“Smurfo” & “Ginger GM” Share Lead at Amsterdam's Batavia Tournament After Round 5
GMs David Smerdon (a.k.a. Smurfo) and Simon Williams (a.k.a. Ginger GM) are tied for first place after five rounds at the Batavia GM tournament in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The two grandmasters scored 3.5 points and are half a point ahead of IM Twan Burg and FM Jorden van Foreest.
The sixth edition of the Batavia Chess Tournament is again, of course, held in Cafe Batavia 1920. The cafe is conveniently located opposite the Amsterdam Central Station, in the direction of Zeedijk, left to the St. Nicholas church, at Prins Hendrikkade 85.
The cafe owner, Peter Tames, is a chess lover and has been hosting chess events for many years now. Five days before this sixth edition, on Sunday, February 16th, yours truly organized a small blitz chess events on the occasion of Chess.com's takeover of ChessVibes. The atmosphere was great, and the field was super-strong! In the end it was IM Stefan Kuipers who won the first prize:
ChessVibes Bye Bye Blitz 2014 | Final Standings
|1||IM Kuipers, Stefan||13.0||NED||2407||2671||+4.37||135.0||116.0|
|2||GM Reinderman, Dimitri||12.0||NED||2565||2595||+0.53||135.5||102.0|
|3||IM Ris, Robert||11.5||NED||2412||2567||+2.88||135.0||98.5|
|4||IM Bosboom, Manuel||10.5||NED||2398||2492||+1.91||136.0||89.25|
|5||IM Van Delft, Merijn||10.5||NED||2429||2475||+1.07||135.5||89.5|
|6||FM Schoorl, Rob||9.0||NED||2346||2400||+1.14||133.0||74.5|
|7||GM Janssen, Ruud||8.5||NED||2472||2389||-1.57||134.5||68.75|
|8||IM Willemze, Thomas||8.5||NED||2411||2360||-0.83||134.0||70.75|
|9||FM Bezemer, Arno||8.5||NED||2321||2370||+0.98||130.0||65.75|
|10||IM Afek, Yochanan||8.5||ISR||2274||2347||+1.55||129.5||62.0|
|12||GM Conquest, Stuart C||8.5||ENG||2492||2266||-3.82||111.5||63.75|
|13||FM De Wit, Tex||8.0||NED||2303||2335||+0.71||132.5||65.0|
|14||IM Blees, Albert||8.0||NED||2366||2318||-0.83||128.5||62.25|
|15||FM Hopman, Pieter||8.0||NED||2346||2312||-0.43||128.5||59.75|
|16||FM Rijnaarts, Sjef||8.0||NED||2354||2317||-0.57||122.5||61.5|
|17||IM Van de Oudeweetering, Arthur||8.0||NED||2294||2271||-0.34||120.0||58.0|
|19||FM Erwich, Frank||7.5||NED||2319||2341||+0.48||125.5||55.25|
|21||FM Kohler, Aran||7.5||NED||2223||2284||+1.16||117.5||53.0|
|23||De Ruiter, Danny||7.5||NED||2289||2206||-1.35||114.0||43.5|
|30||WIM Van Weersel, Arlette||7.0||NED||2181||2134||-0.83||104.0||39.0|
|32||Van der Velde, Wytse||6.0||NED||1977||1965||-0.32||85.5||30.25|
|34||FM Witt, Rob||5.5||NED||2233||1950||-5.30||87.0||24.75|
|37||WCM Van Zutphen, Amy||4.0||AHO||1512||1708||+2.43||87.0||17.5|
|39||Van Delft, Karel||3.5||NED||1619||1748||+1.42||88.5||15.25|
But back to the Batavia GM tournament, which is a ten-player round robin. It was opened on Friday, February 21st with speeches by Tames himself and Director of the Royal Dutch Chess Federation, IM Mark van der Werf.
Van der Werf: “I've never opened a tournament from behind a bar!”
The rounds start each day at 14:00; Wednesday is a rest day. This year the tournament has the following players:
1. GM Sipke Ernst (NED, 2575)
2. GM David Smerdon (AUS, 2508)
3. IM Twan Burg (NED, 2494)
4. GM Simon Williams (ENG, 2449)
5. IM Sander van Eijk (NED, 2438)
6. IM Merijn van Delft (NED, 2423)
7. GM Zhaoqin Peng (NED, 2398)
8. WGM Alina L’Ami (ROU, 2398)
9. IM Steven Geirnaert (BEL, 2391)
10. Jorden van Foreest (NED, 2371)
Every year the Batavia tournament has had a nice group of fighting chess players, leading to great games, and this year it's no different. Let's take a look at a few interesting encounters played in the first five rounds.
A week before the tournament globetrotter Alina l'Ami, the wife of GM Erwin l'Ami, secured her IM title by getting her virtual rating over 2400. In the first round of the Batavia tournament, l'Ami countered the theory that you lose your first game after clinching a title:
The second round saw the big clash between GMs Sipke Ernst and GM David Smerdon - on paper the “game of the tournament”. Especially the time trouble phase was very exciting to watch. Both players got winning positions:
FM Jorden van Foreest, the reigning Europan U14 Champion, has good chances for a norm. He won against Williams in round 2:
The next day Williams bounced back with the following win, from a King's Gambit:
IM Twan Burg was leading after four rounds, but on Tuesday he went down against Smerdon in a Sicilian.
Williams defeated Van Delft, who had a horrible first half with two draws, three losses and several missed chances. Also in this game he certainly wasn't outplayed:
And so with four rounds to go, which will be played Thursday-Sunday, GMs Smerdon and Williams are in the lead. These two players were the contestants of Chess.com's Death Match 19, which was narrowly won by Smerdon. The Australian humbly said about that victory: "It really took me a while to warm up. He completely dominated in the 5-minute section. In fact I think in all three sections he played much better than me. I think I was extremely lucky." Will he be lucky in Amsterdam as well? Let's see!
Batavia GM 2014 | Round 5 Standings
The 6th Batavia Tournament runs until Sunday, March 2nd. You can follow the games live here.