Experience team fights back with 3-2 win

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NH Chess Tournament 2010In the sixth round of the NH Chess Tournament the Experience team defeated the Rising Stars 3-2. Boris Gelfand had a relatively easy day against David Howell, while Loek van Wely scored his first point for the Experience team in his 16th attempt. Hikaru Nakamura limited the damage for the Rising Stars with a win over Ljubomir Ljubojevic.

The NH Chess Tournament takes place August 12-22 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.

Table of players

The two teams play a ‘Scheveningen’ tournament, which means that each player of one team plays against each of the players of the other team. They do so twice, once with the white pieces and once with the black pieces. The team that collects most points wins the tournament. The best player of the 'Rising Stars' team will be invited to the 20th Amber Blindfold and Rapid Tournament in March 2011 in Nice, provided he or she scores over 50% in the NH Chess Tournament in Amsterdam.

Games round 6



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Round 6



Report by the official website

Yesterday the participants of the NH Chess Tournament enjoyed a free day. Some of them stayed at the hotel to patch up their opening repertoire or to just rest, others joined the excursion to Hoorn and Twisk, picturesque tourist destinations in the north of Holland. And today, refreshed by the free day or the rain that poured down for most of it, they embarked on the second half of the tournament.

Ljubomir Ljubojevic suffered a painful loss against Hikaru Nakamura. The opening went fine for the Serbian grandmaster, even if his opponent didn’t share his optimism about his chances when they looked at their game in the post-mortem. However, when he exchanged queens ‘Ljubo’ released the pressure he may have had and solved Black’s problems. This was the signal for Nakamura to go for the win and things got worse for Ljubojevic when he went for a rook endgame that was highly unpleasant and soon left him struggling in a lost position. Nakamura converted his advantage on move 63. With this win the American grandmaster moved into second place in the individual rankings (of the Rising Stars team), only half a point behind front-runner Giri.

NH Chess Tournament 2010

Loek van Wely was pretty relieved after his win over Fabiano Caruana. Finally, after various missed chances last year and this year he managed to score his first NH win in his sixteenth try. The Dutch grandmaster got an edge from the opening, but this would not have brought him anything if Caruana had grabbed his chance on move 22. At that point he could have forced a draw with the piece sacrifice 22…Qxe5 23.fxg4 c5 24.Re2 Qb8 when White has nothing better than to repeat moves with 25.Re2. Caruana compounded his problems with 38…Bg4 allowing 39.Rc3 and the infiltration of the white rook. The rest was plain sailing for Van Wely and after 53 moves the point was his.

NH Chess Tournament 2010

The game between Peter Hein Nielsen and Wesley So saw a Grünfeld Defence that led to a complicated middlegame. Black got into some problems when in a position that was still known he overlooked a simple tactic. Instead of 18…Rc2, hoping to double rooks on the c-file, he should have played 18…Bc4 and Black is fine. What he had missed was that after the intended 19…Rc3 (in the game) he suddenly loses an exchange after 20.Ba6. The position looked dangerous for Black and required considerable defensive skills, but gradually So managed to equalize. One of a couple of possible improvements for White that the young Philippine grandmaster suggested was 28.Bxh5. In the game So proposed a draw on move 30 and Nielsen accepted.

NH Chess Tournament 2010

Peter Svidler had no wish to test the Petroff Defence of Anish Giri and so instead of his favourite 1.e4 the Russian grandmaster went for 1.d4. He was happy to get ‘some sort of playable position’ and when he went 16.Rfe1 he was hoping for 16…cxd4 17.Nxd4 Bb4 18.Bd3! Bxe1 19.Bxh7+ with excellent play for White. But with the correct 16…Bxf3!, Giri avoided this adventure and took the sting out of White’s play. Perhaps 20.Be2 had been a tad more precise then 20.Rxd8, but White’s edge seems to be negligible anyway. As Svidler described the outcome, a draw: ‘The final position I can play forever and will never make any progress.’

NH Chess Tournament 2010

The game between Boris Gelfand and David Howell followed the eleventh match game of the recent World Championship match between Anand and Topalov, until the Englishman deviated with 11…a5, where Topalov had gone 11…Qe8. Gelfand was not impressed by the novelty and got a promising position after 14.d4. Part of his plan was to exchange the white-squared bishops (although he could also have exchanged his knight against the black bishop with 21.Ne3), which he forced with 21.Bh3. Black retained chances in the ensuing middlegame, but his position was unpleasant with his weak king. White essentially decided the game with 30.d5 followed by 31.Bxa5. For the moves remaining to the time-control Howell had little time, but as Gelfand put it. ‘even if you have ten hours you don’t save this position’. On move forty the English grandmaster lost another pawn, but at that point his position was beyond repair anyway.

NH Chess Tournament 2010

In the overall standings the Rising Stars are leading 15½-14 ½. Anish Giri remains in the lead in the fight for the ticket to the Amber Blindfold and Rapid Tournament, half a point ahead of Rising Stars top-seed Nakamura.

NH Chess Tournament 2010 | Round 6 Standings
NH Chess Tournament 2010 | Round 6 Standings


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