Dutch Championship: Spoelman first after five rounds

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Spoelman leads at Dutch ChampionshipNot Anish Giri, not Ivan Sokolov, not reigning champ Jan Smeets but Wouter Spoelman is leading the Dutch Championship after five of a total of nine rounds. In the women's section there's no doubt that Zhaoqin Peng will score her 13th victory. A first, pictorial report halfway into the tournament with all the players' portraits.

Wouter Spoelman, half a point ahead of Anish Giri at the Dutch Championship

The Dutch Championships take place June 25 - July 5 in Boxtel, The Netherlands. Venue is the SintLucas College in Boxtel for both the Open and Women's sections. The Open is a 10-player, single round robin with a first prize of 7,500 Euro; the Women's section is a 6-player, double round robin with a first prize of 1,800 Euro. For both groups the rate of play is 90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game with the addition of 30 seconds per move from move 1.

Top participants in the open section are Anish Giri, Erwin l'Ami and Ivan Sokolov, as well as title holder Jan Smeets. Six times winner Loek van Wely declined an invitation during what he calls himself a sabbatical year from chess. In the women's group GM Zhaoqin Peng is going for her 13th (!) title.

The playing hall in the SintLucas College in Boxtel

The playing hall in the SintLucas College in Boxtel



Like all chess tournaments these days, the championship is mostly being followed online. However, for visitors in Boxtel there's expert commentary provided by IMs Hans Böhm, Jop Delemarre, our own editor Robert Ris, Robin van Kampen and during the last two rounds (on Monday, July 4th and Tuesday, July 5th) by GM Dimitri Reinderman.

The organizers added something very interesting this year, which other tournament organizers might consider copying: a prize for the most spectacular move. The system they use is the following. From the games in first round, the most three most spectacular moves in both the open and women's section were chosen. In the next rounds, the commentator may choose to replace one move by a new move that's been played in that day's round. Eventually this will lead to a top 3 in the open and a top 3 in the women's section. The players of these moves will receive a money prize sponsored by Van Till advocaten, who signed a contract for a wider cooperation with the Dutch Chess Federation during the opening ceremony.

A post-mortem between veteran participants Nijboer and Sokolov, joined by commentator IM Robert Ris

A post-mortem between veteran participants Nijboer and Sokolov, joined by commentator IM Robert Ris who only drinks off-duty ;-)



Not Anish Giri, not Ivan Sokolov, not reigning champ Jan Smeets but Wouter Spoelman is the surprising leader after five rounds. Showing attractively fresh chess, the 21-year-old GM from Zwolle started with three wins against Robin Swinkels, Ruud Janssen and Daan Brandenburg and then drew with Sipke Ernst and Erwin l'Ami. Top seed Anish Giri follows with half a point less. In the women's section Zhaoqin Peng beat all her opponents in the first half and is, as always, cruising to victory on both experience and fighting spirit.

Because we still have a large fan base in our home country, this time we'll provide all the games so far for replay in the viewer below instead of a selection. For the same, Dutch speaking audience we should also mention the tournament's YouTube channel where a number of videos have been uploaded already.

Game viewer



Game viewer by ChessTempo


Dutch Championship 2011 | Round 5 Standings




Dutch Championship 2011 | Women | Round 5 Standings




brandenburg

IM Daan Brandenburg



ernst

GM Sipke Ernst



giri

GM Anish Giri



janssen

IM Ruud Janssen



l'ami

GM Erwin l'Ami



nijboer

GM Friso Nijboer



smeets

GM Jan Smeets



sokolov

GM Ivan Sokolov



swinkels

GM Robin Swinkels



spoelman

GM Wouter Spoelman



hortensius

Lisa Hortensius



haast

WIM Anne Haast



middelveld

Martine Middelveld



peng

GM Zhaoqin Peng



vanweersel

WIM Arlette van Weersel



volkers

Annemarie Volkers



Photos © Frans Peeters for the Dutch Championships, more here (recommended!)



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