Lucas van Foreest slaat terug

Gisteren liet Luke McShane in de match met Lucas van Foreest zien dat hij over veel zitvlees beschikte; met veel geduld had hij de Nederlander weggedrukt. Vandaag gebeurde echter precies het omgekeerde: Van Foreest hield de druk erop in een eindspel waarin hij voortdurend een klein voordeeltje had en won met een reeks slimme manoeuvres.


Max Warmerdam nam met wit het initiatief tegen Daniel Dardha, maar de zeventienjarige Belg verdedigde heel rustig en toen Warmerdam het niet meer zag bood hij maar remise aan. Daarmee staat het nu 1-1 in beide matches.


Ook aan de kop van het Open toernooi vielen er vele remises te noteren. De grootmeesters Robert Hovhannisyan en Evgeny Romanov probeerden het wel, maar hun jeugdige tegenstanders Leandro Slagboom en Osama Arabi counterden prima en vooral Hovhannisyan mocht uiteindelijk blij zijn met remise. Ook de zestienjarige Loek van der Hagen hield een grootmeester in toom, de Engelsman Daniel Fernandez.


Live blog in Engels:


Two Nimzos

Yesterday both match games started with 1.e4 e5, today both started 1.d4 Nf6 and both went on with 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4, the Nimzo-Indian. The difference is that Daniel Dardha looked visibly surprised by this opening from Max Warmerdam, taking his time already for 1...Nf6, and also for the next few moves, with puzzeled looks sidewards to the audience. Van Foreest played the line with 4.Qc2 while Warmerdam went for 4.Nf3.



Correction Day 1

Yesterday we wrote that Jan Lootsma forfeited against Evgeny Romanov on board 2 of the Open, but that was incorrect. Because the Dutch player was late, the game didn't make it to the website, but it was a full game, won by the Russian GM who is currently playing under the Norwegian flag.


McShane ambitious

Luke McShane has just pushed his f-pawn in two moves which looks quite risky for Black. With White's h-pawn already on h4 and White's king yet uncastled, this position may become quite exciting.


Sharp lines

Today's commentator GM Loek van Wely engaged the audience with some quite sharp lines in the game Van Foreest-McShane. He described McShane as a very clever and quite sophisticated player, while Van Foreest is of course also clever 'but he does strange things sometimes, to shock his opponent.' Thus, the kingside pawn push 9.h4!? was new to Van Wely, and the first thing that came to his mind was, 'If you want to play there, then why not the pawn sac 9.g4 ? Maybe it was a slip of the wrist and Lucas took the wrong pawn?' A few moves later, Van Wely did like White's position after all. The direct 16.e4 looked good, and now McShane is feeling the weakness of his e6-pawn.


Second draw Warmerdam and Dardha

Max Warmerdam was building up a dangerous-looking attack against Daniel Dardha, but the latter defended carefully and on move 23 Warmerdam offered a draw. 'I didn't see a plan anymore,' he said.


Loek van Wely had a few questions for the players in the commentary room.

Here White took 13.Bxe4 where 13.Be1 was also an idea, but 'a bit

speculative,' said Van Wely. After 13...dxe4 Max played for a 'slow' kingside attack with 14.Nxd7 Qxd7 15.f5. The question was whether White could have tried 14.Qb3 Nxe5 15.dxe5 and then push his e- and f-pawns. Dardha thought he could have got some counterplay here with 15...Qd3 but after e.g. 16.Rfe1! Bd5 17.Qa4 Qc4 18.Qc2 Black faces the same problems.


At the end of the game there was another question.


Here Warmerdam played the waiting move 23.a3 and offered a draw. 'A move someone like Kasparov would never consider,' said Van Wely. He suggested 23.Bb4+ to provoke 23...c5 and then again 24.Bc3 to improve White's bishop.

Warmerdam said he didn't really see anything constructive after 24...Kg8, for example 25.Rxh6 Bxf5!, and the engine confirms this is equal.


Still, you can't escape the impression that Max could have got more out of these first two games. He had the initiative twice, but Daniel showed remarkable maturity with well-measured defence. And perhaps the young Belgian even has a psychological advantage in the match now.


McShane consolidates

Lucas van Foreest has failed to raid Luke McShane's position. He still has some pressure and the bishop pair, but the Englishman has managed to exchange the queens, has his weaknesses quite well covered and is solid in the centre.


Upset on board 5: Beerdsen loses

Thomas Beerdsen lost today against a player with about 450 Elo less in the Open. The 17-year-old German Jakob Weihrauch simply played a very good game in a Richter/Rauzer Sicilian, fortifying his queenside castled king and then built up a devastating attack on the kingside.



Tough job for two top boards in Open

Both top grandmasters in the Open have a tough day today against 2100-players. Leandro Slagboom is, if anything, better in a rook + knight ending against Robert Hovhannisyan, and Osama Arabi also seems to be doing well against Evgeny Romanov; he is a pawn down, but with opposite-coloured bishops and active play for Arabi.


Young players do well

This is a good round for young players in the Open. Apart from Jakob Weihrauch (17) there is also the excellent draw by Osama Arabi (19) on board 2 against Evgeny Romanov, and by Loek van der Hagen (16) against English GM Daniel Fernandez. But that's not all: Roger Labruyere (15) just drew in a rook ending against IM Nico Zwirs, and on board 1 Leandro Slagboom (16) just made a 'plus draw' against Robert Hovhannisyan.



Leandro Slagboom (left) and Robert Hovhannisyan at the end of the game


Strong play by Van Foreest

Lucas van Foreest looks on his way to a win after all. With some clever play with his two bishops he has been creating a kind of mating net for the black king; here, the white bishop on g6 is crucial. With the black rook on b1, Lucas now even wins a piece with a small trick. It just goes to show that Luke McShane is not the only one who can 'milk' an endgame to a win!

And of course McShane has resigned. 'A tough day!' sighed Luke McShane.

Today's winner Lucas van Foreest on the left