Nikolic wins Noteboom - again

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
When he plays Noteboom, he wins. Predrag Nikolic finished first at the traditional weekender of early February, for the third second time in a row, and the third time in total.

The traditional (an understatement in this case!) weekender in early February was organised for the 68th time this year. The rate of play was 40 moves in 1.45 hrs plus 15 minutes for the rest of the game. In Dutch weekenders, six games are played: one on Friday night, three on Saturday and two on Sunday. Players are usually allowed to take one bye in exchange for a half point. The Noteboom started in 1936 with an annual four-player round-robin; from 1979 it's a weekender. On the list of previous names we see famous names such as Euwe, Donner, Botwinnik and Timman.

The Noteboom Tournament is a memorial for the strong chess player Dani?ɬ´l Noteboom, who, because of his early death, will always remembered as one of the most talented players in Dutch chess history. Especially his success in 1930 at the nations match in Hamburg (which we would call Olympiad nowadays) appeals to the imagination: 11?Ǭ? out of 15 on board four, against e.g. Flohr, Takacs, Richter and Stolz. Noteboom, rapidly improving in those days, suddenly passed away after suffering from pneumonia and bronchitis in Londen, on January 12, 1932. Except for the weekender, the Noteboom Variation of the Slav also keeps him alive: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 e6 4.Nf3 dxc4 5.a4 Bb4 6.e3 b5 7.Bd2 a5 8.axb5 Bxc3 9.Bxc3 cxb5 10.b3 Bb7 11.bxc4 b4.

This year, GMs Nikolic, Van der Wiel, Li Shilong, Dgebuadze, Lalic, Van den Doel and Nijboer had decided to give it a try and go for the 1250 Euro first prize. Especially Van den Doel and Nijboer had a slightly disappointing tournament, finishing 8th and 8th respectively. Van der Wiel, who had regained some fighting spirit already at Corus, played a fine tournament: shared first with Nikolic, with 5.5 out of 6, but Nikolic won on tiebreak.

Full final standings here.

Here's one of the tournament's crucial games - one that finished dramatically:

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