Hertneck wins 3rd Batavia

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Hertneck wins 3rd Batavia, Van Kampen secondA day before the 3rd Batavia Chess Tournament in Amsterdam, Gerald Hertneck didn’t know he was going to play chess. But during the tournament, there was never any doubt who would win it. “He’s in a class of his own,” said IM Merijn van Delft afterwards. “He used to be in the world’s top 50.” Hertneck finished on 6.5/9, half a point ahead of IM Robin van Kampen.

The third Batavia Chess Tournament took place 18-27 February 2011 in Café Batavia 1920 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. This year it was a GM group with GM Hertneck, Gerald (GER, 2542), IM Michiels, Bart (BEL, 2489), GM Thipsay, Praveen (IND, 2461), IM Bok, Benjamin (NED, 2453), IM Van Kampen, Robin (NED, 2443), IM Bosboom, Manuel (NED, 2438), GM Murshed, Niaz (BAN, 2436), IM Kleijn, Christov (NED, 2428), IM Ris, Robert (NED, 2418) and IM Van Delft, Merijn (NED, 2387).

HertneckIn our previous report we already told the story about how Gerald Hertneck entered the tournament at the last minute. After five rounds the German grandmaster was in the lead with 4.5/5. In the remainder of the tournament, four draws were enough to finish clear first with 6.5 points and win the 1,000 Euro first prize.

"In the end I’m not so happy with my finish," Hertneck said, "because I wanted to win at least one game from the last four rounds but somehow I didn’t manage. I think I came close but it was not enough and actually I think I should have made 7/9 but OK, I’m the winner of the tournament so I don’t have to complain."

But the tournament was quite exciting anyway, thanks to the natural extra twist that comes with a GM tournament: would any of the seven IMs manage to score a GM norm? But before we get to this, let's have a look at one of the most spectacular games of the tournament, Michiels-Thipsay (round 6), a comedy of errors because of mutual time trouble.

This position could be a nice puzzle for a book on attacking, because Black needs to play his moves on the right moment here. As so often in opening positions, the most flexible and therefore best move is the one you have to make anyway: 36… Ra4!

a) Now 37. Kg2? is easily refuted by 37… Nh4+. b) 37. Re2 Qh4+ 38. Kg1 Ne5! (Only now.) 39. f4 Qg3+ 40. Rg2 Nf3+ 41. Kf1 Qh3 42. d7 Nh4 43. Rdd2 Nxg2 44. Rxg2 Rc4. c) 37. Rf1 Qh4+ 38. Kg2 Ne5 39. Rd4 (39. e4 Ng6) 39… Rxd4 40. exd4 Ng6! with a winning attack.

The game went 36… Ne5? 37. Kg2! Only after the Nh4+ possibility is gone, White can do this. 36… Nxf3 Now it’s too later for 37… Ra4 because with knight already on e5 White can play 38. e4! Qh4 (38… Ng6 39. Rh1) 39. Rh1 +-. 38. Rf1

38… Ra4? With 38… Qh4! Black could have drawn the game: 39. Rxf3 Qxg4+ 40. Rg3 Qe2+ 41. Kh3 (41. Kh1? Ra4! 42. e4 Rxe4!-+) 41… Qh5+ 42. Kg2 Qe2+. 39. Qe6? Michiels refrained from 39. Rxf3! because he was afraid of 39… Rxg4+ 40.Kf2 Qh4+ 41. Ke2 Rg2+ 42. Kd3

42… Qc4+ 43. Qxc4 bxc4+ but besides 44. Ke4 White can play 44. Kxc4! Rxf3 45. d7. Back to the game:

39… Rf6? Black misses 39… Qh4 40. Rxf3 Rxg4+ 41. Kf1 Qh1+ 42. Ke2 Qxf3+ 43. Kd2 Rg2+ 44. Kc1

44… Qxd1+! 45. Kxd1 Rf1 mate! 40. Rxf3 Rxe6

The smoke has cleared and White won anyway.


After seven rounds there were still three IMs in contention: Benjamin Bok, Robin van Kampen and Bart Michiels. All three needed two points from the last two rounds. However, in that penultimate round Van Kampen and Michiels drew their games, while Bok even lost.

