Commemorating in style

0 | Chess Event Coverage
It's the time of commemorating and we chess players, certainly in the region of Amsterdam, have our own Theo van Gogh: Micha Leuw. A somewhat outrageous comparison perhaps but I do see some similarities: the omnipresent sigaret and the sharp spirit both were gifted with. In December it's already two years ago that Micha drowned while snorkeling in Thailand, shortly before the tsunami arrived. (Typically Micha by the way to do it a bit differently than all the other victims over there.) Commemorating in style is done with a tournament so during the Eijgenbrood Tournament, last week in Amsterdam, the second Micha Leuw Memorial was held and it was nice to see that Enrico Vroombout, the underdog of the group because he qualified via the Eijgenbrood Tournament of last year, attracted most attention and finished at an excellent second spot.

The Eijgenbrood is a tournament that's been organised for years, in October in Amsterdam, for players under 2250 (this was under 2200 for a long time). Last year, to remember Micha, during the Eijgenbrood an extra tournament of six players was organised with the idea that three title holders would play three talented players. Then GM Karel van der Weide and IM Yochanan Afek won the tournament, above Niek Narings, Henk-Jan Visser, Michael Wunnink and GM Dimitri Reinderman. The final standings this year were:

  1 GM Karel van der Weide (2471)  4
  2 Enrico Vroombout (2145)       3,5
3/4 FM Sybolt de Boer (2353)
    Martin van Maanen (2294)      2,5
  5 FM Xander Wemmers (2393)       2 
  6 FM Arno Bezemer (2320)        0,5
Van der Weide was of course the strongest and fulfilled his duty. He already wrote about a game fragment at the federation's website. Therefore here we pay (chess technichal) attention to the excellent result of Enrico Vroombout. I managed to get hold of a document written by him, which no doubt will be published in the next club magazine of chess club Ca?ɬØssa Amsterdam. Enrico describes his feelings while sitting on his bike on the way to the tournament: "Such high ratings and such strong players. What can I do? During the short ride on the bike I had the same feeling Louis the sixteenth must have had when he was directed to the gallows to be decapitated. Will it be 0 ouf of 5? Or perhaps it won't be that bad?"

It wasn't that bad. Even better than that! Enrico's started quite allright: he beat Van Maanen, drew Wemmers and lost to Van der Weide. But the Sunday was a 'masterly last day', as Vroombout wrote himself. First he beat Sybolt de Boer with an attack:

Vroombout-De Boer MLM 2006

"White has built up a nice attacking position, while Black has defended skilfully. Now the moment of truth has come. How to continue? A sacrifice on h5 or like the game itself? 23.Nf6+ After this move White seems to be winning. But then, what did Black do wrong? 23...Nxf6 The other move also looses. In the post-mortem we thought 23...Bxf6 would be better for Black. But Fritz9 doesn't agree. Food for further study I guess. 24.gxf6 Rxc3? Sybolt miscalculates. He thought he could counter but... 25.bxc3 Ng4 26.Bxg4 Rxe4 That was the idea. The rook threatens to take on g4 winning the queen. But there followed... 27.fxg7! Qe8 Instead of resigning. After 27...Rxg4+ 28.Qxg4 hxg4 29.Rh8+ the black queen is gone. The brave little g-pawn has the last word! Sybolt now plays on for a while but could have resigned here. 28.Bf4 Qc6 29.Bf3 Qc5+ 30.Qf2 Qf5 31.Bxe4 Qxe4 32.Qf3 1-0"

In the last round Vroombout with Black also beat Bezemer, who lacked form completely this tournament.

Bezemer-Vroombout MLM 2006

"My best move of the tournament is also the last one: 24...Rxc2!! A move of dazzling beauty. Suddenly it's all over. The threat is 25...Rc1 mate and 25...b3 with inevitable mate on a2. A lot of moves are possible but it's not possible to parry both threats. 0-1"

>> replay almost all games of the tournament

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