Verslag Ronde 5 Matches / Ronde 6 Open

Spektakel in Wei Yi - Ivanchuk

Dit verslag is overgenomen van het Engelstalige liveblog van Peter Boel.

14:38 Round 5/6 has started!

A quick start today - Loek van Wely just rewarded Maurice Schippers for his nice black win against Bardhyl Uksini - the best game of round 5. Then the clocks were started.

In the matches we again saw the same openings - with subtle and some less subtle differences. Ivanchuk and Wei Yi are testing a whole range of Nimzo-Indians. In the first game it was a Classical 4.Qc2, the third game saw a Ragozin-type 4.Nf3 d5 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Bg5, and today we are seeing the Rubinstein Variation with 4.e3.

Adhiban and Jorden van Foreest are playing a Queen's Gambit Accepted for the third time. The main difference: in Game 1 Adhiban put his queen's knight on c3 on move 7, in the third game he first inserted 7.Qe2. Today, in Game 5, he kept it on b1 for a while and finally put it on d2. Some subtle differences, therefore, but still the moves came on the board so quickly that arbiter Huub Blom couldn't keep up for a while. But they've slowed down now...

Adhiban Baskaran (what's wrong with this picture...?)

15:48 A nice choice

It looks as if with his queen moves to b3 and c2 Ivanchuk has caused some slight discomfort for himself.

Wei Yi has an interesting choice here:

19...Nxe4 20. Bxe4 Qe5 21.Bxh7+ Kh8 22. Bd3 Bd6 23. f4 Qxe3+ 24. Qf2 Bxf4 is not very attractive for White.

But being an attacking player Wei Yi is obviously also considering the spectacular line 19...dxe4 20.Rxd6 Bxd6 21.Qd1 Rfd8 and now White's wisest option is 22.Be2 Bxh2+ 23.Kxh2 Rxd1 with a slight plus for Black.

16:13 Early collapse Sipke Ernst

Sipke Ernst's brain went haywire in a theoretical position against Thomas Beerdsen. 'This line was known to be problematic for Black', Beerdsen said. 'When he had to go for an unpleasant endgame he suddenly blundered a piece.'



It was more or less known that this line is tricky for Black. Probably he should play first 17...h6 18.Be3 and then 18...d6 or, as Beerdsen indicated, 17...Bb7.

18.Bc6 Nd7 19.Ne4


Blundering a piece. 19...Bxc4 20.Nxc5 Nxc5 21.Rxe8+ Rxe8 22.Bxe8 Nd3+ 23.Rxd3 Bxd3 was played in Giri-Dominguez Perez, Baku Olympiad 2016, where Black had a slightly worse ending but held in the end.

20.Bxd7+ Kxd7 21.Rxd4!

Black can't take the rook due to the deadly fork on f6. After 21...Kc6

22.Rdd1 Bxc4 Ernst tried to confuse Beerdsen by playing very fast for 20 more moves, but the Dutch IM didn't fail to convert: 1-0


16:27 Wei Yi aims for the sky again...

Wei Yi has turned the line 15...dxe4 into a real queen sacrifice with the ambitious 21...Be5!? instead of the fairly solid line I gave earlier. The young Chinese star bets on his strong bishops and queenside pawns, but 24...Bxa2? looks like a mistake. Ivanchuk took on c3 and will be able to gain material with 26.Ra1 next...

16:32 Pruijssers makes headway

Roeland Pruijssers' attack on the kingside is taking shape. It looks as if Saduakassova's 20...Nc5 wasn't the best. She trades White's off-side knight for an important defender of her king.

Dinara Saduakassova


The Dutch GM reacts immediately with the push of the f-pawn.


16:58 Zugzwang game by Colijn

Stefan Colijn also won very quickly today. His game with Jan Baljé looked like a modern-day Sämisch-Nimzowitsch.


Instead of taking on a2 or putting his rook on the e-file Colijn now closed off all the exits for White with the highly frustrating move 22...Ne4!, whereupon Baljé immediately resigned.

Stefan Colijn

16:57 Two top draws

Two fairly uneventful draws were agreed between Orest Gritsak and Davorin Kuljasevic on board 2, and between Xu Xiangyu and Dmitrij Kollars. Lucas van Foreest is getting into trouble against GM Harmen Jonkman, and Jonathan Carlstedt is in even bigger trouble against his young countryman Luis Engel.


17:52 Pruijssers takes sole lead in Open

Today on top board, Roeland Pruijssers slowly drove Dinara Saduakassova to the 'Max rank' as we call it in the Netherlands nowadays (after Max Verstappen, who also often needs some extra space). "Perhaps with hindsight 17...d4 wasn't the best", Pruijssers commented. Closing the centre gave him a free hand on the kingside. "Instead of 20...Nc5, 20...c5 may have been better, but Black has to be on the lookout anyway, for all kinds of threats", Pruijssers said. "When she put her pieces on dark squares I could attack with tempo." Here is the sad end for the Kazach girl who had played so sovereignly thus far...




