Gharamian & Miroshnichenko shared first in Maastricht

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Gharamian & Miroshnichenko shared 1st in MaastrichtGMs Tigran Gharamian and GM Evgenij Miroshnichenko ended shared first at the Limburg Open, a strong 7-rounder during the Pentecoste weekend.

The 4th ENCI Limburg Open was held May 21-24 in Maastricht, The Netherlands. This year the tournament was held at a new venue: sports complex De Geussel. The first round was held on Friday, then two rounds on Saturday, Sunday and Monday each.

The event keeps growing, and this year it attracted almost three hundred chess players to the venue, divided over three rating groups and one veteran section. I also visited the tournament for two days, despite the fact that it brought up bad memories. I played my last tournament one year ago in Maastricht, and I did horribly and lost about 40 rating points in one weekend. But I like the atmosphere in Limburg, and so I joined two friends on a camping close to Maastricht on Friday and Saturday, watched some games, worked a bit at the venue (where I could use the Wifi), and was happy to have a reason for not playing (attending a wedding on Sunday)!

Groep A was won by GMs Evgenij Miroschnichenko (Ukraine, 2684) and Tigran Gharamian (France, 2597), who both scored 6 out of 7. They were followed by GM Sergey Fedorchuk (Ukraine, 2649), GM Friso Nijboer (The Netherlands, 2562) and junior player FM Benjamin Bok (The Netherlands, 2430) with 5.5/7. Former winners GMs Emanuel Berg (Sweden, 2616) and Robin Swinkels (The Netherlands, 2493) only collected 4.5 points this time.

On the first two days, all attention went to Dutch amateur Menno Pietersma (2225), who beat GM Andrei Shchekachev and then drew with GMs Emanuel Berg and Robin Swinkels! As Pietersma is born in the same year as I am, and is in the same rating range, perhaps I should consider returning to the chess scene as well...

In round 4 Pietersma "finally" lost a game, against the on paper weakest opponent so far: IM Thomas Henrichs. Eventually he scored 3/7, minus one, but it meant a performance of 2411!

After scoring 3/3, Miroschnichenko and Gharamian drew each other in round 4. Both players only dropped half a point more, and both against 2009 winner Emanuel Berg. In the final standings Gharamian had a slightly better tiebreak.

Limburg Open 2010 | Final Standings (top 30)
Limburg Open 2010 | Final Standings
Full final standings here

Games played on the top boards

Game viewer by ChessTempo


Venue was sports complex De Geussel in Maastricht...


...just next to a McDonalds - not too healthy, but very useful for a weekend tournament


ENCI (First Dutch Cement Industry) again generously sponsored the event


The playing hall with the top boards, and many strong players...


...such as Andrei Shchekachev and Sergey Fedorchuk...


...Friso Nijboer...


...(shared) 2009 winner Emanuel Berg...


...(shared) 2008 winner Robin Swinkels...


...who both couldn't beat Menno Pietersma


Here Pietersma-Berg attracts many spectators


The winners: Tigran Gharamian...


...and Evgenij Miroshnichenko


A typical analysis session at a sports bar


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