Only Spoelman still on 100% in Hilversum

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Spoelman on 3/3Last week he was awarded the GM title by FIDE and after three rounds he's the sole leader at the strong Intomart GfK Open in Hilversum, The Netherlands: Wouter Spoelman. A total of 5 IMs and 10 GMs play, including the youngest GM in the world, Anish Giri, who's defending his title.

The first edition of the Hilversum Open (2006), played in the same big television studio where the Dutch Championship took place, was won by GM Karel van der Weide, with a perfect score of 9 out of 9. In 2007 it was India's number one Humpy Koneru who won, finishing on 7.5 out of 9.

Last year the tournament was sensationally won by Anish Giri, who still had to turn 14. The Russian boy, who lives in The Netherlands, scored one of the three GM norms he would collect in 2008 to become the youngest grandmaster in the world. This year he defends his title which he won on tiebreak, together with Mchedlishvili and Van den Doel.

The 4th Hilversum Open, sponsored by Intomart Gfk, takes place June 27th - July 5th in Hotel Lapershoek, Hilversum, the Netherlands. I visited the tournament on the morning before the first round, to help setting up the electronical boards. I must say that the playing hall, a congress hall reached by stairs at the end of the hotel going down one floor, is pretty chique, with air-conditioning and excellent lighting.

The tournament has a total number of 130 participants with 46 playing in the top group. Amateur players have excellent chances to play several games against really strong players, as there are 10 GMs, 5 IMs, 5 FMs and a WGM. The majority in the >2100 group (actually 7 players below 2100 have been allowed to enter) is rated over 2300!

After three rounds only GM Wouter Spoelman still has a 100% score, and this might be a small surprise to some of those who have been following the tournament, since Spoelman was on 1.5 points after two rounds! As it turned out, perhaps blinded by the beauty of his opponent he had mistakenly written down '1/2' on his notation form of his game in round 2, while in fact he had beaten WGM Alina Motoc.

The arbiters had entered a draw as the result, and the pairings of the third round were based on this result and standings. Later it was discovered that Spoelman had won and so he 'won' 1.5 points by beating IM Pruijssers yesterday.

Can a result on a notation form that's written down by the player himself, with a signature, be corrected afterwards? Yes, according to the arbiters: "It's more in the spirit of the tournament. And besides, Motoc had written down 0-1 and didn't protest when she lost her half point."

The live game transmission experienced some problems during the first two rounds, but all games of at least the top 6 boards have been recovered and can be replayed below. Especially Reinderman-Strating is highly recommended! When his opponent offered his hand shortly before he got mated, the grandmaster asked him if he could please play on. Later Reinderman uploaded an image of the final position to Facebook. :-)


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The venue: Hotel Lapershoek in Hilversum


Sponsors like to be mentioned, so here we go - we need them, don't we?


Tournament director Henk Cornelisse speeches, and opens the tournament on Saturday...


...with all participants, full of new ambition, listening...


...well, all, some rising stars can't wait to move some pieces already: Pruijssers, Spoelman, Giri, Bitalzadeh and Miedema


The first six boards are transmitted live


Round 1, board 1: Daniel Fridman - Wim Heemskerk


GM Daniel Fridman (2646)


GM Michal Krasenkow (2622)


GM Predrag Nikolic (2618)


GM Erwin l'Ami (2598)


GM Friso Nijboer (2562)


GM Dimitri Reinderman (2560)


GM Stewart Haslinger (2544)


GM Anish Giri (2517), not only the youngest, but together with Vladimir Kramnik also the only GM in the world how never held the IM title!


GM (yes!) Wouter Spoelman (2512)


GM Milos Pavlovic (2511)


IM Anna Zatonskih (2461)


IM Willy Hendriks (2447)


IM Roeland Pruijssers (2442)


IM Ali Bitalzadeh (2417)


IM Fred Slingerland (2389)


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