Here of course 30.Bf8 Rxf8 31.Qh6 Rxf6 32.Rxf6 d2 33.Bc2 was also good.

30...Bxg4 31.Qxg4 d2 32.Rd1 Rd4 33.Qh4 Qd7

Preventing 34.Qxh7+.


And now after 34...h5 White takes with the queen. Black resigned. This means that Pruijssers is now the sole leader. Chances are that he plays his teammate Thomas Beerdsen in the next round, as Pruijssers has played all his other close pursuers already.


17:58 Van Foreest in big trouble

Jorden van Foreest has a losing position; his pawns on the queenside have come quite far but his endangered king position will be fatal for him... that means this match will be undecided until the bitter end!

Vasily Ivanchuk may have missed a chance to decide the match somewhere... this is very hard to say (as he himself would say). It looks as if Wei Yi will be able to hold with a kind of fortress with rook and knight. He might have tried to sac his knight for White's e- and f-pawns, but instead he is now trading off as many pawns as possible.

18:07 Meanwhile, way down in the Open...

Jakob Weinrauch is a young German player who can hardly be seen over the board... but he does see quite a lot, especially tactical tricks. Today he gave his queen for big material, and his pieces came to full bloom in the following position.




And White immediately resigned.

19:07 Bad endgame play by Van Foreest

Adhiban's choice to play a quiet, technical game today paid off. 'I was running out of options against the QGA', he said. 'It's not easy to break.'

So he tried it in the endgame. White had a little something there. 'But I should never have lost that', Jorden said.


This may be too drastic. Interesting was 25... g5!? 26.Rb8 Rc7 27.Rxb7 Rc2+ 28.Ke1 Kg6 when Black has great activity for the pawn.

26.Nc4 Bc3 27.Nb6 Rd2+ 28.Kf3

It looks as if Black is going to lose a pawn.


The best defence, according to the players, was probably 28...Bb2 (28...Bf6 29.Rc7) 29.Nc4 Rc2 30.Rc5 (30.Nxb2 Rxb2 31.Rc7 Kg6 32.Rxb7 Ra2 is not enough) 30... Kg8! (so that White cannot take the pawn with check - now the rook ending is again a draw) 31.h3 followed by g2-g4, still with more pleasant play for White; if 31.Nxb2 Rxb2 32.Rc8+ Kh7 33.Rc7 Kg6 34.Rxb7 Ra2.

29.Rc5 Bd6 30.Rxh5+ Kg6 31.Rh8 Ra2 32.h4 Bh2

32...Rxa3?? 33.Nc4 is the problem here.

33.Nd7 Bd6

With hindsight Van Foreest suggested 33...Bg1 here, but then Black is also in trouble after 34.Ne5+ Kf6 35.Ke4! Bxf2 36.Rf8.

34.h5+ Kg5 35.Rh7 Rxa3 36.Rxg7+ Kxh5 37.g4+ Kh6 38.Rxf7 Bxb4 39.Rf6+ Kg7 40.Rxe6

This position may not be hopeless yet for Black, but in practice it's very hard to play due to his bad king's position. Van Foreest had to resign on move 62. 'I played very badly today', he groaned.

19:17 Wei Yi defends

Wei Yi held the Rook+Knight vs Queen ending with considerable ease. 'I had considered 19...Nxe4', he said, 'but after 20.Bxe4 Qe5 21.Bxh7+ Kh8 22.Bd3 I didn't see a good continuation.' As we said he could have got a good position there with 22...Bd6 23.f4 Qxe3+ 24.Qf2 Bxf4. This was what his opponent Ivanchuk had feared: 'It's very complicated, this position would have been dangerous for me', he said.

Wei Yi confessed that when playing 24...Bxa2 he had missed how strong the reply 25.Bxc3 was. But after that he hadn't been in any real danger: 'The defence was easy'. Which was illustrated by the fact that he played the last moves pretty much a tempo.

Now the Chinese still has a chance to draw even tomorrow!

19:30 Jonkman misses a nice mate

Lucas van Foreest saved the only half point for the Van Foreest family today. But it could have been different, as Lucas noticed later on in the press room.

Jonkman-Lucas van Foreest

Jonkman missed a very nice mating combination here with 46.Raf8+ Kg6 47.Rxf6+! Kxf6 48.Rf8+ Kg6 49.Qf5+ Kh6 50.Rh8#.

Instead the Dutch GM repeated moves with

46.Qf5 Re8 47.Qd5+ R8e6 48.Qd7+ 1/2-1/2

Harmen Jonkman


That should be it for today! We're in for a nice finale tomorrow - in the two matches, but also in the Open where the first 4 in the rankings will go on to the semifinals.