Vier leiders in Open na ronde 6

Day off for match players

There will be no regular messages on this blog during the afternoon. We are off to the Drents Museum in Assen for a meet&greet with the four match players Jorden van Foreest, Vladimir Fedoseev, Sam Shankland and Peter Svidler, as well as a meet&greet with actress Christine Namaganda from the movie 'Queen of Katwe' and an online rapid between Jorden van Foreest and Youth World Champion Parham Maghsoodloo from Iran.

We'll be back at the end of the afternoon!

    Van Foreest vs Maghsoodloo on Chess24

    In the first online rapid game with Junior World Champion Parham Maghsoodloo, in the Statenzaal at the Drents Museum in Assen, Jorden van Foreest was pushing for a win with white in a knight ending, but the 18-year-old Iranian cleverly held the draw. The second rapid game is under way. Jorden has opted for a Ruy Lopez with 3...g6.

    Replay the full game here:

      Maghsoodloo wins!

      In the second game, Jorden van Foreest sacrificed a pawn with black and got good compensation for it, but went wrong, and lost a second pawn and the game, so a 0.5-1.5 loss for the Dutchman!

      Replay game 2 at

        Tense draw on top board

        Back in the Hoogeveen town hall! In round 6 of the Open, the top board game started with a King's Indian that looked sharp and promising. Dmitry Kryakvin had an edge with white for a long time. 'He was better prepared than I, it was a crazy position', said Amin afterwards. But Kryakvin didn't take too much risk and Bassem Amin managed to keep things under control: a tense draw.

        Bassem Amin

          Risky play Safarli pays off

          Eltaj Safarli won a completely crazy game today. He took some big risks in the opening, a kind of Reversed London System, 'because that's what you have to do when you want to win.' He thought the Indian's 8.b3 was too slow, and went for the sharpest way to get counterplay. Safarli sacrificed a piece to keep White's king in the middle, and the following mind-boggling position came on the board:



          Now White can oppose on e3 with the rook. Better was 23...Nxe5! 24.Bh3 Qd6 with complete control.

          24.Re3 Qe7 25.Rxe5

          He should probably have swapped while he had the chance: 25.Bxd4 cxd4 (25...Nxd4 26.Rxe5 Qxe5 27.Bd3) 26.Rxf3 Rxf3 27.Nxf3 Re3 28.c5! and Black's compensation starts to dwindle. 25...Nxe5 26.Qe3 Qf6 27.Bd3

          Now after 27.Bxd4 cxd4 the queen has to return and it's totally unclear again. But moves like 27.Bh3 or 27.b4 were better.

          27...f2 28.Rf1 h6


          Good was 29.Bb1! to meet 29...Ng4?? with 30.Qe8+.

          29...Ng4 30.Bd5+ Kf8 31.Qg3 ?! Qe5 32.Bxd4 Qxd4

          Black is taking over now. Even stronger was 32...cxd4 as then after 33.Kc1, 33...Qe3! is devastating.

          33.Kc1 Ne3?

          33...Qe3! - the Azeri GM likes his queen too much, who has done such a great job for him in this game.

          34.Rxf2 Nxd5


          Finally losing. White could save himself with 35.Rxf4+ Nxf4 36.Qf3, when he wins back the pawn. Even 35.Rf3!!, keeping all options open, was an equalizer. Now Black keeps the extra pawn and the pressure. Seven moves later Karthikeyan resigned.

            Van den Doel also wins

            Erik van den Doel achieved an important victory against Evgeny Romanov. The strong Russian GM may have regretted castling queenside on move 14, as after that things started to go downhill for him. Van den Doel first swapped the dark-squared bishops and then planted a knight on d6, which was removed by an exchange sac. But it seems that Black never got enough compensation for the exchange, and late in the endgame Van den Doel reeled in the full point, thus joining the leaders, Amin, Kryakvin, and Safarli.

              Four leaders in Open

              On this 'matchless' day, the two leaders in the Open, Dmitry Kryakvin and Bassem Amin, were joined by Eltaj Safarli and Dutch GM Erik van den Doel. Kryakvin and Amin themselves played an interesting draw, while Eltaj Safarli went all out against P Karthikeyan with a daring piece sacrifice. The Indian IM didn't manage to stay afloat in the dazzling complications and lost. Van den Doel's victory was a much calmer affair. He carefully dug a hole in Black's position, on d6, jumped in it with a knight, allowing an exchange sacrifice which gave him a winning endgame.

              At the Drents Museum in Assen, the four match players had a lot of fun playing blitz while peddling on hometrainers, and visiting the exhibition Iran - the cradle of civilisation. Jorden van Foreest lost his short internet rapid match against Junior World Champion Parham Maghsoodloo ½-1½, but he did have his chances. According to tournament director Loek van Wely, who gave live commentary during the games, he should have won the first game and drawn the second. Of the second, in which he had sacrificed a pawn, Jorden himself wasn't so sure: 'I never saw a way to fully equalize.'