Impressive chess by Willemze

0 | Chess Event Coverage
Thomas Willemze is showing impressive chess at the Cultural Village Tournament that's being held in Wijk aan Zee this week. Willemze, who recently became an IM, is making clear that this was fully justified: a 3 out of 3 you can't haggle. Not unimportant for this tournament is Muhren's play (2 out of 3), still without a norm but if you ask me she's heading to her first one.

Muhren had the better end of a draw twice, against Jan Willem de Jong in the first round and against Julius Armas in the third. In that game she was a tiny bit better in the final position and in the first round she also had the better chances in an ending. In the second round she was a bit lucky:

Abeln-Muhren Cultural Village 2006

White has a nice attacking position that should have led to a win somewhere. For example here, when the position screams for 24.h5. Michiel opted for 24.Nf6+ gxf6 25.Qxf4 Kh7 but this was not stronger. From here Muhren showed resilience and she outplayed Abeln in what probably was a time scramble.

So Willemze on three out of three. In the first two rounds he showed excellent technique in two French endings, with Black against Robin Swinkels and with White against David Smerdon, players who both had a disappointing start with 1 out of 3. In the third round Thomas reacted strongly against a sideline of Ruijgrok.

Ruijgrok-T.Willemze Cultural Village 2006

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. f3 g6 4. Nc3 Bg7 5. Be3 Qb6 6. Rb1 dxe4 7. fxe4 Nf6 8. Nf3 O-O 9. Bc4 You probably need to be called Morozevich to play the 3.f3 line. Not so long ago he won a brilliant game with it against Viktor Bologan. Ruijgrok is taught a lesson by Willemze: White's centre in this line is not more than an object for attack. 9...Ng4! 10. Bg1 Qb4! 11. Qe2 e5 12. a3 Qe7 13. d5 Nd7 14. Rd1 Kh8! 15. h3 Ngf6 16. Be3 Nh5! 17. Qf2 f5 with a big advantage. Ruijgrok fought well but it wasn't enough.


                      score rating  tpr   w-we
1. Willemze, Thomas    3.0   2384  3112  +1.47 
2. Muhren, Bianca      2.0   2336  2527  +0.78 
   Milu, Romeo Sorin   2.0   2430  2521  +0.36 
4. De Jong, Jan Willem 1.5   2435  2382  -0.23 
   Abeln, Michiel      1.5   2380  2386  +0.03 
6. Armas, Julius       1.0   2392  2206  -0.76 
   Swinkels, Robin     1.0   2379  2272  -0.42 
   Smerdon, David      1.0   2473  2220  -1.01 
   Ruijgrok, Dennis    1.0   2278  2291  +0.05 
   Afek, Yochanan      1.0   2372  2302  -0.27

Note that they're not only playing for norms here; the winner enters the C group of this year's prestigious Corus Chess Tournament. Willemze shouldn't plan too much in the last two weeks of January.

For more information see the special extra website by Replay the games here, for example.

Related article: '20-29 November: Cultural Village Chess Tournament'
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