Another 3-2 for Experience in Amsterdam

0 | Chess Event Coverage
NH Chess Tournament 2009In the second round of the NH Chess Tournament the Experience team, who were all playing with the black pieces, defeated the Rising stars 3-2 for the second time. Four games were drawn, but in the game between the oldest participant and the youngest, Ljubomir Ljubojevic decided the issue at the expense of Hou Yifan. After two rounds the total score is 6-4 in favour of the Experience team.

The NH Chess Tournament takes place August 20-31 in hotel Krasnapolsky, in the heart of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. As always, the tournament is a confrontation between a team of five young ‘Rising Stars’ and a team of five ‘Experienced’ grandmasters.


Round 2

Report by the official website

Daniel Stellwagen showed inspired opening play in his game against Peter Svidler. Perhaps he felt encouraged by the win he scored against the Russian Champion in last year’s Bundesliga. His move 9.b4 came as a big surprise, not only for the spectators, but probably also for his opponent, who spent quite some time on his answer. After the game Svidler rattled off endless variations and possibilities that he had considered in that phase of the game, just to show how complex the position was. Black’s task wasn’t easy, but the situation became precarious after 15...d5, a move that Svidler rightly condemned in the post-mortem. Now White was much better, but as happens so often in highly promising positions, Stellwagen didn’t manage to blend his opportunities into one clear plan. After 27 moves he realized that his advantage had evaporated and offered a draw.

NH Chess Tournament 2009

The shortest game of the day was the one between Jan Smeets and Peter Heine Nielsen that lasted 21 moves and less than one and a half hours. The Dutch Champion was surprised by the opening choice of his opponent. In a 6.Be2 Najdorf he had expected Nielsen to go 6...e6 (Smeets had actually already written down that move on his scoresheet!) and not 6...e5, which leads to entirely different play. The next surprise came on move 14, when Nielsen played a freeing manoeuvre that is known from older games: Black releases the tension in the centre by the push 14...d5, temporarily sacrificing a piece that he soon recovers. As the remaining endgame promised little excitement to either player, Smeets proposed a draw and Nielsen accepted.

NH Chess Tournament 2009

The game between Fabiano Caruana and Alexander Beliavsky also ended in a draw, but only after a gritty fight. The Italian grandmaster got a pleasant edge from the opening, but was left with nothing tangible after 18.Nd5, a move he was unhappy about after the game. In the ensuing middlegame he got another chance on move 29, when 29.Bg4, instead of 29.Bc2 looks pretty strong for White. In time-trouble both players dropped some stitches, but no real accidents happened and after 42 moves they called it a day.

NH Chess Tournament 2009

After his missed a good chance to win yesterday, Hikaru Nakamura had to swallow another disappointment in his game with Loek van Wely. Against the Dutchman’s Najdorf, the American Champion chose the modest-looking 6.h3, a move that was also played by his compatriot Bobby Fischer. The slightly unusual choice didn’t pose Black any real problems, but following a few inaccurate moves, Van Wely nevertheless suddenly found himself in a lost rook ending. After the game Nakamura said that instead of 37.Rb5, he could have won with 37.Kb2. He had missed Black’s counteraction with 38...e4 and the pawn racing down the e-file. If that was so, Nakamura could be happy that he had a tactical trick to conquer White’s passer and reach an endgame in which he had a queen against a rook, but in which Van Wely could build up a fortress to force the draw. Nakamua played on till only two kings were left on the board before he walked out of the playing room shaking his head in disbelief.

NH Chess Tournament 2009

In the game between Hou Yifan and Ljubomir Ljubojevic, the Serbian grandmaster got a wonderful position from the opening. The aggressive set-up of his Chinese opponent didn’t unsettle him and with strong healthy moves he took over the initiative. Black won a pawn and entered a winning endgame. Afterwards Ljubojevic was full of criticism of his play in this ending, but there he was too harsh on himself. His play was fine, but he did allow himself a slip that could have cost him half a point. On move 61 he could have kept his winning advantage with 61...Rh4 instead of the mistaken 61...Kxd3. Fortunately for him Hou Yifan returned the favour four moves later. With the minutes ticking away, she went astray with 65.Ka2, where going up the board with the king with 65.Ka4 could have spoiled Ljubojevic’s day. Hou Yifan plodded on till the bitter end, but after 87 moves there was little else left but to resign.

Game viewer

Game viewer by ChessTempo


More from PeterDoggers
December FIDE Ratings: Firouzja No. 2, Aronian U.S., Nakamura Off The List

December FIDE Ratings: Firouzja No. 2, Aronian U.S., Nakamura Off The List

Carlsen Defends Passively To Draw Game 5 FIDE World Chess Championship

Carlsen Defends Passively To Draw Game 5 FIDE World Chess Championship