 19. e3 (19. b3 $5 { Maybe the best move in this position, since now White's idea of Nc5 is already unstoppable.}) 19... Qb3 20. Rdc1 h5 {I didn't see a better move than this, and after the game I considered it to be my best move of the game. If I would have been rash and played something like:} (20... Rb8 $2 {then I would have been lost because of} 21. e4 $1 Nf6 22. Qxc7 {and I cannot take on a4 because of the mate on the back rank}) 21. h4 g6 {The same; I couldn't find anything better.} 22. Ra3 Qb4 23. Rca1 Rb8 24. Qc2 {Not accurate} (24. e4 $6 Nb6 $1) ( 24. Qc1 $142 Qd6 (24... Kg7 25. b3) 25. Nc5 $1 (25. b3 e5) 25... Rxa3 26. Rxa3 $14) 24... Rab5 25. b3 $6 {The right plan, but now Black is just in time for counterplay} (25. Nc5 Qxb2 26. Qxb2 Rxb2 27. Rxa6 {would have been a bit better for White, but with my active rooks and a possible knight jump to g4 I thought I would at least have some counterplay.}) (25. Nc3 Qxb2 26. Qxb2 Rxb2 27. Nxd5 exd5 28. Rxa6 Rc2 $11) 25... Qd6 $1 26. Kh2 (26. Nc5 Nxe3 $1 27. fxe3 Qxg3+ 28. Qg2 Qxe3+ 29. Qf2 Qxf2+ 30. Kxf2 Rd8 $1 31. Ra4 e5 {and Black has very much equalised.}) 26... e5 $1 {With this move my problems are over.} ( 26... g5 $5 27. hxg5 h4 {A crazy idea which I didn't consider at all. But afterwards one of my friends said this would have been quite good.}) 27. Nc5 exd4 28. exd4 Nb4 {with a gain of tempo also.} 29. Qe4 $6 (29. Qc4 Rd8 30. Kg1 (30. Nxa6 Rf5 $1 $36) 30... Qxd4 $11) 29... Rd8 30. Ra4 Qxd4 {I saw this would make a draw and took it, but Black has a chance to get the initiative here.} ( 30... Qf6 $1 31. Kg1 Rxd4 {and White has to find to right defence.}) 31. Qxd4 Rxd4 32. Nxa6 c5 33. Nxb4 Rdxb4 {with a draw offered and accepted. My tournament victory was secured.} 1/2-1/2

Roeland Pruijssers played a fine tournament scoring wins over GM Evgeny Postny, IM Eric Rosin and FM Hugo Ten Hertog. He never really thought that he would win the event, as he had recently decided to stop his professional chess career and start studies in psychology in Utrecht. However, chess has its own way of rewarding the people who have worked hard in the past: you win when you expect it the least! Here’s Roeland’s win over Evgeny Postny:

