Siem Van Dael: Unorthodox openings lead to success

by Johannes Fischer
11/3/2020 – At the Young Champions Tournament in Uppsala the opening choices of the young Dutch FM Siem Van Dael surprised again and again, particularly when he was playing with White. Van Dael tried 1.a4, 1.h4, 1.h3, 1.a3 and 1.g3 g6 2.Bg2 Bg7 3.Na3, and these unorthodox openings brought him 4 points out of 5 games and helped him to win the tournament. | Photos: Tournament page

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Unorthodox

With an Elo-rating of 2285 Van Dael was not among the top favourites at the Young Champions Tournament in Uppsala. He started with 2 out of 2 but then lost against IM Milton Pantzar.

But Van Dael recovered quickly and in round four he smashed his opponent out of the opening – despite playing 1.h4.

 

Van Dael also won in round five, but in this game fortune was very much on his side. Van Dael played with Black against the much higher rated Austrian Felix Blohberger, and was lucky to win a clearly lost position.

 

Inspired by this win Van Dael scored 2½/3 in rounds six to eight, and in the last round therefore needed only a draw against Jung Min Seo to win the tournament.

Throughout most of the game Seo had a clear advantage but he did not find a way to convert, and after 83 moves, when only the two kings remained on the board, he had to content himself with a draw.

 

This draw helped Van Dael to win the tournament with a score of 7.0/9. His opening experiments and his unorthodox and creative play had paid off.

The top three IM Milton Pantzar, Siem Van Dael and Jakub Kusa

Final standings

      NAMe   KLUBB   RANKING 1/10     SP   +   =   -   POÄNG   KV.P  
1   FM Siem Van Dael   Netherlands   2285     9   6   2   1   7.0   46.50      
2   IM Milton Pantzar   Västerås SK   2410     9   5   3   1   6.5   47.00      
3   Jakub Kusa   Czech Republic   2233     9   5   3   1   6.5   45.50      
4   FM Jung Min Seo   Stockholms SS   2455     9   4   5   0   6.5   42.50      
5   IM Felix Blohberger   Austria   2467     9   6   1   2   6.5   40.50      
6   FM Isak Storme   SS Manhem   2393     9   5   2   2   6.0   42.00      
7   FM Kaan Küçüksarı   Lunds ASK   2384     9   5   2   2   6.0   39.50      
8   FM Hampus Sörensen   Team Pelaro Alingsås SS   2393     9   4   3   2   5.5   46.00      
9   FM Marek Mica   Czech Republic   2294     9   4   3   2   5.5   36.00      
10   CM Adrian Söderström   Fagerviks SK   2168     9   4   2   3   5.0   44.50      
11   FM Vignir Vatnar Stefansson   Iceland   2313     9   4   2   3   5.0   42.50      
12   WIM Annmarie Muetsch   Germany   2226     9   3   4   2   5.0   41.50      
13   Axel Falkevall   Trojanska Hästen   2121     9   4   2   3   5.0   41.00      
14   Adam Frank   Czech Republic   2129     9   2   6   1   5.0   38.50      
15   WFM Ellen Fredericia Nilssen   Denmark   2209     9   2   6   1   5.0   38.00      
16   FM Richard Stalmach   Czech Republic   2296     9   4   2   3   5.0   36.50      
17   FM Hilmir Freyr Heimisson   Iceland   2352     9   4   2   3   5.0   35.50      
18   Jachym Nemec   Czech Republic   2246     9   3   3   3   4.5   42.50      
19   WIM Viktoria Radeva   Bulgaria   2263     9   3   3   3   4.5   42.50      
20   Daniel Johnson   SSK Hammarö   2100     9   4   1   4   4.5   40.50      
21   CM Ludvig Carlsson   Västerås SK   2281     9   3   3   3   4.5   38.00      
22   William Olsson   Örgryte SK   2192     9   3   3   3   4.5   36.50      
23   FM Joakim Nilsson   Uppsala SSS   2224     9   4   1   4   4.5   36.00      
24   WFM Monika Rozman   Slovenia   2129     9   2   5   2   4.5   34.50      
25   FM Arthur Kruckenhauser   Austria   2301     9   2   5   2   4.5   33.50      
26   CM Edvin Trost   SK Rockaden, Sthlm   2202     9   3   2   4   4.0   41.00      
27   CM Hugo Wernberg   Wasa SK   2211     9   3   2   4   4.0   40.00      
28   WIM Zala Urh   Slovenia   2195     9   3   2   4   4.0   39.50      
29   WIM Ivana Hrescak   Slovenia   2237     9   3   2   4   4.0   36.50      
30   CM Leo Crevatin   SK Rockaden, Sthlm   2181     9   1   6   2   4.0   36.00      
31   Pia Marie Ruzic   Slovenia   1929     9   3   2   4   4.0   29.50      
32   Vidar Grahn   Trojanska Hästen   1864     9   2   3   4   3.5   29.50      
33   Arvin Rasti   Team Pelaro Alingsås SS   2201     9   2   2   5   3.0   40.00      
34   Karel Brozka   Czech Republic   2216     9   2   2   5   3.0   35.50      
35   Jung Hyun Seo   Trojanska Hästen   1936     9   3   0   6   3.0   35.00      
36   Joar Östlund   Wasa SK   2106     9   3   0   6   3.0   34.00      
37   Victor Muntean   SSK Hammarö   1968     9   2   1   6   2.5   30.50      
38   Warg Skåhlberg Bjerknes-Lima de Fa   Uppsala SSS   1759     9   2   1   6   2.5   28.00      
39   Matthäus Buchert   Uppsala SSS   1427     9   2   0   7   2.0   27.50      
40   Julia Östensson   Uppsala SSS   1562     9   1   1   7   1.5   27.50  

Games

 

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Johannes Fischer was born in 1963 in Hamburg and studied English and German literature in Frankfurt. He now lives as a writer and translator in Nürnberg. He is a FIDE-Master and regularly writes for KARL, a German chess magazine focusing on the links between culture and chess. On his own blog he regularly publishes notes on "Film, Literature and Chess".
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JumpingFrogs JumpingFrogs 11/7/2020 04:27
Cheaters are a bitter taste left in the mouth of all responsible players. Ugh!
Davidx1 Davidx1 11/5/2020 08:47
Many times closing the window and keeping quiet is difficult, for example when you believe or know that there is a cheater on the other side.
Aren't cheaters a form of instigation?
Davidx1 Davidx1 11/5/2020 08:05
It is already difficult for me to live civilly knowing and applying the laws of my political Country, let alone considering the moralisms and stupidities of the people.
JumpingFrogs JumpingFrogs 11/5/2020 04:51
Just closing the window is not very considerate. You should let your opponent play his/her own game and focus on your own moves. Try meditating before the game.
Davidx1 Davidx1 11/4/2020 07:15
When I play online and someone opens 1 h4 to me, which means you can't play, I close the window.
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