Berg is 2009 Limburg Open Champion

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Limburg OpenSwedish GM Emanuel Berg likes the city of Maastricht a lot, and therefore he played in all three editions of the Limburg Open Championship. This year he finished first on tiebreak and shared the prize money with GM Sipke Ernst, GM Yuri Solodovnichenko and IM Wouter Spoelman.

Like Berg, your editor-in-chief enjoys the capital of the Limburg province and the beautiful weather (and the many local draughts) and so I decided to play my first FIDE rated tournament in almost two years. I also spent the Whitsun weekend in Maastricht and, well, all I can say is that Donner was right: mixing journalism and playing isn't a very good idea. From now on the focus will be on ChessVibes again, despite the fact that I improved upon a personal record: on the final day I managed to quintuple my score!

The tournament had a very exciting last day because after the fifth round no less than ten players shared the lead with 4/5: IM Brandenburg, GM Berg, GM Kunin, GM Solodovnichenko, IM Spoelman, GM Ernst, IM Swinkels, GM Guliyev, GM Klimov and Becker. In round 6, on Monday morning, the top 5 boards included matches between those ten leaders, and all of them had a decisive result!

Ernst outplayed Brandenburg in a Queen's Gambit Accepted 7.dxc5 ending, Berg used the Dutch (1...f5) to beat Klimov with Black, Spoelman earned the brilliancy prize for his win in a Rauzer against Guliyev, Swinkels slaughtered Kunin's Petroff and Solodovnichenko defeated Becker (can't remember exactly how). The victories by Spoelman and Swinkels can be found with some light annotations in the game viewer below.

In the last round Ernst and Spoelman played a quick draw to secure at least € 800. In a long and tough fight Berg and Solodovnichenko also drew, and so last-year's co-winner Swinkels could have won outright, but he lost to Prasad. Berg, Ernst, Solodovnichenko and Spoelman shared first place and took home € 1,337.50 each.

The Limburg Open has become a regular event on the calendar and it's definitely a very nice one. The venue, a big college, is perfect, with lots of space, a good analysis room + bar and, a rare thing for opens, there's even commentary, by IM Herman Grooten. So remember for next year: even when you're having a dreadful tournament you will enjoy your long weekend in Maastricht!

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Game viewer - Spoelman-Guliyev and Swinkels-Kunin annotated

Click on the pairings at the top of the board to reveal a drop down list of all the games. Click on the arrow under the board just once, then the arrow keys of your keyboard also work. Silverlight works on all browsers and platforms except for Linux, but this should be fixed soon. Contact us for questions, not in the comments section, please.





Limburg Open

A typical sight for the tournament player: the new pairings are up!



Limburg Open

Alexandre Dgebuadze (BEL, 2539)



Limburg Open

Lisa Schut (NED, 2196)



Limburg Open

IM Kidambi Sundararajan (IND, 2487)



Limburg Open

GM Yuri Solodovnichenko (UKR, 2564)



Limburg Open

IM Wouter Spoelman (NED, 2512)



Limburg Open

IM Daan Brandenburg (NED, 2453)



Limburg Open

IM Emory Tate (USA, 2325)



Limburg Open

IM Martijn Dambacher (NED, 2486)



Limburg Open

IM Robin Swinkels (NED, 2499)



Limburg Open

GM Sergey Klimov (RUS, 2521)



Limburg Open

GM Namig Guliyev (AZE, 2534)



Limburg Open

GM Sipke Ernst (NED, 2582, now virtually over 2600)



Limburg Open

Anne Haast (NED, 2144)



Limburg Open

A group of three Indian players came to Maastricht: GM Magesh Chand Panchanathan (2462), IM Kidambi Sundararajan (2487) and GM S. Arun Prasad (2552)



Limburg Open

IM Ilja Zaragatski (GER, 2428)



Limburg Open

IM Herman Grooten, commentator at the Limburg Open...



Limburg Open

...sometimes inviting some rising stars to show their work...



Limburg Open

...like Wouter Spoelman...



Limburg Open

...and Robin Swinkels



Limburg Open

First board, last round: Berg and Solodovnichenko still fighting, GM Sipke Ernst watching



Limburg Open

Tournament director Hans Ouwersloot with the winners Berg, Ernst, Spoelman and Solodovnichenko



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