[Event "Leiden Chess Tournament"] [Site "DC Leiden"] [Date "2016.07.22"] [Round "7"] [White "Pruijssers, Roeland"] [Black "Postny, Evgeny"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C87"] [WhiteElo "2463"] [BlackElo "2625"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "151"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:02:15"] [BlackClock "0:03:03"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. d3 d6 7. c3 O-O 8. Re1 Bg4 9. Nbd2 Nd7 10. h3 Bh5 11. Bc2 Bg5 12. g4 Bxd2 13. Bxd2 Bg6 14. Bg5 f6 15. Be3 Bf7 16. Nh4 g6 17. Qd2 Nb6 18. Bh6 Re8 19. Qe3 d5 20. Qg3 Kh8 21. g5 fxg5 22. Bxg5 Qd6 23. f4 dxe4 24. dxe4 exf4 25. Bxf4 Ne5 26. Rad1 Qe7 27. Bg5 Qc5+ 28. Kh2 Nbd7 29. Rf1 Bc4 30. Rf4 Rf8 31. b3 Be6 32. b4 Qb5 33. Rd2 a5 34. a4 Qc4 35. Bh6 Rf7 36. Rxf7 Bxf7 37. Nf5 Re8 38. b5 Qc5 39. Bd1 Rg8 40. Nd4 Bc4 { We join the action after forty moves. Both the players received an extra half an hour and had decent amount of time to think about the position on the board. } {[%tqu "Who do you think is better and why? It is clear that White has the upper hand for the simple reason that the dark squares around the black king are extremely weak and Black doesn't have a dark squared bishop. On the other hand Black has the e5 square, which is an outpost for his knight. It is difficult to handle the position but as we shall see Roeland does the job excellently.","","",Nf3,"",10]} 41. Nf3 Re8 42. Nxe5 Nxe5 43. Qf4 {A deadly check is threatened on f6.} Qe7 44. Bg5 Qe6 45. Bf6+ (45. Qf6+ Qxf6 46. Bxf6+ Kg8 47. Rd8 Rxd8 48. Bxd8 $16 {Going into this endgame was also a fine idea for White.}) 45... Kg8 46. Rd4 {Threatening the bishop on c4 which doesn't have too many squares to go to.} Ba2 $6 {A clear indication that Postny was off colour in this tournament. On a good day he would have found the defensive resource with} (46... Rf8 $1 47. Qxe5 Rxf6 48. Rd8+ Rf8 49. Qxc7 Qxe4 $11 { When it should be around equal.}) 47. c4 Nd7 (47... Rf8 $1 48. Qxe5 Qxf6 49. Qxf6 Rxf6 $11) 48. Bg5 Ne5 49. c5 {By now the player's were back in time pressure and hence the number of mistakes become substantially higher.} Bb3 50. Be2 Rf8 51. Qg3 Bc4 52. Bd1 h5 $2 {An extremely unnecessary weakening of the position.} 53. Bf4 $1 {Suddenly Black has to start worrying about the g6 weakness.} h4 $2 {Simply giving up a pawn.} (53... Nd3 $5 54. Be2 Qf7 55. Bxd3 Bxd3 56. Rxd3 Qxf4 57. Qxf4 Rxf4 58. Rd8+ Kf7 59. Rd7+ Ke6 60. Rxc7 Rxe4 61. Rxb7 $16) 54. Qxh4 {White is just a pawn up and has a completely winning position now.} Bb3 55. Be2 Bc4 56. Bd1 Bb3 57. Be2 Bc4 58. Bxc4 Nxc4 59. Rd8 Re8 (59... c6 $5 {was the best defence but with good play White should win this.}) 60. Bxc7 Kg7 61. Rxe8 Qxe8 62. e5 Ne3 63. Qf6+ Kg8 64. e6 Nd5 65. Qf7+ {An elegant simplification. The rest is just a matter of plain technique.} Qxf7 66. exf7+ Kxf7 67. Bxa5 Ke6 68. Kg3 Nf6 69. Bb6 Ne4+ 70. Kf4 Nc3 71. a5 Nxb5 72. c6 bxc6 73. a6 c5 74. a7 Nxa7 75. Bxa7 c4 76. Bd4 {It is not very often you see that in a complex middlegame position, the lower rated player was able to outplay the stronger opponent.} 1-0

The winner of the A group, Roeland Pruijssers, chief sponsor of the event Roel Piket, CEO of Adhoc Solide and Adrian Mensing, winner of the B group

Final Standings (after nine rounds)

# Name Pts Fed. Rtng TPR W-We BH SB
1 GM Pruijssers, Roeland 7.0 NED 2463 2638 +2.03 51.5 39.0
2 FM Ten Hertog, Hugo 7.0 NED 2458 2600 +1.68 50.0 37.0
3 GM Sandipan, Chanda 6.5 IND 2568 2589 +0.39 52.0 35.5
4 GM Van Wely, Loek 6.5 NED 2662 2593 -0.51 50.5 34.75
5 FM Kevlishvili, Robby 6.5 NED 2384 2467 +1.25 48.0 32.0
6 IM Pijpers, Arthur 6.5 NED 2473 2512 +0.65 47.5 33.25
7 GM Postny, Evgeny 6.0 ISR 2625 2536 -0.80 53.0 32.75
8 Van Tellingen, Frank 6.0 NED 2211 2539 +2.98 49.5 32.5
9 FM Beerdsen, Thomas 6.0 NED 2414 2480 +0.98 48.5 29.25
10 GM Ikonnikov, Vyacheslav 6.0 RUS 2538 2432 -1.00 48.0 30.5
11 IM Sagar, Shah 6.0 IND 2433 2318 -1.09 44.5 27.75
12 GM Pavlovic, Milos 6.0 SRB 2475 2422 -0.43 42.5 25.5
13 IM Slingerland, Fred 5.5 NED 2319 2494 +2.17 51.0 29.0
14 IM Sukandar, Irine K. 5.5 INA 2419 2399 -0.07 47.5 26.0
15 GM Horvath, Csaba 5.5 HUN 2520 2378 -1.35 45.5 25.75
16 FM Van Osch, Mees 5.5 NED 2275 2304 +0.47 42.0 22.5
17 IM Rosen, Eric S 5.0 USA 2393 2305 -0.83 44.5 21.5
18 Schmidt-Schaeffer, Seb. 5.0 GER 2384 2351 -0.30 44.5 21.0
19 Wilschut, Peter 5.0 NED 2237 2313 +0.92 44.0 22.25
20 IM Hendriks, Willy 5.0 NED 2407 2359 -0.40 44.0 20.25
21 Ratsma, Midas 5.0 NED 2171 2269 +1.03 39.0 18.75
22 Mokal, Amruta Sunil 5.0 IND 2078 2202 +0.94 39.0 16.0
23 FM Behrens, Harald 5.0 GER 2248 2122 -1.14 37.5 17.75
24 FM Plukkel, Sjoerd 5.0 NED 2304 2048 -2.62 32.0 17.25

