One more time: the NH Tournament

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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NH Chess Tournament 2010This year's NH Chess Tournament was the fifth, and also the last. Five times, a team of Rising Stars played, and learnt from, Experienced grandmasters. We return one more time to Amsterdam, if only because we don't want you to miss our last video.

Having already sponsored many types of chess events, such as the Amber tournaments and the Ladies vs Veterans tournaments, chess patron Joop van Oosterom added another event to his long list in 2006. This year a tournament was born with a completely new format: a Scheveningen system with a team of rising stars and a team of experienced grandmasters.

The idea was that the Experience team should consist of older (and wiser?) grandmasters than the youngsters, who would benefit from playing them. Over the years the Experience team got younger and younger, as the Rising Stars team turned out to be playing stronger and stronger! But always, they played against opponents with much more experience.

Originally the Van Oosterom family planned to sponsor three events, but after those three they decided to add two more. Thanks to their generosity (they paid for the venue, the Krasnapolsky Hotel in Amsterdam, and all expenses of players, seconds and guests during five years) a big number of young players gained more experience, and a much bigger number of chess fans could enjoy the interesting clash between generations in August.

NH Chess Tournament

2006 The first edition of the NH Chess Tournament took place in the summer of 2006. The Rising Stars team consisted of Magnus Carlsen, Sergey Karjakin, Wang Hao, Daniel Stellwagen and Jan Smeets. The Experience team consisted of Alexander Beliavsky, Ljubomir Ljubojevic, John Nunn, Ulf Andersson and Artur Jussupow. The Rising Stars won the event with a score of 28-22. The then 15-year-old Carlsen achieved the best individual score for the youngsters with 6.5/10, thus winning the right to participate in the 2007 Amber Blindfold and Rapid Tournament.

2007 In the second tournament, in 2007, the Rising Stars team had Ivan Cheparinov, Sergey Karjakin, Parimarjan Negi, Jan Smeets and Daniel Stellwagen. The Experience team was formed by Alexander Beliavsky, Artur Jussupow, Alexander Khalifman, Ljubomir Ljubojevic and Predrag Nikolic. Again, the Rising Stars won, this time with 26.5-23.5. Karjakin finished first in the individual standings with a score of 7 out of 10 and the then 17-year-old Ukrainian earned an invitation to the 2008 Amber Blindfold and Rapid Tournament.

2008 The victory for the Rising Stars in the third event, in 2008, was even bigger. Two years ago the youngsters (Wang Yue, Erwin l'Ami, Daniel Stellwagen, Fabiano Caruana and Ivan Cheparinov) slaughtered their opponents (Evgeny Bareev, Viktor Kortchnoi, Artur Jussupow, Simen Agdestein and Ljubomir Ljubojevic) 33.5-16.5. In this third edition the Chinese rising star Wang Yue scored a devastating 8.5/10 and thus qualified for the 2009 Amber Blindfold and Rapid Tournament.

2009 Last year was the only time the Experience team (Peter Svidler, Peter Heine Nielsen, Alexander Beliavsky, Loek van Wely and Ljubomir Ljubojevic) managed to beat the Rising Stars (Hou Yifan, Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana, Jan Smeets and Daniel Stellwagen). The score was 22.5-27.5. Jan Smeets won the coveted ticket to the 2010 Amber Blindfold and Rapid Tournament with a score of 6 points from 10 games.

2010 The fifth and as it turned out last edition of the NH Chess Tournament finished last Sunday. The Rising Stars team consisted of Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana, Anish Giri, Wesley So and David Howell. The Experience team had Boris Gelfand, Peter Svidler, Peter Heine Nielsen, Loek van Wely and, of course, Ljubomir Ljubojevic.

In yet another exciting event the score was eventually 26-24 for the youngsters. The fight for the ticket to the 2011 Amber was decided in a blitz tie-break in which Nakamura defeated Giri 2-0.

NH Chess Tournament 2010

With five times ten rounds times five games, a total of 250 games were played in Amsterdam. The final score over five years of NH Chess is 136.5-113.5 for the Rising Stars. The only player who played in all five events was Ljubomir Ljubojevic. Daniel Stellwagen played in the Rising Stars team in the first four editions. Alexander Beliavsky, Jan Smeets and Fabiano Caruana participated three times. Sergey Karjakin, Artur Jusspow, Peter Svidler, Hikaru Nakamura, Peter Heine Nielsen and Loek van Wely played twice.

During the last three editions, Macauley Peterson and yours truly produced videos for the tournament website. It was always a joy to work there, with the finest conditions, helpful arbiters and friendly, cooperative players. Here's our playlist one more time - you might not have seen the last video yet about the decisive 10th round & blitz play-off last Sunday!

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