Already right after the opening, for Robin van Kampen a norm had become a mission impossible. Against GM Niaz Murshed, the Dutch IM fell into a small opening trap and from that moment he had to fight for a draw.

Many will recognize this position from the French Defence. In a line that was popular about twenty years ago (e.g. Timman-Jussupow), Black sacrifices some pawns for a piece. Here, Black has just castled, which is in fact quite a new idea. For example, Khalifman’s Opening Repertoire According to Anand doesn’t even mention it!

White should play 14. Bd3 with interesting complications, but Van Kampen went 14. Be2 which was instantly answered by 14… d3! 15.Bxd3 Qb4! and because 16… b5 was also threatened, pawn f4 (and then also e5) fell. In fact a number of white players have already fallen for this trap. “It was really silly,” said Van Kampen, “because I knew about it. I was playing in the same tournament.” In the end the Dutchman managed to draw the game.

Van Kampen

Michiels threw away a winning position, playing White against IM Manuel Bosboom. In the following position, all hopes are gone.

44… Bd8! Especially when you’re trying to win, the threat of 45… Bb6 (even after 45. Qf2, because of 45… Bb6 46. Qxb6 Qe1+47. Kh2 Qh4+ and Black gives perpetual) is hard to meet. After 45. Qf2 Qg4!? (not going for the draw) one of the spectators, IM Li Riemersma, suggested 46. Nc5!? Bb6 47. c7 Bxc7 48. Nd7 but then 48… Qf4 should end in a draw. Michels played 46. Kh2 and the game was agreed a draw after 46… Bb6 47. Bd1 Qxd1 48. Qxb6 Qh5+ 49. Kg1 Qd1+.

Post-mortem Michiels-Bosboom

Bok suffered a defeat against IM Merijn van Delft, who played extremely solid and then got a chance for more in the following position.

37… Nd5?! (Still equal is 37… c5 38. Rg1 Nc6) 38. Rg1! c6?! 39. Ne5+ Bxe5 40. Bxe5 and White had a winning ending.

In the last round, Hertneck only needed a draw to secure clear first place. Van Delft was happy with that result too, as before the tournament he had secretly set himself the goal to score 50%. And so already after 11 moves this game was over. IM Manuel Bosboom and GM Praveen Thipsay already shook hands at move 7, but luckily the other three games were real fights.

Let's look at the game between GM Niaz Murshed and IM Bart Michiels, the last to finish. Michiels admitted that he had been very lucky. “I was surely lost. He played the ending well for a long time, but then he made a mistake.”

Michiels explained that 54. b4! wins, e.g. 54… Kf7 55. bxc5 bxc5 56. Ra6. In the game, after 54. Rd7+? Kf6 55. Rxa7 Nxb3 “too many pawns disappeared” (Michiels). 56. Rb7 Nd2 57. Rxb6+ Ke5 58. Rc6 Kd4 59. Rd6+ Ke3

60. Re6+ (60. Rxd2 Kxd2 61. Kxg5 Kd3 62. f4 Kxc4 63. f5 Kb3 64. f6 c4 65. f7 c3 66. f8Q c2 is a draw.) 60… Kd4 61. Re2 Nxc4 62. Kxg5 Ne3 63. Rd2+ Ke5 64. f4+ Ke4 65. Re2 c4 66. f5 Kd3 67. Rh2

67… Nxf5! 68. Kxf5 c3 69. Rh3+ Kd2 70. Ke4 c2 71. Rh2+ and since there’s one more way to draw this, the easiest being 71… Kc3, Murshed stopped his efforts.

Final position

"I look back with very good feelings," said tournament winner Gerald Hertneck. "It was a special tournament for me for several reasons. One thing is that probably for the first time in the last ten years I played a closed tournament, so this alone is special. And then it’s special to play in a nice pub like this because really liked to be here. It’s very comfortable and the atmosphere is very nice. If I’m just talking about my chess games and my success, I would say that I was very lucky in the first round. Of course I was close to resigning this game, but then I played quite well."

Below you'll find all games from rounds 6-9. for replay. The tournament website has much more info with daily round reports and photos. [Disclaimer: That site was all done by the author of this report.]

Games rounds 6-9

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Batavia Tournament 2011 | Final Standings


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