The Israeli team is going to participate in the Olympiad without its top players, most notably Boris Gelfand. Evgeny Postny (above) will be representing his country in Baku. With this tournament in Leiden and the next one in Kavala, Greece, he would like to be in the best shape for the Olympiad. However, in Leiden things didn’t work out so well and he finished on seventh place with 6.0/9.

Born in 1981, Evgeny Postny has reached a maximum rating of 2674. He has worked as an author for ChessBase since CBM 81 (2001) and has produced articles on an extensive range of openings.

The biggest find of the tournament was surely Hugo ten Hertog. He was the joint winner scoring 7.0/9.
In the end he had to settle for the second position because of the tiebreak rules.

Hugo beat GM Peng Zhaoqin, GM Milos Pavlovic and FM Thomas Beerdsen with draws against Postny and Ikonnikov. His performance was sufficient to get him his maiden grandmaster norm. It was only because of his loss to the eventual winner Roeland Pruijssers that he finished second. Here is one of Hugo’s fine victories over Milos Pavlovic.

[Event "Leiden Chess Tournament"] [Site "DC Leiden"] [Date "2016.07.22"] [Round "6"] [White "Pavlovic, Milos"] [Black "Ten Hertog, Hugo"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B06"] [WhiteElo "2475"] [BlackElo "2458"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "74"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:11:11"] [BlackClock "0:02:54"] 1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nf3 d6 4. c3 Nf6 {The Pirc Defence is one of the main openings of Hugo, an opening with which he won the last round and secured his GM norm. In this game Pavlovic plays a slightly off-beat system which seems to be pretty harmless against the Pirc setup.} 5. Bd3 O-O 6. O-O c5 7. h3 Nc6 8. Nbd2 (8. d5 {might have been an interesting way to play.}) 8... Qc7 9. Re1 cxd4 10. cxd4 Nh5 11. Nb3 {White's centre looks impressive and Black needs to play with quite some energy in order to destroy it. It would be fine to say that White is slightly better here.} a5 12. Be3 a4 13. Nbd2 Nb4 14. Bc4 (14. Bf1 $5 Nc2 15. Rc1 Nxe3 16. Rxc7 Nxd1 17. Rxd1 $14 {With the rook on c7, this should be better for White.}) 14... d5 $1 {Black breaks the center at the very first opportunity he gets.} 15. a3 (15. exd5 Nf6 {Black will win back the d5 pawn with a satisfactory position.}) 15... dxc4 16. axb4 {White has maintained his strong centre but now Black has the bishop pair.} b5 17. e5 Bb7 $15 18. Nb1 f6 $1 {Powerful play by Ten Hertog. When you have the bishops, you must open the position at all costs, and this is what he does.} 19. Nc3 fxe5 20. Nxe5 (20. dxe5 Bxf3 $19) 20... Rad8 $6 {It was important to play the queen to d6 in order to defend the e6 square.} (20... Qd6 $1 21. Nxb5 (21. Qg4 Nf6 $1 $15) 21... Qd5 $19) (20... Nf4 21. Bxf4 Rxf4 22. Nxb5 $14) 21. Qg4 $1 Bc8 22. Qe4 Bb7 23. Qg4 Bc8 24. Qh4 {White is ambitious at this point of time and plays for a win.} Bf6 25. Bg5 Qb6 26. Rad1 Ng7 27. Bxf6 exf6 28. Ng4 Bxg4 29. Qxg4 Qd6 {Black is slightly better thanks to his superior pawn structure on the queenside.} 30. Ne4 Qxb4 $1 31. Nc5 Rfe8 32. Rxe8+ Rxe8 33. Qf3 Qxb2 34. Ne4 Qb3 $1 {Nicely calculated. After Nxf6, Kf7, there is no good discovered check.} 35. Nxf6+ Kf7 $1 (35... Kh8 36. Nxe8 Qxf3 37. gxf3 Nxe8 38. Rb1 Nd6 39. Kf1 $11 ) 36. Qf4 (36. Nxe8+ Qxf3 37. gxf3 Nxe8 38. Rb1 Nd6 $19 {The king quickly comes to d5 and Black is just winning.}) 36... Qxd1+ 37. Kh2 Ne6 {A nice struggle where Hugo understood the dynamics very well.} 0-1

Robby Kevlishvili had a very successful tournament and scored 6.5/9, finishing fifth

Robby’s win against GM Sandipan Chanda was quite impressive. He dominated the game right from the start and finished it without any glitches.

[Event "Leiden Chess Tournament"] [Site "DC Leiden"] [Date "2016.07.22"] [Round "7"] [White "Chanda, Sandipan"] [Black "Kevlishvili, Robby"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E73"] [WhiteElo "2568"] [BlackElo "2384"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "94"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:27:15"] [BlackClock "0:57:38"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Be2 O-O 6. Bg5 {Sandipan doesn't usually like to indulge in sharp theoretical lines, but this time chooses the Averbakh Variation of the King's Indian.} c5 7. d5 e6 8. Qd2 exd5 9. cxd5 (9. exd5 {is surely preferable, with the famous game being Magnus Carlsen vs Loek van Wely. But here it has been found that Black can equalize with accurate play.}) 9... Re8 10. f3 a6 11. a4 Qa5 {Somehow White has mixed up his systems and it is no longer so easy to develop his g1 knight.} 12. Ra3 (12. Nd1 $5) 12... Qb4 13. Be3 Nbd7 14. Nh3 Ne5 15. Nf2 Nfd7 16. O-O $2 (16. a5 b5 17. O-O { is somewhere around equal.}) 16... Nb6 $1 {Suddenly Nc4 is a grave threat and White will have to give up both his bishops.} 17. Ra2 Nbc4 18. Qc1 Nxe3 19. Qxe3 Nc4 20. Bxc4 (20. Qc1 Nxb2 $1 $17) 20... Qxc4 {After 20 moves White is in a complete mess. Look at the black bishops, especially the one on g7. It is breathing fire in the position. White has no real breaks and Robby managed to convert this position quite smoothly.} 21. Raa1 Bd7 22. Rfc1 Qb4 23. Qe2 b5 $1 24. a5 Qd4 25. Rd1 Qf6 26. Rd2 Qd8 27. Ncd1 Qc7 28. Ne3 c4 29. g4 Rac8 30. f4 c3 31. bxc3 Bxc3 32. Rc2 Qa7 (32... Bxa1 33. Rxc7 Rxc7 {is also winning. But when you are in a better position there is no need to create a material imbalance.}) 33. Rac1 Bxa5 34. Rxc8 Rxc8 35. Rxc8+ Bxc8 {Black is a pawn up and has two queenside passed pawns.} 36. e5 Bb6 37. Ned1 dxe5 38. fxe5 Qd7 39. Ne3 Bxe3 40. Qxe3 Qxd5 41. Qb6 Bb7 42. Kf1 Qc4+ 43. Ke1 Qc3+ 44. Kf1 Qa1+ 45. Ke2 Qxe5+ 46. Kf1 Bf3 47. h4 Qa1+ {An off day for the Indian grandmaster and a fine win for the young Robby Kevlishvili.} 0-1

GM Sandipan Chanda from India was the third seed at the event and finished third

Although Chanda suffered a surprising loss to Kevlishvili, he fought back well and won the all-important last round encounter against Csaba Horvath of Hungary. Thanks to this victory he was able to score 6.5/9. Apart from the winner Roeland Pruijssers, Chanda was the only grandmaster in the event who could gain rating points.

– Part two, "A breath of fresh air", will follow soon –

Photos by Amruta Mokal


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Sagar is an International Master from India with two GM norms. He loves to cover chess tournaments, as that helps him understand and improve at the game he loves so much. He is the co-founder and CEO of ChessBase India, the biggest chess news portal in the country. His YouTube channel has over a million subscribers, and to date close to a billion views. ChessBase India is the sole distributor of ChessBase products in India and seven adjoining countries, where the software is available at a 60% discount. compared to International prices.


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